EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

November 5, 2012

Goals established for Timberlane superintendent

By Dustin Luca dluca@eagletribune.com
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — PLAISTOW — Timberlane School District’s new superintendent has quite a lot of homework.

The Timberlane School Board last week unanimously approved a number of goals for Superintendent Earl Metzler.

He will be filming video updates for the community and developing several action plans in the coming months, among many other things.

A separate set of goals is being established for the Hampstead School District.

Together, the two school boards form the SAU Board. It must give final approval to the goals.

The goals are “what we’ll bring to measure (Metzler’s) performance over the next year,” said Michael Mascola, SAU Board chairman.

The goals are tied to Metzler’s annual raise. As he completes goals year to year, he is eligible for a raise of up to 4 percent over the previous year. He started at $130,000 a year.

Metzler declined to comment on the goals prior to their ratification.

Whether he succeeds in meeting the goals will be determined by the “subjective opinion” of the board, Mascola said.

“We’re also going to evaluate not only what he’s going to deliver on the dates he gives us, but the quality of what he said he’s going to do,” he said. “It’s no different than anyone’s goals on the corporate side.”

While the goals are tied to the current academic year, new goals will be crafted for future school years.

”These goals are a working document,” Mascola said. “They can be changed as district needs and priorities change. They’re very dynamic.”

The goals are broken down into five categories: assessment; community involvement and engagement; capital improvement; public relations; and retreat.

Under the assessment category, Metzler needs to provide an entry report on student achievement by January 2013, with a plan for improving achievement levels by January 2014.

He must then develop, implement and evaluate action plans for Timberlane schools, programs and the district, linking to School Board goals and the district’s strategic plan by May of next year.

At the meeting, Metzler said he’s still collecting data on student achievement and putting the pieces together. Part of his focus is to “improve achievement without turning our schools into testing centers” in order to gather data.

”There’s a lot of debate about that in education, both public and private, how much assessment is too much?” Metzler said.

The second category, community involvement and engagement, charges Metzler with attending selectmen’s meetings as requested by the boards and using recommendations from the Citizens’ Committee in his district action plan.

Under capital improvement, Metzler must work with the district’s facilities team to develop improvement plans that meet Timberlane’s needs, while also being mindful of the current economy.

Under public relations, Metzler is expected to post monthly messages to the school district’s website and post updated video messages to the community twice a month. He must also be available to all stakeholders in the school district.

Metzler also needs to attend an annual retreat with the School Board by January. The retreat’s goal is to discuss improvements for the school district.

Metzler’s goals are similar to goals developed by and for the Timberlane Regional School Board on Sept. 20. In those goals, the board must also form at least one citizens committee by next September, adjust and implement the Capital Improvement Plan by March and more.