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Kingsland explores options for principal and superintendent

Fri, Mar 12th, 2010
Posted in Education

The Kingsland School Board workshop session was held Monday night and progress was made on three very important issues.

The first item under consideration was the board's agreement on advertising for a superintendent, replacing Darrin Strosahl who has resigned and taken a position in another district. There were various suggestions brought forth by board members as to the duties of a superintendent and where that person should be located. It was also asked by members if the superintendent could assume other duties in the district as well. Mitch Lentz told members that when they interview for a superintendent these questions can be asked and considered. They also discussed hiring a consultant to search for a superintendent as they did last time with Strosahl. There was some thought that the district should save the money on a consultant and perform this function themselves. After several minutes of discussion they decided to put the hiring process for the superintendent on the agenda for March 15. At this point it would appear as though the board will be starting the search for a superintendent to hire as soon as possible. Principal Jim Hecimovic was present and advised the members that getting this process done as soon as possible is necessary because of the number of districts that are looking for superintendents right now.

The subject of principals and deans was next on the table. Four suggestions were recommended by administration: the first was having two principals and one activities director; the second was two deans and one principal; the third, one dean and one principal; finally, the fourth was for the superintendent to be located in Wykoff and one dean/principal. In the end, after much discussion, it would appear as though the option of two deans and one principal got the most support and will be voted on at the board meeting Monday night.

Dollar-wise, the decision will result in a savings of $716.04 over the current base of $178,882.00. If approved, the two-dean option will show a dean for elementary and AD. The second dean would be responsible for 7-12 and the principal, James Hecimovich, K-12 at the middle school.

The deans would fall in MA step seven on a 203 day contract, which is 20 additional days over teacher contracts.

There would be a district contribution for health insurance. ($460 per month.)

K-12 principal would be responsible for curriculum work, AYP plans, staff development, data, federal programs and state assessments.

The deans would be responsible for daily management, building atmosphere, discipline, scheduling, parent communication, attendance and truancy.

The two-dean option meets the staff's needs for administrative availability, and provides time for curriculum and staff development work.

The superintendent at Spring Valley would support two deans and teacher evaluations would be shared between K-12 principal and superintendent.

An item that has been up for discussion for several meetings is that of how the board is going to meet the expected financial shortfall this year. To start with, the budget is now showing a $97,000 deficit. The state has announced that there will be further cuts as the result of declining student enrollment. The administration was asked to bring forward suggestions and solutions to fill the $97,000 deficit and then to make additions on further cuts from the state. Every cut of one percent translates to $40,000.

The board has its choice of making further cuts to keep up with state funding. Most school districts in the state are anticipating cuts of from three to five percent. On the agenda for Monday's meeting will be accepting a percentage to direct administration to plan cuts for that amount.

Five percent was the agreed upon amount from the board. That will mean cuts of $200,000 over the initial cut of $79,000.

All of the board members expressed concerns about making cuts. Most of the members said that it is hoped they won't have to go to five percent but they are preparing for it.

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