Hackensack, NJ Community Message Boards

General Category => Hackensack Discussion => Topic started by: Editor on June 29, 2018, 11:13:03 PM

Title: Hackensack schools, facilities upgrade, new school
Post by: Editor on June 29, 2018, 11:13:03 PM
NorthJersey.com: Hackensack school district unveils $165M plan

Title: Re: Hackensack schools, facilities upgrade, new school
Post by: Editor on August 30, 2018, 04:30:49 PM
Title: Re: Hackensack schools, facilities upgrade, new school
Post by: vsasson on September 13, 2018, 06:25:51 PM

https://thesassonreport.blogspot.com/2018/09/taxes-or-lack-of-them-are-driving.html (https://thesassonreport.blogspot.com/2018/09/taxes-or-lack-of-them-are-driving.html)
Title: Re: Hackensack schools, facilities upgrade, new school
Post by: vsasson on September 18, 2018, 02:28:21 PM

https://thesassonreport.blogspot.com/2018/09/enrollment-hike-of-120-students-in-4.html (https://thesassonreport.blogspot.com/2018/09/enrollment-hike-of-120-students-in-4.html)
Title: Re: Hackensack schools, facilities upgrade, new school
Post by: vsasson on September 21, 2018, 10:19:28 AM
If a referendum on the $165.1 million building and renovation plan for Hackensack schools is held on Jan. 22, 2019, which of you will vote "yes" and which will vote "no"? My mind is already made up: I'm voting "no."

SEE: http://thesassonreport.blogspot.com/2018/09/enrollment-hike-of-120-students-in-4.html (http://thesassonreport.blogspot.com/2018/09/enrollment-hike-of-120-students-in-4.html)
Title: Re: Hackensack schools, facilities upgrade, new school
Post by: vsasson on October 07, 2018, 02:06:34 PM

https://thesassonreport.blogspot.com/2018/10/if-youre-feeling-angry-apathetic-or.html (https://thesassonreport.blogspot.com/2018/10/if-youre-feeling-angry-apathetic-or.html)
Title: Re: Hackensack schools, facilities upgrade, new school
Post by: Editor on October 09, 2018, 06:03:01 PM
Title: Re: Hackensack schools, facilities upgrade, new school
Post by: ericmartindale on December 02, 2018, 09:25:12 AM
The plan to build a new elementary school on a high school athletic field should be considered a loss of open space. It's more than just a loss of recreation for the students.

I also feel that the school system is moving in the opposite direction of neighborhood-based schools. Decades ago, all children K-5 went to schools in their own neighborhood, or reasonably close. The logic was that 6th graders are old enough to walk to or from school on their own, so if they had to walk a mile or two, that was considered acceptable.

Then, all 5th grade classes were consolidated into the Five-6 school on the Middle School campus. So now you have kids a year younger having to walk very far.

Now the Board of Education wants to take that same approach for younger and younger kids. Now they want even 3rd and 4th graders from all over the city to attend a single school. They are essentially forcing all parents to drive their kids to and from school. I am remarried with a 5-year old, and living in Maywood. Thinking of buying a house in Hackensack, which is more affordable than the suburban towns, but I would then be subjected to these education logistics and having to purchase another automobile. The Board of Education should not be complicating people's lives with education logistics.

There are multiple problems with education logistics.

1. First is that it complicates the ability of parents to have employment. The potential employment of at least one parent (sometimes there is ONLY one parent) now has to work around driving a child to and from school. So that leaves not enough daytime hours to work full-time.

2. Second, if there are children in more than one school, the logistics are even worse.

3. Third, not everyone has a car, or perhaps they only have one car and the spouse who works full-time with a good-paying job is using it all day.

4. Lots of parents without cars walk their younger kids to school. It's too much to expect them to walk their small child miles across town. Especially in the cold, in the rain, in light snow when there is no snow day.

All of this really makes life difficult for families in Hackensack. It's totally anti-civic. Maybe this is being done deliberately to discourage families with children from living in Hackensack. And if that is the case, (unsure) that would be simply terrible public policy.

The Board of Education is moving in the opposite direction. They need to go back to having all kids K-5 educated in neighborhood schools, or perhaps K-6. If that means expanding them, expand. If that means building a new school somewhere in the center of Hackensack, do it.  If that means to change the boundaries of the elementary schools, do it. The boundaries are non-sensical, having been gerrymandered for racial balance reasons at least 40 years ago, and those demographic issues no longer exist. All of Hackensack is thoroughly mixed. There are Latino's and African-Americans all over Hackensack, in every neighborhood.

Or even better, make all neighborhood elementary schools K-6, and perk the boundaries to make the enrollment numbers vs. available classroom space work. I bet grades 7-8 can fit in the old Middle school building, which was designed for 6-8. The current Five6 school can become a K-6 school for the Park Street area Hackensack, and lower Anderson Street, and moving outwards a few blocks as needed to fill up the school.

There would still be the need to build one new school, I would say somewhere in the area of Kansas Street. 

