First report on Camden schools submitted
CAMDEN Camden's state-appointed school superintendent presented his first annual report to the state's top education officials Wednesday at a meeting off all state-operated-district superintendents.
Camden joined state-operated districts Newark, Paterson, and Jersey City in August when Paymon Rouhanifard was appointed by Education Commissioner Chris Cerf. Rouhanifard, 32, used feedback from his 100-day listening tour, statistics compiled by the district, test scores, and results of a survey given to students last year for the presentation in Trenton before the Department of Education.
In a PowerPoint presentation provided by the district, Rouhanifard cites grim statistics known well to the city by now - like a 53 percent graduation rate and the finding that one-third of students surveyed wish they attended a different school. He also mentions positive findings, such as survey results showing nearly 90 percent of students say their families want them to do well in school.
Rouhanifard also outlined coming changes to the district, including a pilot program offering dinner at six after-school programs. Of the district's 15,000 students, 95 percent qualify for free or reduced lunch.
Rouhanifard also mentioned the ongoing safe corridors program partnership with the Camden County Police Metro Division and a new initiative to set up parent and community centers in four wards to offer academic resources outside of classrooms to families.
Since he was appointed, Rouhanifard said in the presentation, the district has hired five new principals, filled all faculty vacancies, and installed 100 new security cameras, among other actions taken.
He did not provide specifics on his next steps but has said those will be detailed in his strategic plan, which he will release this month.
- Julia Terruso