Attendance boundaries to be reviewed


Staff Writer

Any changes that the Freehold Regional High School District Board of Education may have to make in high school attendance boundaries would take effect in September 2006 and not this coming school year.

Superintendent of Schools James Wasser said a meeting will be held to review demographic information that was recently presented to the board. Administrators said the information indicates that a seventh high school will not have to be built in the district.

Wasser said a meeting involving the district’s demographer, transportation administrators and others is expected to take place regarding school attendance area boundary lines.

Speaking at a recent board meeting, he said, “We wanted to make sure that the elementary school figures were correct and we will be calling a few of the schools to reconfirm the numbers.”

Wasser said FRHSD administrators are looking into the possibility of having a three- or four-year plan.

“If we move any boundary lines or tweak some of the areas that are becoming more crowded, we can then try to maintain that for three or four years,” he said, adding that would be more preferable than making changes every year and bouncing boundaries back and forth.

No students who are presently in the high school will be impacted, he said.

“Any changes that will be made will be for September 2006 and not for this September,” Wasser said. “That will give us a year to get the addresses right, do the orientation appropriately, educate the parents and get the information out publicly, as well as on our Web site.”

The superintendent said he is not anticipating major upheavals or changes based on the information he recently received, since the numbers seem to be flattening out over the next several years.

Board member Terry Kraft of Howell said it should be pointed out that the timetable, as far as the public is concerned, is to review the information over the summer and to hold a presentation regarding any changes sometime during the fall.

“There’s no reason to be alarmed,” Kraft said. “The process is taking place in the appropriate amount of time and I expect that, by October, information will be received in time to be digested. Then [we would] act on recommendations, if they are so suggested.”

Wasser said he will be prepared to make a recommendation in September.

Attendance area boundaries in the FRHSD were changed in recent years, most significantly when some areas of Marlboro were assigned to Colts Neck High School and some areas of Manalapan were assigned to Freehold Township High School.

Other municipalities which split their students are Howell (different areas of town assigned to Howell, Freehold Township and Colts Neck high schools) and Freehold Township (different areas of town assigned to Freehold Township and Freehold high schools).