Part of for the San Bruno Park School Board includes a closed session where, once again, the superintendent's job performance will be put in the spotlight.
The board will be conducting a performance evaluation for Superintendent David Hutt. Those details won't be public.
However, a group of parents have banded together to voice their opinions about Hutt's performance before the board meets, and many of them expressed deep dissatisfaction.
Hutt faced the most backlash from the community this past school year when he that Crestmoor and El Crystal elementary schools should be closed—a decision that disregarded the findings of a citizen-appointed committee and was based on his conclusion that closing two schools would help balance enrollment for the entire district and save money.
The school board eventually , but the opposition to the superintendent and school board's decisions have only been emboldened.
Most notably, an that called for Hutt's resignation.
Through an online survey, residents took their own poll of Hutt's job performance and evaluated him according to several goals he set out for the district:
- Making sure there was a smooth transition for sixth grade students and staff to Parkside Middle School.
- Implementing the district's technology plan at all levels of instruction and operation.
- Making sure all students achieved academic proficiency, particularly students learning English.
- Making sure the district continued to have a positive fiscal outlook.
The following are some of their responses:
On Hutt's Handling of the Parkside Transition
"I think he is accomplishing his secretive goals of closing Crestmoor. Is he doing his job with honesty and integrity? ABSOLUTELY NOT! He is divisive. He has wasted valuable time and resources of the district in regards to the assistant superintendent, the many committee meetings, the consultants, the plans that are not followed. The COMMUNICATION is horrible between parents and the district. Tell us what the district is doing well and tell us what the potential problems are BEFORE there is a crisis. Don't just threaten to close schools every other year."
"Dr. Hutt is running the district on old school 1970s models. He is not qualified by today's standards to lead a school district in the current economic climate. The district needs to think about what qualifications they need to fill the job if Hutt were not there to run the district over the next 5 years. Then they need to ask themselves: does Hutt fill those qualifications? My guess is no. He does not know how to run a tuition-based school, nor does he have a business development or non-profit background."
"Substantively, he did the best he could under the circumstances. Communication could have been better BUT given the lack of long-term involvement of parents generally, lack of understanding of/or willingness to face up to the reality of the financial situation, not a lot could have been differently. Everyone knew enrollment has been declining and that the reconfiguration of Parkside would reduce numbers further. Thus, school closure was a logical consideration, as has been done in the past and in other districts, particularly in the context of the financial situation. Dr. Hutt was under no obligation to base his proposals on the DDAC recommendations but was charged with using his judgement to make a proposal based on all information gathered including from Total School Solutions. While all information sources were flawed, this is the reality of such a situation. Requiring sixth grade teachers to be single-subject credentialed was not a professional mistake but a considered benefit to the students going forward. Dr. Hutt has drawn on his experience in the District and his knowledge of the terrain to do his job as well as possible in challenging circumstances."
On Hutt's Leadership Implementing the District's Technology Plan
"Most teachers haven't even read the tech plan. Part of the plan was having a three-to-one ratio of computers for every school and no computer older than three years old. Crestmoor has no computers that meet that requirement."
"Technology is a joke in our District. Outside of El Crystal, few other schools can even come close to what should be happening with Technology in the classroom. Yes. Money is an issue. But when you have the money, SPEND IT WISELY!"
"I believe the goals are being met and re-evaulated. From my experience at my school I am aware of software that is leveraged including Reading Counts and XtraMath to support teaching and provide feedback. iPods are used by English learners. Laptops have been obtained for teachers. Communication through email, Powerschool and SchoolLoop is effective. Equipment is being updated with LCD projectors and document readers and being utilized in the classroom. Responsible use of digital media has been addressed through a course of cyberbullying."
On Hutt's Performance Making Sure Students Achieve Academic Proficiency
"FAILING. There are a lot of programs and time being spent on programs that are pretty, like medical care on campus, BUT are gains truly being made in this area? No. The scores say NO. That is why the district is in PI and the test scores among this population are not where they need to be."
"He has done a ton of work with Belle Air and other schools to improve tests scores."
"This was actually worked on and the district has made some improvement. However, we last adopted English/Language Art Curriculum 10 years ago. It would be nice if our students were taught from books that were the current state standards."
"This is another failure that is the responsibility of Dr. Hutt and the Board. For example, SchoolLoop is USELESS for families who do not speak English and who do not have access to the internet. So how do families who do not speak English know what is happening to their child and at the school. THEY DO NOT! But what does Dr. Hutt care? What does the Board care? They have done NOTHING to proactively find solutions to communicate with any part of the community, but even worse, they have done nothing to support English Language Learners. GRADE F-."
On Hutt's Leadership Managing the District's Financial Status
"Dr. Hutt has not done his job on this point. Is it all his fault? No. But he has wasted valuable time and resources by not communicating the strengths AND the weaknesses of the district in an open manner. Open communication would have led the community to understand the need for major changes. His actions, which were muddy at best, have not been communicated to the taxpayers with and without children in this district."
"The broader financial circumstances are largely beyond Dr. Hutt and are faced by many districts across the state. He has done the best he could, being responsive to the community."