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Superintendent Nikolai Vitti's self-evaluation (2/2)

Superintendent Nikolai Vitti's self-evaluation (2/2)

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Here is a copy of Duval County Superintendent Nikolai Vitti's 2012-13 self-evaluation.
Here is a copy of Duval County Superintendent Nikolai Vitti's 2012-13 self-evaluation.

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Published by: Khristopher J. Brooks on Jun 12, 2013
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Superintendent Self-EvaluationDr. Nikolai P. VittiJune 2013
In response to the categories set forth in the Superintendent Evaluation Tool; the information below describes activitiesor evidence of the respective indicator.
Relationships with the Board
Keeps the Board informed on issues, needs, operations in a timely manner
As Superintendent, I have ensured that the Board is notified immediately of any and all issues or concerns asthey arise. This includes daily updates of all media interviews and inquiries as well as the immediate notificationof any school site situation. Protocol has been developed whereby the entire Board receives an email regardingany school or personnel related issue and the Board member assigned to that district receives a personal callfrom either the Superintendent or a member of the Cabinet. To date, nearly 200 emails have been sent to theentire Board to inform them of updates, issues, and/or concerns. In addition, over the past seven months, therehave been 6 Committee Meetings and 13 workshops to review information with Board Members. I have metwith each Board Member individually for one-on
one meetings on multiple occasions. To date, there have beenover 40 one-on-one meetings lasting a total of more than 50 hours. In addition, over 7,000 minutes have beenspent on the phone speaking with individual Board Members on various issues and needs.2.
Provides for development of goals and objectives aligned to Board priorities
The focus of this year was not on the development of goals and objectives linked to Board priorities per mycontract. Goals and Objectives linked to Board priorities will be a focus as we move into 2013-2014. Targets willbe set for the Strategic Plan once 2012-2013 School Grades are released. The goals and objectives of the boardwere the focus of the strategic plan and the 2013-2014 budget.3.
Remains impartial toward Board Members according all the same treatment
I have attempted to develop individual relationships with Board Members that focus on open lines of communication and transparency. I have made myself available at all times, to all Board Members, for phoneconversations or one on one meetings. I have strived to make each Board Member feel that their opinion isvalued, respected, and heard.4.
Has a harmonious working relationship with the Board
I have messaged to all stakeholders that the Board and I are partners in the improvement of the District. I havereached out to Board Members to partner with me on issues and concerns related to their community and theDistrict as a whole. I have invited Board Members to speak with me at Town Hall meetings, CommunityMeetings, and CPAC Meetings. In addition, we have had 3 Board Development Meetings focusing on improvingthe Board/Superintendent relationship.5.
Understands his/her role in administration of Board Policy
We have ensured that all Committee Meetings and Workshops begin with a governance session whereby theBoard and Superintendent can discuss issues and concerns, primarily those involving the role of theSuperintendent versus that of the Board. As a result of these meetings, decisions are made to ensure that boththe Board and Superintendent are working together to improve the district.
Makes recommendations and accepts responsibility for them
Throughout my first seven months, each decision I have made has been done with one priority in mind: doingwhat is best for children. Most of the decisions I have made have been embraced by both the Board and thecommunity while a few have not. Each time, I have accepted responsibility for them as my own whether theyare popular or unpopular. Some examples include:i.
In a short time, I have made a number of recommendations regarding employeediscipline from suspension to demotion to termination through a fair and consistentapproach. These recommendations have included former cabinet members, schoolbased administrators, teachers, and non-instructional staff. Some were challenged andquestioned, however, the recommendations were based on the need to increaseaccountability for all employees and raise the bar of expectations for our school district.ii.
Supporting the rights of the Oceanway student despite her mistakes and the threat of lawsuits and negative media reports.iii.
Revising the Schultz contract to streamline costs and own professional development.Changes were recommended despite some pushback.iv.
Phase I and II Reorganizations. Personnel changes were made to shift resources fromthe district level to the classroom, enhance human capital, reduce duplication, developthe whole child, upgrade safety and security, and streamline costs. Despite questions,there was a need to recruit outside talent while promoting talent within theorganization.v.
Supporting our partnership with Justice Teaching at Cedar Hills despite negative mediaattention.vi.
Collection of i-Pads from administrators. Unpopular among school-based administratorsbut I felt important considering that too many of our students do not have access totechnology.vii.
