Superintendent's 2020-21 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 2020-21 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.
- Strategic Plan Implementation – The Superintendent is charged with the responsibility of direct and consistent monitoring and oversight of the strategic plan to ensure that the school community will see its vision realized. Feedback has been positive on all aspects of the implementation, integration and actualization of the progressive and dynamic “All Forward,” strategic plan. “Go Teams” continue to work on realizing their established goals with identified stakeholders and moving the plan to actionable steps. Multiple updates summarizing the progress of the plan have been presented to the Board and community. The Superintendent’s role will be to continue to set benchmarks and insist on tangible results.
- Managing Enrollment Growth – in response to the continuing growth concerns, construction of a third middle school was recommended and began, it is the responsibility of the Superintendent to oversee this process and closely monitor progression and communication with the Lower Merion Township regarding field space for the new middle school at a neighboring property. 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. Ongoing litigation continues to create levels of uncertainty especially in the area of Facilities and Operations.
- Achievement Gaps - Lower Merion has made notable improvements in mitigating achievement gaps among historically underperforming students. District-wide Cultural Proficiency is crucial to the ongoing work in this area and will continue through CARE (Committee to Address Race in Education) and The Achievement Imperative Task Force (AITF). More specifically, the Superintendent has directed school administration to identify and support students who are either not or close to not being proficient on the Pennsylvania State Standard Assessments (PSSAs). The Superintendent introduced the Tutoring program in the 2018-19 school year and will monitor the newly recommended Full Day Targeted Kindergarten program. Teachers and building administrators will utilize Building Learning Plans to develop action plans that closely monitor individual student achievement. The Superintendent and Board are committed to continued dedication of resources and supporting an approach that legislates work toward closing achievement gaps and addresses 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.
- Equity & Anti-Racism – Lower Merion has made notable improvements in implementing policies and committees to address racial injustices and insure equity of its students and staff. The Superintendent will support these policies with continued professional development of staff and student based programs.
Other Objective Performance Standards
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.