The Asbury Park Education Association sent out a mid-year climate survey to its 375 members asking their opinions of the leadership of the district, the level of staff and student morale, whether the school community feels safe, and other questions, ending with, “What are some suggestions to improve the morale of the district?” Of the total APEA membership, 172 staff filled out the complete survey, an impressive return rate of 49.1%
NJ Education Report received the results last night from 4 sources who wish to remain anonymous.
Answers to the last question are voluminous so we have organized them into sections in order to avoid redundancy.
Here are the results:
Compared to this time last year, as an employee of the Asbury Park school district, do you feel that the school district’s morale has:
Remained the same: 16.3%
As an employee of the Asbury Park school district, do you feel that you have the necessary resources and materials (technology, supplies, curriculum materials) to effectively do your job?
I do not have what I need to effectively perform my job: 47.7%
I somewhat have what I need to effectively perform my job: 37.2%
Yes, I have what I need to effectively perform my job: 15.1%
As an employee of Asbury Park school district, I feel:
Not supported at all: 39%:
Under supported: 39.5%:
Somewhat supported: 16.9%:
Adequately supported: 4.6%
Are you aware of the Superintendent’s Goals and Objectives for the Asbury Park school district?
Do you feel that COVID-19 protocols, precautions, and guidelines are followed within the Asbury Park school district?
Do you feel comfortable speaking up and advocating for students without the fear of retaliation?
Not comfortable at all: 71.5%
Somewhat comfortable: 22.7%
Yes, very comfortable: 5.8%
Do you feel comfortable speaking up and advocating for yourself without the fear of retaliation?
Not comfortable at all: 81.2%
Somewhat comfortable: 14%
Yes, very comfortable: 4.6%
Do you feel that the district classroom walk-throughs have helped your practice?
I have never received any feedback: 62.8%
The feedback has not helped me at all: 31.41%
The feedback has somewhat helped me: 5.2%
Yes, the feedback I have received has helped me: 0.6%
Do you feel that your most recent observations were fair?
My observation scores and feedback were fair: 36%
My observation scores and feedback were not fair at all: 34.3%
My observation scores and feedback were somewhat fair: 23.3%
Yes, my observation and feedback exceeded my expectation and will benefit my professional growth: 6.4%
The open-ended question is this: What are some suggestions to improve the morale of the district?
Concerns about the well-being of Asbury Park students:
We need to stop passing and graduating large numbers of failing and non-attending students and stop faking our graduation rates. We need to be honest about our dismal performance as a district, take whatever hit we must take and start anew with meaningful programs that are effective.
We are told to not retain any students and there are students who cannot read and get promoted. We have no resources to help these students.
Helping teachers (who have been asking for a long time) create meaningful life skills programs for our 7-12 grade students. We have the ability and funding to do so, however, it has yet to not only be fully supported, but implemented. All of the school districts around us has managed to do so effectively, yet we continue to fall behind. Our students deserve more.
Where’s the educational equity, Mr. Adams?? Give our students what they deserve! If they lived in a different town, they would get what they need. We don’t even have Art in Grades K-3, just fraudulent grades on a report card. Our Kindergarten classrooms have no paraprofessionals even though this is a TITLE I requirement. Our children have no Band or Music in grades 7-12, no Reading or Math specialist, support or intervention programs, no Structured Learning Experiences (program or coach), lacking appropriate special education programs like Life Skills, POR, no reading and math interventions, not enough chromebooks, visible mold in classrooms! But we have intruders in the building walking the halls? Where is the ESSER funding and why aren’t we paying to support our student’s learning loss and staff and student safety?
Improve the food for the students. I know that most of the students are poor, that does not mean we have to feed them such poor quality food. Enforce school rules consistently for all students, students and staff know that certain rules do not apply fo some students and it breeds resentment. The adults (administration and staff) are here for the students, but our students have low morale, try to get the students involved in fun activities. Fix up the facilities (bathrooms and classrooms were going to be painted, we were told, but nothing happened).
We are not properly servicing the Lation population of Asbury Park. They are treated very poorly and there are not enough individuals to service them in this district. It is horrible!
Provide us with the staff, materials, and training we need to have a safe and effective classroom. More support is needed for staff in all areas, and especially for students, including interventionists to address learning losses due to the pandemic. All other districts are able to provide SO many more supports for their staff & students, and they care too, having less money allocated to them.
Allow teachers and staff the support needed for SPEC Ed and ELL students by providing substitute teachers/staff and not pulling support teachers/staff, Provide teachers with built in time to collaborate with colleagues to help our students, ie. team-based CPT/PD time to discuss student concerns/programs, teacher input on schedules/programs prior to beginning of school year.
I work in the High School. The morale there is not good at all. I personally stay positive and happy, but the students are very down. They know, and tell me, that the district is not concerned with them at all. I have been told by so many students they don’t care because nobody cares about them. The Dream Academy [for advanced students] gets so much focus, and everyone else is insignificant in their eyes. We need to LIFT everyone up. From Dream to Special Education and beyond.
