Public Comments March 13, 2017 – Mary Olson

Public Comments at March 13, 2017 I-S Regular School Board Meeting – Mary Olson

On the District website, www.iola.k12.wi.us/, are two documents most likely posted by the School Board, with links on the left side of the landing page.

>The first link is: “Iola-Scandinavia School Board Questions & Answers.” When you click on that, it takes you to a document titled: “Responses to Questions from Feb 13.” These Q & A were attached to District letterhead & signed by the Board President. (If you were at that meeting and asked a Question, you received a copy of this letter in the mail.)

  1. Can board meeting minutes be more detailed?

A: [The Board’s answer cites the WI Statutes, but fails to simply mention District Policy 184, “Minutes,” which states, in part: “… The minutes of Board meetings shall be the written record of current happenings for future boards of education and shall be kept accordingly…”

[The current Minutes are so sketchy; they do not really record the current happenings so that future Boards can figure out what transpired. Look back at some of the older Minutes, say like from March 10, 2014, when Charlie Wasrud was still President, for a good example.]

However, following Q 20, was added another page that was not included in the mailing, that included 3 Q & A about the presence of the District lawyer at the last School Board meeting.

>> Also posted on the District website, linked on the left, is a second Q & A article, titled: “School Board Response.” When you click on that link, you see a document titled: “Iola-Scandinavia Frequently Asked Questions of Recent School District Events.”

These Q & A were handed out to people in attendance at the Feb 13 Meeting, following a very unprofessional response that criticized the Letter to the Editor. That letter was not on District letterhead, nor was it signed by the School Board President, so may have been simply one person’s “rant.” I am not sure…

None-the-less, if you still have that handout, check out the changes that were made recently to Q #1 and 5, which originally indicated that Dr. Dyb’s sabbatical leave was “thru March 2017”, but now say “thru June 2017.” [How did that get changed without a Board vote?]

  1. What is the process for evaluating an administrator?

A: State and federal law do not dictate the process by which a District Administrator is evaluated. Such decisions are left to the local control of the public school district. In our School District, the Board has adopted policies and procedures governing the expectations of an administrator. For example, several responsibilities demanded by the Iola-Scandinavia School District include: providing instructional leadership, being liaison between the Board and staff, being liaison between the District and the community, following direction provided by the Board, and acting in a manner consistent with the law. In addition, Board Policy #223 outlines the process of the District Administrator evaluation. As reflected in many Board meeting minutes, this policy was followed by the Board.

>> In looking at the Job Description of District Administrator, Policy 231, I see it has 7 major categories, but the exact words, “providing instructional leadership” are not listed.

>>AND, how can you say you are following Policy 223, “Evaluation of Admin Staff,” when it says: “In January of each year, or as soon as thereafter as practicable, the Board shall devote a session to the evaluation of the District Administrator’s performance, with the District Administrator present.

The evaluation shall be based on a Board-approved evaluation form and such performance objectives as may be agreed to by the Board and District Administrator.”

 

At a special Board Meeting on 8/11/15, the Board voted unanimously to purchase 14-inch Chrome books (laptops) for all School Board Members.

>> Since these are District property, I would expect that they are only being used for District business and would be returned to the District upon resignation of any Board member.

>> So, since two Board members have recently left and two were added, it would seem reasonable that these two new Board members would have those laptops from the previous Board members.

 

Policy 221, Administrative Contracts, which includes all of those people who are in administrative roles, it says: “Decisions on renewing or revising an administrator’s contract shall be made at the first regular meeting of the Board in January of each year, or as soon thereafter as practicable.

If the Board fails to give written notice of the contract’s renewal, revision or non-renewal before March of any year, the contract shall be automatically extended for two additional years.

3/14/17 Note: The two links mentioned above have been removed, but there is still a link to the Feb 23, 2017 Orange & Black, which has the Q & A that were handed out at the 2/13/17 School Board Meeting and their [unprofessional] response to the Letter to the Editor, which the School Board refers to as an “Op-Ed.”

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