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Boards Ask Parents for Merger Input

 

By Leslie Truluck

AVALON — Avalon and Stone Harbor school boards are urging parents to speak up about a potential consolidation of the two districts at upcoming meetings.
Consolidation is a strong consideration as enrollment decreases and concern grows for socialization of children in tiny classes.
Parents are encouraged to speak their mind at the Stone Harbor board meeting Nov. 11 and the Avalon board Nov. 18.
“We’ve heard from teachers, but not a lot from parents,” Avalon School Board President John McCorristin said. “We hope they come out to the November meetings.”
No decision has yet been made regarding a consolidation study commissioned by both boards. A joint meeting was held Oct. 7, during which the study was presented.
McCorristin said neither board is interested in a merge with Middle Township. Rather a one or two school island merger is on the table for better social growth for town kids.
Avalon resident John Raimondo told the board Oct. 21 he is concerned for class sizes.
Superintendent David Rauenzahn said there are some grades where there are only two girls. He said Stone Harbor has one class with only three students total.
There are currently 31 staff members between both buildings. A consolidation would result in loss of about six to eight positions, Rauenzahn said.
He said both staffs are “outstanding” and any loss would be decided based on tenure.
Another joint board meeting is planned for December.
Contact Truluck at: ltruluck@cmcherald.com

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