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New Organizational Structure Beginning July 1, 2024

As the interim superintendent, I've been on a journey of learning, engaging in insightful conversations with staff, parents/caregivers, and community members. Through these discussions, it has become clear that our district has many strengths, such as our bold vision, mission, core values, and widespread support for our strategic work. Our staff's commitment to the vision and tireless support for students and families, along with our elementary class sizes being among the lowest in the metropolitan area (source: BrightWorks 2024 Class Size Study), are just a few examples.

However, despite our strengths, we recognize that there is room for improvement in supporting our students. Like all school districts, we are not yet satisfied with our student outcomes. There is variability among our buildings and across grade levels in the rate of improvement in academic outcomes, and predictable disparities by race persist in our academic and discipline data.

´╗┐To make the necessary strides in improving student outcomes, we need a leadership structure in our district and schools that brings intentional alignment and focus to academic and behavioral outcomes. Thus, I’d like to share some thoughts about opportunities that have led to the changes in our leadership structure that will take effect on July 1, 2024.

Stronger alignment for teaching and learning functions

To achieve stronger leadership alignment in our teaching and learning functions, I believe it will be important to:

  • Provide focused support to elementary teachers in implementing the new reading curriculum, understanding how to leverage available intervention resources, ensuring sufficient time committed to reading, and determining any additional necessary interventions.
  • Provide focused support to elementary teachers in implementing our math curriculum by ensuring clarity of grade-level standards and understanding the strategic use of available intervention resources.
  • Provide focused support to the middle school in math and reading.
  • Break down silos that may exist between regular education and special education to ensure inclusivity and a mindset of responsibility for all students.
  • Sustain our work on restorative practices.
  • Design and implement a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) that includes robust use of data to inform instruction and interventions. Without a clear MTSS system and focus on core instruction, our intervention efforts may not be sufficient.
  • Provide focused support for multilingual learners.
  • Stay the course on our priority work to support the CARE (Collaborative Action Research for Equity) Team Process.
  • Stay the course on our priority work to retain staff of color and ensure that their voices are amplified by creating a more inclusive and racially conscious environment.

Current efforts underway

We also want you to be aware of several current efforts underway to support the teaching and learning function. We are:

  • Hiring four instructional assistants at the elementary level to support curriculum implementation and student outcomes (funded through the Achievement and Integration Revenue).
  • Making our school continuous improvement plans more rigorous, specific, and better aligned with data.
  • Aligning principal professional goals with continuous improvement plans to ensure our educators have necessary support.
  • Supporting teacher growth and development by listening to teacher voice around our Teacher Development & Evaluation (TDE) system.
  • Supporting principal growth and development by listening to principal voice around what they need to further support teachers through the TDE system.

Senior leadership transition

Another critical factor in the organizational leadership changes is the significant amount of senior leadership transition about to occur. In addition to a new superintendent, three cabinet-level positions are turning over: the director of student services, the director of communications, and the director of human resources. These departures are largely due to retirements, which we expect to see more of in the next few years. 

Organizational Leadership Changes

Adding an assistant superintendent position: The assistant superintendent’s primary responsibility will be to support the teaching and learning function.

Modifying leadership reporting structure: The reporting structure will be modified so that the director of student services and the directors of teaching and learning will report to the assistant superintendent to provide an integrated and focused system of support. To further ensure alignment of efforts, principals will also report to the assistant superintendent. Reducing the number of direct reports to the superintendent increases capacity to serve as a support to the school board; to manage organizational relationships; to serve as a liaison with the community; to engage with students and staff; and to provide leadership development and strategic direction.

Adding an assistant principal to Park Spanish Immersion and Peter Hobart: We will maintain the assistant principal at Aquila. We will add an assistant principal at Park Spanish Immersion and Peter Hobart and eliminate the elementary support supervisor positions at those two sites. Susan Lindgren chose not to have an assistant principal and will instead continue with the elementary support supervisor role. The added administrative capacity at the elementary level means that we can assign either the elementary principal or assistant principal to lead district-wide work such as the design and implementation of MTSS.

Given the backdrop of budget reductions in recent years, I acknowledge that there may be concerns about my decision to add a new leadership position and assistant principal roles at two elementary schools. The estimated cost impact of these changes is approximately $280,000. These changes are a strategic move to impact student outcomes. In my experience as a superintendent, the return on this investment will be evident in the transformative impact on student achievement.

Amidst significant leadership transitions, stability and alignment are paramount. It is our goal to ensure that staff and families feel informed as we navigate the significant transitions ahead. We have timed the posting of leadership positions in such a way that the incoming superintendent, Dr. Carla Hines, will be involved in the hiring decisions. View the SLP organizational chart that will take effect July 1, 2024.

I am incredibly optimistic about the future of St. Louis Park Public Schools. As families, your partnership is invaluable to us. We are committed to fostering open communication and transparency, ensuring a smooth transition and continued progress towards educational excellence.

Watch the March 26 Remarks View the July 1 Organizational Chart