Available parking spaces in the Jefferson Township High School lot declined from 202 in 2011 to 190 this year, while the senior class rose in numbers from 268 in 2011 to 284 this year, causing issues with campus parking, according to Joseph Kraemer, superintendent of schools.
“The decrease in available spaces came as the result of reorganization of Parking Lot B and the new drop-off procedures at the high school,” he said.
He added that 48 students were denied parking at the beginning of the school year, 30 because of GPA issues and the other 18 because of missing the parking spot lottery. According to the school’s parking policy, all parking spaces are given out via a lottery system. Students must meet certain requirements, including a GPA of 2.00 for the class of 2013. That number will increase to 2.20 for the class of 2014, 2.35 for the class of 2015 and 2.50 for the class of 2016.
Kraemer declined to address the situation of Conor Labita, whose mother contended that her son did not receive a spot because of an infraction from last school year that he satisfied.
Kraemer said that he and principal Karl Mundi, along with the policy committee, will consider reopening the school’s tennis courts for student parking. The administration decided to stop parking at the tennis courts because students were walking through the middle school to get to parking lot, disrupting the middle school students.
“The other thing we are currently working on is the students who reserve a parking spot even though they don’t have a car and won’t be driving to school,” Kraemer said.
Senior Veronica Kot just got her license, but she put her name in the lottery early and had no problem, she said.
“I got my spot, but I know there are a lot of people who are angry because they can’t park at the school.”
John Luciano, father of a senior student, and Kathy Valva, mother of a past graduate, both recommended starting early to secure a spot.
“You have to go to the first parking meeting of the summer,” Valva said. (The district offers two dates for meetings each summer).
“My son went to the first meeting, and got all his paperwork in on time and didn’t have a problem getting a spot either," Luciano said.
Kraemer said that students need to remember that driving to school is a privilege, not a right.
“We guarantee them a seat on the bus. We don’t guarantee them a parking spot,” he said.