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Garden State Coalition of Schools
Elisabeth Ginsburg, Executive Director
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10-15-12 Education Issues in the News
Asbury Park Press - Learning: Shore area school districts get 'Choice' approval

Courier Post Online - Guidebook helps N.J. schools prepare for violent crises

Asbury Park Press - Learning: Shore area school districts get 'Choice' approval

5:51 AM, Oct 15, 2012 |


Written by

Terry Gauthier Muessig


Nine school districts within Monmouth and Ocean counties have been approved for the 2013-14 Choice School program offered by the state Department of Education.

The deadline for the initial letter of intent to a student’s home school district is Nov. 2, said Rich Vespucci, DOE spokesman.

The approved schools are: in Monmouth County; Deal Elementary School, Roosevelt Elementary School and Allentown High School. The Upper Freehold School District’s Stone Bridge Middle School also has been approved, however, the open enrollment space at this school is for advanced mathematics students only.

The Ocean County schools are: Beach Haven School; Central Regional High School and Middle School, both Bayville; Hugh J. Boyd Jr., Elementary School, Seaside Heights; Ethel A. Jacobsen Elementary School, Surf City and the Long Beach Island Elementary School, Ship Bottom; Ronald L. Meinders Primary Learning Center, McKinley Avenue School, Stafford Intermediate School and the Ocean Acres Elementary School, all in Manahawkin and the Tuckerton Elementary School.

“The average choice aid per pupil for the current school year, 2012-13, is $9,352, Vespucci said.

The DOE’s total amount budgeted for the choice aid schools for the entire state is $33,001,800, he said. Monmouth County will receive $2,313,388 and Ocean County will receive $1,655,605.

Vespucci explained, choice aid per pupil is different for all pupils. The amount per pupil depends upon the local share which is based upon adequacy budgets, local levies and enrollments differ among school districts causing the change in amounts of money distribution.

“The Interdistrict Public School Choice program empowers parents to make the best educational choices for their children allowing them the opportunity to attend a school that best fits their needs and providing them with the best chance for a successful future,” said Chris Cerf, DOE commissioner in a prepared statement. “Additionally, this program also allows districts to maximize enrollment and more efficiently use space in their schools.”

Any student in the state is eligible to enroll at a choice school, and his or her home district does not have to be a part of the program for the student to switch to a choice school.

Bus transportation for the students is provided, however, the program only allows up to a 20-mile radius from the sending district.

If the choice school is outside of the 20-mile radius, transportation will be the responsibility of the student, parents or guardians, according to the DOE. The cost allowed for transportation is $884. If the cost to transfer a student to the school is greater than the allowable cost, the parent/guardian must pay the difference. The parent/guardian may also opt to take the $884 but must provide transportation for the student to school.

For more information, visit www.state.nj.us/education/.

Monmouth County

• The Deal Elementary School. 201 Roseld Ave., 732-531-0480, www.dealschool.org.

• Roosevelt Elementary School. 2a School Lane, 609-448-2798, www.rps1.org.

• Upper Freehold Regional School District; Allentown High School, 27 High Street, 609-213-2869 Ext. 3212 and the Stone Bridge Middle School, for advanced mathematics students only. 1252 Yardville-Allentwn Rd.. For information on both schools, call 609-213-2869 Ext. 3212, www.ufrsd.net.

Ocean County

• Beach Haven School. 700 Beach Ave., 609-492-7411, www.beachhavenschool.com

• Central Regional School District, Central Regional High School and Middle School. 509 Forest Hills Parkway, 732-269-1100, www.centralreg.k12.nj.us.

• Seaside Heights School District, Hugh J. Boyd Jr., Elementary School. 1200 Bay Blvd., call Central Regional School District for information, 732-269-1100.

• Long Beach Island Consolidated School District, the Ethel A. Jacobsen Elementary School, 200 South Barnegat Ave., and the Long Beach Island Elementary School. 20th Street and Central Avenue, 609-494-8851. www.lbischools.org.

