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School Board Shuts Down Wayne Adult School

Community programs, including before- and after-school care, will continue. Trustees voted 5-3 in favor of the change.

In an unexpected move, the Wayne Board of Education voted to shut down the at a meeting Thursday night.

The matter of the school’s future was a late edition to the meeting agenda. The board voted 5-3 in favor of eliminating the school. Trustees Jane Hutchinson, Mitch Badiner, and Alan Mordkoff voted against the move.

The school annually offers hundreds of personal-enrichment courses. District officials said the school has been operating at a deficit for the past three years. The school in the previous two academic years.

Superintendent Ray Gonzalez did not know how much the school lost this past year.

“You can’t keep running something continuously at a deficit,” said board President Donald Pavlak Jr. “It is a program that has been losing money. We’re taking money away from our students.”

Only the adult school will cease to exist. The district’s other community programs, before- and after-school care, extended day, summer camps, and safety town will continue that are held in the same building will continue.

“I think with a little tender loving care we’d be able to turn it back into the black again,” said Hutchinson before the vote was taken. She was the most outspoken of the trustees who voted to keep running the school. 

Officials began how viable the program was in December.

At first, the board did not ask the three district employees who run the community programs, including director Pat Brown-Kneisel, youth specialist Shari Parker, and secretary Cathy Heck, to return to the district, two of them, Parker and Heck have since been.

Gonzalez said officials have not asked Brown-Kneisel to return.

Board trustees said that Passaic County Technical Institute (PCTI) already offers many of the same classes the school used to.

