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New Richmond superintendent could make personnel changes


Richmond School Board members say getting past what underperforming schools is one of the biggest reasons they wanted to bring in a new superintendent.

They are looking for change to what they call "the status quo" of low test scores and schools that can't qualify for full accreditation.

"What are you going to do to help me and my friends pass our SOLs so that the government won't take our schools?" third-grader Kaira Johnson asked candidates.

"In what ways are you an innovative and creative leader?" another community member asked.

Richmonders are hoping the new leader is innovative enough and creative enough to transform schools that have been described as failing, or at least under-performing, for so long.

Authorities call the test scores this year dismal. At some schools, like Henderson Middle, pass rates were in the single digits, leading to only 13 out of 46 schools being fully accredited.

District leaders just presented a plan to combat those failures. It includes progress benchmarks, coaching and support. School board members believe the new superintendent will not only have to tweak that proposal, but go even further.

"You could have the best plan in the world, but if you don't have the personnel on the ground to execute it, you're not going to be able to move the needle in the right direction," Board Member Glen Sturtevant told us.

Superintendent candidates and board members don't mince words when it comes to possible changes in central office and the schools.

"At the end of the day if a teacher is not effective in that classroom, we either need to help them get better or help them find a different career," Sturtevant added.

With all that on his plate plus a new budget to present, the new superintendent will have to hit the ground running as soon he starts.

That announcement is expected Monday.

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