LITTLE SILVER: The Little Silver School District is eliminating librarian positions next school year according to a letter from Superintendent Carolyn Kossack.
The positions, referred to as media specialists in the letter, are being eliminated for budgetary reasons to make way for the Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) programs.
"I ensure you that the content of what is being taught in the Media Centers is being addressed in other areas," Kossack said in the letter. "The majority of the standards are being taught within the English Language Arts curriculum. The research component, in particular, is addressed in Technology labs and in Science and Social Studies classrooms. So moving forward, your children will not be missing information. When difficult decisions have to be made, we look at the big picture and look at areas where there is instructional redundancy so that student education is not impacted."
The school currently has media specialist positions in both the Point Road School and the Markham Place School, but the school's libraries will remain.
"Providing students with an opportunity to visit the library and check out books is an important part of a student's educational experience," Kossack said. "That will not change."
A media assistant will continue to help students check out books at Point Road School. The collection of books will also continue to be replenished annually.
Kossack said implementing the STEM programs is a necessary step for the school district and that difficult decisions had to be made in order to make the programs fit into the budget.
"It is always extremely difficult to make decisions that impact individual staff members, and I do not make these decisions lightly," Kossack said. "However, it is my ethical obligation to make decisions on behalf of the 860 Little Silver students, and we believe that additional programming in several areas, including STEM, is needed to meet the expectations of preparing our students for College and Career readiness."
An online petition has been created stating parents displeasure with the move.
"We, the parents of Little Silver students, feel this is a grave mistake for the future of our children," the petition states. "The library serves as a tremendous resource for our children, and librarians serve as a vital connection between accessing those resources and facilitating our children's learning."