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Final Reflection

Saugus Public Schools superintendent gives himself “proficient” scores in meeting 13 goals he set – plus “exemplary” for work ethic

Saugus Public Schools Superintendent Dr. David DeRuosi, Jr. completed a little more than a third of the goals he worked on during his first year on the job, according to the self-evaluation report he recently submitted to the School Committee. Overall, DeRuosi gave himself “proficient” scores for each of the four standards encompassing 13 individual goals he set soon after taking charge of the town’s public education system last July 1.

This mirrored the composite evaluation of “proficient” in all four standards approved this week by the School Committee. (See related story “DeRuosi’s Report Card.”) But DeRuosi marked himself as “exemplary” for his “General Work Ethic Rating,” in the document he authored titled “Final Reflection FY 16-FY 17 School Year School Committee Goals.”

“All of these goals were accomplished while completing the daily requirements of a superintendent,” DeRuosi wrote in a summary comment on nine accomplishments for “Work beyond my original SC Goals for FY16-FY17.”

In that summary, he noted:

• “I walked into open negotiations on 3 contracts and have closed all three.

• Worked to develop Educational Plan for MSBA (Massachusetts School Building Authority), met all benchmarks laid out by MSBA for this project, became an active member of the Building Committee, facilitated meetings on the Building Project within the community, and worked closely with Town Manager to go out into the community to talk about the plan.

• Took lead role in working with HFMH facilitator Mr. Locker to ensure meetings were being held in district with staff. I further worked with Mr. Locker to ensure follow-up meetings would happen in district and co-presented with him (A new building project requires a great amount of superintendent attention.)

• Will continue to work with Booster Club, Youth Sports Group and HS athletics to ensure proper policies were being followed.

• Continue Vehicle Maintenance.

• Based on a motion of the SC, I originated an All Day K-Task force and produced a report to SC on the feasibility of implementing All Day K.

• I have met all requests of SC members in a timely manner.

• Met and have managed all requirements of this district to date.

• Involved community members by invitation to attend meeting and special community presentations.”

 

Here’s are some excerpts from what DeRuosi had to say about each of the four standards categorizing the goals.

Standard I: Instructional Leadership

SC Goal #1 Discrepancy analysis of elementary curriculum will occur by Feb 2017. Status: Completed.

Reflection: “Solid work done in this area by my elementary principals … We have a solid map to work from .... moving the Education Plan from a document to practice in the district.”

SC Goal #2 Written/digital curriculum guides using a consistent format by grade/subject matter including content, lessons, objectives and assessments linked to Mass Frameworks. Status: Ongoing (Multi-year Goal which is now impacted by the future redesign of district and implementation of MSBA approved Educational Plan)

Reflection: “This goal is ongoing and will continue to be a priority of the district moving forward. State frameworks are also in flux at this time and as a district will make the needed adjustments.

SC Goal #3 Develop philosophy, approach and grade level curriculum guide for writing. Status: Ongoing.

Reflection: “I recognize the development of the writing program for Saugus Public Schools was ‘bogged’ down for some years. I believe we made significant progress this year. We plan to implement in the FY17 school year, gather data and review program.

Overall Progress Rating for Standard I: proficient.

Standard 2: Management and Operation

SC Goal #4 Evaluate the effectiveness of budget development, format and management to improve clarity and transparency for local officials and citizens. Status: completed.

Reflection: “...There was a belief as a district we need to get our own fiscal house in order. We were told that our budget was ‘not sustainable.’ During this budget process we examined staffing needs, building consolidation, special education staffing, food service, and athletic budget looking to become more efficient. I believe our budget this year demonstrated the district’s willingness to examine our ‘fiscal house’ and make adjustments …”

SC Goal #5 Create solvency in the food service budget. Status: completed.

Reflection: “The SC agreed the fastest track to creating solvency was to outsource the food service program. Working with our finance manager, our attorney, SC negotiation team and the SC Food Subgroup I was able to create an RFP, create an MOA to server ties and worked with representatives from Whitsons to secure a contract. Prior to the final outsourcing decision, we worked hard to begin the process of reducing student debt, tighten purchasing procedures and deal with staffing issues …”

SC Goal #6 Evaluate individual components of Schedule 19 charge backs including accuracy as well as comparative practices. Status: ongoing.

