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Dean of Students is not what’s needed

August 26, 2016
Shepherdstown Chronicle

The Board of Education's decision to hire another level of administration at Jefferson High School in the form of a Dean of Students is not what is needed--at least from listening to the discussion held.

The school already employs three assistant principals, who have always been dedicated to the disciplinary issues at the school.

The job description for the new Dean calls for that single individual to focus almost enitrely on discipline issues. That leaves the question: What are the assistants going to do? Rather than create another level of administration, perhaps the job descriptions of those assistants need to be tweeked with those three individuals doing the disciplinary work as they should.

Other discussion items with regard ot the Dean position showed that the guidance counselors also need help because they cannot find the time to input all the data they need to into the computer system such as grades and transcript information and still evaluate and assist student needs.

It sounds as if it is not an adminisrator they need, but rather a data entry clerk. Someone could come into the system in a much more cost-effective position to assist the guidance office with these computer jobs so that they can focus on contact with students. That someone does not have to come into the mix at an administrative salary level. Or, if a data entry clerk is not really what's needed, then perhaps an additional guidance counselor is appropriate.

At the school, each counselor is assisgned 408 students. That is a daunting number to be sure and it is quite unrealistic to think that the these individuals can do their jobs effectively with those high numbers.

A fourth counselor would alleviate some of the burden and provide much more value to the student body than will one Dean of Students who, quite frankly, unless they are Superman, will never fulfill all of the responsibilities on the job description while dealing with a student body numbering 1,607 at last count.

Additional teachers, counselors and hands-on workers are what is needed; not the addition of another administrator. Add to the needed staff efforts to equalize the two high schools and reduce the number of students and things will run much more smoothly.

This additional position just creates another bureacratic level and increases the frustration of overworked staff.

 
 
 

 

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