Community Announcements

Official Resolution and Statement Read by Board of Education President Ronald Conti

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RANDOLPH, NJ- The following are the official resolution and statement read last night by President Ron Conti at the Randolph Board of Education meeting, in response to the vote of no confidence, held by The Randolph Education Association.

WHEREAS, on or about May 24, 2018, the Randolph Education Association at the High School

adopted a “vote of no confidence” in Superintendent of Schools Jennifer Fano; and

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WHEREAS, on May 30, 2018, Association President Eric Schaberg provided the Board of

Education with the reasons for that vote; and

WHEREAS, many of the reasons offered by Mr. Schaberg were vague generalizations,

inaccurate and/or gross exaggerations of the truth; and

WHEREAS, prior to the Association’s vote, the Association leadership never came to the Board

of Education to express its concerns; and

WHEREAS, the Board believes that the Association’s actions were counterproductive and

unnecessarily divisive because of this lack of open and honest communication with the Board

prior to its vote; and

WHEREAS, the Board believes that the attacks which are being levied against the

Superintendent by certain members of the Association and members of the community through

its anonymously posted online Petition are completely unjustified and based upon erroneous

information; and

WHEREAS, the Board strongly condemns these personal attacks on Ms. Fano’s character and

ethics;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board wishes to reaffirm its support for

Ms. Fano and express that it has confidence in her leadership and drive to move our District

forward; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Board invites the REA Leadership to meet with the

Board leadership and Ms. Fano, as it has done this past week, on a consistent and ongoing basis

to resolve our differences and work towards the betterment of the school community; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution shall be provided to Mr.

Schaberg by the Board Secretary with the request that Mr. Schaberg disseminate it to the entire

Randolph Education Association; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this resolution and the accompanying statement shall be

 

The official statement:

The Board of Education was advised on May 30, 2018 by REA Union President Eric Schaberg that the Randolph Education Association at the High School adopted a vote of no confidence in our Superintendent of Schools, Jennifer Fano. This is extremely troubling given that the Association leadership has never come before the Board of Education or a committee thereof, to express its concerns with Ms. Fano’s leadership. We also believe that many of the statements in Ms. Fano’s leadership cited by the REA leadership are false or misleading.

For instance, Mr. Schaberg cites the first alleged “questionable action” taken by Ms.Fano as being a “dramatic shift in educational vision”. The Board finds this statement concerning because it is not clear what this statement means and, to date, no one from the Association leadership has been able to clearly explain it. The Board and Ms. Fano share the same educational vision. This vision, which has been in place for several years, is to inspire and empower students to reach their full potential as unique, responsible and educated members of a global society. We strongly believe that our educators share this same vision and this is one of the many reasons that we still attract such wonderful talent when we advertise for an open position in Randolph. We want to be clear, no dramatic shift in educational vision has occurred.

Mr. Schaberg also cites the adoption of “punitive HR policies” as one of the reasons for the High School vote. The Board takes strong exception to any claims that the District’s human {01944867.DOCX;1 }2resources polices are punitive. Being “well liked” is not a reason in and of itself to retain a staff member; the Administration and the Board are holding staff members accountable for performance in the classroom, conduct and attendance, all of which directly affect student learning. This is what the taxpayers elected us to do and Ms. Fano is carrying out the goals and objectives set for her by the Board. We are aware that staff morale is an issue in the District.

However, it was an issue before Ms. Fano was the Superintendent. Since becoming Superintendent, Ms. Fano and our District have implemented a variety of mechanisms to help support and improve our staff. The Board hired a Human Resources Officer several years ago with that very goal in mind. The work to improve morale is not finished and the Board expects Ms. Fano to continually work to improve staff morale.

In no uncertain terms, the Randolph Board of Education wishes for the staff of the Randolph schools, the REA leadership, and the community at large, to know that we stand behind Ms. Fano and support her leadership. Change is inevitable, often difficult for people to accept and, on occasion, change is unpopular. Without it, our schools will never progress. We fully understand that when a leader makes tough decisions for the betterment of a school district, it can often cause consternation among the staff, particularly those who are directly affected by the outcome of those decisions. However, the Board has great confidence that Ms. Fano’s decisions are always made after extensive due diligence and with the best interests of our students, our valued Educators, and our entire school community at heart. This is the reason that the Board hired Ms. Fano. We continue to fully support her efforts to move our District forward. {01944867.DOCX;1 }3

The Board leadership recently met with the REA leadership to discuss the concerns raised by the vote of no confidence. It is unfortunate that this meeting did not occur prior to the vote. We believe that open and honest communication is the first step towards improving relations between both sides. Making unfounded allegations fragments the District and ultimately hurts the people that we are all here to serve—the students. We are hopeful that the REA leadership will accept our invitation to continue an open dialogue so that we can move our District forward for the betterment of our school community.

The Board invites the community to attend our board meetings and open monthly committee meetings to share their input as well. Each of these meetings includes a public statement section where anyone can address the Board. The anonymously posted online Petition, that is similar to the REA letter to the board, is counterproductive because of its numerous factual inaccuracies. Furthermore, many of the comments which are being hurled at our Superintendent are malicious, hateful and are completely unfounded. Our community is better than that. We simply do not believe that those comments represent the sentiments of the vast majority of our constituents. Again, we invite any member of the community to attend our meetings and share their comments in person so that we can be fully informed. Our goals are the same – to make the Randolph School District the best that it can be so that our students can obtain a high-quality education and become productive members of society. This Board and its Superintendent will accept nothing less.

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