Gloucester board seeks grant for targeted year-round school
The Gloucester County School Board voted 5-0 on Aug. 12 to renew its pursuit of a year-round instructional program for at-risk rising first and second graders at Abingdon Elementary. Board vice chairman Kevin Smith and member Anita Parker did not attend the meeting held at the T.C. Walker Education Center.
At the request of assistant superintendent Chuck Wagner, the board gave the go-ahead to applying for a state grant of up to $300,000 to fund the year-round program. The grant would provide five fulltime positions specifically for the program, along with supplies and transportation.
Board member Carla Hook said she was hesitant to approve five new employees until the board fully staffs the new middle school now under construction on T.C. Walker Road. That school is scheduled to open its doors to about 600 sixth, seventh and eighth graders next fall.
The board members also questioned whether there would be additional funding available in the future to maintain the new positions.
Wagner said he did not know if future funding would be available, but he felt the pilot program would be worthwhile. “It’s an opportunity to explore something that would be beneficial. I think it’s worth at least pursuing,” he said. The program would serve 30 to 40 students.