SD61 Superintendent Evaluation Policy: First One Ever! 1/2

Provided to Superintendent Green in email as a draft for discussion, and brought subsequently to Policy Advisory Committee meeting [date] , members at that time Trustees Rob Paynter and Diane McNally, and staff (Superintendent Green and Secretary-Treasurer Kim Morris). This document represents months of work – research and writing – by the two Trustees. The Superintendent refused to discuss it and surprised McNally and Paynter by refusing to attend the Policy Advisory meeting and instead sending an HR department employee to the meeting to tell the two Trustees that, and to convey objections that did not hold up in legal analysis (paid for by Trustee McNally, me). Below is what we proposed for discussion. Washington State and Oregon State Superintendents manage to live though a similar annual evaluation process. Are they just tougher / less fragile than BC Superintendents? Or does the public expect and get greater accountability for Superintendents of public education schools in those states?

 

Policy 2100.01

SUPERINTENDENT EVALUATION PROCESS: CRITERIA AND TIMELINES

Preamble and Evaluation Process

Selecting and evaluating the Superintendent is one of the school board’s most important responsibilities. A high-quality Superintendent evaluation process helps develop good Board/Superintendent relationships, clarifies roles, creates mutual understanding of the leadership being provided and provides a mechanism for public accountability.

The purpose of this process is to conduct a year-round Superintendent Evaluation that focuses on district performance: primarily the community’s desired results for students, and on the quality of the Superintendent’s professional relationships, including the relationship with the Board of Education.

The superintendency is a professional position equivalent to the chief executive officer in the private sector. As such, the Superintendent is charged with leading and administering the organization according to the policies/regulations adopted by the school board. The purpose of evaluating the superintendent is to provide oversight and public assurance that the district’s policies, regulations and statutory responsibilities are being effectively implemented. Another critical purpose is to provide input and feedback to the Superintendent to help them continually improve.

Because it assigns to the Superintendent responsibility for District success, the Board delegates sufficient freedom of action and authority over district personnel and operations to enable the Superintendent to successfully fulfill their responsibilities with direction and guidance from the Board. The Board then holds the Superintendent accountable for everything the District does or fails to do.

The Board, with staff input decides the process details and exact contents of evaluation instruments as it conducts the annual evaluation cycle of the Superintendent.

Performance evaluations are most effective when they are designed and used for communicating future expectations, not simply for reviewing past performance, although this process is also a performance-based assessment system. Such an evaluation focuses on improvement over time. The second and subsequent evaluations include an assessment of the Superintendent’s success in addressing expected growth areas identified in the previous evaluation.

The evaluation process provides for both accountability and growth, and the strengthening of the relationship between the Board and the Superintendent. The written report will affirm specific accomplishments and identify growth areas. Some growth goals may address areas of needed development while others will identify areas where greater emphasis is required due to changes in the environment.

The Superintendent Evaluation Process assesses the key role of the Superintendent as the Chief Education Officer for the District to enhance student achievement and success for all children.

WHEN SHOULD THE SUPERINTENDENT’S EVALUATION TAKE PLACE?

Pre-Evaluation: Before the new school year begins, goals and expectations for the Superintendent should be mutually established by the Board and Superintendent in strategic planning meetings and strategic plan annual reviews. It is essential to set goals before the budget process begins. Setting goals early allows for the incorporation of district goals into budget planning, staffing and professional development for the coming year.

A.  The Board

  1. Legal role: A Board of Education’s responsibility and authority are established in provincial law, in the

British Columbia School Act specifically Parts 4, 5, 6, and 8.

