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Board of Education Votes to Brings the School District Closer to a New and Enhanced Vision

Mar 11, 2020 04:33PM ● By Julie Maxwell Allen

Last night the Glen Rock Board of Education voted to approve plans for a High School and Middle School administrative restructure. The proposal was outlined in a nine-page FAQ document that was available to all in the community. 

The plan addresses two areas of administrative restructuring 

 1. A shared principal for the middle and high school

“With a combined student population in the middle and high school of just over 1,300 students, Dr. Charleston said, A single leader can think more holistically about how to ladder up instruction across the seven grades. There will be opportunities to share best practices across the schools and to encourage more collaboration in the teaching staff across all seven grades. As of July 1, the high school principal will be retiring and the middle school principal’s resignation was accepted for July 1. Due to these staffing changes, this was an opportune time to present the restructure.”

This single principal structure was in place in the Glen Rock Jr / Sr high (currently known as the Middle School) up until the retirement of long time Principal Ed Turco in 1985. At that time, the added a second principal for the Junior High School. The one principal structure worked well until then. Students felt like they were all part of the whole school even though the JR / SR classes were mainly separated in different areas of the school. 

The BOE stated that some of the reasons for the restructuring are: 

  1. Due to a lack of agreement/communication between middle school and high school. 
  2. K to 12 administration needs assistance with evaluations. Mr. Arlotta did 86 evaluations this year without help. 

2. The addition of three content area supervisors.

The plan also includes the hiring of three content area supervisors for grades K-12.  Content supervisors have been in discussion the past several years from Dr. Valenti to Dr. Charleston. The district has a director of curriculum who oversees the full breadth of the 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. 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.” said Dr. Charleston.

Glen Rock Board of Education President, Sharon Scarpelli commented on the need for content and curricular supervisors stating, “The Board of Education feels strongly that we have great teachers who do wonderful things for our students each and every day. 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.”

A Glen Rock resident teaching in another district agrees with supervisors in place. “They make it easier for us to focus on the children and teaching” 

"The plan outlined is not intended to add layers of supervision or affect the school budget for 2020-2021. These plans are to move the district forward in an ever-changing world of education and technology. Communication was made suggesting that the plans were moving quickly; however, this was not the case. Meetings were held with the Board of Education on the matter as well as forums with the community and school employees. 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,” said Dr. Charleston.

Per the BOE, if the 2 principals were not leaving, with the retirement of some teachers, the BOE would have only added 2 supervisors and gradually built it up. 

All the BOE members voted yes to this restructuring plan. Dr. Angela Pucci-Bender abstained and Vice President Bryon Torsiello was not there to vote. 

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