Board trustee Robert Ceberio mentioned having PCTI offer some of its community programs at the school's former building on Hamburg Turnpike. He said officials need to sit down with representatives from PCTI to discuss the matter.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Daniel Hubbard at Daniel.Hubbard@patch.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Wayne's World June 15, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Preakness library always seemed to be underused and with the addition on the main library and decrease in readership, it's probably time to close the other branch. It's a sad day for the adult school. I noticed in recent years that the classes had changed dramatically. The cooking classes seemed to have disappeared and to me, at least, the offerings seemed less appealing than they used to be overall. Personally, if I could ever get home at a reasonable hour, I would have liked to take some of those classes, particularly the cooking classes. Maybe it would be feasible to bring the adult school/continuing ed classes back that are in high demand. Didn't they used to use the high schools for these programs? That would be a better use of buildings that are already operating most of the time.
Nose Wayne June 15, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Mountain View School-SOLD, Anthony Wayne School-SOLD, Preakness School- ?
Peter Rymwid June 15, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Sure, let's close the schools, convert buildings to condominiums and make our society stupid. Don't you see a growing problem that a federal government is degrading level of our society by not supporting schooling system in America. Schools should be the last thing to go. Europeans understand that very well. When people here start to understand the consequences of this movement it will be too late.
Nose Wayne June 15, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Peter,It's to late already.Do you think our lovely BOE will pull another deal like Anthony Wayne Middle School ? You NOSE who i'm betting on.
Sandy Fantau June 15, 2012 at 02:56 PM
I think the County missed the bus when it comes to adult education. Bergen County Technical Schools Adult & Continuing Education Highlighting Our Services to the Community for personalized Career Training; leading to upward mobility. The mission of the Bergen County Technical Schools Adult and Continuing Education Division is to provide county based, cost-efficient vocational and technical programs and services for secondary students and adults. The actualization of this mission includes the following key components: Students will experience applied learning and teaching strategies utilizing appropriate and up-to-date specialized equipment and facilities. Programs will respond to regional economic needs and shall be, at minimum, of a scope and sequence that permits graduates to pass national competency and licensure examinations. Curriculum shall integrate multiple disciplines and the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards. Students will be exposed to DOE-approved career-based educational programs and related work experiences and projects. Programs will provide for immediate employment and/or continuing education after program completion. Programs shall meet the needs of general and special populations including disabled, gifted/talented, at-risk and postsecondary pupils through specific occupational programs and career academies.  http://bcts.bergen.org/images/stories/BCTS/AdultEd/2011-12%20Full%20Time%20Adult%20Day%20Programs.pdf
Sandy Fantau June 15, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Night school http://bcts.bergen.org/images/stories/BCTS/AdultEd/adultEdCatalog2011.pdf
Kelly Lonigan June 15, 2012 at 04:21 PM
how about trying to determine why it was losing money before eliminating it altogether? Maybe it was mis-managed and can be readily fixed? IS 62,000 a huge loss in the grand scheme to provide such a valuable service to the citizens of Wayne including many senior citizens who attended these informationl classes on Medicaid/Social Security etc...? Dont many of the programs actually lose money? How about just inceasing fees a bit to break even? The whole thing smells very bad and another great service in this town has just been eliminated with nothing in its place. No Wayne citizen shol be happy about this
Peter Rymwid June 15, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Ladies and Gentlemen, We're missing the point! Not everything in live has an equivalency in a hard cash. Schooling and education definitely doesn't. It's an investment in the society government must make, but it refused to do. Anybody against it is playing short term politics. I know, it is much easier to fool and control blind and stupid.
Peter Rymwid June 15, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Ladies and Gentlemen, We're missing the point! Not everything in life has an equivalency in a hard cash. Schooling and education definitely doesn't. It's an investment in the society government must make, but it refused to do. Anybody against it is playing short term politics. I know, it is much easier to fool and control blind and stupid.
I miss the old Wayne June 15, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Real loss or paper loss? Was the school building open anyway while determining spatial expenses? How poorly was the program managed? Put a local entrepreneur in charge and we can all expect a profit with the same income And expenses. Beauracratic Top dogs always get paid first and the most while janitors get squashed with cuts
ETS June 15, 2012 at 08:18 PM
When we moved to Wayne, we were told that it is a great place for kids - and it is. But we should find a way to provide services to adults, especially older adults. I can't speak for the adult school, however, while I always find kids at the main branch of the library, the Preakness branch serves many older adults. The BOE budget is over-the-top and I'm not quite certain why anyone who works and utilizes the after school program cannot pay the entire cost of having their child/children benefit from it. I'd like to see some compromise on these "extras" and help adults out. Whatever is done, please, please remember these things in November.
Al Scala June 15, 2012 at 09:01 PM
I was told today by a very reliable source that the Adult school this past semester had almost 1300 people registered for classes. I'm not sure how that equates to dollars. However, that seems like a significant number. I'm all for saving dollars and putting those dollars back into educational programs and resources.Firstly, I read the school lost 62K over the past two years and last night I heard 70k or so. You never get the right story. Last night they were whining about the loss and how it takes away from our children. They weren't too concerned about it when they hired a PR firm. They're not too concerned about it as they are right now purchasing new furniture for the Superintendents office.I could go on and on with several other spending initiatives, not educationally related, but I think you know what I mean.
Joelle June 15, 2012 at 09:31 PM
I am surprised that Wayne Township has not done so already. Preakness Library is a drain on the Wayne Township taxpayers. We have a beautiful state of the art library that is only several miles away from Preakness Library. The money used to run the Preakness Library should be returned to the taxpayers.
