UPDATED: Unanswered Questions: What's Going On At The Intermediate School?
Silence from the lame-duck Schools Chief Again Tuesday
UPDATE: WEDNESDAY 11:36 a.m.
The schedule for the upcoming Intermediate School year is still in flux while the district looks at shuffling times to accommodate expanded math and language instruction, officials said Wednesday.
School Board President John Tavis said the board would be discussing changes to the Intermediate Schools schedule when its sub-committee meetings take place at the end of the week and next Tuesday.
Interim School Board President Stephanie Bilenker has been voiceless in recent weeks on the issue, the most controversial of her short tenure. Bilenker has not returned numerous phone calls spread over two weeks requesting comment, the most recent at 10:05 a.m. Wednesday. She is paid $600 a day. Her last day is Friday.
Tavis said the district is still looking at expanding its math and language instruction time for the upcoming year, but also was trying to lessen or eliminate the effect on music students.
“If you look at Blue Ribbon schools, that’s what they’re doing is expanding math and language,’’ Tavis said. “We’re still working on it. It’s still up in the air.’’
Tavis was not specific on what plans the district was looking at, but did say that one possibility among many was keeping all music instruction in the regular school day.
Tavis also said the parent survey that was posted, retracted, changed, posted and then re-posted on the district's website recently was inconclusive and likely would not weigh heavily on further discussions about the Intermediate School schedule.
UPDATE: WEDNESDAY 10:05 a.m.: Bilenker was unavailable again. Another message was left with office staff.
Three public meetings and a pair of possibly flawed parent surveys but no word yet from the Wall Township School District administration on exactly what the next school year might look like at the Intermediate School.
Interim Superintendent Stephanie Bilenker -- in this, her last week with the district -- will take home $3,000 at a rate of $600 a day according to the contract offered to her by the Board of Education in a unanimous vote, did not respond Tuesday to repeated calls from Wall Patch in regard to the Intermediate School.
Bilenker was unavailable at shortly after 1 p.m., according to office staff. A second message was left with office staff at 3:02 p.m. A third message was left on Belinker's voicemail at 5:07 p.m.
Numerous messages left last week were simliarly unreturned.
The recent accidental discovery by a parent of a then-unannounced plan to shuffle the Intermediate School schedule and oust some music instruction from the regular school day, touched off a firestorm among parents of music students which quickly spread among the Intermediate School community.
The district held two informational sessions to pitch their case for the need for the change, which officials have said is an effort to bolster math and language instruction and remove the school from a state watch list of schools lagging in standarized tests.
The district also surveyed parents on its website in an on-again, off-again survey intended to collect opinion on the proposal. The district, following its two parent meetings, then re-posted the survey. But serious questions were raised regarding its validity.
But no one from the district, nor the Board of Education, has publicly said what, if anything, is being done with all the community input since the June 12 board meeting, the audio of which by Tuesday was unavailable on the district’s website.
What do you think should happen with the Intermediate School schedule for the upcoming year? Discuss in the comments.