In a Wednesday night doubleheader last week, the Old Rochester Regional District School Committee and Joint School Committee met to tie up loose ends and, in the case of the latter, administer its evaluation of Superintendent Doug White and his staff.
“We must continue to come together as one voice,” said outgoing Chairman Joe Scott, setting the tone for the evening’s meetings. “We need to trust our administrators, and they need to trust us.”
In determining White’s overall performance range as “proficient-exemplary,” officials lauded White’s instructional leadership, management and overseeing of operations, family and community engagement, and fostering of professional culture. In fact, members expressed more concerns with the evaluation process itself, which they called occasionally cumbersome and confusing.
Still, the tone of the proceedings was positive.
“It’s a team effort,” said White, noting contributions from a staff that includes Assistant Superintendent Elise Frangos, whose ambitious plans for curriculum and professional development are taking shape and earning praise. “From my fellow administrators to teachers to other personnel to students and parents and the community: Without everyone’s involvement, the district wouldn’t be where it is.”
White added that he will continue to “reflect on how I’m doing, and how I can better lead the district.”
On the ORR District School Committee’s final agenda of the school year, officials recognized the contributions of outgoing employees Nancy Moura, Anne McLaughlin and Bill Garcia. In addition, they approved changes to the ORRJHS and ORRHS handbooks, meeting dates for the 2013-14 school year, the special education transportation contract, the athletic trainer’s contract, and the implementation of a common planning time at the high school next year, which Principal Mike Devoll said will create a period from 7:20 to 8:20 am daily.
“Some students will stay home,” said Devoll of the optional period. “But the kids who are here, our doors will be open with a warm environment for them.”
Devoll explained that the pilot program will incorporate supervision, study time, learning opportunities, guest speakers, club meetings and more. Administrators, faculty, librarians, campus aides, and paraprofessionals will be available for the hour-long block.
“Our staff will be working hard,” he said. “We want to make the best use of this time.”
On a related note, Devoll announced that the New England Association of Schools and Colleges will visit ORR in 2016 for continued accreditation purposes.
The Committee elected James O’Brien as its new Chairman and Paul Goulet as Vice Chairman in reorganization.
By Shawn Badgley