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Lower Merion School District

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Superintendent's 2017-18 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 2017-2018 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 to grow 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. To be noted, the "Partner School" program has saved LMSD $350,000. Ongoing litigation continues to create levels of uncertainty especially in the area of Facilities and Operations. Finally, the Superintendent is charged with providing the Board of School Directors with options and recommendations to manage this growth that aligns with the core values of the community.
  2. Strategic Plan Implementation - Continued implementation, integration and actualization of the progressive and dynamic "All Forward," district strategic plan. Further building the necessary infrastructure for plan actualization will continue this year. Pathway Team are now "Go Teams" and will continue to work on realizing their established goals with identified stakeholders. Curriculum templates and structure that embed the plan's core tenets well as a process for systematic curriculum revision and management was developed in AY 2016-17. This framework will be utilized in curriculum deliverables, such as content area unit upgrades. 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. The Superintendent's role will be to continue to set benchmarks and insist on tangible results.
  3. District-wide K-12 Program Evaluation - The Office of Program Evaluation was instituted in AY 2015-16 under the Superintendent's leadership to build capacity for program evaluation and encourage evaluative thinking within the LMSD educational community. During the 2016-17 AY the K-12 Gifted Education Program was evaluated. During Fall 2017, the final report will be issued and the Department of Student Services will develop an action plan that responds to the noted recommendations. During AY 2017-18, the program evaluation process will focus on Academic Support Programs (ASP). The emphasis this year on ASP has significant implications because these programs touch our most vulnerable learners and require extensive personnel and financial resources. Additionally, the focus on ASP programs coincides with the Superintendent's and Board's longstanding commitment to addressing and mitigating student Achievement Gaps.
  4. 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). Teachers and building administrators will utilize Building Learning Plans to develop action plans that closely monitor individual student achievement. Additionally, a "Go Team" has been formed consisting of Human Resources, three school principals and the elementary supervisor for English Language Arts to implement a one-to-one tutoring program to close identified gaps. 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.

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. 
  1. 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.
  2. 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.