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D-49 board may review zone leader duties

January 8, 2013
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Several Falcon School District 49 school board members want to examine the job descriptions for some of the top posts in the district.

The proposal came as a surprise at the school board retreat Tuesday to the innovation leaders/assistant superintendents that had their own retreat in a different room.

The innovation leaders are assistant superintendents. The posts were created about two years ago in a district reorganization that included dropping the traditional superintendent post. The first three innovation leaders were high school principals.

But when job description were written for this school year, the principal duties were dropped and and picked up by other employees at two of the three high schools. Sean Dorsey of the Sand Creek Zone is the only one still handling principal duties. The fourth innovation leader oversees the alternative programs, including charter schools and online learning.

The board intended for the innovation leaders to pick up some responsibilities that previously had been handled by staff in the main administration offices.

This was the first mention of any changes to the positions. The job description for the top post in the district — chief education officer — has languished for months.

D-49 board Secretary Chuck Irons and Vice President Christopher Wright brought up subject at the end of a four-hour retreat.

Irons said that the assistant superintendents are making more money than the interim chief education officer.

“That’s a problem,” he said, adding that he wants to make sure that the district is getting its money’s worth.

Don Begier was named to the interim post in August. Becky Carter, who had led the D-49 briefly as chief education officer, was paid more than the innovation leaders.

Begier didn’t receive a pay increase to take on the additional duties, said D-49 board President Tammy Harold. Innovation leaders also did not received raises this year.

Several board members did not seem keen on making more changes.

“I don’t want to rush it,” Harold said.

However, timing is key. The four innovation zone leaders have annual employment contracts. Board members and school officials were uncertain Tuesday as to when any changes could be made to contracts for the next school year. Notification to those whose contracts may change must be made before the end of January.

Begier said he would work with the D-49 attorney before presenting details to the board at Thursday’s board meeting.

Several issues with the organizational chart also came up during the retreat.

Board member Henry Allen said he wants to address security matters. Currently security in a responsibility of the chief educational officer, and closely tied to the leaders at individual schools. Allen said it would be better placed under the chief operations officer.

Planning and capital management, now under the business office might also be better situated under operations, board members said.

Both topics are expected to be discussed at the Jan. 23 special board meeting.

The varied talk on positions and responsibilities was brief. Most of the meeting was focused on a strategic plan for the district.

Members of the D-49 administration are working on an action plan to present to the board next month that will address specific requests and needs.

The key pieces include community engagement, career prep programs and ways to pursue kids who are struggling or have dropped out.

Upcoming meeting
The Falcon School District 49 school board next meets at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the board room and the administration center, 10850 Woodmen Road.

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