JCPS to continue evaluation of Superintendent Donna Hargens on F - WDRB 41 Louisville News

JCPS to continue private evaluation of Superintendent Donna Hargens on Friday

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JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Jefferson County Board of Education will continue its evaluation process of Superintendent Donna Hargens during a special-called school board meeting Friday afternoon.

Portions of the meeting, which starts at 3 p.m. and will be held at the Van Hoose Education Center, will be conducted in closed session, according to the notice sent out by the district Thursday afternoon.

"The purpose of the meeting is to conduct a preliminary discussion relating to the 2015-16 summative evaluation of the superintendent," the notice reads.

Friday's special called meeting comes after a three-and-a-half hour executive session on the same topic following the board's regular meeting on Tuesday night. Hargens did not attend the majority of Tuesday's executive session.

Hargens, who came to Louisville in 2011 from the Wake County school district in North Carolina, is under contract through 2019. Her evaluation will be discussed and made public at the June 28 school board meeting. 

She has faced a lot of scrutiny since her last evaluation was conducted in June 2015.

Turmoil over the district’s flirtation with relaxing student discipline policies and freezing salaries for most employees, including teachers, came to a head last month, when more than a thousand teachers, students and parents all-but shut down Newburg Road outside Jefferson County Public Schools headquarters in advance of the May 10 board meeting.

Last year, Hargens received a positive evaluation, but was told to focus on "internal initiatives" so she can deepen her success.

They gave her four objectives:

  • Continuing to improve student learning, with a focus on closing the achievement gap
  • Developing an internal culture that is structured around high-performing teams that values collaboration and fosters an atmosphere of trust
  • Promoting and expanding the capacity of JCPS toward a standard of excellence 
  • Effectively develop and implement a means of improved focus in human resources and on the leadership selection criteria, leadership development, professional development and effective support 

On Tuesday, prior to the executive session, Hargens presented her overview of the 2015-16 year, in which she highlighted the work she and district staff have done to improve academic achievement and district performance and to meet goals established by school board.

She concluded her presentation by saying she has two priorities in the coming weeks: reducing the district's assessment system to allow room for authentic assessments and designing a proactive behavior support system to be ready for the start of the next school year.

Reporter Antoinette Konz can be reached at 502-585-0838 or @tkonz on Twitter.

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