CHATHAM, NJ - The School District of the Chathams hired Denis Sheeran as its new K-12 Supervisor of Mathematics at its regular board of education meeting held Monday night.
It also approved the hiring of new K-12 Supervisor of Science, Kristen Crawford, who came over from River Edge and will be paid an annual salary of $119,611.
Sheeran, who was the 6-12 Math Supervisor in Edison before accepting the job in Chatham, begins July 1 at an annual salary of $121,092. One of his first tasks will be to improve the Chatham Middle School's Connected Math Program, also known as CMP3, which has received criticism from parents over the past school year.
A parent group called Chatham Cares About Schools had provided surveys, studies and petitions to the board of education at its last meeting on June 1. Board member Lata Kenney reviewed the material and offered some solutions at the meeting held Monday.
"Karen Chase i(assistant superintendent) is working on steps for implementation for September of teacher development (of CMP3), common practices and resources," Kenney said. "In addition, we met with Denis Sheeran, our candidate for math supervisor. We are hoping he will be a positive force for the district."
Sheeran was not at the meeting, where his hiring was unanimously improved, but already had spoken with Chase about improving the implementation of the middle school math connected to Common Core standards.
"I already had conversations with Mr. Sheeran about the ideas for improving the resources available for the math program," Chase said. "We are going to be working on that over the summer so there are improvements made for September."
Parents of Chatham Cares About Schools had asked for improvements for September, but the good news did not stop them from telling the board about the problems caused by the CMP3.
A number of parents came before the board during the public session to share their stories and concerns about the program and asked for better communication from the board.
A sampling of what the parents said and the responses from Superintendent Dr. Michael LaSusa can be found below.
Diane Politano told the BOE the Connected Math Program did not work for her son
Carrie Conte of Chatham Cares About Schools asked the BOE for better communication about curriculum changes
Resident David Palmieri, who has three sons in the Chatham school system, was hoping to hear more about how the Connected Math Program would improve
Superintendent Dr. Michael LaSusa explained that the district is working on improvements that will be in place by September
Suzanne Harkins of Chatham Cares About Schools told the BOE how frustrating it was to deal with the Connected Math Program and asked for more transparency from administrators
Superintendent Dr. Michael LaSusa defends CMS math teachers and talks about improvements in the program and communication with parents that he will implement