Adult School Being Discussed For Bernards District

Tentative proposal is for pilot program at Ridge HS or middle school by next fall.

A pilot program offering adult school classes for local residents may be offered in Bernards Township schools by next fall.

Although the school district would not operate the program, township resident Laura Begg brought an update before the this week, since such a program likely would rent space from the township school district. She said the program initially could launch in a scaled-back  version similar to that at the adult schools housed in nearby school districts, including the Watchung Hills Regional High School.

Begg later said she simply is interested in the idea, which she already has brought before the school district's business administrator, Nick Markarian. Begg also said she has talked with some of the providers of adult education programs through the region.

Begg said there are township residents who would be interested in various educational opportunities. Some travel to other programs, such as the Adult School of the Chathams, Madison and Florham Park but, "It's a distance," she told the board.

Begg said she would like to see a pilot program starting with at least some basic courses by this fall, at either or at the

The offerings could be expanded once a program is established, Begg suggested.

Markarian said at Monday's meeting that he wanted to make sure that board members support the proposal before proceeding further with making more definite plans.

"I think it's a great idea," Board Member Mike Byrne said. But he, like other members of the generally supportive school board, said that the school district first would need to consider issues such as security and potential time and scheduling conflicts with school events.

Board member Elaine Kusel said that along with safety, the school district would need to look at the finances of such an arrangement. But she added that an adult school program could help highlight the school district as a community resource.

"It would be a great way for the rest of the community to come in and see what an asset the schools are for all of us," Kusel said.

DK March 16, 2012 at 11:55 AM
Great idea! There are so many highly educated and talented residents in the township! Imagine the possibilities-physicians, bankers, financial, authors teaching some classes.
LCB@home March 16, 2012 at 05:22 PM
We have so many resources here in town, and so many people - including our seniors - who would love to have use of our schools in a way that they would personally enjoy. Possiblities for classes are so numerous. We'll hopefully start out slowly and move rapidly from there.


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