INDEPENDENCE — The Central School District board of directors heard on Monday the results of a management and efficiency review that Superintendent Jennifer Kubista requested in January.
A team of four began the review in March.
Tim Collier, chief financial officer of Metro Portland and Jim Mabbott, superintendent of Castle Rock School District and former executive director of the Oregon Association of Education Service Districts presented the results at an Aug. 20 work session.
Darcy Rourk, vice president of human resources at Clark College and Dennis Dempsey, superintendent of Catholic Diocese of Baker also were part of the team but not present at the work session.
Informational and instructional technology, fiscal systems, management ad organizational structure, personnel systems, safety and security systems and facilities use and maintenance were the areas covered.
Commendations and recommendations were made for each area.
In response to many of the recommendations, Kubista said she and the district are already starting to address them.
Regarding technology, Mabbott recommended having a replacement plan.
“No devices in this day and age last more than four or five years,” Mabbott said. “Most curriculums have technology interface with them.”
Schools should be digitized, rather than purchasing text books, he said.
Mabbott said he can tell if a district is implementing a plan because it will be apparent in the budget.
“The plan has to match with budgetary items,” Mabbott said. “We want to make sure there are separate lines in the budget with transparency.”
He said technology purchases should be centralized.
“We have started some processes to do that,” Kubista said.
Regarding safety and security, Collier said the review team saw an extensive use of cameras but came up with 24 recommendations, which they narrowed down to seven.
The areas they reviewed for this section are traffic control, surveillance outside, access control inside and safety devices and equipment inside.
The prioritized recommendations are:
-to review drop off areas for all schools, regarding buses and cars. Changes need to be made at Monmouth Elementary and the middle school school drop off areas;
-to review access in and out of each school;
-to look at illuminating all outside dark or blind spots at each school;
-to use more adult monitors in bus and parent drop off areas;
-to review signage for restricted areas and for flow of students, staff and visitors at all schools;
-to review emergency communication plans and protocols for each school;
-to complete an extensive safe schools assessment
Kubista said the district is moving in the direction of having everyone sign in at the office of the school building they are in as a way of knowing who is in the building.
“I commend you for that,” Mabbott said. “Part B is you’ve got to think about the person that doesn’t give a damn about your rules. Think about that person that doesn’t care what you want me to do. I’m going to do whatever it takes to get in that building and do what I want. Those systems are really important. Think beyond those.”
Mabbott said the number of staff members in place at CSD is pretty standard.
“You have a new dynamic superintendent,” he said, adding that she already has gained respect from staff.
In the review Mabbott recommended planning for the retirement of the human resources manager, first by convincing her “to continue for at least one more year,” and hire a new HR administrator for the purpose of cross training.
“I convinced her,” Kubista said.
Regarding recruiting, Mabbott said 41 percent of the student population is Latino but only 4 percent are diverse.
“The bottom line is that in order to fix that, you need to take a strong look at how your recruit and how you hire,” he said.
One resource noted in the review is a “Strategies for Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse, High-Quality Teacher Workforce,” a report published the Intercultural Development Research Association.
Mabbott also spoke about keeping board policies up to date.
“At every single board meeting, in my opinion, you ought to have five to seven policies to look at and to approve,” he said. “Then a new date goes on that policy.”
Another way to achieve that is to have a board policy committee, he said.
That could involve a couple of board members, a couple of administrators and union representatives who meet every month and go through policies.
“You want to have policies in place that are not person-dependent,” Mabbott said.