Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Middle school students will likely have a longer school day next year under plans put forth by Maplewood Middle School principal Jerrill Adams and South Orange Middle School principal Joseph Uglialoro.

During Monday night's school board meeting both men proposed the plan that would extend dismissal time from 2:45 p.m. to 3:05 p.m. and a new "enrichment and intervention period" will be added for sixth and seventh graders.

This means that each class will be the same length, 50 minutes, rather than varying times for some subjects.

The board also approved a resolution allowing home-schooled students to participate in Columbia High School sports teams.

"We talk about sports, but where else will it go from here? What will be the next thing we add to it?" said Board Member Maureen Jones "They are going to be wearing Columbia High School jerseys, but they are not Columbia High School students."

Board Member Beth Daugherty noted that home-schooled students are allowed to participate in the ultimate Frisbee team, which is a club sport, not an interscholastic sport.

"It is on pragmatic grounds that we are letting homeschoolers play sports now," said Board Member Jeffrey Bennett. 

Daugherty suggested delaying approval another month for more review, but Bennett disagreed: "This is an issue that's going to affect a handful of kids ... it's too minor of a thing." The board later voted to approve the home school policy, 9-0.

The board also approved an agreement to hire new superintendent John Ramos, who will start in August. The five-year deal includes a salary of $175,000 per year. That vote was 8-0, with Board Member Johanna Wright abstaining.


Anonymous said...

I just wanted to give some context for my comments on homeschooler athletic participation.

I consistently favored homeschooler participation at CHS athletics and worked on this policy change since January 2015. During that time I did a lot of research into what other school districts did and had many email conversations about homeschool athletic inclusion.

I favored, philosophically, clarifying language on Ultimate Frisbee, but the Policy & Monitoring committee has been very busy lately and I did not think we could justify devoting more time to homeschooler athletics.

The bit about "pragmatism" is in reference to why we are letting homeschoolers play sports but not participate in non-athletic extracurriculars.

It is thought that it is not realistic for high school-aged homeschoolers to be able to maintain their own athletic teams, but organizing something like chess or music is possible. The same philosophical argument about homeschoolers having rights as taxpayers to participate applies to non-athletic extracurriculars as well, but allowing homeschoolers to participate in all CHS extracurriculars is too big a change in too short a time.

Joe Strupp said...

Please give your name