Focus on Structure – The Sound Body

Focus on Structure - The Sound Body:

The organizational structure that will succeed in this work will:

  • identify and assist in the spread of innovations that work
  • provide more presence across campus, both to enhance relationships with and offer greater security for students
  • build deeper connections between personnel dealing directly and daily with wellness issues, and teachers working with curriculum relevant to those issues
  • provide for a more robust communications platform
  • offer more sustained feedback from stakeholders

To those ends, we adopt several strategies.

  • Design and implement magnet programs. We have begun reframing our Program of Studies, and appropriate supervisory responsibilities, to ensure that students who have identified strong interests in specific vocations will be able to participate in a pathway of courses. We will seek New Jersey
    Department of Education recognition for Career and Technical Education programs where appropriate.
  • Establish an administrative position focused on innovation. We have developed and filled the position of Supervisor of Special Projects. This individual will be responsible for finding and shepherding innovative practice through professional development, measurement, and the facilitation of communities of practice.
  • Convene an advisory group of parents, staff, and students. The District faces serious questions as it considers the alignment of structures and practices to our goals. We must consider everything from our bell schedule, to our discipline policies, to our grading practices. We will need help to ensure that we approach recommendations that help us in our work, are fully-informed, and work together toward comprehensive goals.
  • Increase security and wellness staffing. We believe that presence and relationship are the two best security and wellness tools that we have. This plan calls for an increase in presence through adjusted security staffing. We have begun to work with the Raritan Township Municipal Committee to explore the feasibility of Class III officers. Additionally, we will be adding to our specialized counseling staff with a Student Assistance Counselor specializing in mental health and substance abuse, allowing each grade level team to have a dedicate SAC.
  • Design and implement HCLive media platform. Central possesses impressive radio and television studios, with talent, student interest, and support to produce award-winning media. We have leveraged this platform to provide additional wellness resources to our community, but we find opportunity to grow the District’s media capabilities through more appropriate staffing, more robust equipment, and more direct connection into the curricular program. If we are to serve our community as a resource, and provide more coordinated and broader communications, we will need more individuals to support more student involvement.
  • Align wellness and curriculum goals across the program. Staff and administrators who work most closely with student wellness issues are sadly separated from the curricular program. We will build more connections between our building administrators, nurses, counselors, and other staff with our teachers in Physical Education and Health and other departments. This will ensure that classroom instruction is the most informed that it can be to provide relevant exploration of student wellness issues, opportunities for student involvement in service learning, and vibrant connections with community experts.

The above strategies proceed from a commitment to facilitating focused work aligned to our strategic priorities. Focus must recognize that declining enrollment requires us to “right size” our structure. To that end, we have begun to reduce and reorient staffing in administration, counseling, and other areas. In administration, we will move from five to four Vice Principals during the life of this plan in response to enrollment projections. We have also begun to reorient our counseling services staff, replacing guidance with student assistance counselors. In academic departments, we have also begun the absorb teaching and other positions through attrition where possible.

We have made and will make several changes to the administrative structure to reach our destinations. As we reduce to four Vice Principals, we will gather extracurricular activities under a single position. Formerly, athletics and clubs fell beneath separate positions. We have also shifted the Counseling Department to reporting to the Director of Special Services, in recognition of the growing number of students utilizing mental health, behavioral planning, and health services, and the resulting need to more closely align those services to one another.

In this restructuring, we must build wider pipelines for teachers, counselors, and other certificated staff to earn administrative experience. We will staff our Extracurricular Department with certificated assistants to implement athletics and club programs, as well as build additional committees and roles within our House Offices to implement attendance and discipline programs.