Little Egg Harbor to Hire Special Education Supervisor

Reports to Director of Special Services
By RICK MELLERUP | Jul 30, 2019

Little Egg Harbor Township — Some members of the community have been predicting that the Little Egg Harbor School District would be hiring an assistant director of special education since its director of special services, Erin Lichtenwalner, also became the director of special education at the Pinelands Regional School District through a shared service agreement in March.

Lichtenwalner, they said, would simply have too much work on her hands.

They were proven prescient on Monday, July 22 when the LEHSD Board of Education unanimously approved the creation of a new job description. It’s not for an assistant director of special services but rather for a “special services supervisor.” Some say tomato, some say tomahto, but critics are saying it is the same thing.

The job opening has already been posted.

The position requires a valid New Jersey supervisor, school administrator or principal certification. Applicants will also need a teacher of the handicapped certification or a students with disabilities endorsement.

It is preferred that applicants have special education teaching experience and child study team experience, indeed a minimum of five years experience in special education.

The person who gets the job will report to the director of special services. He or she will supervise “instructional, support, and non-certified staff, and related service providers as assigned.”

The job goal is “to provide leadership in the development, implementation and coordination of the district’s special education programs.”

The job description lists 19 distinct performance responsibilities. A few of them include:

“Works with principals, supervisors, subject matter specialists, child study team, related service professionals, and teachers in supporting all students and developing and implementing special education programs and services.”

“Assists in the implementation of the district’s in-service education program for the instructional staff and support staff. Recommends teacher and support staff attendance at conferences and participation in other professional growth activities.”

“Collaborates with the director of special services to guarantee the effective and efficient data collection and IEP date management, preparation and submission of required state/federal funding applications and other reports, enrollment, placement, staffing, student attendance, new student placement, initial referrals, re-evaluation de-classification, early intervention cases, related services, transportation, and home-instruction.”

“Schedules and organizes grade level and departmental meetings in order to effect horizontal and vertical continuity and articulation of the instructional and/or special education programs of the schools.”

It is clear the new position is far more than a secretary or administrative assistant.

No salary range was listed in either the job description or the job posting. Instead the job description says the salary for the 12-month position will be determined by the board of education.

At the same meeting, the board also unanimously approved Lichtenwalner’s shared service agreement for the 2019-2020 school year, retroactive to July 1. It calls for the Pinelands District to pay the Little Egg Harbor District $70,000 plus 50-percent of Lichtenwalner’s health benefits and qualifying expenses.

One of the reasons Melissa McCooley, the superintendent of schools for both districts under another shared service agreement, has been pushing shared services is cost savings for both districts. But considering the new position requires so many certifications and experience, it is likely the person getting the job will be paid close to or more than $70,000. The Little Egg Harbor School District would be responsible for all of the new employee’s benefits. So asking where the cost-savings are for Little Egg Harbor in sharing Lichtenwalner, seems a fair question.

McCooley explained at the meeting that the position was basically being funded by the state.

“This is being funded due to the fact that we, very surprisingly, received an excess in funds in our special ed extraordinary aid. That’s money that we received back for some of the money we put out for some services. So we were able to create this supervisor of special education. It will help with the observation, caseload and just some things in the department. And once again, if the money doesn’t exist next year, the position will end. But for now, we were able to fund that position.”

— Rick Mellerup

rickmellerup@thesandpaper.net

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