UPDATE (May 1, 2017, 1:10 PM): A public hearing has been scheduled by the Woodbridge Township Board of Education to discuss the 2017/18 school year budget on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 7:00 PM at Avenel Middle School, 85 Woodbine Avenue, Avenel, NJ. Full Legal Notice
Woodbridge residents are urged to attend this meeting. This is your opportunity to express any concerns you might have with the proposed budget for the 2017/18 school year, including the elimination of all school librarians from Woodbridge Township School District.
The Woodbridge Township (NJ) Board of Education has recently decided to eliminate all remaining school librarians throughout its large district for the 2017/18 school year. Students in other Middlesex County towns such as South Brunswick, Sayreville, North Brunswick, and Metuchen enjoy the advantage of access to school librarians at all levels of education. Woodbridge students will be asked to keep up in the Information Age, without access to a school library media specialist to provide information literacy instruction.
School library media specialists play a critical role in the educational development of students. Through their educational training, school library media specialists in New Jersey are not only certified as classroom teachers but receive graduate level training in literature, research and technology skills essential in a twenty-first century learning environment. No other faculty member is uniquely qualified to ensure that a student has the literacy background and research skills to succeed in the increasingly competitive global educational environment which all students must face.
And now Woodbridge Schools will have zero school library media specialists in the upcoming school year. Woodbridge students will be entering High School far behind students in other communities that benefit from fully supported school librarians and school library programs in the areas of research, literacy and information literacy skills. Woodbridge children will not even have the opportunity to go to the school library and have the school librarian match them with an appropriate book.
The decimation of the school library program in Woodbridge is targeted, and has taken place over the course of several years. No other line item in the budget has declined AT ALL with the exception of Extracurricular Activities. Links to budget documents are provided below.
Timeline of Recent School Library Cuts
2008/9 Library/Media Services budget is well-supported at $1,474,699
Budget Specific page: http://unlockstudentpotential.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/budget_09-10_extract.pdf
Entire Budget: http://www.woodbridge.k12.nj.us/Page/30579
2016/17 The Library/Media Services budget has faced drastic cuts and steadily reduced by half several years in a row to just $306,892
Budget Specific page: http://unlockstudentpotential.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Budget_16-17_extract.pdf
Entire Budget: http://www.woodbridge.k12.nj.us/Page/151
2017/18 The final three school librarians are eliminated, effective June 30, 2017.
The 2017/18 Budget has not yet been posted by the Board of Education on the school website.
SLMSs are Essential to Student Success
School librarians play a critical role with instructional partnerships with teachers, curating both digital and print resources and helping develop research projects. Time for school librarians to enrich the curriculum for students will be completely eliminated with the firing of the last three school librarians.
We strongly urge you to restore these school library media positions. We believe you will never regret this decision. The result will be Woodbridge students who are skilled in using information to meet the challenging demands of the future for college and career. Were parents and students asked of they wanted school librarians eliminated? Woodbridge students deserve to have the opportunity to reach their potential with the support of school library media specialists.
Take Action Now
Please fill out the following to send an email to the Superintendent and the School Board about the critical role school librarians play in preparing students for college and career. Please share this link with your social network!
Please also consider attending the next Board of Education Meeting:
Avenel Middle School
85 Woodbine Ave
Avenel, NJ 07001
May 18, 2017 6:00pm