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February 27, 2010

The Proposed Madison School District Administrative Reorganization Plan

Superintendent Dan Nerad, via an Arlene Silveira email 1.4MB PDF:

Processes of the Administration

The following administrative processes are currently being utilized to provide administrative leadership within the district:

  1. Superintendent's Management Team Comprised of the Superintendent and department administrators, this team meets weekly and serves as the major decision making body of the administration.
  2. Strategic Plan Monitoring and Support
    The Superintendent meets monthly with administrators with lead responsibility for the five priority strategies within the Strategic Plan.
  3. Superintendents-Assistant Superintendents, Chief of Staff and Executive Director, Human Resources
    The Superintendent meets weekly with the Assistant Superintendents, Chief of Staff and Executive Director of Human Resources to discuss key operational issues.
  4. Board Liaison Team
    The Board Liaison Team, consisting of designated administrators, meets three times a month to coordinate Board agenda planning and preparation. District Learning Council The District Learning Council consists of curriculum, instruction and assessment related administrators and teacher leaders. This council meets bi-weekly to discuss major instructional issues in the district and provides coordination across related departments.
  5. Department Meetings Administrators assigned to each department meet as needed.
  6. Principal Meetings Assistant Superintendents meet minimally one time per month with all principals
  7. Committee Meetings
    There are numerous administrative/staff committees that meet as specific tasks require.

General Strengths of the Current Administrative Structure
The strengths of the current administrative structure within the district are as follows:

  1. The basic structure of our district has been in place for many years. As a result, the current department structure is known by many and has predictable ways of operating.
      There exist needed checks and balances within the current system, given the relative equal status of the departments, with each department leader along with the Assistant Superintendents and Chief of Staff directly reporting to the Superintendent of Schools.

    General Weaknesses of the Current Administrative Structure
    The weaknesses of the current administrative structure within the district are as follows:

    1. The degree to which the mission-work of the district, teaching and learning, is central to the function of administration is of concern especially in the way professional development is addressed without a departmental focus.
    2. Traditional organizational structures, while having a degree of predictability, can become bureaucratically laden and can lack inventiveness and the means to encourage participation in decision making.
    Organizational Principles
    In addition to the mission, belief statements and parameters, the following organizational principles serve as a guide for reviewing and defining the administrative structure and administrative processes within the district.
    1. The district will be organized in a manner to best serve the mission of the district .and to support key district strategies to accomplish the mission.
    2. Leadership decisions will be filtered through the lens of our mission.
    3. Central service functions will be organized to support teaching and learning at the schools and should foster supportive relationships between schools and central service functions.
    4. The district's organizational structure must have coherence on a preK-12 basis and must address the successful transition of students within the district.
    5. The district will be structured to maximize inter-division and intra-division collaboration and cooperation.
    6. The district's organizational structure must have an orientation toward being of service to stakeholders, internally and externally.
    7. The district must be organized in a manner that allows for ongoing public engagement
      and stakeholder input.
    8. To meet the district's mission, the district will embrace the principles of learning organizations, effective schools, participative and distributive leadership and teamwork.
    9. The district will make better use of data for decision making, analyzing issues, improving district operations, developing improvement plans and evaluating district efforts.
    10. The need for continuous improvement will be emphasized in our leadership work.
    11. Ongoing development and annual evaluation of district leaders is essential.
    Leadership Needs
    Given these organizational principles, as well as a review of the current administrative structure and administrative processes within the district, the following needs exist. In addition, in the development of this plan, input was sought from all administrators during the annual leadership retreat, individual Management Team members and individual members of the Board of Education. These needs were specifically referenced in identifying the recommended changes in our administrative structure and related administrative processes that are found in this report.
    1. There is a need to better align the administrative structure to the district's mission and Strategic Plan and to place greater priority on the mission-work of our organization (improved achievement for all students and the elimination of achievement gaps).
    2. From an administrative perspective, the mission-work of our district is mainly delivered through teaching and learning and leadership work being done in our schools. Central service functions must act in support of this work. In addition, central service functions are needed to ensure constancy of focus and direction for the district.
    3. New processes are needed to allow for stakeholder engagement and input and to create greater inter-department and division collaboration and cooperation
    4. The mission of the district must be central to decisions made in the district.
    5. The organizational structure must support PreK -12 articulation and coordination needs within the district.
    6. Leadership work must embody principles of contemporary learning organizations, effective school practices, participative and distributive leadership and teamwork. Included in this will be a focus on the purposeful use ofteacher leadership, support for our schools and a focus on positive culture within the district.
    7. There must be an enhanced focus on the use of data in our improvement and related accountability efforts.
    8. There is a need to unifonnly implement school and department improvement plans and to change administrative supervision and evaluation plans based on research in the field and on the need for continuous improvement of all schools, departments and all individual administrators.
    In addition, as this plan was constructed there was a focus on ensuring, over the next couple of years, that the plan was sustainable from a financial point of view.

Posted by Jim Zellmer at February 27, 2010 10:29 AM
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