  • Responsibility: The British Columbia School Act assigns to each Board the responsibility for determining performance criteria and an evaluation process for its Superintendent. The Board accepts this responsibility and acts on a commitment to provide clear and direct expectations and feedback, and to support the Superintendent’s continuous improvement and professional growth
    • Authority: The authority of the Board in its relationship with the superintendent is established in the BC School Act and Regulation and in the Bylaws and Policies passed by the Board.
    • Board Qualifications: The Board considers its members fully capable of reviewing evidence and judging, as elected persons on behalf of the community, whether or not reasonable progress toward desired organizational results have been demonstrated and whether or not the District via Superintendent direction and oversight has reasonably complied with written board guidance via written plans, policies, directives, job descriptions or other official documents that guide the Superintendent. The Board of Education may engage a third party to assist with the evaluation. However, it is the Board alone that will undertake an assessment the Superintendent’s performance.
  • The Process: Development and implementation of the evaluation process and its component elements is informed by the insights and experiences of both the Superintendent and Board members.
    • Comprehensive review of organizational performance requires considerable time. Therefore:
      • Accountability of the Superintendent to the Board and the Board to the community is ‘on the agenda’ on a recurring basis, throughout the year.
      • Evaluation of the Superintendent’s operationalization of Board direction is a systematic, deliberative, and year-long (not year-end) activity.
    • Accountability for District performance via Superintendent performance evaluation is the Board’s duty. Therefore:
      • The elected Board is accountable to the public
      • The Superintendent is accountable to the Board and the Ministry of Education.
  • The Superintendent is accountable for both ends and means. This includes:
    • Outcomes for students
    • Staff work, District programs, District teams
    • Leadership in establishing district culture, effective working relationships with the Board in policy development; advocacy for public education and strengthening support for student learning; organizational competencies (systems focus); leading district learning and developing responsive systems that recognize and respond to the needs of each learner; supporting effective leadership in others; accountability to the Board, the Ministry of Education, and responsive to multiple stakeholder groups.
    • Superintendent evaluation ensures transparency and at the same time requires confidentiality. Therefore:
      • Public school district service delivery and results for students are a public interest, so review of district performance is an obligation the Board must fulfill in public.
      • Personally directed evaluation conversations are conducted in Executive Session.

C.  Framework and Process for Conducting Superintendent Evaluation

It is the responsibility of the School Board to evaluate the performance of the Superintendent. No process or form allows for complete objectivity. There will always be a level of subjectivity and judgment on the part of the Board’s. Board members are elected to make those judgments. Fair application of the evaluation process is best determined through collaboration and agreement by the Board and Superintendent about what, how and when the Superintendent evaluation will be conducted. The 360-

degree evaluation allows the Superintendent and the Board to receive additional input from individuals in what may be a more subjective manner.

1.  Elements of Superintendent Evaluation.

a) Self-reflection and individualized professional growth planning. The Superintendent shall advise the Board of individual goals and activities designed to contribute to the Superintendent’s own professional development. Such activities may include courses or workshops, professional conferences, or personalized mentoring provided by individuals with Superintendent or other senior management experience. The Superintendent will maintain an electronic evidence binder which will be provided to the Board approximately one week prior to the evaluation workshop. The purpose of the evidence binder is to provide proof that the focus areas to be assessed have been achieved.

  • Prior written expectations. The Superintendent contract, job description, up-to-date strategic planning directives, and other similar documents formally establish the Board’s expectations and guidance for Superintendent and District performance.
  • Schedule. The Board annually sets dates when reports will be received, and reports will be reviewed with special attention to strategic plan goals and objectives.
  • Surveys. Incorporating survey feedback (templates to be completed by consultant chosen by the Board) D. Three Part Evaluation

Part 1: Performance Standards: Based on the Board Policy 1200 “Role of the Superintendent”.

Part 2: Superintendent’s Goals: Fulfilment of Strategic Plan goals and sub-goals as well as progress in self- identified areas for growth.

Part 3: 360 Degree Evaluation

Part 1 “Priorities and Goals of the Superintendent” will be agreed between the Board and the Superintendent. As noted above these goals and priorities will reflect those established during strategic planning and review processes. It is essential to set these goals and establish priorities before the budget process begins. Setting goals and priorities early allows for the incorporation of district goals into budget planning, staffing and professional development for the coming year.

Part 2 entails the evaluation of progress towards the goals established by the Board and Superintendent at the beginning of the evaluation cycle (Part 1 above).

Part 1 and 2 are designed to be filled out by individual Board members. Board members meet in Executive Session to discuss their input and come to a Board position on each item evaluated. A report is prepared by the Board for discussion with the Superintendent. The Superintendent may also fill out these parts as a self-evaluation and a basis for discussion with the Board.