The halls of the HS are sad, the bathroom are absolutely disgusting, the food for the students is often inedible. I bring soup for my students so they can have something decent to eat. We have no clubs for students, no PBSIS, no incentives for bettering themselves. It has become a very sad state. My heart breaks for our students and staff. We can brighten up the halls, paint the bathrooms, little things go a long way. We also need to celebrate students! All the time, everyday. THIS is why we are here. THEY need us to lift them up.
I think morale in the middle school grades would improve if we were able to develop a stronger sense of identity. There are still no non-athletic after school activities available to middle school students within their own building immediately after school— it’s sports and detention, and that’s it. That’s not fair to these students.
There is no ART special for elementary students K-3, which is unacceptable. All the money the district receives and the spending in so many ways and art was taken away from our students. Regular ed teachers are supposed to “infuse” it into their day which is not appropriate. Firstly, they do not have the education nor certification and to say that doesn’t matter is unfortunate. Art is important; in other districts they are shocked to hear that Asbury Park has eliminated it for our students. Art is a critical component in the development of every child. Secondly, classroom teachers do not have the time. They are trying to close tremendous gaps in learning for our students and are stretched way too thin.
With respect to the semester system: it makes no sense for seventh and eighth grade students and it needs to be done away with. If so few of our students are meeting grade level benchmarks in reading and math, why do they only have English language arts for half the year?
JUST DO WHAT IS RIGHT FOR STUDENTS STOP MAKING THIS ABOUT CENTRAL MOVING UP THE RANKS! Stop making us all afraid of our jobs and to speak up for our students –they deserve better !
Comments on Superintendent Rashawn Adams:
CLEAN HOUSE IMMEDIATELY & INVESTIGATE CENTRAL OFFICES INTENTIONS. The super has no vision whatsoever other than to micromanage every aspect of the school district. You can see how well that’s working out.
The board told this community they were doing a nationwide search for a superintendent. How do we end up with the guy who nobody else wanted? The guy who never made it in any other district including our own? Until we take the politics out of this district things will only worsen.
I have never seen the district in such shambles. It is an absolute shit show and hot mess. We need a new superintendent now not Mr. Adams. He couldn’t even run a school as a principal.
Remove Adams and anyone associated with him as well as the state monitor and BOE members who support him.
Get rid of the clown in charge. He’s an absolute atrocity for this district. He got thrown out of Trenton, thrown out of Franklin, thrown out of Queens Charter School, got thrown out of Newark. Need I go on about “passing the trash”? What is wrong with this Board allowing this to happen. I really hope someone listens.
I believe he is misunderstood and receives a lot of unnecessary disrespect. The “angry black man” portrayal of him is whack! I would like him to be more visible in the buildings not just during school event photo ops. I would like him to come around have convos and even ask teachers, “hey what do you need”? I think that will give him a better understanding of what we need to feel more supported and help him build relationships.
Remove all of the Central office employees including but not limited to Dr. Adams. Someone needs to do checks on the previous districts he did not receive tenure in, especially Franklin.
The Superintendent leaving would improve morale greatly.
All Mr. Adams has done is cause great destruction in our district. No wonder we are losing students to other schools. Investigate the BOE and their illegal practices. Hire a new qualified superintendent. Mr. Adams is a failed 3x principal. He needs to go or the district will continue to go on a downward spiral.
I wish the new superintendent would communicate, send us a happy new year letter, and or introduce the new staff members at central office. We have a new director of special services who no one even knows. Central office has no communication with anyone.
Eliminate the superintendent and all of the central office personnel
All upper management needs to be removed by the state immediately or this district will completely fall apart.
This superintendent hates us. He completely made the morale of the entire district go down the tubes. He screwed up the Middle School and now he’s really screwing up the district, the kids and the staff.
Worst superintendent ever
The Superintendent is not a good leader. He knows morale is low in the district. He should be the one bringing us together. This will not get any better. Leadership reflects attitude.
What are the Superintendent’s goals? Why does he have such a chip on his shoulder for this place?
Since Dr. Adams started his duties as superintendent (supported by a silent board and state monitor) morale has never been at such a low, and one person allowed to make decisions that negatively impact the health and welfare of staff and students – physically and mentally. Sad this is tolerated and everyone just has to take the abuse.
Comments on nepotism, including legacy of former Superintendent Lamont Repollet (who left to become Gov. Murphy’s Education Commissioner and is now president of Kean University):
Fire or replace each and every appointment with a connection to Dr. Repolett (Asbury’s own PT Barnum). Stop the Kean University, Plainfield, Carteret pipeline for jobs. Please rid us of this racist crony of Dr. Repollet.
We are all tired of Dr. Repollett’s political circus continuing to perform in Asbury Park. We have been left with Dr. Repollett’s cast offs- How embarrassing for our district to accept such inferior leaders for our kids.
What’s up with more Kean people. The only way to move up is to have a Kean Degree. Such a joke and soooo Lamont Repollet. I guess it’s true. He really is still running the show from afar.
