School board trains for new evaluation system

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By Felicia Gray

The LaRue County Board of Education met July 22 for a special training session on the new superintendent evaluation system for the upcoming year.

Though the system is far from finished, board members wanted to get a head start by meeting with Bill Sadler with the Kentucky School Boards Association to discuss effective superintendent evaluations and to give members an idea of the evaluation tools that will be used in the new system.

In the training session, Sadler stressed the importance of the Board clearly stating their expectations for their superintendent.

 “If you’re holding your teachers and principles accountable, you need to hold your superintendent accountable,” said Sadler.

“…There’s no way to hold him responsible unless he knows what you expect of him.”

Another key point he made was to present a united front to the public on all issues and including the superintendent in their goal-making process.

“If you’re not helping the superintendent, you’re hurting the district,” said Sadler, going on to say that Board members should especially protect him from those who may have “their own agenda.”

Sadler told the Board not to make the mistake of letting any one event, positive or negative, influence the entire evaluation, stating that it should be a reflection of his overall performance.

“Don’t look at just the negative, we want to encourage the good as well,” he said.

Sadler said the biggest change in the process is that the Board will have to upload numerous documents supporting their evaluation. Many of the Board members also suggested doing the evaluations more often than just once per year, possibly either quarterly or twice per year.

The tools used to evaluate the superintendent have not been finalized, but when they are, the Board will have the choice to either choose one of the two pre-made tools by Kentucky Department of Education’s Superintendent Professional Growth and Effectiveness System (SPEGS) or KSBA’s revised model or they can try to create their own — which Sadler discourages because of the lengthy process. The Board will be able to adjust the tool of their choosing as needed, with KDE’s approval.

According to the material provided, KSBA expects the Board to notify KDE about which tool they choose in October.