School Committee studies evaluation protocol for superintendent

Sep 10, 2020

The School Committee met Thursday night to brush up on the procedure for evaluating the superintendent’s performance.

It’s a process that is simultaneously tightly regulated by the state and the superintendent’s contract while also being fairly ambiguous about some questions of procedure, including the timeline for evaluation and the criteria by which superintendents should be evaluated.

Superintendents and school committees must together determine a list of goals for the year, each of which is accompanied by evaluation criteria that outlines what it means to succeed, partially meet, or exceed that goal.

This year, the evaluation process will be complicated by the coronavirus pandemic. When schools shut down in March, forcing an almost immediate transition to online learning, some goals became impossible to meet, while the metrics for success for others were dramatically shifted.

Therefore, superintendents (and teachers) will only be evaluated based on their performance before March, with goals appropriately adjusted to reflect the incomplete length of time given to meet them.

Superintendent Dr. Kimberly Shaver-Hood will be up for evaluation soon. 

Last November, Shaver-Hood was given a “needs improvement” evaluation from the School Committee, which meant that she would not receive a raise during the following year. 

Her evaluation included reports that some employees of the school said her leadership style created a “hostile work environment.” 

At the following meeting, Shaver-Hood read a rebuttal to her evaluation, calling it a “mean-spirited, personal attack.” 

She also alleged that the statements in the evaluation were not properly backed up with evidence, as is required by state regulations. 

School Committee Chair Joyce Bacchiocchi said that the training was fairly routine, and was not prompted by last year’s events.