MontClairVoyant: Montclair High’s Schedule From Hell Is Learning’s Death Knell

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DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
In today’s column, could you mostly focus on one of the most contentious issues brought up at April 15’s packed Board of Education meeting?

Sincerely,
Taxing Talk On Tax Day

Ah, yes, the high school’s awful schedule after the main building is closed May 20 for asbestos abatement and stair repairs. No surprise that tulips prefer “May in Montclair” over “May Out of Montclair High.”

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Um…the tulip-tinged “May in Montclair” celebration is irrelevant to this discussion. What IS relevant is that students will spend weeks crammed into Montclair High’s George Inness Annex receiving traditional instruction only half of each day while sitting in study halls the other half.

Sincerely,
Quite a Mess, With Stress

I feel bad for them, as well as for teachers and staffers. Also, with far fewer students crossing Park between the annex and main building, I fear that street will get lonely and move to another town — leaving a long trench useful only for World War I reenactments.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
And will cramming so many students in the annex be potentially dangerous?

Sincerely,
Bea Alarmed

Yikes — a second fire hazard. The first: Montclair teachers fired almost every year after hazardous budget talks.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Was there any thought of moving classes to another locale starting May 20? Say, Montclair State given that the university’s spring semester ends the previous week?

Sincerely,
Normal Avenue, Abnormal Crisis

Maybe there was fear of baseballs crashing through classroom windows after the Jersey Jackals season begins.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Before the annex plan was unveiled, how much input did students, parents, teachers, and others have? Were many asked for their thoughts and suggestions?

Sincerely,
Consultation Deprivation

Your two questions exceeded your quota of zero questions. Begone…

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Ooh — satire, because you always answer people. But isn’t it frustrating that all this might not have happened if Montclair High’s stairways had been regularly inspected and maintained after one was repaired in 2016?

Sincerely,
Blew It, Rue It

Yup. Instead, we got that partial stairway collapse last September 7 — the same day, in 1876, that Jesse James tried to rob a bank in Minnesota after his debit card got stuck in an ATM.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Given the ultra-slowness of the district’s bidding process for the Montclair High work, will the main building even be ready to reopen this September for the 2019-20 school year?

Sincerely,
Dee Lay-Worry

If not, Chestnut Street and Midland Avenue may also leave town — creating two more trenches that would leave the building one side short of being surrounded by a moat.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
April 15’s BOE meeting also saw public comment about no new contract yet for the Montclair Education Association, diminished health benefits, less-generous maternity leave, the possible shrinking of Watchung School’s playground, food-vendor problems, and more. Comment?

Sincerely,
Harried Potter

Views of “Kumbaya” are way down on YouTube.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Also in the school realm, there was an important “Day of Silence” April 12 to spotlight the difficulties LGBTQ students face in many parts of the country. Can you give two examples of how our town admirably participated?

Sincerely,
Remember the Humane

Many students remained mute that day, and Colleen Martinez’s 6,400-plus-member Facebook group Share Montclair didn’t accept new posts or comments on the 12th. After Montclair High’s asbestos is abated, it would be nice if anti-LGBTQ hate were abated in many U.S. schools.

Dave Astor, author, is the MontClairVoyant. His opinions about politics and local events are strictly his own and do not represent or reflect the views of Baristanet.

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