Saturday, June 23 , 2018, 9:13 pm | Overcast 64º


Montecito Union School Principal in Limbo

MUS board releases her from her position as part of organizational restructuring, but says Kris Bergstrom can continue to work for the district

Montecito Union School Principal Kris Bergstrom has been released from her position as principal after a unanimous vote from the district’s school board during closed session Thursday night.

Bergstrom couldn’t be reached for comment Friday, but Noozhawk received a statement from board president Carissa Smith about the decision.

Smith said the move to release Bergstrom was to “give the district maximum flexibility as it moves forward with a possible new administrative structure.”

She was unclear exactly why Bergstrom was released, but said the decision had to be made to comply with the state requirement to give Bergstrom notice by March 15.

A statement also was issued to parents and staff throughout the Montecito Union District on Friday, stating that the decision does not constitute a layoff.

“Ms. Bergstrom retains her tenure as a teacher in the district, and she can have a classroom teaching assignment in the fall if she chooses. Ms. Bergstrom is also welcome to apply for any of the administrative positions that may be available,” the statement read. “The board will be moving forward with discussions in the community regarding the district’s organizational structure.”

Earlier in the day, Noozhawk put in a call to Montecito Union District Superintendent Richard Douglas to ask whether Bergstrom had been fired.

He adamantly denied that she’d been fired, and said the district is in the middle of a search for a superintendent as well as an organizational review.

Douglas said that as of his retirement announcement, which he made last fall, the district has hired a search firm to look for a new superintendent, and it hired School Services of California to conduct an organizational review of the district.

“That review was presented to the school board on Monday of this week, and they offered a number of suggestions for organization. They need to be able to consider those changes. As a result, they needed to notice the principal as far as what would her duties be, how would they change, etc.,” said Douglas, adding that the review is a detailed “position by position review” of the school district.

Smith said the district has received recommendations from its consultants about reorganization, but it hasn’t yet adopted any recommendations.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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