A group of unhappy parents and others had their concerns about overcrowding in Fort Lee School No. 4’s three Kindergarten classrooms allayed to some extent Monday evening, when school officials said they would be opening up another Kindergarten class at the elementary school as soon as possible.
Enrollment in one of the classes was 32, and while a number of parents turned up at the Fort Lee Board of Education’s regular business meeting Monday to voice their concerns, school board president Yusang “Jimmy” Park deferred to Assistant Superintendent Sharon Amato, who announced the decision.
“We’re going to be opening up another Kindergarten class at School No. 4,” Amato told Patch Tuesday morning. “I have to really sit down with [principal Peter] Emr and devise a plan. Nothing has been decided yet in terms of [how the students will be re-assigned], but this decision will have definitely an impact on that class size.”
In order for the school district to create a classroom in a space that doesn’t have a bathroom, it has to get a waiver from the state, but Amato said that shouldn’t be a problem because the school already has classrooms without bathrooms for which the district has successfully obtained such waivers.
“We’re supposed to have a bathroom in the classrooms; the classroom that we’re going to be using does not have a bathroom so we have to get a waiver,” Amato said, adding, “I don’t anticipate it being a problem.”
Amato offered no details as to why it took until the middle of October to make the decision to add a Kindergarten class, nor could she provide a precise timeline for implementing the plan, but she did say the new class will be done “as soon as humanly possible.”
“I understand the importance of having another Kindergarten class, and I support it wholeheartedly,” Amato said.