Proficient performance, challenging circumstances for Superintendent

Apr 25, 2024

Wareham Public Schools Superintendent Matthew D’Andrea has had a broadly successful second year in the role, with many of the challenges facing the district due to circumstances beyond his control, according to the evaluation discussed by the School Committee at a Thursday, April 25 meeting. 

“The Superintendent had a solid second year leading our district,” said School Committee Chair Kevin Brogioli. 

Wareham’s MCAS scores have seen improvement, significant infrastructure upgrades have been made to school buildings and administration has done a good job managing the budget, Brogioli said. 

However, some areas of the district do still need further consideration. 

The School Committee recognized that D’Andrea has made progress in engaging with staff, students and other members of the community, including reaching out to school choice families to understand why they chose not to attend Wareham Public Schools. However, the Committee believes there are still gains to be made. 

“It’s one thing to understand why they left, it’s another thing to address those concerns,” said School Committee member Brennan McKiernan. While McKiernan understood that not all families will want to return, “I’d like to see a little bit more motion on that.”

Additionally, several members of the School Committee pointed out the challenging financial circumstances facing the district. “My main concern will be managing to continue improvements made with the unfortunate budget constraints we will be facing,” said School Committee member Apryl Rossi. 

“I’ve done a lot of these, and I suppose the good news is that I found in doing this evaluation, maybe the first time, that I found it difficult to isolate specific problems to this individual,” said School Committee Geoff Swett.

Swett said he saw “inherent problems in public education in general,” including the need to increase accountability in teachers for the quality of students’ education. However, Swett didn’t think these problems were specific to Wareham or D’Andrea. 

“I’m not asking you to specifically change anything, I’m just asking you to solve public education in general,” said Swett. 

D’Andrea has either met or made significant progress on each of the goals listed in his evaluation. 

Those goals comprise different ways to improve education in the district, such as a revision of English Language Arts standards and an evaluation of Special Education staff to examine how much time they are spending in meetings compared to being with students. 

D’Andrea was also marked ‘proficient’ in each of four standards examined by the evaluation: instructional leadership, management and operations, family and community engagement, and professional culture. 

The evaluation was compiled from individual evaluations sent by each of the members of the School Committee. According to Brogioli, “We had strong consensus on nearly every indicator and performance rating.”