| Major school needs cited
at Derby summit
By JOE MUSANTE firstname.lastname@example.org
DERBY -- Supt.
of Schools Martin Gotowala projected Thursday that the city's
Gotowala said 43 classrooms are currently available, but by the 2004-05
Gotowala, who began his duties about three months ago, outlined enrollment
Mayor Marc Garofalo called the meeting to identify education needs
during the next decade and begin a
The meeting follows a June 10 referendum in which residents overwhelmingly
rejected three proposals
Gotowala said the combined enrollment for grades 7 to 12 stood at
648 as of Oct. 1, 51 more students
"By the 2004-05 school year, there will not be enough classrooms
to accommodate the students,"
He recommended intermediate school students be housed in a separate
facility and the city's
"The needs of the students are different," he said.
Gotowala also said he would like to add foreign language classes
to the middle school curriculum and
"Foreign language has become essential for students to function in a global society," he said.
He also suggested creation of all-day kindergarten classes and limiting
class sizes at all grade levels to 20
He said high school class sizes are currently as high as 31, while
elementary school classes are as large
While nobody disagreed with Gotowala's enrollment and space projections, solutions remain uncertain.
"Is it feasible to go to portable classrooms?" asked Robert Cerritelli, a tax board member.
"Of course, they are an option," Gotowala said. "But where would
we put [15 classrooms]? We also
Pat Oates, a Fairview Terrace resident, said he believes Thursday's
summit was a good start toward
"The need is not bogus," Oates said. "It is not a figment of somebody's imagination."
He suggested forming a committee soon to address the challenges.
Joe Musante, who covers the Valley, can be reached at 736-5440.