Dr. Sara Lewis Stankus / Photo courtesy Upshur County Schools

BOE meets in special session to vote on new policy governing superintendent’s performance evaluation

BUCKHANNON – Upshur County Board of Education members met in special session early Friday morning to consider Policy 5011, which relates to the county school superintendent’s performance evaluation.

Upshur BOE members voted unanimously to adopt West Virginia Board of Education Policy 5309 as Upshur County Schools Policy 5011. The policy governs the criteria and processes county boards of education use to annually evaluate their superintendents’ job performances.

The newly approved evaluation process will begin with school year 2022-2023, and it requires county boards of education to submit a written description of the proposed evaluation process adopted, including a copy of evaluation forms that will be utilized as part of the process. Those documents must be submitted to the West Virginia State Superintendent for approval by the W.Va. Board of Education before Dec. 31.

Upshur County Schools Assistant Superintendent Dr. Debra Harrison said the West Virginia Board of Education recently adopted Policy 5309 related to the county superintendents’ performance evaluations.

“Upshur County Schools either had to decide to adopt that or have the [Upshur County] Board of Education develop their own method of evaluating the superintendent,” Harrison said. “Since the criteria are clearly designed and delineated in this policy, we decided we would ask the board to approve it as Upshur County Schools Policy 5011. There is a template identifying all the criteria by which the superintendent will be evaluated. There is also an additional document that allows for the board to provide commendations or areas for improvement.”

BOE President Dr. Tammy Samples said the policy is a document drafted by the West Virginia School Board Association.

“I served on one of the subcommittees,” Samples explained. “I did a little bit of work on this, so it is something our organization has been a part of, so to speak.”

BOE member Kristi Wilkerson asked what significant changes were present in the new state policy.

“We did not see any significant changes in the policy,” Harrison replied in response to Wilkerson’s question.

The document says the county board of education and superintendent must annually establish written, measurable and timely goals or objectives to be used in the superintendent’s performance evaluation. In addition, according to the policy, at least one of those goals must relate to student achievement, and the evaluation process is required to consider input from other parties, such as citizens and school employees.

It also states that the evaluation of the superintendent’s performance must be made in executive session but notes the BOE should make available to the public a “general statement about the evaluation process and the overall result and progress in meeting goals.”

BOE member Dr. Greenbrier Almond made a motion to accept Upshur County Schools Policy 5011, which Wilkerson seconded before all BOE members present unanimously approved it.

Following the special session, Stankus said the new West Virginia Board of Education Policy 5309 was established with the participation of the West Virginia Department of Education, West Virginia School Boards Association and the West Virginia Superintendent’s Association.

“This policy provides for consistency in evaluating county superintendents throughout the state of West Virginia,” Stankus said. “Therefore, the Upshur County Board of Education elected to use the process as delineated in WVBE Policy. It will become Upshur County Board of Education Policy 5011.”

Stankus said the process for the new policy is remarkably similar to the one currently in place, so there will be very few changes to protocols utilized by Upshur County Schools.

Also, during Friday’s special meeting, BOE members voted to appoint BOE member Patrick Long to the Council on Productive and Safe Schools. Samples suggested appointing Long to the council, and Almond made a motion to accept Long as the appointee, which was seconded by Wilkerson prior to passing.

The next regular meeting of the Upshur County Board of Education is slated for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 14 at Union Elementary School.

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