When One of Your Own Moves On to Another Position/Retirement, etc.

Posted by Shelly O'Boyle on 12/22/2017 11:55:00 AM

As superintendent, I am quickly beginning to feel like the matriarch of all of our Frewsburg employees. With this feeling comes many emotions, happiness with births, grief with deaths, concern for diagnoses, sadness with resignations- you get the picture.  When you begin to develop relationships with people, you want what is best for them even if that means that it is not the best for you.  Such is the case when you receive a letter of resignation or retirement.  Though internally, I am feeling a sense of loss and dread, I know that I must encourage all employees to seek opportunities that make sense for themselves and their families, even if that means sadness at losing them to positions outside our district or to the wonderful land of retirement.  

Once I come to grips with this sense of loss, the next step is to determine if the position must be replaced.  I want to know if we can continue our level of programming without replacing it or if we can absorb this position or if we can find other creative ways to share this position.   Data is examined, administrators are consulted, and the Board is advised.  We subscribe to a methodology of putting children first in every decision we make, including personnel decisions.  Although this is the procedure followed with every vacated position, it is especially done with administrative positions, since popular notions about the number of administrators working in school districts tend to center on one perception: there are too many.

I bring this up because most recently I received a resignation letter from our acting special education administrator, Mr. Matt Moore.  Mr. Moore has accepted a position with Erie 2 BOCES to begin on January 29. After going through the process described above, you will see that the decision was made to replace this position with a Director of Pupil Personnel Services (PPS).  This change in title will allow the person hired to oversee attendance, the school nurses, and the guidance office in addition to the special education department.  

Why was the decision to replace this position and change the title made you ask?   Here are the reasons considered in making this decision:

Services for Students
Careful monitoring of in-district and out-of-district services for students with disabilities must occur in order to make sure that our students receive appropriate programs.  This administrator is responsible for conducting annual meetings on all of our students with disabilities along with all of the Section 504 meetings for all students in our district.  In addition to these yearly meetings, the Director is responsible for conducting re-evaluation meetings on each student with a disability once every three years.  Initial referral committee on special education (CSE) meetings will be lead by this Director when students are suspected of having a disability or when previously classified students move into our district.  This administrator will also be responsible for conducting committee on preschool special education (CPSE) meetings (initial, annual reviews, and re-evaluations)  for all students age 3-5.  Following all of these meetings, an individualized educational program (IEP) must be written for all of the staff to follow.  

Parent Liaison and Compliance Officer
This administrator also acts as the district liaison for parents.  There are many regulations and laws associated with special education and Section 504.  The Director will field concerns from parents and teachers in making sure that IEPs are followed and that the needs of our students are being met.  This is an important role, since it is proactive in avoiding expensive law suites that can occur if the district is complacent or not monitored by someone who knows these Regulations and laws.  Law suites aside, we want our students taken care of and our parents proud of our district.  

Revenue and Budgeting
Did you know that special education is a valuable source of revenue for the district? The Director will monitor and submit medicaid billing and requests for reimbursement through the System to Track and Account for Children (STAC) through the NY State Education Department.

State Reporting and Federal Compliance
Unfortunately, along with State and Federal reimbursement comes many required reports and data tracking. This position will be responsible for submitting all reports and providing data to the business official and the superintendent.

Strategic Planning
It goes without saying that we would like to keep all of our students in our schools. However, sometimes we must look to other places for services that we do not have.  The Director will be responsible for monitoring, planning for, and determining how best to serve our students. They will look at the number of students we have and determine if we can bring our students back to district or find a shared classroom or a BOCES placement, etc.  This person will be responsible for developing our special education curriculum and transition program in conjunction with Mrs. Patti.  

Attendance, Guidance, and School Nurses
This position will bridge the elementary and MS/HS departments for a district-wide approach to attendance, guidance, and school nurses.  Why is this important?  Because our state aid is dependent on student attendance, yet no one currently oversees the attendance officers.   

I have listed just a few of the reasons that I have presented to the Board of Education  as justification to replace this position with a changed title and with a full time person. Please note, this is not adding an administrator, it is replacing a vacated position.  I would invite you to look at the posting that includes a detailed job description.   

Should you have any further questions regarding this position, please feel free to contact me at 716-569-7041 or by email at soboyle@frewsburgcsd.org.

Happy New Year and I am sure you will join me in wishing Mr. Matt Moore the best in his next endeavor.