• VENTNOR – The Board of Commissioners Thursday, Oct. 15 introduced an amendment to the city’s salary ordinance to set into motion an intergovernmental transfer that would allow the city to hire an Atlantic City employee as its next emergency management coordinator.

    Longtime Emergency Management Coordinator William Melfi will retire in two weeks, Mayor Michael Bagnell said. He is currently using up his sick days and his last day of employment will be Nov. 1.

  • Margate engages DEP and Army Corps to discuss options to building dunes

    MARGATE – The Board of Commissioners approved a resolution Thursday, Oct. 16 that preserves the city’s rights in fighting the dunes project. The commission entered a “tolling and standstill” agreement with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, which will allow the municipality to negotiate alternatives to building sand dunes on Margate’s beach.

    Assistant Attorney General David C. Apy filed with the Atlantic County Clerk three administrative orders to effectuate a taking of partial easements not voluntarily granted by shorefront property owners, including the City of Margate, to build the dunes. The state will use its powers of eminent domain to negotiate good faith compensation due to 10 shorefront property owners and 16 riparian grant owners.

  • VENTNOR – The Board of Commissioners will hold a special workshop meeting 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16 in the auditorium at the Ventnor Educational Community Complex, 400 N. Lafayette Ave. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss a proposed ordinance that would establish a tax abatement program.

    Commissioners have been discussing creating tax abatements to encourage property owners to make substantial improvements to their properties, including those damaged by hurricane Sandy. It is their hope that the program will eliminate substandard structures and housing conditions, and stop deterioration in certain neighborhoods.

Longport Board of Education approves sending-receiving relationship with OCHS

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Ocean City High School Ocean City High School LONGPORT – The Board of Education formally entered a sending-receiving relationship with Ocean City High School (OCHS) at its Monday, July 7 meeting, but at least two families still want to send their children to Atlantic City High School (ACHS).

Acting Commissioner of Education David C. Hespe issued a decision on June 6 saying there would be no substantial negative impact educationally, financially or on the racial make-up of ACHS if Longport withdrew and sent its nine high school students to OCHS instead. He approved Longport’s application for severance of its sending-receiving relationship with ACHS, subject to entering a new sending-receiving relationship with OCHS for a period of five years.

Representatives of the Ocean City School District, including Superintendent Kathleen Taylor and high school Principal Matthew Jamison, attended the meeting to advise parents about making the transition.

“We are excited about the opportunity to educate Longport students and are ready to offer transition services to parents and students,” Taylor said. “We have a strong, diverse academic program and the faculty is dedicated to making it work for your children.”

OCHS currently has 1,200 students and 1,480 seats available, Taylor said.

According to Longport Board of Education President Carl Tripician, letters were sent to parents of all high school and eighth grade students asking them to inform the board of their choice of high schools by June 24. Five out of nine incoming freshmen will be going to OCHS in September.

Tripician said all but two families indicated that they want to send their teens to OCHS. Any students currently attending ACHS may stay there or switch to OCHS, but until the board hears from officials in Atlantic City, it is uncertain if the two students will be accepted at ACHS.

“We are going to continue pushing the issue for these two families,” Tripician said. “We always wanted a dual relationship.”

He said the board would formally request that ACHS accept the two students.

Atlantic City Superintendent of Schools Donna Haye told The Current students could attend ACHS in September by applying for the School Choice program, which includes educational programming for fine arts, ROTC, radio and television production, music and visual and performing arts.

“We always had a wonderful relationship with Longport and the students did well here,” Haye said. “We were surprised the lawsuit to sever the relationship was brought.”

Longport students who previously attended OCHS through the School Choice program will now be considered as sending-receiving students, which frees up four choice seats for other students, Tripician said.

Because Longport has no schools of its own, it sends students in K-8 to Margate public schools on a tuition basis. However, many parents in the borough send their children to private and parochial schools.

Tripician said the Longport school board budgeted $19,800 per student for tuition at ACHS, but will save money sending to OCHS where the tuition is $14,597 per student. Although Ocean City previously received per pupil funding from the state for Longport’s School Choice students, the district will now pay OCHS tuition for those four students.

Tripician said he believes the Atlantic City Board of Education plans to appeal the commissioner’s decision, which will keep parents in suspense regarding the permanence of the sending-receiving relationship with Ocean City.

“They can appeal, but on what grounds?” Tripician asked.

An appeal could take up to two years, he said.

Haye confirmed that the Atlantic City Board of Education gave direction for its attorney to appeal, but could not confirm the grounds for the appeal.

Attorney Kim C. Belin was not available for comment.

“It’s a shame to sever a relationship when there are still parents in Longport who want to send their children here,” Haye said.

Eight parents attended the meeting to learn about the master schedule and programs available at OCHS, such as the community lunch program. All students have one 55-minute lunch period during which time they can work on small group projects, go to the library, study hall or engage in extra-curricular activities.

“We believe it contributes to a positive school climate,” Taylor said.

She explained that although there is no homeroom period, attendance is taken in each class, which makes it difficult to cut class without detection, she said.

Parents asked questions and were satisfied with answers provided about dress codes, parent access portal on the school’s website, school security, and if there is a late bus for student athletes. However, busing details remain undecided.

“Busing cannot be fully worked out until we have firm numbers,” Longport Business Administrator Jann Cohen said.

Parents who are sending their students to OCHS are asked to make an appointment with guidance counselors as soon as possible regarding class scheduling and health records.


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