School board considers new superintendent rating system

School board considers new superintendent rating system

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Elwood Superintendent Ken Bossert. File photo by Elana Glowatz

The Port Jefferson school board could change the way it evaluates the district superintendent.

Board members approved a first reading of proposed policy updates that would change their schedule for meeting with the superintendent to discuss district goals and to receive updates, resulting in more communication, and would change the rating scale for the administrator’s performance to one similar to the statewide teacher evaluation scale — with scores of highly effective, effective, developing and ineffective.

After accepting its first reading during the board meeting on May 12, the board may vote to adopt the new policy at its next session.

Under current policy, the board must hold a minimum of two evaluation meetings with the superintendent: one midway through the school year and the other toward its end. But the proposed changes would require a first meeting between the board and the superintendent during the summer, for the parties to discuss goals for the new school year. They would meet again in January to go over progress and, after the board convenes to discuss the superintendent’s performance, the members would meet with him again in May or June. Along the way, from September to May, according to the draft of the updated policy, the superintendent would provide “regular updates to the board regarding progress toward goals” and would submit a self-evaluation in April or May.

Rather than relying on an evaluation scale that employs percentiles, the proposed rating scale would assign the superintendent a ranking in various categories — his relationships with the school board, the community and the staff; business and finance; instructional leadership; and district results — as well as an overall rating.

If the school board revises the policy, some pieces of it will not change: The board would still have to vote upon a superintendent’s ratings and provide explanations for them, and the superintendent would retain the right to add his comments to the evaluation for the record.