Youngstown school board wants 10 percent annual increase
By Denise Dick
The city school board wants Superintendent Connie Hathorn to increase the district performance index score 10 percent, reduce suspensions, improve district communications, develop a leadership training program and increase student achievement.
The board passed a resolution at its regular Tuesday meeting, adopting 2013-14 goals and expectations for Hathorn, whose contract runs through July 31, 2017.
The district scored a 76.9 percent performance-index score — the measure of achievement for every student — on the most recent state report card, which gave it a “D.” The board wants that to increase by 10 percent every year.
“These are goals,” said Richard Atkinson, board president.
Since Hathorn’s arrival in the district in late 2010, becoming superintendent in January 2011, the PI score has increased 2 percent to 3 percent.
Atkinson said the board wants to set high expectations. It doesn’t mean the superintendent will be fired if he doesn’t achieve the 10 percent mark, he said.
The board also wants Hathorn to reduce out-of-school suspensions and “emphasize evidence-based positive school discipline and social-justice models,” the resolution says.
The panel also wants him to meet with members of the community, produce a newsletter and recruit and maintain competent, motivated teachers and administrators. He’s to develop a leadership training program to assist staff in preparing “to take advantage of opportunities for upward mobility” and develop measures for tracking college and career readiness.
“I’ll work to attain all of the goals the board has set for me,” Hathorn said.
In other business, the board rescinded the hiring of Regina Williams as routing manager, which was approved earlier this month. At the same meeting at which Williams was hired, the board rejected two other resolutions to create the routing manager position and set the salary for the job. The routing manager is to handle school bus routes.
Those two resolutions passed Tuesday after board members said they wanted the position advertised area-wide.
Hathorn said he would do that but couldn’t advertise for a position that hadn’t been created. Board members then agreed to vote on the two previous resolutions.
That meant, though, that Williams’ hiring had to be rescinded. She will remain as a secretary in the transportation department.
Hathorn had recommended creation of the routing-manager position and her appointment to it after two postings for a transportation supervisor yielded no applicants.
At the board’s direction, he’ll run advertisements for both a transportation supervisor and routing manager, with plans to fill only one of those jobs.