EAST BRUNSWICK–With statistics showing an increase in student population, the Board of Education approved a resolution to provide temporary classroom units for two elementary schools.
The board engaged its demographer to analyze student enrollment trends. The demographer issued a report dated July 2019 projecting district enrollment from the 2019-20 school year through the 2023-24 school year, according to the board’s agenda for the Jan. 16 meeting.
The demographic report reveals enrollment increasing over five years from 8,184 in 2018-19 to 8,902 in 2023-24. Of the 718-student increase, more than 58%, or 417 students, which is the equivalent of one elementary school, is projected to occur at the elementary level, according to the agenda.
The district is experiencing a significant rise in special needs enrollment requiring additional classroom space. During the 2018-19 school year, the district reported that the need for temporary classrooms would likely be required within the next one to two years, according to the agenda.
The availability of educational space to accommodate all students in grades K-5 is limited and has already been strained at the district’s eight elementary schools serving those students, according to the agenda.
Superintendent Victor Valeski said programs, such as music and/or art, will not be canceled due to the need for temporary classroom units.
The district does not have any other facilities through which the increases in enrollment can be accommodated. The use of temporary classroom units is deemed a necessary interim step to accommodating elementary school enrollment while the District plans a long-term solution, according to the agenda.
“These are first temporary classrooms installed in East Brunswick since my tenure as superintendent,” Valeski said. “They are a direct response to our actual enrollments and demographer projected enrollment increases through 2024 that immediately impact our elementary schools.”
The administration will proceed with all necessary steps toward providing for temporary classroom units for use at Irwin Elementary School and Warnsdorfer Elementary School in the 2020-21 school year, according to the agenda.
Valeski said the district has notified the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) at both elementary schools about the temporary classrooms units.
The resolution will be submitted to the New Jersey Department of Education Office of School Facilities and to the Middlesex Executive County Superintendent in support of the District’s temporary facilities application, according to the agenda.
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