Reflection: “It is difficult for new superintendent to tackle Goals #6 and #7 because both goals rely heavily on a relationship between Town and School Officials. It took me two and a half years in Malden to develop a relationship with City Officials to enter into a true discussion on charge backs. I believe the relationship between the distinct and the Town is moving in the right direction. My goal over the summer is to meet with the Town Manager to discuss Schedule 19 charge backs.”

SC Goal #7 Develop a charge back agreement between the school department and the town as recommended in the most recent school department audit. Status: ongoing.

Reflection: “I have reviewed the drafted agreement letter drafted by SC last year. As stated above my goal is to meet with Town Manager over the summer. My recommendation again is to request an independent auditor to review the Schedule 19 charge backs.

SC Goal #8 Establish an accurate line item budget for athletics FY18. Status: completed.

Reflection: “...I completed this goal by remaining focused on the need to build accurate budget with regard to all items falling under athletics in the district. To accomplish this goal I had multiple meetings with the athletic director. I ensued proper procurement procedures were being used, reviewed and questioned any request for funding before agreeing to them. … We have significantly improved the efficiency of our athletic program and budget …”

Overall Progress Rating for Standard 2: Proficient.

Standard 3: Family and Community Engagement

SC Goal #9 Provide equity of staff and material resources at the elementary grade span. Status: ongoing. (This should be the focus moving forward as we plan for a Pre-K-2, 3-5 and 6-12 realignment of the district.

Reflection: “This is a broad goal due to many factors; the biggest is the number of buildings housing elementary grades and the disparity in enrollment. Using SC goals 1,2,3 we were able to begin the process of aligning curriculum, examining how resources are provided district wide and provide opportunity for elementary principals to meet … We made strides toward providing equity within the elementary grades this year.”

SC Goal #10 Foster existing partnerships to promote student achievement and enrichment and to develop new partnerships. Status: ongoing. (This process of looking for good partners is constant.)

Reflection: “We have expanded partnerships to include Camp Inventions, Apha-Best, North Shore Community College to support our academics and enrichment programs. I will continue my work with professional partners like Ribas Associates who provide professional development for administrator’s classes for administration and teachers. We will continue to work with our state partners DSAC at the middle and high school levels. I will also continue our work with local partners such as Salem Five, Youth Sports Groups, Booster Clubs and Park and Recreation. My work with the District wide PTO will continue into 2017-2018 school year...”

SC Goal #11 Engage community to develop what student achievement means to Saugus. Status: ongoing (This will continue in order to support realignment.)

Reflection: “This question was asked as part of my entry plan and I believe we have moved well beyond this question in the community. This community is looking for a student achievement I believe our Education Plan can produce. Next steps for district is to explain our Education Plan and the changes to our instructional methods to support or realignment of our district.”

Overall Progress Rating for Standard 3: proficient.

Standard 4: Professional Culture

SC Goal #12 Revise the existing mission statement. Status: ongoing (changing a culture and instructional practice is not a 1-year goal).

Reflection: “I have started this work and will complete it in the fall. This work will be completed by multiple stakeholders in the community. It will be vetted through multiple methods, and will be approved by next October. This process will focus on merging our Education Plan with the philosophy of Personalized Learning Administrative team…”

SC Goal #13 Market strategy that accurately portrays student achievement.

Reflection: “71 percent vote to approve new school build and Master Plan to support rebuilding a district is a clear indicator we have a community who believes in our Education Plan and the leadership to make it happen. On June 20th our hard work in engaging a community paid off. I made it a priority to get out into the community and educate them of what we do. I provided opportunities for them to meet with me, talk with me and ask questions … best marketing strategy I can suggest at this time: One Town, One Team: Building a Stronger Saugus.”

Overall Progress Rating for Standard 4: proficient.

By Mark E. Vogler

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