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School board reviews priorities, goals, expectations for board and district.

The Jefferson County 509-J School Board held a work session on Monday night where they reviewed the board and superintendent operating agreements and went over the superintendent evaluation process for the coming year. The general consensus — the agreements are working.

Throughout the process of going over the document, several board members said they were happy with the set policies and working with Ken Parshall, the superintendent. The board said the policies have been an improvement from the past.

Parshall has been with the district for two years now, and Tom Norton, a board member of 10 years, said there have been big improvements since they began working with Parshall, in terms of communication and clarity.

"That vision is a lot more formulated now than it ever was in my first eight years on the board," he said as they discussed the agreements.

The operating agreements are pretty straightforward, easy to handle and are essentially a one-page list of expectations for the board and expectations for the superintendent.

Some expectations include working to establish a clear vision for the district, respecting confidentiality of meetings and executive sessions, and keeping each other informed about what is going on.

Another board member, Laurie Danzuka, also said that, in the past, the vision for the district seemed unclear and changed often.

"We went through quite a bit of board training and ... the expectations from the superintendent and the board I think (the agreements) pretty much cover it," said Norton.

The common theme throughout everything the board discussed in the work session boiled down to communication and making sure everyone was on the same page.

"I would not have been able to come up with a list like this on my own," said Kevin Richards, a first-year board member. "In my mind, it all kind of centers on cohesiveness between the board and the superintendent."

While the board has a drafted list of goals, most of which are very specific and wordy, they mentioned that the more concise and true hopes for the district were more along the lines of the 2019-2020 specific board priorities.

The list includes goals to work at closing the achievement gap, training and obtaining high quality staff for the district, building relationships with those working in the district, students, parents and general community members and promoting family engagement and inclusivity throughout the schools.


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