Superintendent's 2016-17 Goals

The Board of School Directors of the Lower Merion School District has agreed upon the following objective performance standards for Robert L. Copeland, Superintendent of Schools. The objective performance standards are presented in two categories. The first, Priority Goals are goals that are specific to the Lower Merion School District. While subsumed within the state mandated protocol, both the Board of School Directors and the Superintendent felt it important to highlight and emphasize goals that will be focused on during the 2016-2017 school year. The second, Other Objective Performance Standards, together with the Priority Goals, are goals intended to satisfy the requirements for establishing objective performance standards for Superintendents set forth in the Pennsylvania School Code applicable to all Superintendents working in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Priority Goals

  1. Managing Enrollment Growth – LMSD growth continues at unprecedented levels with more than 8300 students enrolled, the highest in over 40 years. The Superintendent will focus on managing LMSD enrollment growth with an emphasis on facilities and fiscal management, expending resources very carefully and with restraint. This work will also include district personnel management and program evaluation to ensure a comprehensive approach to managing LMSD growth.
  2. Strategic Plan Implementation – Continued implementation and integration of "All Forward," the district's strategic plan will continue with a focus on building the infrastructure necessary for plan actualization. Pathway teams will continue to work on realizing their established goals, specifically The Student-Driven pathway team will gather and assess focus group data at the Elementary and Secondary levels, some of which was collected during the 2015-16 AY. The Spirit of Community pathway team will refine its system to more effectively engage the LMSD community in plan implementation. Curriculum template and structure that embeds the plan's core tenets well as a process for systematic curriculum revision and management will be developed.
  3. District-wide K-12 Program Evaluation – During the 2015-16 AY the reorganization of the Student Services Department underwent extensive internal review to ensure that its structure and organization was consistent across the district and meeting the needs of students and families as well as staff. This goal was achieved and led to the establishment of The Office of Program Evaluation, instituted to build capacity for program evaluation and encourage evaluative thinking within the LMSD educational community. Because of the size of the district, consistent internal program evaluation becomes difficult to manage. During the 2016-17 AY the Gifted Education Program K-12 will be evaluated. Additional programs will be recommended to the Board for evaluation based on priority and need for the succeeding two years.
  4. Achievement Gaps - Lower Merion has made notable improvements in mitigating achievement gaps among historically underperforming students and has been at the forefront of this issue for many years. District-wide Cultural Proficiency is crucial to the ongoing work in this area and will continue through CARE (Committee to Address Race in Education). The Achievement Imperative Task Force (AITF), formed in January 2016 will work with key district stakeholders in an advisory and action-oriented capacity to address achievement outcomes district-wide. Under the leadership of the Assistant Superintendent, the AITF will work to integrate the goals of Cultural Proficiency with legislating specific program initiatives directed toward closing achievement gaps and will further facilitate addressing issues related to disparate achievement outcomes for underrepresented, special needs, economically disadvantaged and dissociated students. Both district and state achievement outcome data will be utilized to support this work.

Other Objective Performance Standards

  1. Student Growth and Achievement – Superintendent uses multiple data sources to assess student success and growth as appropriate, specific to the needs within the District and as determined annually in collaboration with the Board of School Directors. Annual or other District performance objectives are articulated and clearly achieved under the direction of the Superintendent relative to PSSA, PVAAS, and other locally determined measures.
  2. Organizational Leadership – Superintendent works collaboratively with the Board to support the mission of and a shared vision for LMSD, displays an ability to identify and rectify problems affecting the district, manages LMSD staff to ensure best practices are being utilized by all buildings and departments and works to positively influence the climate and culture of LMSD.
  3. LMSD Operations and Financial Management – Superintendent manages effectively, ensuring completion of activities associated with the annual budget by overseeing the distribution of resources in support of LMSD priorities.
  4. Communications and Community Relations – Superintendent communicates with and effectively engages the staff, the board and members of the community, clearly articulating district goals and priorities, addressing issues affecting LMSD, and building support for LMSD goals, initiatives and programs.