Clear Creek ISD superintendent search continues with board discussion of targets

Clear Creek ISD has more than 42,000 total students, about 65% of whom returned to in-person learning at the start of the 2020-21 school year. (Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)
Clear Creek ISD has more than 42,000 total students, about 65% of whom returned to in-person learning at the start of the 2020-21 school year. (Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)

Clear Creek ISD has more than 42,000 total students, about 65% of whom returned to in-person learning at the start of the 2020-21 school year. (Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Clear Creek ISD board of trustees continued discussions related to the superintendent search Sept. 17, defining the 2020-21 superintendent targets to be used in the annual review process this spring during campus planning.

Targets are considered high-level criteria for annual use with the superintendent review process, Board President Laura DuPont said in an email to Community Impact Newspaper. The process of defining the targets happens every year and is closely aligned with implementation of the district’s strategic plan, DuPont wrote.

“The board has been doing some work over the last couple years to revise the timing of this process so it clearly feeds into the campus planning cycle, which typically begins in the early spring,” she added.

Once the new superintendent is hired, the board will go through a planning workshop with that person to ensure clearly defined expectations and goals, DuPont said. This process will include taking another look at the superintendent targets discussed Sept. 17.

The board discussed targets as they relate to parts of the strategic plan, including possible signaling questions and evidence that could be reviewed or collected. Resulting targets included action items, such as implementing trauma-sensitive professional learning or monitoring health and safety protocols and reporting health-related outcomes.

Several CCISD leaders spoke at the meeting to give context as it related to specific goals.

Dava West, CCISD director of guidance and counseling, said during the meeting that the COVID-19 pandemic and recent social justice movements have both highlighted a need for trauma-sensitive training.

Trustees Scott Bowen and Win Weber agreed on the need for ways to measure when it comes to meeting targets and goals. DuPont added there needs to be a way to ensure the consistency of districtwide implementation of standards and practices, but this is often difficult to quantify.

“I think that’s where we always struggle,” DuPont said at the meeting.

In an effort to focus on building positive, supportive relationships among CCISD students, staff and community members during the 2020-21 school year, all elementary teachers are holding daily class meetings, and all secondary teachers are holding weekly class meetings, district leaders said Sept. 17. Staff are also being asked to check in daily on the mental health of their students and have been trained on how to examine and respond to the data collected with these check-ins.

When asked by trustee Jennifer Broddle how staff would ensure the building of supportive relationships, Karen Engle, CCISD assistant superintendent of secondary education, said anonymous students’ reports and surveys will be useful in making sure the feedback collected is as truthful and informative as possible. DuPont suggested conducting more frequent, but smaller, surveys as a way to get students used to providing this feedback.

In some ways, the environment this school year is similar to how it was after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, trustee Page Rander said. After the Sept. 11 attacks, there were not as many conversations being had in classrooms about the event's impact, she added.

“[There were] still emotional things that we had to deal with as parents and teachers, ... so what lessons have we learned?” Rander said.

The board will meet Sept. 21 to review, discuss and approve a “portrait of a superintendent,” to be used by the search firm when assessing candidates, DuPont said via email. This portrait will be based on board member feedback as well as on the information the search firm collected over 20 or so Zoom forums and the public survey, which yielded more than 1,400 responses, she said.

A final, short open meeting will take place Oct. 19 to discuss the process of interviewing candidates; the three weeks that follow will include the board interviewing candidates, and the vote and announcement of the lone finalist is planned for the first week in November, DuPont said. The search process began in July.
By Colleen Ferguson
A native central New Yorker, Colleen Ferguson worked as an editorial intern with the Cy-Fair and Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood editions of Community Impact before joining the Bay Area team in 2020. Colleen graduated from Syracuse University in 2019, where she worked for the campus's independent student newspaper The Daily Orange, with a degree in Newspaper and Online Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a degree in Spanish language and culture. Colleen previously interned with The Journal News/lohud, where she covered the commute in the greater New York City area.



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