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New Lorain CEO lays out plan for first 90 days

  • Hardy-MUG-jpg

    Lorain school CEO David Hardy

    CT FILE

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LORAIN — The new Lorain Schools CEO released his plan Thursday for his first 90 days that focuses on six key components.

According to the plan, David Hardy’s path through his transition into the district will focus on learning, leadership, performance and growth, equity, community and organizational culture.

“This 90-day transition plan began on the day I signed my contract as CEO and is focused on six components that will ultimately be the center of what I will be looking to understand about the district,” he wrote, noting he signed the contract Tuesday.

Hardy will work with The New Teacher Project, or TNTP, to engage the community in the first 30 days of him signing his $190,000-a-year contract. TNTP will be paid $75,000.

After that 30-day period, he will have an additional 90 days to put together a strategic plan to help improve the district’s academic standing, which will have to be approved by the Academic Distress Commission.

Lorain Schools has a CEO because failing test scores and poor state report card grades caused it to be classified by the state as under academic distress in 2013.

State House Bill 70, passed in 2015, says that if a district is in academic distress and under the supervision of an academic distress commission for four years, the old commission will be disbanded and a new one will be appointed to hire a CEO.

The CEO is expected to have all of the power of a superintendent as well as most of the power given to a school board with the exception of the right to put levies or bond issues on the ballot.

After two years in power, the CEO also can take “failing” buildings and turn them into charter schools.

Hardy’s strategic plan, not the transition plan that was released Thursday, is a stipulation of House Bill 70.

According to the transition plan, Hardy plans to use four steps to move through each of the six components.

The first is to prioritize the areas of greatest concerns in the district. This segment of the process will be completed within the first 30 days and will be presented at a Sept. 7 meeting.

The second is to strategize how to best create a direction for the district moving forward, which will be completed in the first 70 days and will be presented at a meeting Oct. 17.

The third step is labeled “operationalize.”

“While our strategic plan is under review, it will be my intent to spend significant time with those directly impacted by our strategic plan to ensure that their sentiments and needs are the drivers of our district’s strategic plan,” Hardy wrote. “The second segment of community engagement will result in finalizing a strategic plan for a final vote of confidence from the Academic Distress Committee ahead of the mandate indicated by House Bill 70.”

The fourth and final step will be to actualize, which will be completed in the first 150 days and will include intentions on how the district will monitor the progress of students, teachers and leaders. It will be shared with the community on a “yet-to-be-determined interval.”

While Hardy doesn’t have a definitive start date with Lorain Schools as he finishes his time with St. Louis Public Schools this month, according to the transition plan, he has a busy first 30 days in Ohio.

By the end of the first 30 days, Hardy would like to:

  • Listen for common threads from all community stakeholders.
  • Identify places and events where he can become immersed in the city and its culture.
  • Unpack the data to see where the disparity lies between demographic groups.
  • Listen to stakeholders to gauge where to begin the work in provide equitable outcomes for kids.
  • Review data on the district, the feedback that has been provided to the district on its performance.
  • Understand the budget process and the corresponding impact on instructional practice development.
  • Spend time with the children and understand their wants and desires.
  • Speak with students past and president about their experience in the schools.
  • Speak with school leaders to understand what is getting in their way of being more successful.

Contact Katie Nix at 329-7129 or knix@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @KatieHNix.


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