• ATLANTIC CITY – An activist for open government will be heard in court Monday after the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office denied his request for information about the alleged theft of funds from the Margate Firefighters Benevolent Association Inc. The case is scheduled to be heard 9 a.m. Monday, Dec. 15 by Superior Court Judge Nelson C. Johnson.

    According to a complaint filed Nov. 10 in Superior Court, John Paff of Somerset, chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party Open Government Advocacy Project, the Prosecutor’s Office refused to provide any information about the case. He is asking for the immediate release of all incident and investigative reports related to the case.

  • LONGPORT – The Board of Commissioners is considering a request from the city engineer to be more assertive in its support of the pending Absecon Island Beach Protection project – which its neighbor to the north is trying to stop.

    “We went to great lengths to try and get this money and to protect our infrastructure and properties through the dune system. I really think we ought to look at what proactive activities we can do because of the court case out there,” borough engineer Richard Carter told the commission at its Wednesday, Dec. 11 workshop meeting.

    “If you want this, might have to fight for it.”

  • Board of Commissioners appropriates $50,000 more for legal work

    MARGATE – U.S. District Court Judge Renee M. Bumb issued an order Tuesday, Dec. 9 adjourning a court hearing on the dunes project from Dec. 17 to 10 a.m. Jan. 15 to allow the parties to come up with an “amicable resolution.”

    The order was issued in response to a joint request for adjournment from Margate’s special counsel, Jordan M. Rand of Dilworth Paxson LLP, and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

  • CAMDEN – Margate won the second round Thursday in its legal battle to negotiate an alternative to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plan to build sand dunes on the beach.

    On Dec. 4, U.S. District Court Judge Renee Marie Bumb extended the temporary restraining order she imposed Nov. 24 that barred the DEP from awarding a contract to build the dunes.

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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