School superintendent says central office is understaffed

by susan on September 26, 2012

School Superintendent Charles Gobron told the Regional School Committee last week the districts’ central office is understaffed and he plans to take steps this year to ease the pressure.

Gobron said part of the problem is the central office supports three separate school districts – Southborough, Northborough, and Northborough-Southborough – so staff often has to “triplicate” their efforts. Streamlining processes is one way Gobron said he hopes to lessen the load. He also might ask voters to support adding staff to the office.

Reports the Metrowest Daily News:

“By November, I intend to meet with the two town administrators to consider ways that we can consolidate some services and bill the two towns for their equivalent share of the expenses,” Gobron wrote in a memo on his goals. “By January, I will have budget recommendations which may or may not include the hiring of additional personnel in the next fiscal year.”

Gobron said that in an ideal situation he would add two administrators — someone to help out in finance and someone to act as a district network administrator.

The creation of a network administrator position was cut from last year’s budget because of fiscal constraints, however Gobron said it’s essential to allowing Technology Director Jean Tower to focus less on troubleshooting and more on innovation.

Gobron said Thursday it’s too early to tell whether he will advocate for a staffing addition in fiscal 2014. He’d first like to see whether addressing some of the inefficiencies in the office might lower the workload.

You can read more in this article by the MWDN.

{ 4 comments }

1 Al Hamilton September 26, 2012 at 4:52 PM

Last year I estimated that our K-8 school population would continue to decline. Last year our K-8 grades had 1409 students. I estimated that this year the number would be 1368. The actual number has just come in at 1373. That is a decline of 36 students or 2.5%. We can expect this trend to continue for the next 5 or 6 years as we graduate 8th grade classes of between 160 and 185 students and replace them with Kindergarten classes of 95 to 120 students.

I am hard pressed to understand why we need more administrators in the face of declining enrollments.

If Dr. Gobron really needs an administrator perhaps he can reconfigure our system into a 3 school system and use some of the savings to fund our share of an administrator.

2 resident September 26, 2012 at 10:27 PM

If the work load is so great, why an administrator? Wouldn’t somebody who actually worked and didn’t spend hours a day in meetings make more sense? I bet a worker would cost less money too. Come on Gobron it is time to get real with OUR money.

3 Smile September 27, 2012 at 7:10 PM

Resident,

Dr. Gobron has expressed a desire to hire a “network administrator.” Since that is what I do for about 50 hours every week, let me assure you that I am a “worker” not somebody that “didn’t (sic) spend hours a day in meetings.” A network administrator is sort of like a mechanic for cars. My job is to keep the network running so the other workers can do their job.

I’m not sure what the Director of Technology gets paid, but if she is actually doing the day to day grunt work on a network admin, then there is something wrong with this picture.

Perhaps the schools need a network administrator and not a Director of Technology? Perhaps the network admin for Southboro could also handle these issues for the schools located in Southboro? I’ll bet the schools have more computers than the entire town government.

That actually raises an interesting question: If the town does not have a network admin for ALL of the departments, then the town is probably paying quite a bit for service agreements. Somebody has to keep all the computers running.

4 Frank Crowell September 27, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Dr. Grobron is having problems with the “cuts” to this year’s budget. Well, I guess the money would be there if the teacher’s contract he negotiated actually held to his stated increase of 2% or less instead of going way up (average teacher’s salary going from $70K to $80K if memory servers me well).

Oh, and now we find out that Mr. Hamilton’s predictions on student head count have proven out while we drag the K-8 School Committee to at least think about closing a school (outcome of this discussion, no doubt, will be there is no savings in closing a school).

Memo to Dr. Grobron: Find the money within the budget you have to get what is needed done (just like many of us have had to do since ‘09). Sharing labor with the other town is a great discussion for next year’s budget – along with a 5% decrease. This will go a long way in helping us maintain our current tax rate.

My apologies to Mr. Rooney for the “us vs. them” theme here.

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