The central administration has been consolidated into a two-deputy-superintendent structure to align existing services and functions in the most effective manner in the support of schools. The consolidation was directed by Dr. Jerry D. Weast, superintendent of schools, this week and presented to the Board of Education on Tuesday, May 10.
The change eliminates some senior staff positions, creating new leadership positions, reassigning staff and responsibilities, and presenting a more cohesive organizational structure in response to the priorities of the Board of Education and the initiatives under way to address the findings and recommendations of Our Call to Action.
"In the nine months that I have had a chance to observe and reflect on the needs of our school system, I have concluded that improved support for principals, teachers, and other school-based staff can be accomplished more effectively through increased and focused leadership on the part of senior staff," said Dr. Weast in his report to the Board of Education.
"In many ways, the new structure resembles previous organizational models, but there are important distinctions and realignments designed to better manage our responsibilities and provide the leadership necessary for effective change," he said.
Dr. James A. Williams took over as the deputy superintendent of schools as of yesterday [May 11] and assumed responsibility for most of the offices previously overseen by him as deputy superintendent for organizational development and most of the responsibilities of the former deputy superintendent for education. Mr. Larry A. Bowers continues in a deputy-superintendent-level position as the Chief Operating Officer with some expanded responsibilities.
"My goal is to provide principals and school-based staff with the most helpful central support services we can muster and to organize the resources necessary for the success of each and every one of our schools," Dr. Weast said. "This will require a collaborative effort, with all of us working together to make a difference in the lives of children."
The total number of administrative and supervisory and executive positions does not change in the new organization, although there are position changes that include an upgrade in duties and responsibilities. In addition, no changes are being made for community superintendents and the implementation of the performance and operations teams. There are no additional costs envisioned to implement these organizational changes.
The new organization plan eliminates the positions of deputy superintendent for organizational development, deputy superintendent for education, director of the Department of Global Access Technology, and director of the Department of Human Resources. The eliminated positions provide the funding for the creation of new positions. In addition to the new position of deputy superintendent of schools, there will be an associate superintendent for shared accountability, an associate superintendent for human resources, and a chief information officer. These latter positions will be advertised.
Among the changes is the creation of a new Office of Shared Accountability to provide leadership for the continued development of an effective and responsive assessment program. The Office of Student and Community Services will be expanded to include the Department of Special Education and the early childhood collaboration initiative.