School district may restructure supervisory positions soon

SOUTH ORANGE / MAPLEWOOD, NJ — As the South Orange-Maplewood School District ramps up its strategic planning process, questions have arisen regarding supervisory positions. In an email to the News-Record, district spokeswoman Suzanne Turner said that while the supervisory structure may change, the number of supervisors is unlikely to do so.

According to Turner, the district was planning to look into improvements for the supervisory structure, and those plans have since been moved up in the schedule of discussions.

“Recent retirements and resignations among the supervisors have prompted us to begin this conversation earlier than expected,” Turner said. “It is important to note that we are not proposing reducing the number of supervisory positions. We are considering different configurations which might create more synergy between content areas.

“If we reconfigure, specific titles may change,” she continued. “But the number of positions is anticipated to remain the same.”

Among the possibilities, the district is considering creating a humanities supervisor position, which would be similar to the STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — supervisory position currently being created. This new position would, according to Turner, allow for greater interdisciplinary collaboration.

The district stressed, however, that arts will not be affected negatively and that the district remains committed to the arts.

“Nothing is decided at this point, and we may hold off on recommending any changes and maintain the current structure for another year,” Turner said.

In the meantime, the district plans to consult on any changes with the ASCA and South Orange-Maplewood Education Association, the administrators union and the teachers union. If and when the superintendent’s office decides to recommend changes, they will pend approval from the Board of Education.