A possible error in the Hazlet school district map is causing at least one student to transfer to Holmdel High School just one year before graduation.
In a Patch blog entitled "Please Help," Hazlet father Nick Castella looked for an outlet to plead his case. Castella said his son, as well as a handful of other students from Hazlet, are being pushed over the border to Holmdel High School.
Castella said his Garden Park Mobile Home Community residence is just inches from the Holmdel-Hazlet town line, and an error in the district map that was recently corrected is pushing his son Chris out of Raritan High School in his junior year.
Holmdel Superindent Barbara Duncan said she was informed in late January that a group of Hazlet students actually live in Holmdel.
"After reviewing and confirming the information sent to me by Dr. Bragen, I informed the Holmdel Board of this situation and prepared our principals for the transfer of these students," Duncan told Patch in an email.
County tax records show the Castella's pay property taxes in Hazlet. However, Castella said he just found out his landlord pays taxes to Holmdel.
Hazlet Superintendent Bernard Bragen explained the district's process for identifying out-of-district students who are attending Hazlet schools, however he declined to comment on the specific situation due to confidentiality issues.
"We have an attendance officer and if there's a question about a residence, the officer investigates it and presents it to the principal," he said.
If a student is identified as a resident of another town, the student and their family is notified and a time period is set for the student to transfer to their proper district, Bragen explained.
"Usually the student is afforded a period of time, maybe thirty days or the end of a marking period. If the marking period is ending in two weeks, it would be a natural break for the student," he said.
According to Bragen, Hazlet is unable to have out-of-district students.
"The Hazlet Township Public Schools, according to our Board of Education policy, we only accept students that live in Hazlet. We can't even accept tuition students if we wanted to; it's not our policy," he said.
Duncan said at least one student has registered with the Holmdel district so far, but did not expand on the possibility of more students.