Seeking the perfect superintendent of schools…

So, since I did a guest post for (@d_martin05) Dave Martin (I love the title of his blog: Real teaching means real learning) I continue to reflect on formative and summative assessment, rubrics, teaching/learning, curriculum, etc.

Chandra Crawford (CRPS Alumna) & Superintendent Callaghan

School Board Chair, Kim Bater, and I worked with Mr. Brian Callaghan, CRPS Superintendent, as he developed a new model to replace the traditional “Performance Appraisal”. He decided what to reflect on and report using The College of Alberta School Superintendents (CASS) Practice Standard Leadership Dimensions as a template. Brian has built his online portfolio for us as a Google Doc. The goal is to align assessments with the Board of Trustees goals and direction for the School District. It is a living document, easy for him to access to keep current and to provide the opportunity for self-reflection and improvement.

Our colleagues in Rocky View School District have provided support to our staff in this (and other areas). We have realized that the traditional ways of gauging how our staff members are doing no longer work. The assessment has to be continuous to be effective and relevant for learning and for teaching and for learning and for teaching…

Paperwork for paperwork’s sake, checklists that are a stale rote exercise no longer cut it.  For one thing, the world is moving too quickly, there’s too much going on. To only use a single-moment-in-time-snapshot of a person’s status in a life-long professional journey is limiting, one-dimensional and deceptive. Tests and reports provide benchmarks but are not the sole descriptors of an individual’s learning growth; not for our staff, not for our students.

The Board of Trustees is now actively prospecting for a superintendent; Mr. Brian Callaghan is retiring at the end of the school year in 2012. It is an important moment in the School District’s history: Brian is the only Superintendent Canadian Rockies Public Schools has known.

We shall consult with our community regarding the criteria for the ideal candidate. Kim has done a thoughtful post New Superintendent for CRPS – What do we want/need? , looking at some fundamental leadership characteristics. The progression and examination of Brian’s portfolio will give some context as we begin the search.

Recently I joked that perhaps we should require the new supe sport a tattoo and/or a piercing. It got me thinking about “Who will that new person be?” It is a serious business and we need to get it right. Feel free to comment here; parents, teachers, administrators, staff and community members will have a chance to contribute – details will be broadcast.

About Esmé Comfort

My husband Jim and I moved to the Bow Valley in 1980, settling in Canmore in 1983. Both my children were born in Canmore and attended K -12 in Canadian Rockies Public Schools District (CRPS), French Immersion. For the past six years I served as vice-chair of the board. Alberta Government support to the CRPS Inspiring Hearts & Minds initiative created opportunities for provincial, national and international outreach. In the past I held positions on the Canmore Daycare Board, the preschool board, and various school councils/PACs; I served as president of the local chapter of Canadian Parents for French for five years and sat on the provincial board for two. I currently sit on the board of the Canmore Folk Music Festival, work full time at an events management firm and edit, copy-edit and proofread on contract. My husband and I ran a small main street business for 18 years: supply and install floor wall and window coverings.
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