Woodshop Goes the Way of Home-Ec
With no more woodworking class, Board of Ed votes to get rid of the the equipment.
Woodshop at Millburn High School has officially gone the way of home economics and other hands-on training classes that have been dropped through the years, as the world becomes more high-tech.
The Millburn Board of Education voted this week to dispose of the equipment used in woodshop up until the teacher retired last year – but not without a discussion about the importance of classes like woodshop to teach skills that are going to be lost as well as for those students who don’t always excel academically.
“I remember having conversations with Special Ed about how important those classes are for those kids – the hands-on kinesthetic type of skills,” said Board Member Jean Pasternak. “What replaced woodshop?”
Board Members Mark Zucker and Lise Chapman didn't like the idea of losing woodworking either. Chapman said she knew the teacher had retired but didn't know that that meant the end of the class.
“I think the loss of woodshop is terrible,” said Board Member Mark Zucker. “Not every student is going to go to X-Y-Z University. I took woodshop, and I use it to this day, mostly for things around the house.”
Millburn Superintendent of Schools Dr. James Crisfield said the enrollment in the elective had dwindled and the equipment was antiquated.
“It evolved into something else over the years and didn’t really give kids the life skills you’re talking about,” he said.
Since the equipment is about 40 years old, the District needed to get rid of it regardless.
Chapman suggested looking into something that would be similar to woodshop – some kind of hands-on building course.