Superintendent Roy Crawford optimistic about work from 1st quarter
Summit School District Interim Superintendent Roy Crawford reported on the highlights of the work he’s done in the school year’s first quarter at the Board of Education meeting Nov. 18, emphasizing the efforts the district is making to implement the new strategic plan.
Broken down into five steps for this school year, Crawford and district leadership have been working to implement the plan by:
- Sharing the plan with the community
- Creating teams to implement the plan
- Soliciting partners to help on task forces
- Getting task forces and implementation teams to work
- Benchmarking, making recommendations and planning for years two through five of the plan
Crawford said the district is inching closer to the fourth step after opening applications for the task forces earlier this month. He said he hopes the task forces will inform conversations and enrich the district’s understanding of what the community wants for its children.
“We don’t want three task forces of like-minded people,” Crawford said. “… We have a divided country. We have a divided state. We have a divided community. That’s not good for our kids. What’s good for our kids is … that we hear all voices, listen to all voices, and we respect all voices. You can’t do that with one voice alone.”
The implementation teams are headed by district leadership under each of the plan’s focus areas: academic and personal success, equity-seeking systems, and family and community partnerships. These teams lead the work district staff is doing to implement the plan and go through monthly coaching with the consultant who worked with the district to create the strategic plan.
Under the academic and personal success focus area, three implementation teams are working on high-quality instruction, social-emotional development and pathways to graduation. One equity-seeking systems team is working on community conversations and creating an equity tool, which would allow the district to evaluate its policies, curriculum, budget and more, while the other is focused on the district’s hiring and training practices. There is also an implementation team for family and community partnerships.
Crawford also said the work from each focus area extends “horizontally” across all the implementation teams.
Board President Kate Hudnut asked Crawford what role he wants the board members to play in the task forces and whether they should get involved where they can or wait for information to be reported back to them. Crawford said he would be comfortable with board members being present but potentially not participating so enough community voices can be heard. In the end, he said he would be OK with whatever the board thinks is best.
Crawford also informed the board that he sent out a leadership performance survey to 77 staff and community members to get feedback on how he is doing. He then highlighted some other work he is proud of so far this year, which he said includes the work of the Every Child leadership team, improved community communication and community involvement. He said he also believes the district has been successful in navigating COVID-19 issues throughout the first quarter.
“Even though it’s been a challenge, I think we’ve done the best we can given the circumstances,” Crawford said.
Crawford also said he has been able to visit all nine of the district’s schools and that he wants to do as much as he can to be present. He said that when he was at the high school one Friday morning, he held the door for about a dozen kids going into the school and that every one of them thanked him.
“It just felt like a place where you want to be, a place I’d want my grandkids to be,” Crawford said. “And if you’re not in the buildings, you don’t get that sense.”
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