There may be some administrative changes headed toward Guilford public schools. At recent Board of Education (BOE) meetings, three possible alterations have been discussed that, if approved, would change the current assistant superintendent spot to an associate superintendent, the business manager position would become assistant superintendent, and the current accounts manager would become the business manager.
"I think the fact that I entered in the middle of the school year...in an active budget cycle...[and] in the middle of two years of pretty significant turnovers gave us an opportunity to look a how we're working and reconsider some of those relationships within the team," Superintendent of Schools Paul Freeman told the Board of Selectmen (BOS) in June.
The superintendent said the restructuring is based on state-mandated changes including the Common Core State Standards initiative and supervision and evaluation expectations and says that this "organizational structure makes sense."
Freeman explained that the new evaluation systems and student performance data requires administrators to collect information and break it down on an individual teacher level. Surveys will also be added to this change, collecting information from teachers, parents, and colleagues.
Freeman stressed that all changes can be accomplished within the current budget.
"The bottom line is I'm looking to re-title three positions and re-assign responsibility across those divisions. I want to point out right from the get-go we are not talking about increasing administrative staffing," Freeman said to the BOS. "I am suggesting absolutely no increases here and everything that we've been discussing can be absorbed with our existing budget."
The business manager, re-titled as an assistant superintendent, would cover human resources, business, and operations. Freeman referred to that new position as "chief operational officer."
He said by re-titling the current assistant superintendent to an associate superintendent creates a clearer hierarchy. Changing the accounts manager to business manager allows those three areas to work more collaboratively, Freeman said.
Although the BOE has yet to vote on the matter, Chairman William Bloss stated Freeman's observations are headed in the right direction, especially considering that there is not a dedicated human resources director in the schools.
"I think that Dr. Freeman is being very thoughtful at trying to accomplish these changes at basically no budgetary impact," Bloss said. "I think if we move forward with it, it's going to lead to some real efficiencies in operations and a better product, a better system for student achievement."
Selectman Veronica Wallace stated that "I think it's being proactive in terms of the new changes coming down-it's a golden opportunity to rethink how we're doing business."
These changes are currently not on any upcoming BOE agendas, but Bloss said the topic might be discussed sometime in August. Nonetheless, Freeman stated that conversation would continue between himself and the BOE.
"I'm committed to continuing this conversation," Freeman said.