JACKSON – Some Plumsted Township students could possibly be attending Jackson schools depending on the results of a forthcoming feasibility study that Superintendent Nicole Pormilli announced during a recent Board of Education meeting.
“We have been engaging in conversation with New Egypt (Plumsted Township) school district in regards to entering into a feasibility study with that district. A feasibility study would take some time to do. It would be of no cost to the Board and the feasibility study would come out with recommendations on how perhaps New Egypt (students) could come to Jackson schools,” Pormilli said.
The superintendent prefaced her remarks saying, “this is a study. The study would require recommendations to be reviewed and to be voted on. I think it is a smart move to enter into that feasibility study.”
For decades high school students in Plumsted Township were sent out of district to Allentown High School but following a 1997 referendum under which $16.5 million was borrowed to build new school facilities, the school district converted their middle school into its first high school and built a new middle school to accommodate its student population.
State Aid Cuts
The Jackson Township School District has seen a decline in its pupil population over the last few years which has left it vulnerable to drastic state aid cuts. Trenton has reduced aid payments to school districts that have shown a decrease in their student enrollment.
A resident asked school officials to reach out to state lawmakers and the governor’s office. Pormilli answered that she and School District Business Administrator Michelle Richardson have been “advocating at the state level multiple times over the last few months in regards to our special circumstances here.
“We want to remain optimistic that we are making a difference but I have not seen that yet. We are advocating and speaking with lots of people,” the superintendent added.
“This district also seeks grants all the time. We look for grants that will help offset the costs and expand programming,” Pormilli said.
The Board’s Curriculum Committee discussed the implementation of the five-year curriculum plan that was approved in August of last year and includes this year, world language, physical education and health grades kindergarten through 12th. Math in grades kindergarten to 5th grade and science kindergarten to 12th grade is being reviewed with expected implementation in the 2022-23 school year.
The English as a second langue program is also expected to expand with additional programs and staff at schools in September.
An enrollment committee has not formed yet but will be and a meeting held by the end of the year according to officials.