About 30 administrators in the Lompoc Unified School District will find out whether they’ve been reassigned — or demoted — later this month when the new superintendent announces results of his evaluations.
Trevor McDonald, who took the helm as superintendent last fall, has been weighing the skills of all principals, assistant principals and directors since March 15, the day by which the district had to send its certificated administrators pink slips, or “reassignment letters,” to notify them of potential reorganizations or reassignments.
McDonald told Noozhawk he expects to bring recommendations for approval by the Board of Trustees at a regular meeting May 27 — later than the May 1 deadline he was aiming for so administrators would have more time to grapple with any changes.
McDonald, who comes from a similar post at the Greenfield Union School District in Monterey County, couldn’t guarantee a larger shakeup was imminent, but said some principal positions would need to be filled due to retirement, etc.
“The process is going well and we’re just continually looking at every position in the district to make sure it’s the right fit for the community,” McDonald said. “I recognize that that responsibly falls squarely on my shoulders.”
McDonald has said the reason for sending the letters was not fiscal, but part of an overall district push to innovate and improve the performance of 9,800 students in kindergarten through 12th grade — with leadership at its 15 elementary, middle and high schools as key in that success.
A pink slip for a teacher means a layoff, but the pink slip equivalent for an administrator means changing positions or schools or heading back into a classroom as a teacher, he said.
The reassignment letters reportedly have had a chilling effect on morale within the district, although McDonald has said no administrator would lose his or her job because they all have tenure.
Since the superintendent came on, Lompoc schools have invested significantly in training for teachers and staff, and in a $350,000 computer-based language and literacy program, Imagine Learning.
The district also recently launched a collective-impact model, which aims to bring different community-service providers and stakeholders — Allan Hancock College and the YMCA, for example — into one discussion about how to best serve students, especially while educators ready for implementation of Common Core State Standards.
“We want to bring all outside support to the table,” McDonald said. “How can we piggy back off of each other to better support kids?”
The superintendent said he’s heard nothing but positive feedback about the changes, especially from administrators glad the district is taking a closer look at leadership.
McDonald said assistant superintendents and directors in the adult education program were not given letters —an administrative function that requires no board action.