The Hackensack School system should be moving in the direction of neighborhood-based schools, and not in the direction of parents having to drive little kids all over Hackensack.
Title: Re: Hackensack schools, facilities upgrade, new school
Post by: Editor on December 03, 2018, 10:25:52 AM

Please join us at one of our Town Hall meetings to learn more about our upcoming Referendum/Facilities Upgrades

◾Tuesday, December 4, 2018 ~ Nellie K. Parker School (261 Maple Hill Drive)
◾Wednesday, December 5, 2018 ~ Fairmount School (105 Grand Ave)
◾Thursday, December 6, 2018 ~ Jackson Ave School (421 Jackson Ave)
◾Monday, December 10, 2018 ~ Hackensack HS (135 Beech St)
◾Tuesday, December 11, 2018 ~ Fanny Meyer Hillers School (56 Longview Ave)
◾Wednesday, December 12, 2018 ~ Hackensack Middle School  (360 Union St)

All meetings will be held 7PM-8PM.

Title: Re: Hackensack schools, facilities upgrade, new school
Post by: ericmartindale on December 07, 2018, 06:55:20 AM
I attended last night's forum. 90% of what is planned is really excellent.  The best part of the plan is that the High School will essentially be a double campus covering 6 grades. The existing buildings will be grades 10-12 instead of 9-12, and that will free up space for growth (even though enrollment was higher than now in the 1970's). The new buildings will be built along American Legion Drive and Comet Way for grades 7-9. That will include all the 9th graders from the sending districts in what is being billed as "the 9th grade academy". This will be a State-of-the-Art school with everything modern and high-tech, and I susepct it will be extremely attractive to the 3 sending districts. The kids will be very eager to attend it, and more parents will say "yes" to this option. The presenters expressed serious concern that magnet schools will be draining away our best kids in the future, so this new school will be competition and function as it's own kind of magnet.

All schools in Hackensack will be getting air conditioning and security upgrades. Every one will have a single point of entry and there will be street improvements for drop-off purposes. Most or all bathrooms will be modernized.

Hackensack will have free pre-school for all kids that are 4 years old by October 1st. There are about 800, and currently only about 300 are enrolled due to space issues, and it's all the way in the South Ward at the old St. Francis school. They are renting from the Catholic Archdioscese

The 4 lower elementary schools are currently K-4, which is 5 grades, and maxed out for space. They will become Pre-K to 2, which is 4 grades. Having 1 grade less per building frees up space, just a little, for future growth.

A large parking garage for students and teachers will be built along Comet Way. They are discussing with the City Council about widening Comet Way and making it 2-way, but that is not finalized. They are also eliminating the eastern block of American Legion Drive (the city council is doing that), and adding it as green space to the school campus to help compensate for the loss of one athletic field. Kathy Salvo was there asking them fencing off space on the roof of the new building for school recreation purposes, and they said the architect will consider that.

Some of the savings:
1. The school system will no longer be spending $700,000 a year to rent that space from the Archdioscese, which over the cost of 30 years would be $21 million. Actually more because that cost will probably go up every year. So it's fair to say at least $26 million. (FYI, the Board of Education is doing a bad job talking up this aspect of the savings by not multiplying it out over 30 years and explaining that on their literature)
2. If this is all approved in the Referendum, the State of NJ will kick in $41 million.  So that's $67 million
3. There are additional efficiency savings, the presenters said.

My outstanding concern was that all kids grades 3-6 from Hackensack will have to attend one school (currently the Middle School). The presenters said that the modern educational needs of pre-school and kindergarten kids is "so vastly different" from that of 5th and 6th graders that it no longer makes sense to put them all in the same building. 

They said they have thought for years about shrinking the district sizes for the existing 4 elementary schools so there will be space for the existing grades, and then building a new school somewhere in central or south-central Hackensack. They couldn't do it, they couldn't make the numbers work. I tell you what, they can pay me $30,000 and give me all the enrollment data. It might take me some time, but I could do it, I'm sure.

What I think will happen in the future is that the school enrollment will continue to grow, and they will STILL be forced to build another new school in Hackensack, somewhere near Kansas Street. That could be a Middle School South, for Jackson and Hillers. And the existing Middle School would be a Middle School North for Nellie K. Parker and Fairmount. Or perhaps, since the old Middle School is pretty huge, it would nibble a bit into the territory of the South elementary schools. My $30K offer stands on the table, in a few years when they are ready to think about this again. I am sure I could do it.

Also, if I was on the Board of Education, I would immediately use eminent domain to seize and purchase the Cinelli Brothers metal recycling property off of Lodi Street. That way the Board of Education would own a piece of property for future school construction, and it would be just about where it needs to be geographically. They could then lease the property out to Cinelli or anyone else with a similar business plan. The cost of buying that property, spread out over 30 years, would probably be less than the annual rent from Cinelli. They should consult with the appropriate realtor on this, see if the numbers work. The property might be rented out for 10 years or more before any school construction occurs.