Midland Park March 25, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES I • Page 7 Board agrees on calendar for next school year The Midland Park Board of Education last week finalized a calendar for the 2009-10 school year which keeps the one-week February break and retains the Friday graduation. Classes will begin the week before Labor Day, with students attending Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 2 and 3, and then back on Sept. 8 after Labor Day. Teachers will report on Sept. 1 for the annual convocation, with a staff development day set for Friday, Sept. 4. The Spring break will be the week before Easter, March 20-April 2, 2010, thus including Good Friday. Superintendent of Schools Dr. William Heebink explained that this The Midland Park Baseball/Cheerleading Association and the Midland Park Softball Association have undertaken the improvement of the playing field behind Midland Park High School known as the “Men’s Softball Field.” The project is expected to be completed before the season’s opening day on April 18. Work on the field included re-grading the infield and outfield with the addition of top soil and clay, a new back stop, fencing, new benches on cement pads, and drainage. The junior field fence is also being painted as part of the project. The $28,000 cost of the project is being borne by the two associations and baseball parent Chris Carion, who owns a construction company. In getting the board of education’s approval for the work, the organizations cited a shortage of fields in the borough for their recreation programs. The organizers felt that this field could be utilized more often and was in an ideal location, near the snack bar and restroom facilities owned by the borough. “It had not been maintained over the years, so we thought if we could repair it, it would open another field for the community and be a positive thing for the kids,” commented baseball association president John Artuso. It would also bring in more revenue for the snack bar, he said, if tournaments and other events could be held there. Sports groups refurbish school field The field is adjacent to the school’s varsity baseball field recently upgraded with a sprinkler system with a Bergen County Open Space grant acquired and matched by the borough. For many years in the past the field was used by local men’s and women’s recreational softball leagues, but that use was discontinued a number of years ago. Coach Lee Tracy expressed concern about the location of the back stop in relation to concrete slabs recently poured. He was told the concrete was to serve as drainage, and that the back stop would be placed in front of the slab. Tracy also expressed concern about the distance between the improved field and the school’s baseball field. He said there should be no problem when fields are used for junior high gym classes, but he said a problem may develop if harder-hitting juniors and seniors use the fields. Carion has been in charge of the project, providing the equipment and some of the labor and directing the volunteers. The renovations were first reviewed by the board’s architect, who made recommendations before the project was finalized, board trustee Bill Sullivan said. The baseball/cheerleading association is now turning its attention to expanding and improving the snack bar adjacent to the junior baseball field. Artuso said the association is now gathering cost estimates and assessing its options. break was not scheduled for later in April because state testing is scheduled for late April. He explained that it is educationally advantageous to have a preparation time before testing begins. Graduation will be on Friday, June 18. The calendar anticipates 186 days for teacher; 183 days for students and two snow days. State law requires 180 school days, but Midland Park’s staff contracts include the three additional contact days for students. Several parents in the audience voiced concerns or suggested changes. Mary Bradley wanted the Spring break moved up, noting that there are five weeks between the February and Spring breaks but 11 weeks until the end of school. Stephanie Pantale suggested making Martin Luther King a half day, but was told the teachers’ contract requires a full day for staff development on that date, a legal holiday. Another parent suggested shortening the February break and getting out earlier in June. In a previous version of the calendar tabled by the board in January, the curriculum committee had recommended cutting the week-long February break to just three days for Presidents Week. Committee Chairman Ray Moraski had said that the committee had wanted to keep graduation on a Friday so as to facilitate the parents’ involvement in the Graduation Ball, which traditionally follows the graduation ceremonies. Moraski said that a survey of 50 other county schools revealed that 45 of the 50 were taking a February break and that 30 of the 50 were starting before Labor Day. � ������ PIEKARSKY & ASSOCIATES, LLC Attorneys at Law • • • • • Municipal Court Superior Court Special Civil Court Small Business Representation Real Estate Chiropractic Wellness Center Put Me In Coach, I’m Ready To Play! Not Unless Your Spine Is In Good Shape. 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