Superintendent to lead Board

The Board’s two hour work session Tuesday night was for the purpose of the Board establishing their goals for the district. The Board and Superintendent established seven goals last fall:

• Ensure the primary focus of schools is on the quality of experiences provided to students;

• Advocate for the needs and interests of students;

• Act as good stewards of public resources;

• Model a culture of honesty, morality, transparency and collaboration;

• Ensure responsible and flexible use of district resources;

• Develop in the community common understandings of the problems and challenges facing the school district; and

• Promote and model open communication between and among students, district staff and community.

Superintendent Katie Brochu, with the support of her cabinet members, introduced a goal graph that integrated the above goals with the recommendations of the state accreditation team and the suggestions from the Superintendent’s review last October.

At the end of the presentation and questions, Mike Montgomery addressed the Board as facilitator of the meeting. Montgomery, an attorney who negotiated the Superintendent’s employment contract with the District in 2010, stood before the Board as a former Board member with extensive experience in Board goal setting. He encouraged the Board to look at the seven goals that were approved six months ago and see that they fit the role of a Board – remembering that the Superintendent and her staff will establish the strategy and evaluation method of reaching each goal.

In a paper, “Engaging The Board,” Schlechty supports the idea that the superintendent should lead the school board in setting goals.  Montgomery, as facilitator, echoed these same Schlechty goals. Schlechty gives superintendents 10 actions that will support their role in leading school boards. Yet, parents vote for school board members thinking those members will lead the district — not the other way around.

A future work session to continue to refine the Board’s goals will be determined at the regular Board meeting next Tuesday. Chairman Bill Fleming said he hoped to have Montgomery lead again.

Fleming confirmed at the end of this meeting that the Board has accepted the Superintendent’s responses to them regarding her review. He said it is accurate to say that she received a favorable review. He also told The Voice that the requested “comprehensive detailed professional expense report,” that has not yet been released, is of no interest to him personally. He said that while the professional development expenses may be of interest to individual Board members it is not of concern to the Board at large and the lack of a report or an inaccurate report will not be of concern to the Board from this point forward. He also said that a professional development expense report had not been requested or of interest in the past. However, the metrics used in the large goal graph from the District Tuesday night to measure success of goals, included the production of a professional development expense report. It is safe to assume that upon review, this will not be a priority for the current Chairman.

The Board will hold a regular scheduled meeting Tuesday night, March 26 at Conder Elementary.

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