(See “official update” from Superintendent Sancha Gray below.)
This morning Asbury Park teachers and students arrived at district schools for classes, only to find that the Central Office had decided to close the district for the day.
Why? Because 45 teachers called in sick and substitutes weren’t available. [Update: The number of teachers who took a sick day is higher than 45, possibly double that.]
According to sources, this was not a job action by the Asbury Park Education Association but, rather, a spontaneous protest. Reasons vary: the School Board’s appointment of Rashawn Adams as Acting Superintendent Wednesday night (who also called in sick today), Tuesday’s suspension of popular principal Reginald Mirthil, or low morale among staff members distressed at the direction of the district.
Typically districts will notify families and staff members when school is cancelled but the notice didn’t go out until 7:45 this morning when students and staff were mid-arrival.
All teachers and assistants stayed in school until parents/guardians picked up the children. One source noted that not a single administrator from the Central Office came to any school building to help manage the process of a sudden district closure.
Tonight was supposed to be the high school prom. Reportedly the prom will be cancelled as well.
One source said, “this Administration is so weak. Between [Lamont] Repollet and [outgoing superintendent Sancha] Gray, we’ve had it. And now we get Adams? No way.”
Another source said, “Reggie Mirthil is a real principal–his performance is based on results not marketing and tweets. He shows real oversight and it’s not about his personal glory. He’s about the kids.”
This source added, “if the Central Office actually cared about kids, they would be in the buildings with us managing a chaotic dismissal this morning, not on the beach or wherever they are.”
Update: This is a message sent out by outgoing Superintendent Sancha Gray this afternoon: