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Rushford-Peterson superintendent committee works on district goals

Fri, May 18th, 2007
Posted in Education

The Rushford-Peterson superintendent search committee met for the first time Monday, May 14, with John Nitecki, current board chair, serving as committee chair. Board member Dan Munson also serves on the committee.

Originally, the plan had been for this committee of staff and district residents to cull through applications and make recommendations for interviews. But according to Nitecki, that plan changed after the information session several weeks ago with a representative from the Minnesota School Boards Association.

Nitecki began the meeting with a clarification of "what this committee is and isn't."

"We won't be selecting the finalists and won't even be looking at applications," he said. "So if that's what you wanted to do, this might be good time to excuse yourself."

None of the eleven people present left, so Nitecki continued by distributing early draft documents of a Superintendent Profile, comprised of items mentioned at an earlier citizen meeting chaired by Roger Metz, and a variety of other items Nitecki had culled from MSBA websites, and a draft of "Short-term and Long-term District Goals," originally begun in May, 2006, by the board.

The group spent most of its time on the district goals because, as Susan Hart asked rhetorically, "How can we expect someone (a new superintendent) to lead us in (district) goals if we're not sure what they are?"

In addition to Hart, Angela Colbenson will serve as a citizen member of the committee, although she was not present for this meeting. Principal Brad Johnson was also unable to be there, but will serve. Other district staff on the committee are Wanda Kopperud, Beth Theede, Pat Hatlevig, Rachel Brown and Mike Honken.

After a lengthy discussion, the group hammered out five general district goals:

1. Increase and improve communication with all people residing in our district,

2. Assess enrollment reduction in order to increase total student enrollment,

3. Enhance curriculum to meet the educational needs of all Rushford-Peterson students,

4. Create a cohesive, knowledgeable, and approachable Board of Education, and

5. Provide functional, efficient, high quality facilities for our students, staff, and district residents.

Under the communication goal are items like re-engineering the website (already in progress) and developing "partnerships with local agencies, businesses, and civic organizations."

The enrollment goal includes attempting to understand reasons some parents may choose to open enroll their students elsewhere.

Enhancing the curriculum will include reviewing high school and vocational offerings, as well as reviewing the existing Block Scheduling.

In addition to being approachable and knowledgeable, the school board would have as a goal to retain a positive fund balance. And the final goal dealing with facilities would include a new assessment of facility needs.

This list of goals, as well as the committee membership, will need to be approved by the board at their May 21 meeting,

In addition, the hiring committee gave a positive response to a candidate screening form presented by Nitecki, and will continue to work on a draft for the Superintendent Profile, both of which will also need approval from the full board.

The deadline for superintendent applications was Friday, May 18.

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