Critical Success Factors

The factors listed below are keys to successful performance in the role of Superintendent of Schools. As you rate and comment on each responsibility area, take into consideration how these factors are applied in carrying out the expectations of that responsibility. Give examples, when possible. Critical Success Factor Definition

Decision Making Integrity Interpersonal Relations Judgment Leadership Listening Negotiating Public Relations

Considers a wide range of factors in order to reach conclusions and make judgments in a firm, efficient manner. Maintains a strong concern for human values and believes one must maintain a clear balance between obtaining results and caring how the results are achieved. Establishes rapport, empathizes, interacts comfortably with others to achieve objectives. Makes decisions likely to result in positive outcomes and educational success. Inspires, empowers, and guides others to achieve educational goals. Understands what is being said from the other person’s point of view; is skilled at examining assumptions, paraphrasing, asking supportive questions, etc. Confers with another individual or group with the aim of reaching a mutually acceptable agreement. Establishes rapport and interacts comfortably with town boards; determines District requirements and aligns public relations approach accordingly.

Performance Standards*
Rating 5 4 3 2 1 Performance Exceptional Performance Definition Results achieved far exceed the requirements of the job in all key areas. Constantly expands the role and thinking to achieve higher than expected results. Critical success factors are of the highest quality. Consistently Results achieved consistently exceed the requirements of the job in all key areas. Exceeds Demonstrates knowledge of the job to achieve higher than expected results. Critical Requirements success factors are of superior quality. Achieves All Results achieved consistently meet the requirements of the job in all key areas. Results are Requirements in a what you would expect and within expected timeframes. Critical success factors are also Satisfactory Manner what you would expect. Needs Results achieved inconsistently meet basic requirements of the job in all key areas. Improvement Performance falls below acceptable standards in one or more critical area. Critical success factors are not completely applied. Unsatisfactory Results achieved do not meet requirements of the job. Performance is marginal. May not possess requisite skills needed for the job.

*The pattern of performance is important; exceeding critical expectations may overshadow not accomplishing expectations of less importance.

Responsibility Areas

Instructions: For each responsibility area below, rate performance for each of the expectations and goals listed. Then give an overall rating for the area with comments and/or examples that justify and expand upon the rating. Responsibility #1 Relationship with the School Committee The School Committee relies on the Superintendent in order to make informed decisions that affect the quality of education for the public school students in our community. In order to promote a climate of mutual respect and trust, a professional working relationship should be maintained. The Superintendent should establish clear direction for the School Committee’s meetings by providing agendas and support materials that allow for reasonable policy formation and informed decision making. It is expected that the Superintendent supports and implements policies and directives and effectively communicates these to the students, staff, and members of the community. Comments/Examples: Expectations 1 2 3 4 5 3.8 3.4 3.5 3.0 4.1 3.4 3.5

Keeps the School Committee informed on issues, needs and operation of the School District. Gives a recommendation to the School Committee on items requiring School Committee’s action, based on thorough research and analysis. Interprets, supports, and executes the intent of all School Committee’s policy. Seeks and accepts feedback from members of the School Committee. Maintains a professional working relationship with the School Committee. Supports and enhances the School Committee’s Core Values, Budget Commitments, and Budget Priorities. Overall Rating

Comments/Examples: Mr. Korb is an excellent communicator and is quick to respond to emails and other correspondence from School Committee members requesting information or an explanation pertaining to issues impacting the district. He enjoys a respectful working relationship with the Committee Chair and as a result disseminates pertinent data and relevant materials in a timely manner. Working in conjunction with the Chair he establishes clear direction for School Committee meetings however it is recommended that Mr. Korb be more inclusive in soliciting the thoughts and views of all and not just a select few. His tendency to over-personalize disagreement or dissenting opinions between School Committee members and himself remains an area of concern. At a time when open, honest, accurate, and informative dialogue between the Superintendent and School Committee has never been more critical, both parties need to recognize and accept that conversations won’t always go according to plan. Mr. Korb receives high marks for the way in which the new Bus Fee Policy has been developed and implemented. He and his staff should be commended for their proactive approach in educating parents and the community as to the reasons why such measures were necessary. Providing families ample time to receive and process key information has enabled them to make informed decisions and allowed the district to almost meet the anticipated ridership and revenue target numbers.

Responsibility #2 Educational Leadership The focus of decisions must address the needs of all students. In order to provide effective leadership, the Superintendent must keep abreast of the latest developments in the field of education. Curriculum evaluation and development, professional evaluation and development, and student assessment should all be considered in the formulation of short and long range goals and objectives. Expectations Leads the School District’s renewal of curriculum and instructional programs in compliance with the Education Reform through alignment with the State frameworks. 1 2 2.9 3 4 5

Applies current principles, practices and research to foster effective classroom instruction. Works with principals and administrators to promote high standards and positive expectations for students, teachers and staff. Supervises Central Office Administrators and staff.

