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School Calendar, Open Space Tax Discussions Coming Up This Week

After sending out a survey to parents, staff and some students, the Board of Education is set to review next year's school calendar.

A revised school calendar for 2013-14 and the following year is set to be discussed at Monday's Board of Education meeting.

After sending a survey about future school calendars out to parents, staff and some students that was due on Feb. 5, Schools Superintendent Nick Markarian said in an email to parents that a draft calendar for the 2013-14 school year will be presented at the meeting at 7 p.m. at the William Annin Middle School.

The survey results also will be presented at Monday's meeting, the superintendent said.

The calendars for the next two years already have been set by the board, but school officials are revisiting the scheduled calendars for several reasons.

School officials said that some parents have said that the school year ends too late in June, and that this year's enforced time off for Sandy illustrated the need for flexibility to be built into the schedule for unanticipated time off. Among the suggestions are starting the school year before or the day immediately after Labor Day, instead of two days afterward, as has been done traditionally.

In addition, parents and students from the Indian community have for more than a year been urging the board to set aside the first night of Diwali as a school holiday.

The surveys for parents, Ridge High School juniors and seniors and staff that asked for opinions on future school calendars has been used to collect input on the school calendar issue, Markarian said in a special Friday Folder for parents last year.

"At this time the survey results have been collected and tabulated," Markarian said in the email. He said those results will be presented to both the board and the public at Monday's meeting.

Markarian issued an invitation for parents to attend the meeting, but he said the presentations will be available on the Bernards Township School website the following day for those unable to attend the meeting.

"I anticipate that the formal adoption of the revised 2013-2014 calendar will take place at the Board of Education meeting on Monday, March 4," Markarian said in the email.

The Bernards Township Committee also is scheduled to meet at 8 p.m. on Tuesday at the Town Hall at 1 Collyer Lane in Basking Ridge.

Among the topics on the agenda are the acceptance of the Bernards Township Shade Tree Commission's Application for Tree City USA Recertification 2012 Annual Report.

The Township Committee also is set to consider the Recreation, Parks & Pathways Advisory Committee's reccommendation to draw up and put before township voters a referendum to extend the current open space tax through the years 2018 to 2027 at a reduced rate of 2 cents per $100 appraised value "for the purpose of improving existing facilities in addition to the acquisition of properties.”

The open space fund, financed by an ongoing municipal open space tax, has been in the past used to obtain and preserve open space throughout Bernards Township.

Other meetings scheduled for this week include:

  • Environmental Commission meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday at 277 S. Maple Ave., Basking Ridge.
  • Recreation, Parks and Pathways Advisory Committee meeting from 7 to 9 p.m. on Monday at 1 Collyer Lane, Basking Ridge.
  • Bernards Township Sewerage Authority at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday at 277 S. Maple Ave., Basking Ridge.
  • Bernards Township Board of Adjustment at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday at 1 Collyer Lane, Basking Ridge.

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