• Stafford Township School District, the McKinley Avenue Elementary School, The Ronald L. Meinders Primary Learning Center, and the Stafford Intermediate School, all at 1000 McKinley Ave., and Ocean Acres Elementary School. 489 Nautilus Dr., 609-978-5700. www.staffordschools.org

• Tuckerton Borough School District, Tuckerton Elementary School. 213 Marine St., 609-296-2682, www.tuckertown.k12.nj.us


Courier Post Online - Guidebook helps N.J. schools prepare for violent crises

7:34 AM, Oct. 15, 2012 |

Written by

Lucas K. Murray

Courier-Post Staff


The publication, called “Active Shooter Safety Considerations for Educators,” includes these tips:
• “Freezing is not a realistic option; you become an easy target,” the Los Angeles report reads. “Before deciding to fight, first consider fleeing. A tactical escape beats a tactical encounter every time.”
• If you’re stuck in a situation, take cover behind brick walls or stacks of library books — anything that might stop or slow a bullet. If possible, call 911 and give as much detail as possible to the dispatcher.
• Filing cabinets or bookshelves can be used to barricade a door if it opens inward. Even a makeshift doorstop, like a folded-up magazine, can provide additional security. And if the door is breached, makeshift weapons like scissors, vases or plaques can be used to ambush the shooter.
• Remember the three E’s — evacuate, evade or engage.Only consider engaging the threat if imminent danger exists. If you decide to engage, fight like your life depends on it because it does.

For most, the scenario is unimaginable: A disgruntled teen, armed to the teeth, roams the halls of a school.

Aim. Fire. Kill. Reload. Repeat.

“It’ll be like the LA Riots, the Oklahoma Bombing, WWII, Vietnam, Duke and Doom all mixed together,” wrote Columbine High School gunman Eric Harris in a diary found by authorities after he and Dylan Klebold killed 15 and injured 21 in 1999.

Those words now appear at the beginning of a new guidebook for New Jersey educators — a detailed manual on how best to survive an armed assault inside a school.

Providing safe schools for students, teachers and staff is an ongoing process, said Barbara Morgan, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Education.

“We work with a variety of experts across the country to provide the most up-to-date and useful information to our districts so they can ensure our students have safe learning environments,” she said.

An “active shooter” incident is one with a suspect or suspects who is immediately causing death and serious bodily injury, says the publication, which was prepared by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The information also suggests several shared traits exist among active-shooter incidents. The attacks are often spontaneous, with suspects who exhibit unpredictable behavior and act with a state of diminished mental capacity.

Among other points, the guidebook notes the average age of a school shooter is 14½, and most attacks end within 10 minutes or less. It also observes that multiple weapons are often involved against first responders who are outgunned and ill-equipped to deal with the situation.

Victims, too, can share some common traits, the report notes.

Among other observations, it says people who are shot “usually do not have an escape plan.” It advises people to routinely look for multiple exits at public places, including those that might not be easily seen by others.

In some area districts, police conduct drills designed to protect students and staff as well as sharpen their tactical skills

Basically once a year we utilize one of our schools for training and that training often involves other agencies like the fire department and EMS and includes participants from the school administration,” explained Monroe Police Capt. Howard Weimer.

In some cases, police will send in a small contingent of officers during a mandated lockdown drill to sweep for imaginary suspects. For large-scale drills, Weimer said, police will use members of volunteer organizations to portray students after school hours.

“The importance is more so to make it as real as possible to give the officers the training they need so if presented with that type of situation they would be able to react the best way possible,” Weimer said.

The state recommends that schools have a realistic school safety plan in place developed in conjunction with law enforcement and to conduct joint training with them as is the case in Monroe. In the event of a lockdown, teachers should lock the doors to their classroom, account for their students and stay put until given the all clear.

It’s recommended that in any scenario, your hands should be visible to responding officers so as not to make yourself a target. Listen to their commands rather than running toward them.


Garden State Coalition of Schools
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