GLEN ROCK, NJ - The Glen Rock Board of Education voted to approve plans for a high school and middle school administrative restructure where 1,300 students over seven grades share the same building.
“A single leader can think more holistically about how to ladder up instruction across the seven grades," Superintendent Dr. Brett Charleston said. "There will be opportunities to share best practices across the schools, and to encourage more collaboration in the teaching staff across all seven grades."
The proposal, which moved forward on March 10, was outlined in a nine-page FAQ document that was available to the community, according to district officials. Several question and answer sessions were held with the superintendent, parents, community residents, teachers and staff.
Public reaction to the plan has been mixed, with parents voicing concerns at meetings ranging from noting the age difference in the middle and high school populations, to one principal, one vision as an idea that may work.
The plan addresses two areas of administrative restructure, Charleston said, with one being a shared principal for the middle and high school, and the second being the addition of three content area supervisors.
Charleston said the restructuring will have Glen Rock Middle and High Schools joining other school districts around New Jersey which also have a shared principal for both the middle and high school.
"As of July 1 the high school principal will be retiring and the middle school principal’s resignation was accepted for July 1," Charleston said. "Due to these staffing changes, this was an opportune time to present the restructure.”
The plan also includes the hiring of three content area supervisors for grades K-12. The district has a director of curriculum who oversees the full breadth of curriculum. Content supervisors will bring expertise to their subject areas, offer professional development around innovative ideas to enhance elementary curriculum, and assist in facilitating both vertical and horizontal articulation of curriculum.
"Having someone to maintain dialogue between elementary schools and the middle school would be especially helpful," Charleston said. "Content supervisors will be able to look at data across the four elementary schools and summarize our strengths and weaknesses, make decisions for revisions and eliminate any inconsistencies should they exist. This is important for 21st century learning, and will help Glen Rock retain its reputation as a cutting-edge district at all grade levels.”
The plan outlined is not intended to add layers of supervision or affect the school budget for 2020-2021, district officials said.
“This is the prime season for education job searches, so we will be able to access the best candidates. Also, the timing allows us to have a candidate selected in time for a notice period and a smooth transition/handover with our current administrators this summer,” Charleston said.
“The Board of Education feels strongly that we have great teachers who do wonderful things for our students each and every day," Glen Rock Board of Education President Sharon Scarpelli said. "We believe that the addition of supervisors can only improve upon and provide more support for what is already one of the best teaching staffs in the state.”