Response to middle school opposition

May 1, 2015

Dear Hatikvah Family,

This morning, we received notice that Highland Park School District filed an appeal to the Superior Court of New Jersey against Education Commissioner Hespe and our school regarding the Commissioner’s approval of our 6-8 middle school.

Please rest assured that this appeal is Highland Park’s attempt to grandstand and to deter parents from their right to school choice. It may also be their attempt to deter more parents from applying to our Top Performing school rated by the NJ Department of Education as one of the highest performing schools based on our test scores; it may be their attempt to dissuade parents from applying to our International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program Candidate School where students will have 1:1 technology, classes in robotics and programming, and exciting international projects in environmental science.

Hatikvah is celebrating Commissioner Hespe’s decision to grant our school an expansion into grades 6-8 and ensure that students have a high quality K-8 education. Fortunately, the Superior Court yields great deference to the Commissioner’s decisions.

Appeals to the Superior Court take many months and are a waste of taxpayers’ dollars. In fact, this appeal will and already has cost taxpayers both for Highland Park and for Hatikvah. Hatikvah believes that taxpayers’ money should be used for continuously improving education for children and not for frivolous appeals such as these. However, like we did in 2011-2012 when East Brunswick Public Schools also attempted to hinder the progress of Hatikvah through the NJ Supreme Court, we will fully defend our school’s K-8 approval and legal obligation of any NJ school district to pay for their home district’s students whose parents choose Hatikvah. We foresee absolutely no impact of this appeal on regular operations which begin on August 31, 2015 for K-6 and for K-8 in years to come.

We look forward to many more years of great education, happy children, and innovative ways of keeping our students focused on learning, global citizenship, service, and collaboration. We know that you do too as well as the parents of the 255 children who are currently sitting on next year’s waiting list. Please accept my ongoing gratitude for your partnership with us and for your support of school choice.

Dr. Marcia Grayson,