Central Regional Cancels Block Scheduling

The Central Regional Board of Education met at the Hugh J. Boyd, Jr. Elementary School in Seaside Heights, since that is one of the towns that sends kids to the regional district. (Photo by Chris Lundy)

SEASIDE HEIGHTS – Just before the new school year started, Central Regional School District officials decided that the district would not move to block scheduling this year. Instead, the plan is to do it in the 2018-2019 school year.

Block scheduling would change the schedule so that students would take double periods of three classes every day. There would be gold days with one schedule, mixed with garnet days, with the other schedule, based off the district’s colors.

However, at August’s Board of Education meeting, held at the Hugh J. Boyd, Jr. Elementary School in Seaside Heights, school officials were upset that it wasn’t going to happen.

“I’m really frustrated about the whole thing,” said Susan Cowdrick, who represents Island Heights on the board.

“I do feel like a part of me needs more answers,” she said. “We had an ample amount of time to do this.”

Superintendent Triantafillos Parlapanides said that the representative from Realtime, the company that was assisting Central in accomplishing this, would be asked to come to a future closed door Education Committee meeting to explain what went wrong.

Photo by Chris Lundy

Board members and professionals worked hard on it for years, Cowdrick said. If there was any inclination that more work was needed, they should have been told about it months ago so they could fix the problems.

“Schools around us are doing it. Central needs to be on board. We owe it to the staff to figure out how to make it work,” she said.

Parlapanides said it will be integrated next year.

“I’m as frustrated as all of you,” he said. At the last minute, he had to make the choice of either giving the kids a normal schedule, or giving them a schedule that didn’t work.

“It looked good on paper, but in the computer it didn’t work,” he said.

The teachers’ contract had three, 90-minute classes, plus a 45-minute class. Other schools that have block scheduling have four, 90-minute classes. Central was left with a sixth period that didn’t work in the mix.

“We were at the point of no return. The kids have to come and have a schedule,” he said. “I wish they had told us earlier.”

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Chris Lundy is News Editor at Micromedia. He has covered Ocean County news and features in various publications since 2003. Lundy worked for Gannett with articles in The Beacon, Observer and Asbury Park Press. He's also written for the Community Connection, Patch and ShoreBeat.