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FWCS team fills in board on balancing work, goals

– The Fort Wayne Community Schools board Wednesday heard how the administration is aligning its work with what the board expects of Superintendent Wendy Robinson.

The district uses balanced scorecards as a way to manage its operations and set, track and achieve goals. The board uses district objectives to create an overall balanced scorecard that is being aligned with Robinson’s evaluation and the work of the administration.

During a board work session Wednesday, Robinson’s cabinet gave updates on how their departments use and update their balanced scorecards.

Chief Financial Officer Kathy Friend said the system has helped her departments – which include facilities and nutrition services – have meaningful discussions on where best to spend time and effort. She also said it gives employees a better appreciation for their role in the district.

“I’m glad it was kind of forced on us because I’m not sure we would have done it on our own,” she said of the balanced scorecard system.

Many in the administration reported that data and processes have changed as they’ve narrowed their focus to specific goals and how to achieve them.

FWCS attorney Bill Sweet said that when he started with the district his objectives were to reduce legal costs, but he is now more focused on working through legislative changes affecting teacher contracts and helping develop a compensation plan for teachers.

Elementary Area Administrator Pamela Musick said her balanced scorecard allows her to learn quickly about the work of her area and information from the past three years.

Board President Mark GiaQuinta said the presentation is a reminder of all the work that goes into the system.

Robinson said the system requires the district to continuously evaluate its process, ensuring it can move forward and on to more rigorous goals.

Board members also provided feedback based on the presentations about what specific areas they would like to hear more about. These suggestions will likely come back as presentations during board meetings.

Some suggestions included the district’s new behavior system and code of conduct; an update on the achievement gap in FWCS; more information about individual high school programs; and marketing strategies for informing the public on the work of the district.