2.4 3.4 4.0 3.2

Overall Rating Comments/Examples: Mr. Korb is recognized for his efforts in continuing to promote high standards at the Central Office level and he maintains a supportive posture in entrusting in-house professional development opportunities for staff to the discretion of building Principals and Subject Area Committee (SAC) chairs. However, it appears that innovation bubbles up from the buildings and not down in a grand vision. Also, some have sensed that as financial constraints have become more pronounced that the district has shown indications of accepting the status quo in regard to curriculum, instruction, and assessment rather than pursue new, creative, and innovative ways to grow and improve. It remains a strong recommendation of the School Committee that Mr. Korb assert himself as the educational leader of the district and to pursue any and all opportunities to further enhance his own understanding of curriculum design, implementation, and assessment, best practices in classroom instruction, the district’s inclusionary practices and various service delivery models as they relate to our special education population, and any other initiative pertaining to student learning and achievement that he deems appropriate as Massachusetts and the Ipswich Public Schools transition from the state curriculum frameworks to the Common Core State Standards in the next few years. Responsibility #3 General Management The Superintendent is responsible for the efficient operation of the school system. Those assigned the task of carrying out the activities necessary to the success of the system depend on having an awareness of the goals and objectives of the system. The Superintendent is expected to provide the leadership to the School Committee in the development of these goals and objectives. It is important that the Superintendent is familiar with and has a strong understanding of State and Federal laws, Department of Education regulations and School Committee’s policy. Expectations Develops and/or implements the District’s mission, goals, and vision statement that provides direction for the School District. Maintains an open communication link with State and Federal Legislatures and the Department of Education. Models ethical behavior; interacts with others in a professional manner and accepts responsibility for his/her own actions in accordance with the District’s core values. Overall Rating Comments/Examples: Mr. Korb is the model of ethical behavior and always carries himself with the District’s core values in mind. He is an outstanding representative of the Ipswich Public Schools and appears to be very well received by the residents of the town. Those who are critical of him or the decisions he makes are clear to point out that they or not criticizing Rick Korb the person but are taking exception to Rick Korb the Superintendent. The fact that they are able to make that distinction and to keep the person and position separate speaks volumes about the level of support, trust, and respect he has established with the residents of Ipswich. Invitations are often extended to local and state officials to attend our meetings whenever pertinent information regarding budget or legislation pertaining to cities and towns might impact our school district planning and decisions. He is adept at corresponding with the right people at the right time. This suggests that he clearly has his finger on the pulse of the current state of affairs at all levels and does a commendable job of networking with those individuals that can provide the School Committee with the most current, accurate data on a consistent basis. Goals, achievable or not, are set but only get attention occasionally. Fresh goals are useful and could invigorate the district. Work needs to be done, especially regarding an operational vision for the school district. We recommend the Superintendent engage in some long term planning given the continuing need in coming years to do more with less. 1 2 3.6 4 4.3 4.0 3 4 5

Responsibility #4 Budget Management The School Committee has the responsibility of approving the budget. The Superintendent has the responsibility to present that budget to the School Committee in a manner that promotes understanding. The budget should take into consideration the needs of the entire system based on a formal assessment process. The need to promote the school system and gather community support for school finances is an integral component of the budget process. Expectations Develops a budgeting system that is clear and concise. Fosters a cooperative relationship with the town and its respective town boards to ensure the financial needs of the District are understood. Manages the school budget and maintains adequate internal control and accounting practices. Develops and maintains an ongoing Capital Improvement Plan for the District. Works with the Business Office to ensure financial accountability and responsibility with the District’s finances. Overall Rating Comments/Examples: Mr. Korb deserves some of the credit for identifying Ms. Cuff’s strengths and allowing her to grow into her current position. The budget process has become much clearer and much more straightforward since she arrived on the scene. As has already been discussed at meetings the budget process needs to begin sooner in the school year. The School Committee develops a budget which in large part is devoid of conversations with (as opposed to presentations by) the district’s administrators. A perfect example of this was this past year when we never had the opportunity to hear how the Special Education review conducted by the Futures agency would impact or influence their inclusion model. Recommendations made in that report did affect the level of staffing at some of the schools but it was never the direct result of conversations with the School Committee. It makes it extremely difficult to defend or refute staffing recommendations when we haven’t been privy to those discussions. It appears that there is a general lack of creativity in the budgets that are presented by the administration to the School Committee. It seems that creative solutions appear only after the School Committee questions what has been proposed and pushes for changes. Mr. Korb tends to present in extremes. This has cost the system credibility. We either get dire predictions when we are trying to convince others that we need more money or overly optimistic ones when Mr Korb is advocating for spending money. In the 09-10 School Year the negotiations with the teachers when we were trying to get a give back were mishandled. The teachers had a better sense of the economics than we did. We lost credibility with the teachers and the town. That cost us in the negotiations the following year. Capital Improvement needs continue to be addressed in a timely and efficient manner and Mr. Korb, working in conjunction with Mr. Bedard, appears to be well aware of the most pressing and urgent building issues. He receives very high marks here. Mr. Korb continues to surround himself with good people and they perform above and beyond all expectations in regard to their assigned duties and responsibilities. Responsibility #5 Personnel Management The Superintendent is responsible, either directly or indirectly, for the hiring of all school personnel. Personnel decisions should be approached in a non-discriminatory and impartial manner. It is the Superintendent’s responsibility to foster an environment conducive to good teaching. The Superintendent should be alert to issues that affect staff morale, be actively involved with a staff evaluation program, and should provide a balanced staff development program. The School 1 2 3.5 3.3 3.4 3.8 3.9 3.6 3 4 5

