Medford’s school board meeting canceled due to capacity issues

More than 100 members of the public showed for Monday’s meeting

Parents protest the board meeting’s cancellation on Monday night (Alyssa Biederman/The Sun).

More than 100 parents, teachers and community members came out for Monday night’s school board meeting in Medford.

They expected to hear a presentation on bringing students back to school five days a week from Assistant Superintendent Keira Scussa. Parents have been speaking against the district’s decision to learn on a hybrid model since September.

Then, the meeting was canceled. 

The New Jersey Open Public Meetings Act requires that all persons interested in taking part in a meeting be able to. The gym at Kirby’s Mill Elementary School, where the meetings have been held each month, was unable to hold everyone wanting to attend. About 20 members of the public were waiting outside when the meeting was canceled.

“The number of interested parents and community members who showed up for the meeting is a true testament to the level of care and involvement our parents have for their children’s education,” the district wrote in a statement. “We appreciate the opportunity to listen and receive feedback from our school community to strengthen our partnership in education.”

When the district announced the meeting could not continue, members of the public protested.

“Let’s go to the parking lot then,” Christine Tomkus, a Medford parent yelled.

Other protestors held signs that read “#FUNDTHESTUDENT 5 DAYS, FULL TIME OR #DEFUNDTHESCHOOLS.”

The meeting was rescheduled and will take place on Monday, March 1. In a statement, the district noted more details will be available in coming days.

On Feb. 26, a group plans to protest the hybrid model outside Superintendent Joseph Del Rossi’s office. They will bring their students’ backpacks and place them outside the Medford Township Board of Education building.