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WL schools adding dean of students to some buildings

Many school principals were worried they would not have time to assess all their teachers under the new state-mandated evaluations. This concern was a reality in the West Lafayette Community School Corporation.

The principals of Cumberland and Happy Hollow elementary schools say they completed far fewer evaluations than they planned to do last semester. A pilot program this spring added a dean of students to help cover other responsibilities while the principals conducted the evaluations.

“We know our teachers well, right now,” says Cumberland Principal Kim Bowers. “So, to do something with a pilot project, it just seemed to make as much sense to have as much continuity as we could with the evaluations.”

She says the dean of students could perform teacher evaluations in the future. Instead, this spring, they aided other staff members, such as the director of student support, counselor, and social worker.

“Having an extra pair of hands to help support students and teachers and parents and myself,” says Bowers. “It really has made a difference with the added responsibilities that we have.”

Bowers says without the dean on staff, she evaluated fewer than 10% of teachers at Cumberland last semester. With the dean in place this semester, she says all educators will be evaluated.

Superintendent Rocky Killion says the dean will be on staff next year, but might not become a permanent or long-term position.

“The position is new because of additional legislative mandates tripling workload administrators in doing paperwork, evaluations,” he said in an email. “Each year this position will be reviewed.”

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