School leader search continues | CraigDailyPress.com

School leader search continues

Bridget Manley

Other actions

At its special meeting Thursday, the Moffat County School Board:

• Certified the district’s mil levy for 2008. The levy added up to 31.155 mils, or $13,806,708. The mil increased from 30.282 in 2007 to adjust for decreased assessed county values. The district’s pupil count also decreased this year by about 17 full-time equivalency units, which counts the total number of full-time course loads taken by district students.

• Heard a report from district and Craig Police Department officials about a screening system the district plans to implement in district schools during the 2009-10 school year, which will scan school visitors’ drivers’ licenses or other ID cards before they enter the building.

The first phase of the Moffat County School District’s search for a new superintendent ended Thursday.

Based on feedback gathered in surveys and focus groups last month, school board members have a list of qualifications that parents, teachers, school personnel and community members think the district’s next leader should have.

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After collecting more than 42 surveys and meeting with more than 60 area stakeholders, associates from the district’s superintendent search firm concluded the district’s perceived needs fall into four categories:

• student achievement, recruiting and retaining staff

• diversity of students’ needs

• upcoming grade realignment and redrawing of school boundaries

Senior Associate Rick O’Connell and Associate Ellen Bartlett from Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, Ltd. presented results to school board members at a special meeting Thursday. The board hired the firm to search for a new superintendent to replace current Superintendent Pete Bergmann, who is scheduled to retire at the end of this school year.

Finding and keeping highly qualified teachers was one of several concerns respondents raised.

“There’s no easy solution for that,” O’Connell said, adding that the district’s size and geographical location could play a large part in that trend.

“You are where you are, and that’s not going to change much.”

Setting high academic standards was another area about which meeting participants and survey respondents showed concern. However, O’Connell said, not all respondents held this view.

In some respondents’ estimation, a growing Spanish-speaking student population gives rise to concerns about meeting all students’ learning needs, survey results indicated.

Finally, school personnel and community members voiced concerns about upcoming grade reconfiguration and redrawing school attendance areas required by Craig Intermediate School becoming the district’s fourth elementary school in fall of 2009.

“There are a lot of teachers who are nervous about changing schools or changing grade levels,” O’Connell said.

Still, among other things, stakeholders also indicated the district is in good financial standing and has a beneficial duel-enrollment program through Colorado Northwestern Community College.

Students, staff and community members also said the superintendent and district work well together.

“It’s not the kind of information we always hear when we go to other places,” Bartlett said.

Using all feedback gathered, Bartlett and O’Connell created a draft of suggested characteristics the district’s next superintendent should have. Criteria ranged from a demonstrated knowledge of current technology to “outstanding” interpersonal skills,” according to the document.

O’Connell called the list a “walk-on-water document,” adding that the district likely won’t find an applicant who demonstrates all the characteristics listed.

Still, the associates will use the criteria to begin looking for potential candidates over the next 60 days.

Bridget Manley can be reached at 875-1795 or bmanley@craigdailypress.com

Other actions

At its special meeting Thursday, the Moffat County School Board:

• Certified the district’s mil levy for 2008. The levy added up to 31.155 mils, or $13,806,708. The mil increased from 30.282 in 2007 to adjust for decreased assessed county values. The district’s pupil count also decreased this year by about 17 full-time equivalency units, which counts the total number of full-time course loads taken by district students.

• Heard a report from district and Craig Police Department officials about a screening system the district plans to implement in district schools during the 2009-10 school year, which will scan school visitors’ drivers’ licenses or other ID cards before they enter the building.