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School District Re-posts Music Survey

Also makes available the presentation about Intermediate School schedule changes

Wall School District officials late Thursday for a second time posted on its website a parent survey asking whether music instruction at the should be moved to either a before- or after-school session.

The move, which also includes a post of the district’s presentation given in public meetings earlier this week, is the latest in a series of steps the district has taken to garner support for .

The school, along with Wall High School, has been designated a “School In Need Of Improvement,’’ by the state Department of Education -- a designation given to schools that fail to make progress on standardized tests for two or more consecutive years.

The district is proposing expanding to 80 minutes each the language and mathematics instruction in grades six and seven for the upcoming school year. Eighth grade students would have their math and language instruction bumped up to 60 minutes each.

. Pupils enrolled in music would also be pulled from gym class once a week and could opt to cut short their 40-minute lunch period for music practice, administrators have said.

The district on and held public meetings to discuss the scheduling plans, which were first brought to the public’s attention not by the district but by an email from a district parent. That email .

At , which was held in the Intermediate School auditorium at 9 a.m., district officials faced an occasionally hostile crowd that was calmed mainly by a short speech by Wall High School Music teacher Leslie Hollander, who said of the two choices, the music teachers agreed that a before-school option would be best for the continuation of the music program, which include band, orchestra and chorus.

That apparently changed the minds of many at the meeting, who showed support for the before-school option by an impromptu straw poll near the conclusion of the 2 ½-hour session.

The crowd of about 50 at was more amiable, with several parents praising the district’s efforts to improve testing stature at the Intermediate School, even if it was inconvenient to some students.

At that meeting MaryJane Garibay, district curriculum director, said the district's entire curriculum was being revised to address, among other things, the school's lagging test scores.

It was unclear as of Thursday night what the Board of Education's position is on the proposed schedule changes at the Intermediate School. No formal statement or comment has been released.

It is also unclear how much information the school board has had the reported wholesale change in curriculum. A review of the board's meeting recordings in 2012 reveal no information on the curriculum changes from the panel's Curriculum Committee.

JD June 08, 2012 at 01:25 PM
You can also have 6 periods plus lunch... Each period is 55 minutes long.... 1. Language Arts 2. Math 3. Science 4. Social Studies 5. PE... but 1 day a week is for Study Island or word of day, etc 6. Elective... (Music, Band, Chorus)... 3 qtrs can be elective and 1 qtr Spanish.
JD June 08, 2012 at 01:46 PM
The proposed schedule is... Only 37 minutes for Science.. Only 37 minutes for Social Studies... Are you kidding me!!! PE... why even change.. 37 min long!!!
Duke June 08, 2012 at 02:49 PM
I have always been a supporter of our administration but this time they failed our kids. PERIOD!! Duke
Michael Ferrell June 08, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Our district employees seem a bit too quick to use technology to make it seem they are interested. I would NOT trust a poll conducted on the board website as it is too likely the fox is watching the hen house on results. The administration stated the whole curriculum K-12 needs to be looked at. The issue here is not JUST the music program. This is simply another attempt to make move into place an already determined course of action without real involvement from the community. I predict more time will NOT result in higher test scores as the stated goal was to give students more time in the current curriculum. If the curriculum is lacking more time will simply be more time with something that doesn't work. Remember that the current group of students in WIS has spelling removed in elementary programs, math programs changed for some but not all, and advanced language arts courses dropped at WIS. That had to have some impact. So does anyone running the district want some real involvement and a parents view of what they see good and bad? We're here.... we're willing and we are waiting, not for some attempts to placate varying groups, not to have change for change sake, but to actively make our schools and our children better.
Duke June 08, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Where is the BOE in all this. No where to be found or heard. This is a critical issue that faces our kids and silence. Very disturbing!!
JD June 08, 2012 at 06:10 PM
The new Super is not saying anything either... that is very disturbing.. This is a foregone conclusion... the question is.. do you want music before school or after school??? Sorry, looking at Point Boro test results... extra time does not move the needle on test results. I'm not opposed to more time... the current scheduling has to change... but they are taking it to an extreme. My proposal has 55 min per classroom.. and the proposed 37 min for science and social studies is RIDICULOUS!!!
Kim Dixson June 08, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Great points Mike. And looking at the slides, I want to know how Edison accomplishes their excellent ASK scores (they are #6/54 for LA and #8/54 for Math) with only 230 minutes of instruction for each! Did anyone from the district call them and ask what their magic is?
MessageofHope June 15, 2012 at 10:21 AM
If you have been a supporter of our administration most of the time that is were lies. The Wall Administration has always been about them.. Never about the well being of the students, parents, staff or resident tax payers of Wall Township.
MessageofHope June 15, 2012 at 11:11 AM
"Were the problems lie"

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