Superintendent’s Report April 2005


            The Creswell School Board met with me and reviewed input from the 2004-2005 Superintendent Evaluation on March 16, 2005.  The summary prepared by Chair Freske listed numerous anecdotal comments from the administrators and board members who completed the evaluation instrument.  Chair Freske also concluded her review with a set of final recommendations which I will discuss below in this response.


            1.  K-12 approach in budgeting. 

                        A.  Budget communications, information sharing, and joint training between buildings.


1. A. Response.  The comments made during the evaluation preceded the budget discussion held earlier in the evening of March 16 before the Budget Board.  I believe most board members would agree now that the whole budget process is predicated on joint decision making amongst the administrative council which includes the building principals, the SpEd Director, and the Business Manager.  Input from Site Councils, the Finance Committee and other strategic needs of the district are also taken into consideration so there is more information sharing behind the scenes perhaps than what has been perceived.  We are open to improvements such as the preliminary budget board meetings, public forums, etc.


                        B.  Business Manager to attend all administrator meetings.


1. B. Response.  The Business Manager has attended all meetings for the past two months and will continue to be welcome at our meetings where the BM has an interest or need to attend by either the administrators or the BM.


            2.  Work to improve K-3 reading.


2.  Response.  K-3 Reading is certainly on our radar for consideration. Right now we are in the process of completing the district’s Continuous Improvement Plan (CIP) for 2004-2007.  ODE only finalized the process for 04-07 this month so it has taken some time to get organized.  We will be attending CIP training in April, we will have most budget needs for CIP in place during the month of May and the final draft completed by October, or earlier if possible.  While reading seems a likely target, our district is weak in state math assessments as well.

            My first concern is to find a reliable assessment model to evaluate all the relevant data.  We will have math and reading information from longitudinal state test scores, longitudinal grades given to students, nationally-normed tests and reports, and some data from our own criterion-referenced assessment base.  If all the indicators point to a need to address reading and/or math we then have to refine our needs and determine a strategy to attack the problem(s).  The types of remedies are boundless, most require staff training, monitored practice and a sustained means of determining the impact.



            3.  Request an internal review of district athletic programs.


3.  Response.  I believe a k-12 review of athletics is appropriate.  I’d rather the review include members of the community however as opposed to an “internal” review.  I’d also like the review to include extracurricular activities in general.

            I would like to see the board establish an Extracurricular Review Committee and model the process similar to the Labor Management Committee charges.  The committee should include a board member, the AD, the HS and MS principals, extracurricular coaches from both buildings, students from both buildings, FAS representation, Booster Club representation, and parents.  Suggested areas for discussion:

            a.         Review existing board policy regarding extracurriculars at MS and HS

            b.         Review Title IX requirements and compliance issues

            c.         Review all activity rules as issued by individual coaches

            d.         Review all building handbooks relative to activity participation

            e.         Review lettering requirements

            f.          Review discipline codes

            g.         Review funding

            h.         Consider collective sports activities with the city and youth programs


Other items.


1.  Technology Department review.  I have met with Mr. Higdon and Mrs. Heiss regarding this matter.  Mr. Higdon is pursuing bids from contacts with expertise in tech reviews.  Mrs. Heiss is assisting and we hope to have a thorough examination of the program early this summer.


2.  School Office Management review.  I am not sure what would be accomplished by such a review.  School offices were included in the Heligman Report done two years ago and a number of efficiencies were enacted and we are still working on others, namely in the area of Pentamation and streamlining paperwork.


3.  Transportation review.  I had asked the Finance Committee to look at our transportation and tech departments as candidates for a review.  Mrs. Heiss collected data which indicates our transportation costs are below state average and quite efficient.  Based on that we did not pursue a transportation study although I do support some kind of regional study to determine if we could not be more efficient on a county- or region-wide basis.


4.  Attend Finance Committee Meetings.  I typically do not attend these meetings.  I do check with the chair before each meeting and I often have items for their consideration.  I always attend meetings if there is something they want me to share with them.


5.  Guidelines for maintenance and custodial staff.  When Willamette ESD reviewed our custodian and maintenance departments in 2001, they provided us with a maintenance schedule along with staffing recommendations which we implemented.  We will sit down with the head custodian and head maintenance people to review that report.