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Gloucester Township School District to Consider Ending Middle School Summer Classes

The funds usually set aside for the classes would be shifted to the development of summer programs for the elementary schools.

Patch File Photo
Patch File Photo
By Aris M Theofanopoulos

The three Gloucester Township middle schools may soon discontinue providing summer classes for failing students under a proposal introduced during the Board of Education’s meeting Monday night at the district’s administration building.

The funds usually set aside for the classes would be shifted to the development of summer programs for the elementary schools.

Middle school students usually fail classes because of incomplete work, not because they are struggling, Superintendent of Schools John Bilodeau said.

Students must pass mathematics and language arts to move onto high school. Therefore, if a student fails one of these requirements, they must take an online course during the summer to gain the necessary credits.

At the end of the course, the student must visit their appropriate school to take a final test under the supervision of a teacher.

This online course would be paid out of pocket by the student’s parents. Multiple board members reiterated that the Gloucester Township Public Schools handbook states nothing about being financially responsible for potential summer classes.

The Gloucester Township Public School district was one of the few districts in New Jersey that provided summer classes for failing students. Children from as far as Vineland commuted to the middle schools in 2013.

The board will vote on the proposal at its next scheduled meeting on April 28.

Other items discussed during Monday night’s meeting included:

* A 2009 Blue Bird school bus has been purchased for $42,500 from the Morris Plains Board of Education. This is the first time in the history of the Gloucester Township Public School District that a used school bus has been purchased, according to Bilodeau.

* On April 28, the board will vote on whether to purchase two special needs vans. These vans cost about $90,000 less than two small school buses. These buses must be outfitted for specs, such as red and yellow lights and safety precautions. These vans would be utilized because even the small school buses can’t fit in some cul de sacs. Each van would be approximately $35,000-$40,000 according to Bilodeau

* Ray Evans Emergency Management applied for two grants. One application is for a $60,000 grant for an emergency generator at the Charles W. Lewis Middle School, as it is an official place of emergency. A 150-kilowatt generator is needed to power the library with air conditioning, freezers in the kitchen, lights in the cafeteria, and district computers and phones. It would cost about $110,000, meaning the board would have to chip in about $50,000.

Schu April 20, 2014 at 09:59 PM
The general public does not have the intellectual capacity to understand the inter workings of GT. Look at the opportunities the voters have been given at the pools, electing the same losers time and time who've created the mess. Knowledge is man kind's greatest gift, however in GT we're only concerned about ourselves.
factchecker April 25, 2014 at 11:50 AM
Some of the former administrators jumped ship and some were forced out so that the BOE could get rid of anything they put into place. Nobody's perfect, but the district was moving in the right direction and now all we are doing is "state mandated" and following rules. No one cares about real instruction or student learning. Why can't we comply with state mandates but also be looking to provide the best instruction and use high quality materials, too?
l t Paine April 26, 2014 at 08:21 AM
Over $260,000 in budget transfers in Monday's agenda, the fiscal year ends 6/30. Bilodeau is moving money around now for the Spring buying frenzy. Yet they keep crying poor and cutting programs. How is it possible to have $75000 left over in an account this late in the year to transfer? That's just one account, Bilodeau and the BA pad these accounts every year yet tell residents we need more money. Check out May and June's minutes we might see some interesting purchases. It seems if there is that much extra money in these accounts we shouldn't have to cut some programs. The Spring shell game of moving money around so residents lose track has begun. Now do you shrug your shoulders or do you demand answers?
factchecker April 26, 2014 at 05:57 PM
Interesting since I read somewhere else how teachers are buying their own copy paper and were told there wasn't any more left.
factchecker April 26, 2014 at 05:59 PM
I will correct the comment about Acerba getting her doctorate on our dime. Taxpayers do not pay for tuition for employees. The union dues paid by employees offer some tuition reimbursement, but not much.

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