Manasquan High School at Full Capacity
District officials consider using trailer for additional classrooms
Manasquan High School has reached its complete student capacity and the district is considering bringing in a trailer to use as additional classrooms for the 2012-13 school year, officials said.
At Tuesday’s School Board work session meeting, Board Member Thomas Bauer, chairman of the Buildings and Grounds Committee, said the High School was at full capacity and would need additional classroom space to accommodate its 1006 students.
Superintendent Geraldine Margin said the district was looking into using a triple-wide trailer to serve as two classrooms and two offices, but she was still unsure of the cost.
In order to accommodate their students, the High School has been using a conference room in the school’s media center as a classroom, Margin said. Haing two additional classrooms in nearby trailers, she said, would be beneficial to the school's students.
“As we try to maintain and improve the curriculum that we offer, it does require classrooms and we’re at 100 percent use,” Margin said.
The school, Margin said, will need the new trailer by next fall, but Bauer said the new classrooms couldn’t come soon enough.
“The earlier the better, but there is a dire need for additional classroom space,” Bauer said.
Margin said the one of the classrooms could be used as an in-school suspension room, which would require hiring another full-time staff member.
“The ideal way to do an in-school suspension is to have a staff member in there so it would include an additional staff member in the budget," Margin said.
At Tuesday's meeting, the superintendent said 179 students had served out-of-school suspensions since September -- but the suspension report released by the district after the meeting indicated only 35 students had thus far been suspended during the 2011-12 school year.
On Thursday, Margin said she misspoke at the School Board meeting and meant to say that 179 students were suspended during the 2010-11 school year. The superintendent also confirmed that the 35 suspensions listed in the official report were accurate.
More than half of last school year's suspensions, she said, were for reasons -- accumulation of demerits, skipping Saturday detention or cutting class -- that could be addressed by an in-school suspension room.
Switching to in-school suspensions, Margin said at Tuesday's meeting, would keep students on school property, giving them an opportunity to do school work instead of left being alone at home.
“Too often, with two working parents, children are left to their own resources when they’re out of school. It’s more of a vacation than it is a deterrent,” Margin said.