Committee should be kept informed in appropriate matters of collective bargaining, performance standards, professional development, and grievances. Expectations Develops and executes sound personnel procedures and practices for the District. Demonstrates and promotes an atmosphere of respect for self and others. Demonstrates that life long learning and professional development are necessary for self and others. Develops and implements a professional development plan based upon the needs of the District. Serves as a resource to the School Committee on matters of collective bargaining. Insures that all staff supervision and evaluation procedures are implemented in the District. Overall Rating Comments/Examples: The district’s policies and overall culture and climate are exemplary. Mr. Korb generally does a superb job of identifying and recommending candidates for positions in the school system. He has worked hard to create, nurture, and maintain an atmosphere of mutual respect with the administrative team as well as the faculty and staff. He allows independence and risk taking, which fosters creativity and ongoing educational growth. Evaluation timelines and procedures are not followed in all cases. Mr. Korb should ensure that the evaluation process is working and that all staff members are receiving timely and appropriate feedback on their job performances. The Superintendent works hard at developing and maintaining a good relationship with the leadership of district bargaining units however, this can be perceived by some as conciliation, and an unwillingness by Mr. Korb to challenge the status quo. During the last year’s collective bargaining with the ITA, the Superintendent was a tremendous resource and liaison with the union leadership. Professional development is the major weak area of the system. Mr. Korb has established committees comprised of teachers and administrators to create trainings and learning opportunities for teachers despite very limited professional development resources. We would like to see Mr. Korb push an innovative plan to address the professional development needs of teachers, as it’s long overdue, despite the budget constraints. This involves taking a look at best practices across the country and exploring more imaginative ways to work collaboratively with other school districts. The Superintendent does not take his own professional education seriously enough. While Mr. Korb belongs to professional associations, he should consider availing himself of professional development programs for himself. Mr. Korb should model his role as a lifelong learner and the educational leader of the school district by further enhancing his own knowledge base and understanding of curriculum and instruction through a more intensive, focused professional development plan in the coming year. Responsibility #6 Communications/Public Relations Public awareness is the cornerstone for support of education in our community. The Superintendent should ensure that staff, students, parents, and the community are kept informed of the mission and the accomplishments of the school system. A strong, positive posture is needed in building public support for the system. Expectations Maintains community respect and support for the School District. Encourages practical and community involvement on all aspects of the School District. 1 2 3.4 3.4 3 4 5 3.2 3.2 3.3 3.3 3.42 1 2 3.5 4.0 3 4 5

Develops a cooperative relationship with all of the news media. Is visible and accessible to students, staff and community. Overall Rating Comments/Examples:

3.4 4.0 3.55

Mr. Korb is accessible to all students, staff, School Committee members, and the community at large. It may be his greatest strength. Ipswich enjoys stability that is lacking in many of our neighboring districts, and this starts with Mr. Korb’s leadership. The Superintendent should continue to strive for increased communication with the town, balancing the good news with whatever hardships the district is currently and potentially facing. Mr. Korb should develop a more comprehensive communications strategy related to the district’s budgetary challenges, painting a broad picture of the schools, not simply communicating changes in the budget from one year to the next. The Superintendent’s leadership is needed to find innovative and creative ways to educate Ipswich’s children, and constantly remind all stakeholders of the sad state of the economy without offering possible reasons for hope where there are none. Mr. Korb must show himself to be the strongest supporter of our schools and our schoolchildren, in both words and actions.

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