We, the members of the Secaucus Board of Education (“the Board”) hope that you are all enjoying your summer. As some of you may have heard, the Secaucus Education Association (“the Association”) recently notified us that there unfortunately was a “Vote of No Confidence” in our Superintendent. We, as board members, are disturbed by this news, especially since both the Board and the administration have been trying to resolve any issues that may exist with our staff members. As a result, we passed a resolution at our July 22, 2010 meeting in response to the same. While we acknowledged the “Vote of No Confidence,” we stated our disagreement with this vote, and expressed our complete and unequivocal confidence in our Superintendent.
It is our belief that the Superintendent has met and exceeded all of the yearly goals that we established for the 2009-2010 school year. These accomplishments are highlighted in a year-end report, which we will post on our website. They include the installation of Promethean boards in every classroom, supplemented by Safari Montage, as well as on-line lesson plans and curricula designed to enhance communication and collaboration among teachers. Additionally, we understand that preliminary testing results demonstrate that a greater percentage of our students received an Advanced Proficient rating in both Language Arts and Math in 2010 as compared to 2009, and that our special education students also showed improvement during this time period as well. Finally, during our Superintendent’s time in the District, her reorganization plan allowed us to present the voters with a budget for 2010-2011 that reflected an increase of 2.5%, well under the state cap, and which allowed the Board to retain all of our academic, athletic and extracurricular teaching programs. As a result, unlike other districts, we did not need to ask any staff members to give back any of the 4.7% negotiated salary increase that they are receiving this year. On the whole, the District believes that the Superintendent has earned our full support in her vision to continue moving the District forward.
We also want to take this opportunity to inform you that a Communication and Collaboration Committee has been established to foster better communication between the teachers and the administration, to give individuals an opportunity to have their voice and ideas heard, and to allow the Superintendent to listen to concerns first hand and seek solutions. The first meeting took place on July 22, 2010. We believe it was extremely positive, and we encourage you to consider attending one of the upcoming meetings, which are scheduled for August 5, August 25, and September 2, 2010.
As we stated in our resolution, we are optimistic and believe that the Superintendent, administration and staff will be able to put aside their personal differences and work together in collaborative and professional manner toward the mutual goal of developing and maintaining an accomplished school district dedicated to the educational welfare of its students. According to NJ Monthly Magazine, Secaucus High School is ranked second in the County, and we aspire to break into the top 100 high schools in New Jersey. We hope that all of our staff members will share our vision and can work collaboratively with the administration to make that happen. In closing, we hope that you enjoy the rest of your summer, and, like us, are looking forward to the start of the new school year with enthusiasm and excitement.
The Secaucus Board of Education