SUMMIT, NJ—Despite some recent merging of responsibilities and re-titling of administrative positions in the Summit public schools, the position of assistant school business administrator is thought to be too necessary to be merged or eliminated.

The Summit Board of Education, after this year’s departure of Assistant Superintendent of Schools Julie Glazer to become Superintendent of Schools in Nutley, decided to create the new posts of director of elementary education and director of secondary education in lieu of naming a new assistant superintendent of schools.

With the recent departure of schools Communications Officer Karen Greco to a communications director position, joining Glazer in Nutley, the Board decided to re-title the communications officer post in the Hilltop City schools and combine it with duties as an executive assistant to the superintendent of schools.

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Last month, Assistant School Business Administrator Donna Schneider decided to leave that post, effective December 31 of this year. She wishes to spend more time with her family, and will become an 11-month secretary at the Wilson Primary Center, effective January 1 of next year.

At this month’s school Board workshop meeting, Board operations committee chairman Richard Hanley said the committee had considered not filling the assistant business administrator role.

Hanley noted, however, that given the size of the Summit district -- with approximately 700 employees and 4,200 students -- the committee felt more than one business administrator position was needed.

He added that the the District’s auditors said there are no districts for that they work with of similar size that have less than two business administrator positions.

The operations committee chairman announced a search committee, probably headed by District human resources director Matthew Block, would soon begin looking for a replacement for Schneider, and further news on the search would be announced in a few weeks.

Hanley also said the auditor is happy with the fact that the District’s surplus, at about $1.1 million and $1.3 million, respectively, over the last two years, has remained at a fairly consistent level. Additionally, according to the operations chairman, the auditor said the District’s capital reserve is at a good level for a district that is just emerging from a major capital construction program.

On another topic, Superintendent of Schools June Chang announced that participation of Summit High School juniors in the Holocaust Studies program in a two-week tour of sites in Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland would be delayed until next year, partially due to general global security concerns.

Chang quickly added that there was no specific threat at all, but just a general concern due to world conditions. He also said registration for the program has been slower than expected.

On another matter, Board member Debbie Chang, in her role as liaison to the Summit Educational Foundation, said she recently attended a Foundation meeting, and the group now has under consideration for this funding cycle about 23 projects in City elementary schools, nine in the Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School, seven in the high school and several other projects that would apply district-wide.

Board education committee chairwoman Debra McCann reported there were some questions on her committee about the fact that this year there were 14 new students in the basic skills program in the eighth grade.

McCann noted the new students included a few who were new to the Summit District, a few previously pull-out classified students, and some who were in the basic skills classes due to requests by parents or vice principals.

She added the committee would continue to study the data, especially among students who had been in basic skills classes in the seventh grade the year before.

The education committee chairwoman did say, however, that academic scores among the basic skills students had gone up.

In other matters, Board president David Dietze announced city schools would be closed on Tuesday, November 8 for the Presidential Election; elementary schools would have a half-day session on November 9 with afternoon parents’ conferences and the schools would be closed again on November 10 and 11 for the state teachers’ convention.

Dietze added the district’s labor attorney would give a presentation on the school labor negotiating process at the regular board meeting on November 17.

The District’s contract with the Summit Education Association is scheduled to expire in August.