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Overcrowding an Issue at Two Parsippany Schools

Concerns raised for large amounts of students in lower grades at Lake Parsippany, Mt. Tabor.

The Parsippany held its first meeting of the new school year Thursday night at the Parsippany Road administration buiding.

Superintendent of Schools LeRoy Seitz described the first day of school as "uneventful... smooth and effective."

"Buses ran on time and for the most part on the correct routes," he said. "There were only minor glitches and minimal conflicts."

A group of third-grade parents from were on hand to address a situation that they didn't consider minor.

A few of them arose to tell the board the school has two third-grade classes with 28 students each. They stated a concern that because of the , changes might not be made until after Oct. 1.

Seitz said he didn't think it would be necessary to wait.

"I interpreted that we would split classes after the first full week of school and then deal with additional situations that require splitting classes by Oct. 1," he said.

"If we're already at [more than the policy-mandated 25-student limit], why wait?" asked Board Vice President Frank Neglia, who received a round of applause from the Lake Parsippany parents.

The superintendent asked Policy Committee Chairwoman Fran Orthwein to clarify what the new policy actually says.

"The final decisions must be determined no later than Oct. 1," she said. "It does say that the process starts on the Friday of the first full week of school. Oct. 1 would start the end of the process."

"Enrollments fluctuate, so historically the board has waited until Friday of the first full week of school," Seitz said. "That's fine, we're ready to do address the situation [at Lake Parsippany School] when we get back Tuesday, because school is closed Monday."

The superintendent said the district is prepared to handle creating a new third-grade class at Lake Parsippany school.

"We are ready," he said. "We have spoken to principals. We have plans in place to split those classes. We have teachers, furniture, resource material, etc., so we can split those classes by Wednesday."

He added that the district is also looking at possible overcrowding at 's kindergarten, first and second grade classes.

Board President Frank Calabria asked where the money comes from to pay for new teachers brought in to instruct new grade sections created.

"We provided money within the budget to fund them [in the event the need occurred]," Seitz explained.

President Calabria asked the Policy Committee to review the class size policy to ensure that the language is clear.

Near the meeting's end, resident Judy Mayer stood to speak about the forthcoming depature of school board member Deborah Orme, who announced recently that she is not seeking re-election once her term expires after the November election.

"You have served the board with your heart and soul and made decisions for the benefit of the taxpayers, the children and the educational staf," she said. "We are sorry to see you go."

Orme received a large round of applause from those assembled.

clyde donovan September 14, 2012 at 07:17 PM
"Overcrowding" must mean they want to split classes in half and hire more teachers. Ut-Oh, some people who are politcally connected must need teaching jobs for a few unemployed relatives or friends.
Care4kids September 15, 2012 at 01:08 AM
@clyde donavon Really!? How about the fact that there have been 55 first and third graders in two classrooms for a week and a half...Why don't you come in and see if you can teach them something. Or is all you care about is your taxes being raised? Why don't you think about the children..
clyde donovan September 15, 2012 at 02:27 AM
Stop with that disingenuous "do it for the children" crap. It's a worn out song and dance. And yeah, I want a lot less than 60 percent of my taxes spent on education, if that's what you call it in Parsippany
Monica Sclafani September 15, 2012 at 03:18 AM
We do have a class size policy of 25 students per class in Parsippany. If the class size exceeds 25, it's broken out into another section. Policy - plain and simple.
VietNam Vet September 15, 2012 at 05:15 AM
Orme has done nothing with thinking of the seniors in this town. She has only thought of herself and has voted with this money grugging poster boy for greed. We are glad to see her go.

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