Part 3 consists of a 360-degree evaluation of the Superintendent by members of the community and staff. It is designed to be used by the Superintendent to receive feedback leading to professional development and an understanding of staff and community concerns that might not otherwise surface in Parts 1 or 2. The 360-

degree evaluation may also be used by the Board in preparing its final evaluation to assist in the determination of learning and development goals (i.e. training) to be undertaken by the Superintendent.

Parts 1 and 2 are administered, compiled and reported by the Board.

Part 3 is administered by the Board and / or Board designee, or Board-approved outside third-party contracted to administer and compile the information.

Parts 1, 2 and 3 are independent of each other and may be used separately or in combination.

Part 3: 360-Degree Evaluation

A 360-degree evaluation allows the Board to request more subjective information from direct reports, union leadership and/or community stakeholders. Participants should be selected by the Superintendent and Board together. The Board will receive the information directly, or directly from the third party administering the 360 review.

The 360-degree evaluation provides additional information to the Board but it is not “the” evaluation. The Board is responsible for determining the final evaluation. The evaluation process must include Parts 1 and 2, not only the 360 Degree.

Superintendent Self-Evaluation

The Superintendent responds to Parts 1 and 2 as a self-assessment to be presented to the Board as part of the evaluation process. The Superintendent’s self-evaluation should be presented to the Board by the Superintendent before the Board members fill out their individual worksheets in Executive Session (see above).

This evaluation process, or any variation on it, will be agreed to by all parties at the beginning of the year.

E. Monitoring Cycle. For each strategic plan goal and sub-goal monitored, the Board will employ a four-step cycle:

  1. Collection of evidence and presentation for Board review. Types of evidence include but are not limited to:
    1. Evidence that demonstrates District progress toward desired results, including quantitative data, and qualitative reports.
    1. Evidence that demonstrates District compliance with Board policy, regulation and other Board direction.

Evidence used in evaluation may be internally obtained from reports prepared by the Superintendent and staff, externally obtained or directly gathered by the Board itself or from stakeholder groups. This may include but is not limited to community submissions at the Standing Committee level (written or verbal), and stakeholder presentations to the Board (written or verbal). The Board will acquire monitoring data on desired results and operating guidelines through one or more methods including:

  • Internal report, which begins with a description of Board guidance on the topic and a statement explaining how the Superintendent has interpreted Board guidance, including what data the Superintendent has targeted as indicators of progress or compliance that supplement any Board- identified criteria contained in Board documents; a second part of the report will be a statement certifying whether reasonable progress or compliance has been demonstrated; in the third (major) part of the report, the Superintendent provides data for use by the Board in assessing reasonable progress or compliance.
  • External report, in which an external, disinterested third party selected by the Board provides data for use by the Board in assessing reasonable progress or compliance with Board policy, regulation and other Board direction.
  • Direct Board acquisition, in which the Board itself gathers data and qualitative information from stakeholders with which to assess reasonable progress or compliance.
  • Board response. The Board will provide a written response indicating:
    • Its judgment as to whether evidence shows the District is making reasonable progress toward desired results.
    • Its judgment as to whether district programs/efforts are in compliance with written Board policy, regulation and other Board direction.
    • These judgments will constitute a document that expresses the Board’s evaluation of the Superintendent’s performance and will also constitute the Board’s report to the community regarding District accountability.
    • The Board Chair will ensure a draft evaluation for the year is prepared by collating individual Board responses documented over the course of the year, for the Board to consider in Executive Session. This document will be used to guide the development of a Board consensus document, which moves forward for review and signature by both the Superintendent and Board Chair.

COMPILING RESULTS

The Board meets in Executive Session to discuss the results and agree on a consensus evaluation that will be presented in the meeting with the Superintendent. The individual responses in Parts 1 and 2 are worksheets only. Compiling results is done by discussion among all Board members in Executive Session. It is important that the members recognize the importance of coming to a consensus and speaking with one voice in the evaluation. The Superintendent works for the Board as a whole, not individual Board members.

