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Blog: Friday, March 8, 2013

Entry Plan

The superintendent search process is as much about the community finding the right person for the position as it is about the person finding the right community. My initial impression of Leicester suggests that the school community has the right balance of pride in its students and programming and aspirations for continuing improvements.

Over my first few months in Leicester I will carry out a formal entry plan process as well learn the routines of the position. The entry plan process is designed to help me develop a comprehensive understanding of the Leicester Schools, an appreciation of its strengths, and insight about the needs and concerns of the School Committee, staff, parents, students, community members, and other stakeholders. The implementation of this plan will provide a foundation on which to base future goals and prioritize both time and resources. Most important, it will also establish a relationship, based on trust and mutual understanding, between the various members of the school community and me.

In any organization, and particularly in schools, individuals may be anxious about the changes that may ensue under new leadership. During the entry plan process, decisions involving significant changes take a back seat for time spent developing a deeper understanding of the culture and values of the community. This, of course, in no way absolves me from carrying on the routine functions of my role and from making the types of decisions that enable the smooth operation of the schools.

Following an analysis of this information, I will draw inferences that will inform collaborative goal-setting with administrators and School Committee members.

Goals of the Entry Plan Process

The entry plan provides a course of action through which:

· the School Committee, staff, parents, students, community members, other stakeholders and I will get to know each other as fully as possible;

· I will examine the formal and informal policies and procedures that govern the work and relationships between the School Committee and superintendent, school and central office leadership, parents and schools, town offices and schools, and other school-related groups;

· the roles and responsibilities of key leadership positions within the school system and how these positions can best be supported will be clarified;

· I will identify communication channels to enhance the sense of connectedness and build trust throughout the organization; and

· key issues of the schools and community will be revealed.


Course of Action


Interviews: I will interview the individuals listed below, asking four common questions as well as questions specific to their role. The four common questions are:

1. What are the top three strengths of the schools?

2. What three things may need to be strengthened or are in need of change?

3. What practices should be upheld?

4. How can I best serve you in my role as superintendent?

· school committee members and former school committee members

· administrators and former administrators

· teacher leaders

· town administration and key department heads

· other school personnel, including clerical staff, maintenance staff, and transportation staff

· union leadership

· parent organization presidents

· special education parent advisory council president

· town selectmen

· students and student groups

· parents of current students and parents of recent graduates

· social service and child care organizations

· neighboring superintendents and staff from the department of education

· members of the media

· other individuals identified through discussions

Visitations and Open Forums:

· Full day visits to each school and an open forum with staff members

· Evening community open forum with parents

· Union executive committee

· Other community and business groups

Document Review:

· School committee minutes and policies

· Curriculum guides

· School and district improvement plans

· Teacher evaluation documents

· Capital plan

· Budget documents for past 2 years

· Federal and state grants

· Town budget

· Collective bargaining agreements

· Organizational chart and job descriptions

· Administrator contracts and evaluations

· School and athletic handbooks

· NEASC accreditation report

· Special education appeals, hearings, and decisions

Data Review:

· State test scores

· AP enrollment and testing

· Other district assessments

· Special education census

· Discipline records

· Budget

· Demographic projections

· Staffing (historical)

Analysis: I will synthesize findings from the information gleaned so as to effectively inform collaborative goal-setting with administrators and School Committee members.

Like all good plans, this plan is flexible and will be modified as needed and with feedback from the community. If you have additional ideas for how I might develop a better understanding of the Leicester Schools and gain insights about the needs and concerns of the community, please contact me at paoluccij@lpsma.net.

Posted by Judy Paolucci at 11:44 AM | 0 comments

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