Interim Summit superintendent outlines goals for the school year, including implementation of strategic plan and equity policy
Interim Superintendent Roy Crawford said as soon as he accepted the position in Summit County, he started thinking about what viable goals he could accomplish in just a year. He presented those goals to the Summit School District Board of Education at its Thursday, Sept. 16, meeting.
Crawford said he created the goals based on what he heard at previous board meetings and also the questions the board asked during his interview. The goals are heavily focused on implementing the strategic plan, as well as reviewing district operations.
“I assumed that those questions reflected your most pressing priorities,” Crawford said to the board about his interview. “That was the first clear sign from the board what the expectation was.”
Crawford worked with school board President Kate Hudnut to ensure his goals aligned with the focuses of the strategic plan, which Crawford called the “center of our work, the center of our leadership universe.”
The first goal is focused on promoting the strategic plan within the community and developing specific actions and measurable outcomes for this school year and beyond, Crawford said. The strategic plan is broken into three focus areas, which Crawford further broke down with specific goals for each area.
The first focus area is academic and personal success for every student, and Crawford said he aims to make full use of the unified improvement plans — annual plans required by the state that prioritize performance challenges, identify a root cause and outline improvement strategies within each school and district. He said his priority is to determine a system for launching the improvement plans and ensuring the schools are held accountable for implementing them.
“Those plans set the direction for every building,” Crawford said. “It sets the goals (and outcomes) for the building … and for the district. Those should be our blueprint for moving forward.”
Also under the first focus area, Crawford wants to develop a system and timeline to create and review a K-12 “guaranteed and viable curriculum.” He said this is one of the most critical elements schools need to have the greatest impact on student success.
“We have pockets of excellence in terms of guaranteed and viable curriculum, but it’s not systemic … ” Crawford said. “That is a five-year, 10-year project that never ends, but it’s critical to having quality student outcomes.”
Crawford’s last goal under the first focus area is to implement the K-12 social and emotional learning framework the district has developed.
The second focus area in the strategic plan is equity-seeking systems, and Crawford’s goal is to implement the equity policy while engaging the community in conversations about the policy.
As a starting point for these efforts, Crawford met with about a dozen members of last year’s equity task force to gauge their expectations moving forward. He said implementation of the equity policy is a key concern for the task force. Crawford and the administration team will work to determine what steps need to be taken and who is responsible for implementing the policy.
The third focus area is family and community partnerships, and Crawford hopes to develop and implement a parent-engagement plan to go along with this. He said he also plans to consistently engage with Summit County community leadership and be an active and engaged partner by attending town council and other leadership meetings.
Crawford also outlined additional goals beyond the strategic plan, including working to organize district leadership, principals and the instructional team in a way that supports student learning and success.
He also aims to work with the district’s human resources department, principals and others as necessary to create equitable, sustainable, clear and consistent personnel policies. Crawford said he’s learned that many of the existing policies are outdated with inaccuracies throughout.
Lastly, Crawford aims to support the school board as it creates “structures and policies necessary for best-practice governance.”
The board was overall supportive of Crawford’s ideas but expressed concerns that he is biting off more than he can chew.
“Implementing the (equity) policy in itself is just so big that it could be one huge goal with layers underneath it,” board Vice President Consuelo Redhorse said. “I think these are all great; I’m just a little wary because of the one year and because it’s mid-September. Before we know it, the end of the year is going to be here.”
Crawford admitted the goals are ambitious, but he said district leadership will be “intimately involved” in implementing the goals so they can carry them past June.
“When you have an interim superintendent, the work that is done during that year has to be sustainable,” Crawford said. “It can’t be dependent on a person who has a one-year contract. … My goal would be that it is sustainable, that our team is invested in this. This transcends any one individual.”
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.
Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.
Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.