Change the Fair Lawn "Soft Borders" Policy
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We are residents of Fair Lawn, NJ, with the belief that we can do better by our children, neighbors, and community than the current "soft borders" policy proposal.
While we appreciate some of the changes in the Board of Education's revised policy (e.g., grandfathering-in current residents, giving families some choice over where their children are re-assigned), we implore the Board to be even more responsive to the input of the community. In doing so, we believe that the Board can arrive at a policy that will effectively reduce class sizes in Milnes and Radburn, while also allaying the many concerns that residents have expressed concerning the proposed policy.
Specifically, we ask the Board of Education to commit to the following changes before they vote on any proposed policy.
1. Specify an annual “early registration” date before which newcomers to Fair Lawn will be guaranteed a spot in their grade level at their neighborhood school, and following that, have children assigned to their neighborhood school on a first-come, first-serve basis (thereby preventing the Superintendent from having unlimited discretion).
2. Simultaneously pass a resolution to form a Residents Advisory Committee that will enhance transparency and facilitate greater resident involvement on the issue of growing enrollment in all Fair Lawn public schools. This committee should be tasked with assisting the Board of Education by:
(a) helping to plan for longer-term solutions to growing classroom sizes. This can include procuring updated demographic studies, including the impact of the Landmark property on school enrollment; and better utilizing space at Edison to alleviate overcrowding in the medium- and long-term; and
(b) monitoring the results and effects of the “soft borders” policy at a minimum of one year into its implementation.
3. Place a two-year limit on any “soft borders” policy (not three as in the current proposal version).
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