Board Receives Progress Report From Superintendent
By Michael McInnis Staff Reporter · August 01, 2012
Prior to their official evaluation of the Superintendent of School's performance, over the past year, the School Committee received a self-evaluation report from current Superintendent, Robert Tremblay.
The report, presented at the June 21 meeting, details the Superintendent's progress in meeting the 2011-2012 goal, set forth by the Committee last August.
A number of specific areas of responsibility were addressed in the report, including: Personnel Management; Curriculum & Instruction Assessment/Management; MCAS performance; Professional Development; and Budget concerns. Under each heading, Tremblay outlined the original goal, evidence of progress and current status.
Under Personnel Management, the Committee had asked for a more consistent process for filling staff vacancies and in the hiring of new staff members. Tremblay had addressed their concerns with a presentation of a new policy, in October of last year, which the Board voted to approve.
As part of the Personnel Management goal, the Superintendent was asked to schedule "routine one-on-one meetings with school principals and Central Office staff, to resolve problems and to create improved communication. Tremblay noted that "standing weekly meetings" were initiated as of September 12, 2011.
At his annual review, in September of last year, Tremblay was tasked by the Board to assume a more active and hands-on role in assessing curriculum and instruction. "There's been a lot of work done on this year, in terms of my better understanding it," Tremblay said. This [was] a very eye-opening experience for me ... to really see where our systems were broken." He noted that his better understanding was due to "a lot of conversations with people, direct observation and reviewing of data." Going forward, the curriculum assessment will take on even greater importance, in light of the elimination of several Curriculum Supervisor positions, as a result of budget reductions.
Tremblay addressed the MCAS performance goal with a reminder that Massachusetts has since received a "No Child Left Behind" program flexibility waiver, which essentially eliminates the need to meet Federal MCAS progress guidelines. "MCAS is working on being phased-out, in exchange for ... more of a focus on college and career readiness," he noted. Though no longer bound by MCAS mandates, "there's going to be another standardized measure in there," he said. Review of previous MCAS scores will remain a part of the analysis in determining areas for improvement.
The Alternative Pathways pilot program, in it's first year at the high school, was deemed a success, according to Tremblay. "We're very proud of the work that's been happening with this program." The Pathways program offers students an opportunity to reclaim missed academic credits through an alternative classroom setting. Beginning with the next school year, the program will also provide internship opportunities within the community.
To streamline the Professional Development calendar, Tremblay initiated a series of exit surveys, which helped in determining the needs and effectiveness of various Professional Development offerings. The Professional Development calendar was also tweaked, to minimize the impact on student classroom time.
To satisfy the Board's request for a more detailed accounting of individual school and department budgets, Tremblay has developed a Budget Development time-line and a schedule of "budget defense" meetings, which were previously distributed to the School Committee.
The School Superintendent also presented a District Strategic Plan, which he termed "a collaborative blueprint for district improvement and professional development" for the school years 2012-2014.
The blueprint addressed various topics, including plans for achieving/maintaining accreditation for Milford's schools; the make-up and responsibilities of the new Curriculum Committee; the adaptation of a new "educator evaluation tool" for both teachers and for the Superintendent, himself; goals for a Bullying-Prevention and Intervention curriculum and the introduction of a dance program, to complement existing fine and performing arts programs at Milford High School.
The Strategic Plan also touched on: the ELL (English Language Learners) program; Technology issues; health and wellness and the creation of a web-based "MHS Alumni Office."