By: Jeffrey Xiang — Editor-in-Chief
The School Committee has decided to change the social studies coordinator position into a facilitator position at both the middle school and high school for the following school year.
While the other coordinator positions will remain the same, the Social Studies coordinator position was changed to save approximately $27,000 in an attempt to help balance the budget. The new facilitators will pick up additional classes.
The change will take effect next year says Sharon High School Principal Joe Scozzaro. This comes following the retirement of longtime social studies coordinator Chuck Fazzio at the end of this school year.
Fazzio says that the curriculum coordinators have a wide range of responsibilities for their respective departments at both the middle school and high school. “As a coordinator, I am responsible for a portion of the teacher evaluations, the hiring of teachers, scheduling courses, and oversight of the curriculum so that year to year there’s a sequence and the history flows as you move from course to course,” said Fazzio.
“The coordinators are responsible for assisting with scheduling and room assignments. We’re in charge of ordering books and materials throughout the year for the staff. We’re in charge of professional development for the department and running professional development opportunities,” added Fazzio.
The social studies coordinator is also responsible for overseeing the creation of new electives, like the Black Experience and Documentary courses that will run next year, says Fazzio.
In addition, the coordinators also deal with all types of concerns from others, says Fazzio. “We deal with student and parent concerns as well as central office concerns from the superintendent on down,” added Fazzio.
In regards to the current situation, the District is facing a budget shortfall for the coming year, meaning that tough cuts had to be made. So, while the change to the social studies coordinator position is a major one, the District was able to keep the other four coordinators as a result, says Fazzio.
For next year, there will be a social studies facilitator who runs department meetings and oversees the curriculum at the high school in addition to teaching classes. The same role will also be present at the middle school. However, this is expected to be just a temporary fix until the budget situation is resolved.
Fazzio adds that the only potential pitfall he sees is with teacher evaluations. “The building administration is going to have to pick up the people that I would normally evaluate because the facilitator will not be an evaluator, so that is the only other change,” said Fazzio.
Overall, coordinators have been a useful resource for many students. Senior Rahem Hamid says that he has always had a great experience with the coordinators at the high school. “With those I have interacted with, they have all been incredibly helpful,” said Hamid.
Ultimately, the budget deficit meant changes had to be made, and as Fazzio explains, “the right thing to do was to try to save as many jobs and positions as we could.”