new jersey

The Internet home page of the Livingston, N.J., school system confused some parents in Livingston Parish when they searched for the school calendar.

LIVINGSTON – There's more than one Livingston out there, and thanks to some very sly Google search results, it appeared that Livingston Parish would begin its school year almost a month later than usual.

Some parents got concerned – or a shock – when they thought the Livingston Parish school system was not going to start the next school year until Sept. 4.

Wrong school system. In fact, wrong state.

Assistant Superintendent Steve Parrill said Monday afternoon that some people using the Google search engine were not aware the first result of their search was the school system in Livingston, N.J.

“A number of parents called us,” Parrill said, after they looked at the New Jersey district calendar and found school will begin Sept. 4 and end on June 19, 2020.

After fielding some calls, including “arguing with some parents,” Parrill said the first clue came that something was amiss when he was asked about the Jewish holidays on the schedule.

Google’s search engine uses an algorithm that lists items that fit a search ranked by how popular they are or how many searches mention them. A test of Google’s search engine found 13,100,000 results if just “Livingston school district” were entered.

As for the Livingston school system in Louisiana, it will be some time before its calendar is ready.

“The School District’s calendar committee will be meeting in the coming weeks,” but no decisions have been made yet, Parrill said.

Parish schools have started near the beginning of August. This fall, Aug. 1 and Aug. 2 are a Thursday and Friday, and the first full week of August is Aug. 5-9.

School at the Louisiana Livingston system might start in that time period and school could end anywhere from May 19-28, Parrill said. But no decisions have been made, he added.

For the curious, the other Livingston School District is in Essex County, N.J., near Seton Hall University and northwest of Newark, N.J. It has an enrollment of 5,984 students in nine schools, and yes, one of them is Livingston High School.

But no confusion with the nine Livingston Parish high schools - they are the Lancers.

“If someone Googles something, they need to make sure it’s the same state,” Parrill said. “There are other Livingstons out there.”


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