46 \ ORGANIZATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS should explicitly state that if the district acknowledges the institutional and historical racism that exists and equips educators to address it, then the unacceptable achievement gap between white students and students of color will be reduced. 4. A communications plan should be developed for new or revised board policies and district policies. Internal and external stakeholders need to be informed in a timely and effective manner of the district’s policies, administrative rules and procedures. 5. Develop a constituent concerns flow chart that specifies action steps to ensure that constituent concerns, issues and problems are addressed efficiently and effectively. 6. Conduct an extensive study, assisted by consultative support, of the district’s facility utilization scheme in relation to current and future school district and community needs, and expectations related to fiscal resources. 7. Hold an oversight work session to analyze effectiveness for (a) staffing/ position formulas and controls, and (b) disaster recovery: student, personnel, fiscal/operation records. • The BOE should consider using a facilitator/trainer to address items 1-7. • The Superintendent’s presence is recommended for items 1-7. • The administration’s participation is a valuable resource for the BOE, and again, it is recommended to have the Superintendent and other administrators who the board and/ or Superintendent believe would be appropriate. Partnerships could lead to financial efficiencies that will allow for the alignment of funds to other educational programs within GCS. Long-Term Recommendations for Governance 1. Conduct a Board Self-Assessment (BSA). This exercise is a best practice for highly effective boards and allows them to examine their accomplishments and improve their work. When conducting the BSA, a board asks, “What are we doing well and what can we do better?” The BSA gives the board members an opportunity to assess and discuss the board’s performance from multiple views. We recommend that the BSA be conducted as soon as possible. 2. Hold a board goal-setting retreat to: • Analyze the results of the BSA, • Develop goals to address the findings of the BSA, and • Discuss and set board goals for the 2017 academic year. We recommend that the board goalsetting retreat be scheduled as soon as possible. 3. Schedule a board goals formativeassessment workshop. This workshop would afford the board an opportunity to monitor the status of the board’s goals and make any necessary adjustments. We recommend the workshop be held in early 2018. 4. Hold an oversight workshop to evaluate the success or need for improvement for the following: • Board Operating Procedures (BOP) • Governance—Management, Roles, Responsibilities and Relationships • Board Values, District Vision and Mission • District Over-Arching Theory of Action • Communications Plan • Constituent Concerns Flow Chart We recommend that the oversight workshop be held in early 2018. 5. Schedule a sustainability study session. The board needs to develop sustainability plans to ensure continuous board and district success. The study component investigates evolving and future changes that could impact the district. 6. Schedule a series of work sessions with administration to develop, ratify and implement a holistic accountability framework for the district. 7. Schedule board-oversight workshops for district majorbusiness operations (payroll, budget, finance, food services, district safety department, transportation and any other business departments identified by the board) to ensure the integrity of the departments and to review results. Follow with quarterly sessions until completed. • The board should consider using a facilitator/trainer for items 1-7. • The Superintendent’s presence is recommended for items 1-7. Organizational Structure: Recommendations 1. Institute a new ERP system for finance, payroll and timekeeping. 2. Implement a strategy to facilitate the sharing of best organizational and technology practices across schools. 3. Prioritize instructional technology in schools.
ORGANIZATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS \ 47 4. Organize the district structure to support more consistency, vertical and horizontal alignment, and improved communication across the current regions and district in order to improve student achievement (both growth and proficiency) and equity. • Consider contracting with the Council of the Great City Schools or similar organization to review the organizational structure and provide additional recommendations. 5. Revisit the span of control and reporting structures to improve efficiency and effectiveness in Academic Services and Operations, and for principal supervisors. 6. Purchase or develop educational data systems that are connected and provide teachers with real-time access to student data. There have many complaints about and discussions of the limitations of Power School. 7. Look at partnering with other governmental and similar entities within the county (Guilford County, Cities of Greensboro and High Point, local colleges and universities) to fund purchases, evaluate systems and provide/share data that will increase educational effectiveness and increase operational efficiency. Additionally, partnerships could lead to financial efficiencies that will allow for the alignment of funds to other educational programs within GCS. 8. Repurpose current positions to improve efficiency and innovation (and where necessary, outsource areas in which current GCS staff may not have expertise or in which greater efficiencies or savings can occur— e.g., creating data management systems, etc.). 9. Organize the district to support a comprehensive district professionaldevelopment plan that: • Aligns with the district’s new strategic plan; • Aligns professional development and budget resources (state, local, Title I, Title II, grants, etc.) across the organization; and • Merges professional-development efforts in Human Resources, Curriculum and Instruction, and Technology Services. Non-Personnel Committee: Recommendations 1. Performance contracting-Lighting, mechanical, electrical, roofing, doors, windows 2. Purchasing coordination/resource alignment with county, city (Greensboro and High Point), GTCC, and other potential partners: • Bulk purchasing of goods and services (fuel, tires, paper, etc.) • Bus/vehicle maintenance facility • Software/technology • Print services • Cell phone contracts • Custodial contracts • Sharing equipment; other shared services 3. Facility, property and school-zone optimization • Facility/boundary optimization study 4. Transportation rating/efficiencies Data and Technology: Recommendations Organizational Structure and Skills 1. As part of the strategic planning process, the district should establish a team—led by a cabinet-level officer—to monitor, analyze and report regularly on progress toward those goals at the district and school level. Data Systems and Processes 1. Key instructional and operational data should be connected through a data dashboard that includes progress to district- and school-level goals. 2. Schools should be provided with data in a manner that is actionable, with data at the teacher and student levels available to support progress to overall school goals. 3. Updated fiscal and HR systems should be purchased. Technology 1. The district should conduct a thorough assessment of available operational and instructional technology, with the goal of creating a district-wide plan and budget for high-quality operational instructional technology and embedded professional development. • An initial review of the district’s current state of instructional technology and preliminary recommendations was completed by Erin O’Hara, Executive Director, Tennessee Research Alliance, Vanderbilt University. We endorse these findings and recommendations and view that report as an addendum to the work of the Transition Team. 2. The district plan should result in an initial influx of funding and an annual budget item that provides for equity within and across schools, meets educator needs, and gives students access to 21st-century technology.