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Perth Amboy: Communications 101: Too Much Red Tape in High School Slows Down Process

PERTH AMBOY — The Perth Amboy Board of Ed was concerned about the procedures regarding student information at the High School. William L. Librera, Ed. D. who is the President and CEO of West Hudson Associates-Professional Services Company was commissioned to review procedures currently in place at Perth Amboy High School to see how student information is stored.

Dr. Librera has been in the educational field as a social studies teacher in high school in 1968. He also has served as Superintendent and Principal of schools in New Jersey districts.

The Board of Ed had 16 questions concerning that they posed to Librera concerning streamlining student information. Librera interviewed 16 professional and support staff members from the Perth Amboy High School within a six and a half day time frame. This was to gather information to answer the questions posed by the Board of Education. The parameters he used were based on procedures used at Piscataway and Neptune districts which are very similar to Perth Amboy.

As for the athletic parameters he used the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) requirements from the Chatham District. Those involved in the interview process included the Superintendent, High School Principal, Guidance Counselors and Guidance Secretaries and also members of the Information Technology Staff.

One of the most glaring problems that was mentioned were the new personnel that came into the High School. In the past three years most of the positions filled in the High School were Counselors that were previous Counselors in the Elementary Schools. Most of the experienced High School Counselors are no longer there. This has caused a disruption in how information is given to the new personnel. One of the weaknesses in the Perth Amboy Technology system is that there is too much documentation done through paperwork. This information can be stored electronically. Too much of this paperwork is going through too many hands. By storing records electronically, it is easier for the correct personnel to quickly have access to student information. This is not to say that all handwritten documentation needs to be thrown out, because there is always a need for that form. Librera stated in his report.

The months of June, July, August and September are critical for registering all incoming students PK-12. There should be a central registration in place which would consist of all records and student transcripts. Librera’s report stated.

Another weakness is the Absentee Policy in the School System. In the past year, only 11th and 12th grade students were eligible for summer school. Presently, there is no flexibility to allow for a student to make up excessive (18+) unexcused absences. This number of unexcused absences is mandated by the state. The student will not receive credit for those courses even if they were passing.

A full written copy of the 17 page report was made available to the public at the 9/6/12 Board of Ed Meeting.

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