Asbury Park school district will have a new director of special services when school opens next month.
“I’m anxious for the new school year and looking forward to see our planning come to fruition,” said School Superintendent Dr. Lamont Repollet
Repollet said one new major change is the addition of a new Director of Special Services. Carolyn Morano is coming the the city from Vernon and replacing interim director Roxanne Johnson.
Repollet said the main goal of the new director will be to place students in the least restrictive educational environment as well was expand early childhood autism classes.
Repollet estimated that the special education population in the school is 20 percent or about 400 students.
In his third school year in the district Repollet highlighted the district’s motto of building a brighter future which is part of a three year strategy to assess, create a plan and execute it.
This year’s academic initiative will be centered on comprehensive math and writing programs, which follow last year’s initiative of improving literacy across the grade levels.
“Literacy is the root cause of low academic performance,” he said.
All three skills are needed for building a strong academic foundation, Repollet said.
Also part of the three year plan includes assessing all district facilities this year and making recommendations.
Although Repollet said he has hired what he calls the “right personnel” in his first two years, he said the hiring of three new teachers for the various career academies is a plus this year.
There are four career academies in the high school now, with the latest being the Dream Academy where students can earn college credit at Brookdale Community College while still in high school.
New hires include Sarita Gogan, RN, who will teach at the Allied Health Academy, former Police Lt. Steve Middleton, who will teach at the Law and Public Safety Academy and Engineer Kevin Gould who will teach at the S.T.E.M. Academy.
Grant funding for the S.T.E.M. Academy is coming from a NJ DEP grant in conjunction with the county vocational High Tech High School
Students at all academies have an opportunity to obtain entry level certifications, such as first aid, while participating in the academies.
“It gives us credibility in our programs,” Repollet said.