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NKSD developing new method of superintendent evaluation

POULSBO — There’s work being done improve the way the superintendent is evaluated in the North Kitsap School District.

The school board, specifically Cindy Webster-Martinson and Beth Worthington, have worked to establish a more efficient evaluation tool for the future.

“What it came down to is that we needed something better than what we had,” board President Dan Weedin said.

The board and Superintendent Patty Page wanted a more consistent and sustainable method of evaluation, Weedin said.

The new evaluation process will be more data-oriented.

In the past — at least since Weedin was appointed in 2009 and Richard Jones was superintendent — the superintendent would receive goals before the school year began. At the end of the year, the superintendent would describe how he or she met those goals. The board would then either agree or disagree.

The new evaluation will be more like the evaluation of teachers and principals.

“We don’t really have anything,” Page said. “I’m not used to not having a tool to know what I will be evaluated on.”

The tool will be selected from the Washington State School Directors’ Association. The association has a branch titled Leadership Development Services, which includes superintendent evaluations.

Weedin said it felt like the same goals and objectives the board put in place for Page two years ago were still in place during the 2013-14 school year. Webster-Martinson and Worthington challenged the board to improve the evaluation process, Weedin said.

Not having goals and objectives for 2013-14 was a “critical step” the board missed, North Kitsap Education Association co-President Chris Fraser said during the June 26 board meeting.

“As best I can tell, there were no goals and objectives for the ’13-14 school year. I assume it was based on the superintendent’s first year.”

She continued, “An annual look at goals and objectives is critical. Just like our educators … using a solid set of metrics (data) as you evaluate superintendent performance.”

The directors’ association lists 10 ways superintendent evaluations “won’t work,” including lack of community input; lack of attention to results; unstated expectations; and divided board voice.

According to a report by the association in 2011, onefourth of all boards did not evaluate their superintendents on an annual basis.

The board extended Page’s contract earlier in the year. The board approved the rest of Page’s contract during the June 26 meeting.

Because Page’s contract is approved, the changes to the evaluation methods will begin in the coming year.

The “timing is perfect,” Weedin said. Page is less than one month into this term.

The new evaluation tool will be presented to the board late this month, according to Worthington.

“I think it is going to benefit everybody,” Worthington said in a voice message to the Herald. She added that, personally, she would like to see the board evaluated, too.

 

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