School board will use public comments in superintendent evaluation process
School board members voted unanimously during their Oct. 21 meeting to keep using the same evaluation process for the superintendent as the board has used for nearly a decade.
The process includes public participation.
Jan Cahill, board chair, said he discussed the process with current superintendent Tom Moore, who didn’t suggest any changes to the process, which was established by board policy to, at least annually, evaluate the superintendent using standards and objectives developed by the superintendent and the board that are consistent with the district’s mission and goal statements. The evaluation includes a discussion of professional strengths as well as performance areas needing improvement.
The instrument the board will use is available in its Oct. 21 meeting packet beginning on page 65.
Cahill said during Monday’s meeting that the public can submit comments electronically, by snail mail or during public meetings, but they cannot be anonymous and any submitted comments become part of the public record.
Cahill said the board can have a discussion with Moore in executive session, but would have to vote in open session during a public meeting.
It’s a “process that can be a little stressful” for a superintendent, Cahill said.
Under the timeline approved by the board, the evaluation process will begin Nov. 25 when the board includes it on their agenda as an informational item and encourages the public to submit written comments by Jan. 6 or as public comment during the Jan. 13 meeting.
During the Jan. 13 meeting, the board chair will provide a summary of submitted written comments from the public and give the evaluation instrument to the board for individual completion. Public comment will be taken during the meeting in relation to Moore’s evaluation.
The individual assessments from the board members are due to the board chair by Jan. 17 and the board chair will compile all scores and comments into a single document.
During the Jan. 27 meeting, the board will conduct its evaluation of Moore’s performance. During that meeting, the board will discuss their evaluations and public comments with Moore. The board chair will determine if Moore’s right to privacy in the discussion supersedes the public’s right to know and may go into executive session. A number of leaders of local public organizations, including the city manager and airport director, often invoke their right to privacy during the evaluation process, but all votes on their compensation, benefits and contracts are done publicly.
On Jan. 31, the compiled evaluation with comments remove, will be made available to the public, according to the GFPS timeline.
Moore was named superintendent with a 6-1 vote in January. He assumed the duties on July 1 when Tammy Lacey retired. The board offered Moore a two year contract.