The plan calls for the creation of an instructional leadership team which would fill the role of interim superintendent while the board conducts a search for a permanent top administrator.
The idea stems from an extension of an earlier initiative… called professional learning communities or PLCs… which is a best practices program designed to promote collaboration within and among different groups of teachers and administrators.
In a letter to the school board signed by 25-members of the MCCSC administration, the group claimed that the learning communities could be extended to temporarily take over the role of superintendent.
Cameron Rains is the Director of Elementary Education. Under the tentative plan put forward last night, he would share many of the corporation’s daily operational duties with Director of Secondary Education Janice Bergeson. He says PLCs already provide a great deal of guidance within the district and could be modified to act in an executive capacity.
“They’re focused and center around instruction right now and student results more than they would be the day to day operations of a school corporation” says Rains. “But it’s easily transferable to that.”
Several school board members brought up concerns over accountability and conflicts of interest. Valerie Merriam pointedly asked principals if they were willing to take swift action against their colleagues in cases of misconduct… and referenced earlier meetings in which she claimed that discussions over proposed budget cuts had led to conflicts between the district’s building level administrators. Lois Sabo-Skelton also voiced reservations… claiming that while she is philosophically intrigued by the idea… she does not believe that a comprehensive organizational plan can be put together in the available timeframe.
“Bring together your idea and then lets see what you’ve got” said Sabo-Skelton. “And let’s see if we can think out of the box a little bit, to see if we can get something like this designed.”
The board plans to discuss the proposal with IU Educational Leadership Professor Emeritus and unpaid outside consultant Ronald Barnes in a closed door meeting on Monday evening. The position must be filled in some capacity by no later than January 1st.