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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.

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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