PERFORMANCE OBJECTIVE: MANAGERIAL LEADERSHIP: Promote and expand the capacity of all JCPS levels toward a standard of excellence in execution.
The Day One logistics team has successfully created a system in 2011-12 and improved upon that system for four subsequent school years (2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15, and 2015-16). The human infrastructure (i.e., school-based employees supported by non-school-based employees in schools and at depots) and the technical infrastructure (i.e., cameras, GPS, and radios on buses) support the entire district system by guaranteeing the necessary resources and tools when any problem arises. Average bus ride time for all students was 28 minutes, including students that went through depots. Elementary depots were reduced from 20 depots to 10 depots during the last three years of bus routing. The objective of the human and technical infrastructure is to continue to facilitate the improvement of student learning according to state outcome measures as well as on broaden measures that JCPS identifies.
Serving as the lead auditor, Jim Tencza developed a hybrid model leveraging external expertise of Dean Dorton and JCPS internal auditors to develop the capacity to do quality audits in JCPS. Likewise, Wyatt, Tarrant and Combs and Middleton Reutlinger have provided the capacity to provide legal guidance. Frank Mellen serves as General Counsel. Principals have direct access to legal counsel through their Area Superintendents. We have successfully transition from an internal to an external legal guidance model.
With the support of McCarthy Strategic Solutions, we developed a Legislative Agenda that consisted of four focus areas: Increased Funding, Retirement Systems Solutions, Superintendent Authority, and Refined Assessments. We made significant progress on three of the four priorities, including: (1) passage of HB 184, providing for an alternative process for principal selection for JCPS; (2) significant funding to address the unfunded pension liability; and, (3) restoration of most of cuts to K-12 education proposed in the Governor’s budget. No legislation passed regarding improved assessments, though groundwork has been laid for future improvements, in the context of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) implementation in 2017-18.
Academic Services promised schools that the necessary curricular support materials would be available and they kept their promise to schools. Materials were made available on May 24, 2016. The curricular materials are useful to all teachers, but particularly helpful for non-tenured teachers as they develop into accomplished educators.
Last year, JCPS launched a citizen transparency website pledging to ensure that every dollar would be tracked back to its impact on students. Based on a new budget flowchart devised through the Board Finance Work Group, CBO Tom Hudson and CFO Cordelia Hardin challenged both school-based and non-school-based teams to create a mindset of zero-based budgeting. This helped our efforts toward allocation of funds to our Strategic Plan Vision 2020 Excellence with Equity priorities.
Simply put, teams were to imagine you have nothing and were challenged to build a budget based on what you would need to impact student achievement. There are only three ways to put more dollars directed toward student achievement in the framework of Excellence with Equity: (1) increase revenue, (2) repurpose dollars, and (3) eliminate spending. This was not a technical change — it proved to be, at every step, an adaptive challenge. Units had become used to receiving the same budget plus additions.
The efficiency and effectiveness of our school district is driven by talented and passionate professionals organized around a vision and a mission that delivers success. As part of my effort to optimize our services to all JCPS stakeholders, I have made various changes in personnel.
Great progress was made in completing the senior leadership team — in the fall 2015, Dr. Dena Dossett became the Chief of Data Management, Planning, and Program Evaluation. Harvard’s Dr. Bo Yan, returning Dr. Florence Chang, and Dr. Joe Prather were tapped to complete Dr. Dossett’s new team.
In order to provide more support to our Priority Schools, Dr. Marco Muñoz was named Director of Priority Schools — with the objective of creating a laser-focus on (a) the high-leverage variables that support turnaround school improvement as well as on (b) the barriers that were negatively impacting our ability to make progress in our Priority Schools.
Dr. Karen Branham, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction and Dr. Alicia Averette, Assistant Superintendent for Academic Services began representing Academic Services on Cabinet. Dr. Hargens began attending the Principals’ Communication Committee meetings. Based on principal input at the Principals’ Communication Committee, adjustments were made in multiple areas of work that needed optimization (e.g., student due process office, principal email, etc.)
Angie Gilpin, Assistant Secretary to the Board, began November 9, 2015, and has brought a positive, can-do spirit to the work. We value her dedication and attention to details. In November, Mr. Tom Hudson was named the Chief Business Officer (CBO) with the priority of improving our HR function as well as uniting the efforts of HR and Finance. We spend about 85 percent of our budget on personnel. Mr. Hudson did a reorganization in HR around a value of customer service and responsiveness. AppliTrack was piloted in 2015-16 and is fully operational for 2016-17. Dr. Tiffeny Armour became the Director of HR.
Christy Rogers, former District Director of College and Career Readiness in Bullitt County Public Schools, was named Director of College and Career Readiness. Christy will support our efforts to improve the important goals associated with improving readiness to college and a successful career after high school, particularly with our academically at-risk population.
Ms. Allison Martin was named the Chief Communications and Community Relations Officer. She quickly began interviewing to complete her team by adding Jennifer Brislin and Daniel Kemp. A new website was launched in the spring intentionally to give internal and external users the opportunity to get familiar with the website prior to the start of 2016-17.
Dr. Katy Zeitz was named the Area Superintendent to oversee Alternative School as part of a Behavior Support System. Dr. Zeitz will create aligned and coherent systems to optimize the efficiency and effectiveness of alternative schools as well as the coordination with regular schools.
We will utilize the capacity and expertise of three high school front-runners to lead from their role as principal as FORD Next Generation Learning Community implementation coaches for each high school network. Funding was secured by the Jefferson County Education Foundation.
The role of the Executive Director of the Jefferson County Education Foundation was established to create independence yet to drive the district’s strategic priorities. The foundation hired Sam Corbett to be the Executive Director.