NORWALK, Conn. — The progress Norwalk Public Schools has made in a year is fantastic, Board of Education member Bryan Meek said.
To that end, the Board approved a bonus of “$7,000-plus” for Superintendent Stephen Adamowski, according to Board Chairman Mike Lyons.
Adamowski scored an 82.7 on an evaluation done by the Board at its recent retreat, out of a possible 100.
“The Board established an evaluation plan, incentive compensation plan, for the superintendent last year. It was based on a numerical set of calculations, so it’s not a subjective evaluation it’s a purely objective evaluation,” Lyons said at last week’s BoE meeting. “We did pretty well. There were 25 listed goals, we basically hit 23.5 of them, which is pretty good.”
NPS Communications Director Brenda Wilcox Williams provided the evaluation scoresheet to NancyOnNorwalk, titled “Raising the Bar/Closing the Gap Priority Outcomes for the 2016-17 SY” on Wednesday.
Half of the score was based on outcomes, results from test scores, and half was based on implementation steps. The Board scored Adamowski a 41.7 out of a possible 50 on the outcome side of the equation and a 48 out of 50 on the implementation side.
Some excerpts from the outcome scorecard:
- The school system closed the gap between the Connecticut Smarter Balanced assessments performance by Norwalk students in grades 3 to 8 and the statewide average for children that age, in English Language Arts, by 2.7 percent from 2015-16 to 2016-17. (The Board gave Adamowski a five out of five.)
- The school system closed the gap between the Connecticut Smarter Balanced assessments performance by Norwalk students in grades 3 to 8 and the statewide average for children that age, in Mathematics, by 3.7 percent from 2015-16 to 2016-17. (The Board gave Adamowski a five out of five.)
- The school system maintained its gap closure rate for high school graduation rate, with a 2.4 percent difference for the class of 2015 (with NPS at 89.6 percent and the state at 87.2 percent), and a 3.1 percent difference for the class of 2016 (with NPS at 90.5 percent and the state at 87.4 percent). For high needs students, the goal of decreasing the gap was met with the NPS high school class of 2015 graduating at 84 percent rate compared to the state’s 76.1 percent (a difference of 7.9 percent), and the class of 2016 graduating at 85.1 percent compared to the state’s 76.8 percent (a difference of 8.3 percent). (The Board gave Adamowski a five out of five.)
- The goal of reducing one-third of the cohort learning loss between fifth and sixth grade, 1.9 percent less in ELA and 1.4 percent less in math, was not quite met. The 2015-16 cohort measured a 5.8 percent loss on the Smarter Balanced ELA Assessment while the 2016-17 cohort measured a 5.7 loss. The 2015-16 cohort measured a 4.1 percent loss on the Smarter Balanced Assessment in math while the 2016-17 cohort measured a 5.1 gain. (The Board gave Adamowski a 2.5 out of five.)
For implementation, Adamowski missed only one goal out of 25. The list of achieved goals, which all gained Adamowski two points each on the Board’s scorecard:
- Implement Connecticut K-3 Literacy Initiative (CK3ll) in all elementary schools.
- Pilot College Board Khan Academy personalized learning program for SAT preparation for 11th grade students.
- Develop and implement rigorous curriculum design mapping to Common Core Standards in grades K-12 in Reading/ELA and Math.
- Implement Phase I of middle school redesign i.e. 4 x 4 Block Schedule in grade 6; Tier Ill supports in grades 6-8; introduction of “Encore” experiences and Teach-to-One Math pilot at Nathan Hale Middle School. Plan and prepare for implementation of Phase II of middle school redesign in 2017-18.
- Develop teacher leadership capacity to improve IEP development and implementation in each elementary school.
- Implement High Road Therapeutic Program at Norwalk High School and an Autism Classroom at Wolfpit Elementary School.
- Plan and implement a Clinic to diagnose and treat students with Dyslexia in partnership with Fairfield University. (Substitute for “Sound-bridge” goal.}
- Develop a system for the implementation of Sec. 504 of the Rehabilitation Act to include process, procedures, training and assistive technology necessary to insure accommodation and access of students with a “504 Plan.”
- Develop and implement menus of Tier II and Tier Ill Reading and Math interventions for students in grades 1-5 in every elementary school.
- Implement Tier II and Ill structural supports (Math 180, Read 180, Systems 44) in grades 6-9.
- Provide intervention and support to state designated Focus Schools (West Rocks Middle School and Brien McMahon High School); provide intervention and support to the lowest performing elementary schools (Tracey and Kendall).
- Expand school-based summer learning to include grades 4, 11 and 12.
- Complete planning and development of an International Baccalaureate (IB) program at Brien McMahon High School.
- Initiate the Health Sciences/Early College PTEC Academy at Brien McMahon High School.
- Reorganize current Human Resources Department to create talent management capacity in the seven dimensions of the Talent Model with an emphasis on the recruitment and development of special educators.
- Expand Leadership Development Program to include Residency, Relay GSE Fellowship and Emerging Leaders experiences; fill all leadership positions for 2017-18 internally.
- Develop “Phase I” of the Facilities Master Plan to include the planning and approval of a K-8 intra-district magnet school in South Norwalk.
- Successfully open and operate the Norwalk Early Childhood Center to improve the quality of inclusive early childhood education.
- Overhaul school lunch/food service system to improve the quality of school lunches and the climate of each school.
- Implement “Phase II” of Student-Based Budgeting; address High School funding and intra-district magnet school support issues; continue to repurpose state and federal grants; develop first “all funds” budget.
- Ensure the implementation of the School Governance Council Policy in all schools.
- Develop and expand communications capacity to deliver more frequent and timely information to parents and community concerning the 2016-17 Priority Outcomes and Implementation Steps of the NPS Strategic Operating Plan.
- Implement bi-weekly School Messenger Newsletter to teachers and parents beginning January 1, 2017, concerning district improvement plans, new or redesigned programs and student achievement and staff accomplishments.
- Reorganize School Operations function to implement new Residency Policy.
The one goal that the Board did not declare success in was:
- Develop an appropriate identification process for gifted and talented students and a service delivery model based on research and international practice.
“We got a tremendous amount of things done in the course of the year,” Lyons said during the Aug. 15 BoE meeting. “When you are making a lot of changes sometimes they are accompanied by controversy, differences of opinion, but when you look at an objectives list that long and see how many of those objectives were met, you have to say that the performance level both of Dr. Adamowski and of his central office staff, which he has done a great job of assembling a really top flight group of people, (is great).”
“I was just floored,” said Meek, attending the meeting by telephone. “It was really amazing. It was just a wonderful year, jam packed and I’m looking forward to another one.”
Adamowski has a three-year commitment to NPS, with his contract ending on June 30. The contract stipulates that 25 percent of his bonus be deferred until he completes his term.
The contract states that Adamowski must remind the Board by Oct. 1 that his contract expires at the end of the school year, so the Board can vote on extending his contract for another three years, should he request that. The Board is required to vote on a possible extension by Dec. 31.
Lyons, who is out of town, did not reply to an email asking if Adamowski has indicated that he will ask for an extension.
His salary is said to be $250,000 a year. The contract specifies a maximum bonus of 20 percent of his salary, but Lyons said on Aug. 15 that the bonus for a score between 80-85 points is 3 percent of the salary; 3 percent of $250,000 is $7,500.
Lyons said, “It’s not a $10 million executive bonus but it is some recognition of a job well done.”