Tartans June 16, 2012 at 12:23 AM
When Bob Winter ran the district, the adult school ran in the black (made a nominal "profit") which justified the administrator who ran the school - why can't this school board do the same ? Incompetence anyone ?
Nose Wayne June 16, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Al 1300 people and they are loosing money ? Sounds like somebody's calculator is off.Parents need to pay the full amount for the after school program. I did when my daughter was in school, WHAT CHANGED ?
WayneRick June 16, 2012 at 02:22 AM
Paragraph 6: "Only the adult school will cease to exist. The district’s other community programs, before- and after-school care, extended day, summer camps, and safety town will continue that are held in the same building will continue."
Cathy Kazan June 17, 2012 at 12:36 AM
The figures for this Spring session are not yet in. The loss was realized over the previous two year period under a different director(s). This program was essentially being ignored and mismanaged for several years. The current director had just started to turn it around with the Spring brochure which included 40 new classes and a 34% increase in enrollment. She also had a business plan going forward to increase revenue and "profits". But these intitatives needed Board cooperation and approval which did not come. She ran the program at a profit in the past and had a proven track record of success. Something really "stinks" about this decision and the way it was added to the agenda at the last minute without any public notice. If that isn't a lack of transparency, then I don't know what is. As for comparing our Adult School to PCTI, just look at the brochures yourself... Apples and forklifts. Next BOE meeting is June 28th at 7:30 pm in the Municipal Building/Council Chambers. Hope to see more of you there.
Nose Wayne June 17, 2012 at 02:36 AM
Can anybody out there think they can come up with what excuse the BOE will use to why they had their PRIVATE meeting at the Board Office instead of the Municipal Building that would have been televised ? Cathy, it just doesn't stink, it's just plain ROTTEN!!
Jenkins June 17, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Did you see all the typos in the last two brochure (I think under the current director??) It is an embarrassment to the town. This was pointed out during a the Jay Leno show a few years back. You think someone would proof read it better now. I commend the board. Good job.
Al Scala June 17, 2012 at 01:45 PM
Jenkins.....so what does that have to do with closing the Adult School? The before and after school programs, along with the summer camps and Safety Town are losing money. Did they close them? No, because they are valuable and important to the community, just like the Adult School is. Getting rid of the Director may be one thing, closing the school altogether is another.
Kelly Lonigan June 17, 2012 at 01:46 PM
what are the direct and indirect expenses ? many of the classes taught are by private sector professionals trying to drum up business. most of these teachers would oversee these classes for free for the opportunity to get in front of possible clients? i think something very fishy is going on with these adult classes
Al Scala June 17, 2012 at 01:59 PM
In the Record today, there is a headline article about many adults heading back to school. The number of students over the age of 25, grew 43 percent from 2000-2009 and is expected to grow another 23 percent. While this equates to people going back to college for whatever education they are seeking, there is a trend for people looking to increase their knowledge. Don't you think Adult Schools will benefit from this trend? Possibly taking a computer course, real estate course, etc., might be in order?
stock June 17, 2012 at 02:35 PM
The problem is that the money saved from closing Preakness Library will be wasted in some other area. SO to close or not to clos Preakness Library is irrelevant in terms of saving taxpayer money
JayJay June 17, 2012 at 03:23 PM
@Al Scala. My children go to before and after care and we count on this program. My wife and I were quite concerned that this program would be effected and called for clarification. The program is not closing and I was told that is it turning a profit. I am glad to see our Superintendent is not running the same cost guzzling programs. I have no problem with closing down what does not work and reinventing something that is better for all. Let's give this guy a chance and see what happens. No wonder that we could not get a Superintendent to step foot in Wayne. Thank goodness that changed.
Nose Wayne June 17, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Al.I guess the TRUSTEES missed that page in the newspaper.Were to busy reading the funny pages.
Al Scala June 17, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Jay-Jay......I have no problem at all with the new Super. I like him. I've said in prior posts that he should be given a chance, at least a year or two to put his mark on our system. It's the trustees I take issue with and for good reason. I too am glad the before and after program remains intact as my grandaughter will be using it come September. I too have no problem closing a dollar losing program, however there is so much more to this than meets the eye. It goes well beyond dollars and cents, or should I say sense!
MWoodside June 20, 2012 at 02:00 PM
I utilize the after school program and I do pay what I would consider to be "the full amount." The cost of using the community program is competitive with private programs in the area. Don't try to put the deficit on the backs of working parents, we're not getting any breaks here!
Jerry winick June 28, 2012 at 02:02 PM
I have been an art teacher at the Wayne Adult School for the past 20years. My students have paid a tuition of 85.00 for each 8 week session that I taught. My students loved the program. Many continually came back each year for more instruction and the social opportunity that the classes offered. There were about 20 students in each of my classes each semester. Do the math! I can only speak from my point of view,but it looks to me that the adult school has been a wildly successful program. If in fact it loses some money, so be it. Sometimes it costs some money for something so worthwhile that benefits so many.
Mike Malzone June 29, 2012 at 07:28 PM
The Wayne BOE takes 50% of every instructors attendace. If a class brought in ten students the WBOE is bringing $500 from that course! I think the Wayne citizens are owed an explanation how they're suddenly losing money. There's no doubt printing a catalog is costly today but perhaps sending out a postcard promoting an online catalog, eliminating a huge pritn and mail cost. As an instructor who offered classes the past four years I am disappointed the board put absolutely no effort in remedying the situation. This is a sad loss for the community.
R U Kidding Me August 02, 2012 at 08:07 PM
So let's guess which administrator's ran the Adult School into the gound before the prior Director was reinstalled and made it a success again. The guy that the District hired to make it successful is now a Principal in Wayne at an elementary school.

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