The Superintendent evaluation process provides the Board with an opportunity to share the School District’s progress with the community. A summary of the board’s conclusions should be prepared by the Board from the worksheet data after the evaluation.

Sample worksheets are provided below.

Recommended grading: SCORES BETWEEN: GRADE

3.5 – 4.0 Accomplished

2.5 – 3.4 Effective

1.5 – 2.4 Developing

0.0 – 1.4 Ineffective

Evaluation Forms: Sample SD61 Content Based on 2015 Strategic Plan Goals

Strategic Plan Goal 1 Progress 1. Learner Success (6 objectives: insert 1-6 )

  • Aboriginal learners (3 objectives: insert)
  • Vulnerable Learners (3 objectives: insert)
  • Community Engagement (3 objectives: insert)
  • Exemplary Governance (3 objectives: insert) and

Role of the Superintendent: Responsibilities

  1. Student Learning (3 sub responsibilities; insert here and below )
    1. Student Well being (3 sub)
    1. Organizational Management (6 sub)
    1. Personnel management (1)
    1. Policy and governance (5)
    1. Strategic leadership (2)
    1. District Culture 6)
  • Updating/revising guidance for the next cycle. In order to ensure that the Superintendent has advance knowledge of what is expected, the Board will update its written expectations as required and scheduled

(policy/strategic plan/job description/guidance) with criteria to be used in the next cycle of monitoring for a given focus.

Timeline for cycle:

January – February: (prior to completion of the budget)

  1. Superintendent and Board set/review district goals for the upcoming year.
  2. Superintendent and Board update long-range plans for the district.
  3. Board/Superintendent review Superintendent job description/standards/goals and the evaluation process, forms and timelines to be used next year.

The Board and the Superintendent prepare questions, selects individuals to participate, distributes the forms, collects and collates the results.

  • Superintendent completes a self-assessment of the evaluation forms Parts 1 and 2.
  • Board members complete Parts 1 and 2 of the Superintendent evaluation form.

Adoption of the above should be done in a public meeting

February:

  • Board members meet to discuss their individual evaluations and develop the Board’s official document that will be shared with the Superintendent.

By March end :

  • Board and Superintendent meet to discuss and clarify the results of the

evaluation documents. The final approval of the finished evaluation will take place in a public meeting of the Board.

  1. A copy of the final written evaluation form is placed in the Superintendent’s personnel folder.

As soon as evaluation is complete:

  1. The results of the evaluation are shared with the community.
  2. Return to the beginning of the cycle.

January, March-April, June, October : Superintendent reports interim progress on District and evaluation goals to the Board. The June update deals with the previous school year while the October/January updates provide progress on the current school year. Updates will be provided in a public meeting.

d.  Compiling the Annual Summative Evaluation.

In conjunction with the conclusion of the Board’s annual work cycle, each June (or other month chosen by the Board) the Board will document completion of the annual evaluation cycle. The summative evaluation will be based on information generated during the year in Board response documents that are prepared after monitoring each area. A draft summative evaluation will be prepared by compiling the contents of Board responses. The Board and Superintendent will jointly review the draft (mainly in public, but with appropriate portions discussed in executive session, if necessary and as allowed by law, and will finalize the document.

The completed report will then be signed by the Superintendent and Board Chair. The evaluation document will consist of:

  1. Judgments made over the course of the year and documented in board response documents after monitoring for results and monitoring for compliance;
    1. Conclusions and policy implications informed by conclusions whether or not reasonable progress has been made toward achievement of results and outcomes for students and whether the Superintendent has operated within established Board guidance;

Summative evaluation reports will be provided annually commencing in June of the 2019-2020 school year or other timeline specified by the Board.

Evaluation Results: The evaluation should result in steps for professional development for the Superintendent and a plan for informing the community about the results of the evaluation and status of the District’s goals.

Before the beginning of the next school year, the Board and administration should meet to begin the next cycle of goal setting and evaluation, which allows the Superintendent time to plan for the ensuing year. The goals should be publicized to keep the community informed of the district’s progress.