The decision to change the four-day work week over the summer to a five-day workweek. Upon review of the district calendar, I learned that the district office shifted to afour-day work week over the past few summers. I felt that in order to maximize ourtime to plan for 2013-2014 and increase employee productivity, it would be best toremain on the standard five-day work week. Upon consulting the Board, theinformation was passed on to employees. While the majority of employees agreed withthis decision, some did not; however, I feel that this decision was necessary to preparefor the upcoming school year.7.
Willingly implements Board decisions even if it is not his her recommendation
I have been fortunate that the Board and I have agreed on most of the recommendations that I have made.However, there are three particular examples which the Board did not agree with an initial recommendationand willingly implemented it:i.
The reinstatement of Magnet Transportation prior to Magnet Mania and the budgetdevelopment process. I planned to message that Magnet Transportation would bereinstated and an email was sent stating such. When three Board Members stated thatthey were uncomfortable with this, the decision was reversed until after the first BoardBudget Workshop.ii.
The posting of the Director of Art position after the committee meeting but prior toBoard approval. When two Board Members shared their concern regarding thisdecision, the posting was pulled and the position was not advertised until after theboard meeting.iii.
Also, when a Board Member raised concerns about the minimum qualifications for theDirector of Art position, the minimum qualifications were revised based on therecommendation by the Board Member.
Throughout the Budget Development Process, there was much discussion regarding theamount of funding that should be set aside as reserve. The Board maderecommendations ranging from 7% - 9%. Throughout this process, I continued to feelthat this amount was too high and we should set the reserve at 5-6% in order to fundmore initiatives related to technology; however, upon the advice of the Board, thereserve remained at 7% for 2013-2014.8.
Feels free to maintain opposition to matters until decision is reached
I have and will always stand for what I believe is in the best interest of students and the district. One suchexample was the recent request for the names, race/ethnicity, and salaries attached to personnel who werebeing non-reappointed. As part of the budget process, I sent immediately upon request, the positions that werebeing eliminated and the funding attached to those positions. I did not, however, feel that it was necessary tosend the names attached to those positions until after July 1
when the final Phase II Reorganization wascomplete. I felt that this information could negatively impact the employees listed until their final placementwas determined; however, at the direction of the Board, the list was sent.
Stakeholder Focus and Satisfaction
Involves all stakeholders in a continuing system of planning
I have engaged stakeholders throughout the district and community regarding many key district decisions. Thisstarted with seven town hall meetings, employee focus groups, and culminated with the development of thestrategic plan. The strategic plan vetting process included over 10 community meetings during whichstakeholders were invited to provide feedback and make recommendations. Another example was thenumerous principal meetings throughout the budget process.2.
Provides a process for determining customer requirements and expectations
In order to ensure that all Board and Constituent Requests are responded to in a timely manner, the BoardMember Request (BMR) and Constituent Services Request (CR) process was redeveloped. All responses are nowsent directly from the Superintendent. Staff is contacted to provide follow up and response; however, allresponses are forwarded and personally read by the Superintendent prior to sending. This process ensures thatthe Superintendent is aware of all concerns and issues that arise and will be able to respond or follow up asnecessary. Monthly status updates are sent to the Board and the system was upgraded to allow BoardMembers to track their requests in a timely manner. In addition, Town Hall Meetings were scheduled upon my
entry in each Board Member’s
district in order to allow constituents to share concerns and recommendations.An opportunity exists to upgrade access to surveys for all customers next year to track the perception of initiatives and service.3.
Provides a clear set of strategies for parents/community to support the district
In addition to Town Hall Meetings, a revised CR/BMR system and personally addressing each response email toparents, I have ensured that I am available to meet with various stakeholder groups during their regularlyscheduled meetings. I meet monthly with the PTA General Group as well as the PTA Board of Managers. I havealso attended numerous community meetings with the NAACP, JPEF, LULAC, and other agencies in order to giveboth parents and the community an opportunity to support the district and share their thoughts and concernsabout possible initiatives and ways to improve the district. I introduced the vision for a district-wide ParentAcademy, which will be operational in the fall. The Academy will allow the district to provide a clearer set of strategies for parents.

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