After the Hall County Schools board of education’s annual evaluation of Superintendent Will Schofield last week, board Chairman Nath Morris said Wednesday he expects the board to consider a one-year contract extension for the superintendent this month. By state law, a superintendent’s contract can be longer than three years.
“We should have something by next meeting,” Morris said. “We’ll review that and I expect we’ll offer the extension.”
Hall County Schools released the written evaluation of Schofield on Wednesday. The annual review was completed July 24. The complete evaluation is on the Hall County Schools website for public view.
Morris called the results of Schofield’s evaluation “positive.”
“The board did have a lot of discussion points about particular items,” he said. “The categories did score pretty high. I think we’ve got confidence across the board in the superintendent, and we get the same kind of feedback at the school level as well.”
The evaluation was divided into two parts. One tool was the Georgia superintendent evaluation instrument, which is provided by the Georgia School Boards Association and used by many districts in the state. Morris said the district also used the district’s balanced scorecard to assess where the school system was in its goals to improve character, competency and rigor.
Morris added that all five board members individually gave scores in each category of the evaluations, and central office staff compiled the numbers to give an average in each category and subcategory.
Schofield scored a 4.0 or higher in each area assessed out of a possible 5.0. His overall evaluations in the state evaluation instrument ranged from a 4.53 for his performance as the educational leader of the school system and overseeing personnel to a 4.75 score on his oversight of financial management.
In the balanced scorecard evaluation, Schofield received a 4.18 score on the character portion, a 4.19 on competency; and a 4.24 on rigor.
Morris said the balanced scorecard numbers were lower because those scores dealt with areas that are “in progress.”
“They’re part of initiatives that are just now starting, so maybe they were in a needs improvement area or a lower score because they haven’t been fully developed or implemented,” he said. “The balanced scorecard is more related to individual items that we wanted to see.”
The balanced scorecard evaluation also indicated areas of improvement, five of which called for the district to have 90 percent of students in specified grade levels reach certain academic goals including:
• Reading on grade level by the end of third grade,
• Mastering basic fluency in math facts automatically from long-term memory by the end of fifth grade,
• Ability to write an organized opinion paragraph by the end of fifth grade,
• Mastering basic calculations with fractions, decimals and percentages by the end of eighth grade, and
• Ability to write an argumentative or informative/explanatory essay in response to a text by the end of eighth grade.
Schofield called the goal of 90 percent in the competency areas “stretch goals.”
“You don’t want to set goals that are absolutely unattainable, and you don’t want to set goals that are easily met,” Schofield said.
The superintendent added that the evaluation was “a summary of what I expected.”
“There certainly is a need on an annual basis, but this board one-on-one, they communicate with me on at least on a monthly basis, if not sometimes a weekly basis,” he said. “We do a lot of course corrections throughout the year. One of the things I have appreciated about this board is that they’ve never surprised me with an evaluation. We’ve talked as the year’s gone on, and I’d like to think that I’ve been responsive to what they’ve asked for.”
Schofield’s lowest score in any evaluation category was a 4.0 in maintaining up-to-date job descriptions for all employees.
“That is a very legitimate request that I certainly wish to do better with,” he said.
Schofield said he is aware that the board is considering extending his contract. He currently is in the second year of a three-year contract that will pay him a little more than $218,000 this fiscal year. He is beginning his 12th year as superintendent in Hall County and his 18th year as a school superintendent.
“We certainly have talked about that,” he said. “I’m treated very well. But this year, like every other time, I will discuss it with my family and discuss it with my God and discern.”
The evaluation has been made public for at least the last four or five years, according to Morris, who added that Schofield wanted the information to be available to the public.
“Since they are the elected body and I’m their only hire, it just seems to me that ought to be public information and would rather it be so,” Schofield said.