Part 3: 360-Degree Evaluation Instructions for Board and Superintendent

The 360-degree evaluation is a Board-led part of the evaluation process that asks stakeholders / community members for input leading to appropriate professional development and possible improvements in interpersonal and administrative methods. The superintendent and

Board should design the questions and the Board or Board-approved consultant collates and summarizes responses. The purpose of the 360-degree evaluation is to give the superintendent and the Board additional information to be considered in the evaluation process.

Suggested evaluators are: teachers, administrators, parents, support staff and other community members with whom the superintendent regularly interacts. Multiple evaluators reflect the collective wisdom of groups who work for or with the superintendent. The evaluation provides a variety of stakeholders an opportunity to voice their understanding of how the District’s educational leader is performing.

STEPS FOR THE BOARD (May Include Superintendent):

Step 1:

Identify the questions to be asked of evaluators or the goals/competencies to be evaluated.

Suggested questions (additional questions can be created by using the role responsibilities and strategic plan goals and objectives listed previously in this document):

  1. Goal #     for the Superintendent and District is (fill in goal). How has the superintendent done in leading the school district toward reaching this goal?
  2. What is working well with regard to the superintendent’s role in our district? List specific examples.
  3. What areas offer room for improvement? List specific examples.
  4. Has the superintendent effectively communicated with members of the community this year?
  5. Are community expectations of the Superintendent being met?

Step 2:

Select the evaluation respondents. The evaluators should represent all constituent groups: administrators, teachers, staff members, parents and community members. The number of respondents should be high enough to give fair representation to all groups. Responses should be anonymous.

Step 3:

Distribute the 360-degree survey to the respondents with instructions and a date for

return of the materials to the Board Chair and / or consultant engaged by the Board for this process.

Step 4:

Analyze the data from the respondents and create the final report to be shared by the superintendent with the school board or from the board to the Superintendent.

Step 5:

Develop an action plan to improve on successes and address concerns raised from the

360-degree survey responses.

Sample form for 360-Degree Evaluation participants :

You have been selected to participate in a 360-degree evaluation of the SD61  school district superintendent. Replies are to be anonymous. This evaluation will be read and tabulated by the Board and a Board approved consultant and will be shared with the Superintendent. It is intended to help the Superintendent assess his or her own performance, strengths and weaknesses, and topics for professional development. The questions and participants in the evaluation were selected by the Board and the Superintendent.

Please provide a rating and an explanation of your rating, citing specific examples.

Question 1: (content)

The superintendent’s performance: 1 INEFFECTIVE

  • DEVELOPING
  • EFFECTIVE
  • ACCOMPLISHED
 
   

Appended for information: Sample EVALUATION SUMMARY

The  Board of Education of School district 61 Greater Victoria has completed the annual evaluation of the District’s Superintendent [name] for [year]. The past year has been [positive or challenging] for

our school district. All elected Board members have been able to observe and be a part of the successes achieved this year.

The evaluation focused on: 1) Responsibilities of the Superintendent (Board Policy 1200)

2) School District 61’s 2019-2023 strategic plan goals and objectives; and 3) a 360- degree review of the superintendent’s performance by representatives of the community.

Regarding the 6 Role Responsibilities of the Superintendent, we determined that Superintendent (name)’s performance was exemplary in the areas of the board evaluated his/her/ their

performance as strong. all received a rating of average.

The Board determined that Superintendent (name) has done an outstanding job of

attaining the goal set by the board and Superintendent in [SD61 appropriate time] to [eg update and align the elementary language arts and reading curriculum]. His/her / their success at achieving the goal of{SD61 goal] , was also rated good.

The Board and the Superintendent agreed to distribute a 360-degree evaluation to members of the staff and community for feedback on his/her /their performance. The Board has shared the results of

that feedback with the Superintendent , which reflects that [eg staff morale has improved and that significant curriculum results have been achieved at the elementary level].

He/she/ they also shared with us his/her / their desire to [further improve staff morale and focus on bringing the

community together in support of the schools].

We will be working with Superintendent (name) over the next several weeks to develop goals for our district and look forward to working together to make our district ever more successful.

 

About Diane McNally