AUGUSTA — A plan to create a new assistant superintendent’s position goes to the Board of Education on Wednesday.

Superintendent Cornelia Brown recommends the switch from having a curriculum coordinator to an assistant superintendent for personnel as a way to help the superintendent focus on what she thinks matters most — what’s going on in classrooms. The curriculum coordinator’s post is empty.

Board of Education members will consider creating the new assistant superintendent’s position at their meeting Wednesday, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. in council chambers at Augusta City Center.

Brown said the change would have the proposed new assistant superintendent focus on personnel and human resource issues such as negotiations, labor relations, policy and oversight. That would free the superintendent, who now has primary responsibility for those duties, to focus on curriculum and other issues, Brown said.

“It allows the superintendent position to really focus on student achievement, curriculum, professional development and what’s going on in the classroom,” Brown said. “In the world of education today, you want your chief executive to be an educational leader and have that as a primary focus of their work.”

Brown estimates the new assistant superintendent’s position would have a salary range of $90,000 to $96,000. Combined with benefits, the new position probably would cost the district about $126,000, Brown said, a figure that’s $19,400 more than the $107,000 previously budgeted for the curriculum coordinator position.

The assistant superintendent’s duties, according to a job description unanimously approved by the Personnel Committee, would include an overall goal of assisting the superintendent in educational programs and services, assisting in the development of Board of Education goals, working with staff and community leaders on school problems and needs, acting as a personnel director, investigating complaints and reviewing budget requests.

Previous curriculum coordinator Tina Meserve left for a job with another school system this summer, leaving the curriculum coordinator position vacant.

Augusta has had a curriculum coordinator, instead of an assistant superintendent, for about 20 years.

Brown won’t be around to reap many benefits of the proposed change from a curriculum coordinator to an assistant superintendent. She plans to leave her Dec. 31 to become executive director of Maine School Management Association.

Board members on Wednesday are also scheduled to:

* hear a presentation from Renee Page about a Healthy Communities of the Capital Area project;

* consider increasing school meal prices, from $1.80 to $1.85 for pre-kindergarten through grade six and from $2.05 to $2.10 for grades seven to 12. Brown said the price increase is a requirement of federal regulators.

* consider approving an algebra course for grade eight;

* consider creating the Freshmen Seminar, a program targeting incoming freshmen not meeting academic standards;

* recognize Gilbert, Hussey and Lincoln elementary schools for making “adequate yearly progress” as determined by state and federal testing standards;

* consider several new revised polices; and

* meet in a closed-door session to discuss labor relations.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]


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