About one year ago I was unanimously appointed to the Board of Education and it was one of my proudest moments ever. I am truly honored to play even a small part in the many wonderful changes that have occurred over the past year under the leadership of Superintendent Carter, Asst Superintendent Rusak and Business Administrator Davis.
For example, the operations of the District have been investigated and are now in full compliance with the law. To ensure that the District runs at full efficiency and compliance all accounting books are in order and all positions have legal contracts. All policies are lawfully adopted, on record and are applicable to everyone equally. Why is that important to the students and their education? Under Superintendent Carter, the District has realized savings of almost $1,000,000 in previously uncollected rents and uncollected transportation costs and has significantly reduced the pre-existing food service debt. That money is surely better spent on the children!
Effiencies were also found in a transportation audit and a review of staff loads. This ensures that all staff are supported in their roles and the district is receiving every everyone’s maximum efforts.
A clear chain of command has been instituted. Parents now know where to address questions and concerns. All teachers and Administrators are aware of the correct procedure for their concerns and are supported in their day-to-day decision making. All District policies and procedures have been written to allow for 100 percent compliance moving forward.
Why is this “back office stuff” so important to education? Because when the engine runs smoothly and fairly for everyone – district time, money and energy can be spent on the real important job…education!
A Director of Curriculum has been hired as well as three Education Consultants (LA, Math and Spec Ed) and four new Principals are in place. All focused on raising the bar for all of our students. The consultants have been very well received by the staff who appreciate the in-class support and professional development.
Other efforts include re-combining Hoboken High School with Demarest HS, locating 8th graders in HHS, initiating an AP program, providing laptops to all 7th and 8th graders, reinstituting 8th grade Algebra and expanding enrollment into the district’s Johns Hopkins Gifted Program. Also exciting are the two new music teachers in Connors and Calabro and new uniforms for the Marching Band. Are all the efforts working? Some changes are too new to quantify, but Connors made major increases in many NJASK scores areas this year and interest in HHS is so high, Principal Joy recently instituted “Redwing for a Day” to handle all the inquiries for enrollment next year. All great signs!!
Once again, I do not take any credit at all for the amazing things that have occurred in the schools this past year, it was a true team effort, with everyone in the District working together. I am so honored to have had an opportunity to be part of this team!