The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, January 14, 2020 1:00 am

FWCS chief updates board

Discusses change of leadership

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

Wendy Robinson knows how she wants to end her career at Fort Wayne Community Schools, a place she has been linked to since age 5.

“I want to leave the district in better shape than it was when I started,” Robinson told the school board Monday.

The FWCS graduate will retire as superintendent in June after 17 years in the position. She has worked 47 years for the district.

Robinson addressed the upcoming leadership change during what was billed as a state of the schools presentation.

Instead of highlighting specific schools, achievements or failings, Robinson reviewed how Indiana has changed how it holds schools accountable. She discussed using an internal accountability system that scores the district on about a dozen metrics.

“A to F doesn't tell a parent much,” Robinson said, referencing the state's letter grade accountability system for schools.

Parents are more concerned with their child's progress, such as the student's reading ability, Robinson said.

The number of college credits FWCS students earn before high school graduation would be a relevant measure to include, board member Steve Corona said.

“That pocketbook issue is going to resonate with our parents,” Corona added, calling it a selling point for FWCS.

Accountability practices is one of five systems Robinson and various administrators are formalizing in preparation for welcoming a new superintendent. Other topics include leadership and academics.

This isn't to say the new leader won't be able to make changes, FWCS spokeswoman Krista Stockman said after the board meeting. Documenting existing practices and procedures should help ease the transition for the incoming superintendent, who could tweak as needed, she said.

A nationwide search for Robinson's successor is underway.

Search firm Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates expects to bring the board a slate of candidates in March with interviews to follow in April. Board approval of the finalist could happen in late May, one month before Robinson's last day.

In other business, the board elected its officers for the calendar year.

The seven-member governing body unanimously endorsed Corona's proposal of retaining Julie Hollingsworth as president, electing Maria Norman vice president and reelecting Anne Duff as secretary. Corona previously served as vice president.

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