Are your children talking about School Vote March 12? We wouldn’t be surprised to hear it’s mostly about bobcats, rams and hawks – the mascot symbols of school spirit we hope will carry you both to the polls -- on the parents’ side for the referendum on school improvements, and in the students’ corner, school mascots. They’re both questions, when you come right down to it, that center on school pride.
Livingston has a history of doing the right thing at the right time for its schools. It’s one of the reasons Livingston has incredible success with education, with the public schools unquestionably among the township’s greatest assets.
"I don't know what the prime attraction was 200 years ago," said Harrison parent Chitra Maridi in a nod to the township's bicentennial celebration, "but I know what it is today. Livingston’s core strength is its school district."
The 14 additional elementary classrooms planned in this referendum proactively address future enrollment increases. It would offer more flexibility to ease soft borders, decrease class size, provide space for more special education programs, and make room for new students already moving in and anticipated when new housing developments open.
New additions for media centers at Riker Hill, Harrison and Collins elementary schools will complete Livingston Public Schools’ goal to provide the space needed to better equip all students with the technology and resources that help them learn to think, learn how to search, and learn to evaluate. (Read More: Not Your Parents' Libraries Anymore) Classroom additions are also planned at Hillside and Burnet Hill.
The proposal also addresses the needs of special education and physically disabled students. ADA compliance at LHS will allow disabled students and staff to independently navigate the building and access nearby lavatory facilities.
And the additional classrooms will provide alternatives to out-of-district placements, reducing excessive transportation costs and permitting students to remain part of their school community. (Read more: Special Education’s Special Needs)
“Failure to proactively address future enrollment increases will lead to larger class sizes, the institutionalization of soft borders, and the cannibalization of our art and music rooms,” said Bonnie Granatir, former president of the Livingston Board of Education. “Livingston is better than this.” (Read more: The Arts, On Carts).
In fact, it’s a matter of school pride.
“Livingston is a destination. It’s a place where people want to be,” observed Assemblywoman Mila Jasey (D-27th District), who threw her support -- along with editorial endorsement from the West Essex Tribune -- behind the referendum “And it means that families move here. And when families move, they bring their children. I hope you look at it as an opportunity, not as a burden.“
You can learn more by ">watching our video on School Vote March 12. It’s been produced at the LHS television studios and features an inside look at the schools to help voters be fully informed when going to the polls on March 12.
Find answers to frequently asked questions on the District’s website at School Vote March 12 @ www.livingston.org
And vote, with your children, on Tuesday, March 12. The polls will be open from 1 to 9 p.m.