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Eighteen Teachers Moved at Brackman

Union rep: 'Sometimes change is healthy.'

In addition to principals being moved in Barnegat, 18 teachers are being moved within the Brackman Middle School, according to a presentation at the Brackman school last night.

In response to a question at the the informational meeting last night on administrative changes at the school, Superintendent Karen Wood and Director of Curriculum and Instruction Anthony Scotto  told a packed auditorium that 18 teachers are being moved within the school, but only within their specialty.

Scotto said that it is important to note that all of the teachers within that school are certified to teach the sixth through eighth-grade levels. He said these moves, along with shifts in principals, are in preparation for national and statewide pushes in education.

Wood noted "the moves were not made because of tenure. They were made so that we can deliver the best for our students, and they were carefully considered before they were changed."

Scotto specifically honed in on state-mandated four levels of proficiency that will be required under the specifically: planning and proficiency, classroom environment, instruction, and professional responsibility.

Wood said the district has adopted the Danielson model, as their measuring stick to ensure these levels of proficiency are being met. She said under this model, the teachers often work in groups to bring about the needed changes, and the moves within the school will best allocate teachers and groups.

Wood said that although last year's standardized sixth grade scores would only be available next week, she said that she knows the teachers in Brackman have been working hard to integrate all of the necessary changes. As of last year, Brackman and the other Barnegat school either met or exceeded state standards, but they were compared with other districts that were similar to them. In addition, in the accompanying video, Scotto states the schools have a plan to prepare for standardized tests.

However, under TEACH NJ, all state schools will be measured uniformly.
Scotto acknowledged there may have been some concerns and even fear among the administrators and teachers when they heard about the changes, however, he said, many teachers have emailed him also saying how "excited" they are as the change, and eager to weigh in on the changes.

Union representative Lou Balk said he had not heard any negative feedback about the changes as of last night, adding "sometimes change is healthy."

As reported on Patch last week, other changes for the disrict are: Dr. Joseph Saxton will be moving from the High School to the Robert L. Horbelt Elementary School, and Stephen Nichol will be moving from Russell O. Brackman Middle School to the High School. Scott Kiewe will move to a special education position.

The moves will leave a vacancy in the middle school's top spot, which was posted yesterday.

Mac August 28, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Superintendent Wood and Director Scotto were refreshingly straightforward and poised in presenting their vision for educating our children within the Barnegat school system. The goals they presented were realistic, viable and full of promise. The changes in personnel, both in administration and classroom instruction, were made to enhance the leadership and opportunities associated with this overhaul and redirection of our children's education. To those of us who do not live and breathe the BOEs daily activities and were taken off guard by this major reconstruction of our school system, I feel this new hypothesis has merit and should be allowed the unencumbered opportunity to advance our educational aspirations in Barnegat.
Bengal D August 28, 2012 at 02:51 PM
I have no problem with the changes but am bothered by the fact that they never answered the questions regarding Brackman's principal position. If all the other principal positions were simply appointed and not opened up to competition, why not at Brackman? The two current vices there now are more than qualified. They also had no answer with regards to a timeline for filling the position. School starts next week. Even sports teams at least name an "interim" head coach. I do have a problem starting the school year with a leadership vacuum at our middle school.
Mac August 28, 2012 at 04:00 PM
This was certainly a gray area at last evening's meeting and a legitimate concern for all. Although I don't know the two assistant principals at Brackman, I find it difficult to accept that two individuals can share top dog status equally without unnecessary areas of confusion arising among the numerous individuals that make up the school's staff. IMO, this leadership position should be filled sooner than later, even with temporary leadership if necessary, so that this public and internal concern doesn't fester and undermine the good intentions of the Barnegat school system as it refocuses its emphasis on our children's education.
slionj August 29, 2012 at 02:16 AM
principles can be moved around a district and it's considered a lateral move. this is why the position was not open to competition. The vacancy in Brackman can't be filled with another principle within the district, therefore it has to be posted.
ebony ivory August 29, 2012 at 07:42 PM
I agree, The position of principal should be filled right away. I do not believe a vice principal can fill that slot. I also heard there is an open spot for vice-principal in the high school. I hope our children fare well under all this chaos.
Transparent C August 30, 2012 at 07:59 PM
SlionJ is right, the open position must go through the process of being advertised, though I certainly believe either of the current VP's are qualified and should be strongly considered. But schools often run in the absence of their top administration, they have people on the faculty that are substitute administrators and will probably be used to support that school until the position is filled. Funny how we can have teachers out for weeks and other staff out for weeks and schools run and everyone thinks not having someone named as in charge is chaos? This happens every day in some district, and they all survive. I think the superintendent is on top of the needs and its obvious she cares.
Rick September 02, 2012 at 01:07 PM
All this chaos?? Principals aren't in the classrooms on a daily basis. The students will do just fine, as long as the parents don't make a big issue of this in front of them.

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