After parent outcry, Barnegat delays school reconfiguration plan
BARNEGAT — A controversial plan to reconfigure the district's schools will not go into effect for the next school year.
The "One Barnegat" plan would have requiring students to switch schools every two years, from Pre-K through eighth grade. Each grade of students would be in the same school building, rather than spread out in various elementary schools.
The "middle school" also would be eliminated as a concept, although the middle school building would still be used for seventh and eighth grades.
The plan was to launch the new model in September. Tracy Sutton, a parent who objected to the plan and circulated an online petition against it, said the district sent an email Monday night to say that the plan was being postponed.
The matter was briefly discussed at the Board of Education meeting on Tuesday night, according to Sutton.
Sutton said that at a meeting on March 14, schools Superintendent Brian Latwis said the district would not implement the plan unless the majority of parents in the district were on board.
"The email acknowledged that the plan had upset everyone" based on the feedback of families who Latwis met with and from the responses to a questionnaire.
"They had no intention of moving forward with a plan the community did not support," Sutton said.
Latwis did not immediately return a request seeking comment.
Sutton said there is a need for change in the district.
"Based on the test results released a couple weeks ago, it is blatantly clear to any parent in the district — and to any parent anywhere, for that matter — that the Barnegat schools are failing the way they are now and in turn we are failing our children," Sutton said.
The superintendent told Jersey Shore Online the district is "hitting pause" on the plan and slowing down the process. Panels focused on different aspects of the plan will be created for parents to join.
Previous reporting by Dino Flammia was used in this report.
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