Most recently new admins are being approved at the next board meeting, one cannot but assume they are being hired due to nepotism or fraternity brotherhood connections, to collect an inflated paycheck. The pot has been spoiled, and unless the super, board, and ineffective state monitor resign themselves, staff will never have confidence, a voice in change, or respect for leadership efforts. Very sad.
The APSD needs to be taken over by educators, not bullies who have a past criminal record, were asked to leave their prior district, are part of the Repellot team that is vindictive and evil.
The only way to make it in this district is if you’re connected to the right sorority/fraternity. Principals chose to back up their “friends“ instead of valuing the work and efforts of the good employees.
Get rid of the current administration that is all about their egos and promoting people of their fraternity and sorority and Kean University alumni. Bring in qualified administration that care about the students, faculty and staff and this school district. The current administration are a bunch of egomaniacs that could care less about the faculty, a little about the kids but mostly about their pocketbooks and hiring their unqualified friends and associates.
This Superintendent does not care one bit about the well being of this district or the staff. He keeps hiring his cronies to fill the spots instead of looking at the qualified staff from within.
The district’s central administration is about smoke and mirrors and what can they extract from this district. This is a stepping stone district where you can skew numbers to make them favorable so you can get a better position. We have seen this with the prior two superintendents and they promoted their cronies. The state has allowed this to go on, but it affects the morale when the staff sees this and there is no real improvement made in the Asbury Park School District.
Please clear out the nepotistic crew in the central office. Put in experienced leaders and not political hacks.
This is the most combative atmosphere I have ever worked in my life and I’ve been working for 35 years. This is such a shame it’s come down to this atmosphere being the worst it’s ever become. I absolutely hate it here and hate this profession anymore. Wipe out all these people involved with Repollet and start over.
Comments on State-appointed monitor Carole Morris:
Fire the state monitor who does nothing & hire permanent subs. & basic skills teachers with that money.
Get an effective monitor that actually does something other than watch CNN in the office all day. The state should fire the monitor. And maybe the county super. He signed off the sham of a contract for Adams.
I am embarrassed for our district and feel horrible for how many good staff members who being used and hurt. The whole entire board and state monitor needs to be help accountable for letting this go this far. I have no idea how the state has not yet come in and shut this place down. I am beyond sad that these uneducated people have gotten this far by doing absolutely nothing.
Enough is enough! We need a new State Fiscal Monitor and a forensic accountant to dig down deep and see where the money is actually being spent.
Remove the State monitor and superintendent immediately to give our district a chance to survive.
Concerns about walk-throughs for evaluative purposes by up to 10 administrators at a time.
The supervisors have said that their hands are tied and they have been told by the superintendent what numbers to give teachers on evaluations.
First, we have way too many central office administrators. Second, “educational walkthroughs” are nothing more than a “gotcha” experience. The one time I received feedback it did not reflect what was actually happening in my classroom. The walk throughs are disruptive and major distraction! Also, morale would improve if qualified people got the positions they deserve. 3.5 years classroom teaching does not qualify you to properly lead. Lastly, morale might improve if the district stops embarrassing their teachers. Crying racism when bloggers write factual articles does nothing for morale!
More positive feedback. The only time we get consistent feedback is when it’s negative. As teachers we constantly feel like we need to be careful not to say or do something that will get you “in trouble.” Personally it makes me feel like a child being overseen by a strict parent. It’s hard to teach when you’re worried about what you’re doing wrong.
The walkthroughs are demeaning. We need a superintendent that is professional and supportive and trustworthy.
Walk throughs should not feel so intimidating. It is not necessary to have so many administrators coming into the classroom. It makes the students feel uneasy.
I feel supported in Asbury Park.
There is nothing the school can do now as the new leadership is out to destroy everyone. The entire district is lacking in skills in leadership, and the few staff that are working with them to destroy teachers is scary. I would never tell anyone to teach here or even send their child here for a good education. We are a joke and I am disgusted that we have been treated this way by people who were handed a job they should never ever have had. We are in a bad situation as a district, and if no one steps in to help us, I am afraid our staff will shut down completely. I am asking for all voices to be heard, and for the leadership to step down.
No idea where to begin. The worst I have ever experienced in 30 years in the system.
We need to feel valued and respected. . Depression among teachers is at an all time high. We are depressed and broken.
I can not believe how far down the drain we went in the last 6 months.
Well, how about dropping napalm on the district and we start over. What a mess we’re in right now.
Normalize collaboration and cancel authoritarianism. Being micromanaged and threatened by scoring low in evaluation seems like an agenda to make it parallel as to why the student are underperforming. Administration have purposely scored all the teachers average to below average to cover up the achievement gaps of the students. All the while, we all know that resources are not provided and that support is minimal.
We are in year 3 of a pandemic and there is no clear communication from the superintendent as to what is going on in the district. Other districts have dashboards on their website, send home weekly COVID report letters and so on. We have nothing. Zero communication from central office. This has been requested several times but seems to have been ignored.