Whether you’re a student, faculty member, or parent in the Ramapo Community, you most likely are cognizant of the recent buzz surrounding the possible creation of district-wide supervisors. In late January, the Board of Education put forth a proposition to restructure and consolidate the Supervisor position across the Ramapo-Indian Hills District. As explained by Mr. Sutherland and other Board members during the February 11th public Board of Education meeting, this plan was partly inspired by the Pascack Regional and Northern Valley Districts, who both made this switch 10 years ago. In an effort to homogenize and unify the two high schools in our district, the new structure would essentially feature a head supervisor who oversees both high schools’ educational departments, instead of a department supervisor for each school, which is the current set up. In mathematical terms, this would reduce the number of Supervisors from 15 to 9.
The installment of one figurehead would be intended to create continuity in the curriculum between the two schools, improve Human Resources management and budgeting, and smooth the transition from K-8 schools to the Ramapo-Indian Hills district. The Board of Education stated that the new model will most importantly bolster a “cleaner leadership model” by taking away the Supervisor’s classroom teaching responsibility, and dedicating their time solely towards the curriculum and management of both schools. They would have a widened view of the entire district, which would also make it easier to implement district-wide instruction initiatives. District supervisors would also be implemented in the Guidance department; one for guidance and one for special services. Under this plan, the Supervisors for each department would be chosen based upon their seniority within their position, not on subject speciality.
As with any proposition, this suggested model was met with ardent support and intense backlash upon its introduction to the Ramapo-Indian Hills community. Parents, who were concerned with the inequality and problems that could arise supervisors’ alternating schedules between the two high schools, even created a petition opposed to the new Supervisor plan. This petition garnered 808 signatures. Ramapo Junior Rhea Tandon states “Personally, I think that if the district-wide supervisors were educated in each schools’ needs and demands, and understood both schools’ environments, this could be a good change for our district”. Some students feel differently, like Senior Julia Dekorte, who said “I don’t think having district supervisors would be a good idea because it wouldn’t allow qualified teachers, like Mr. Kaplan, to have the opportunity to do what they love and teach students”. For the time being, debate has subsided due to the fact that the Board of Education announced at their February 25th meeting to indefinitely postpone the vote on the proposed plan.
By: By Helen Jennings, Life Editor
Featured Image: February 11th Board of Education Meeting. (Photo courtesy of Marsha Stoltz)