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Schools

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Upcoming meetings
For input on EACS superintendent search
March 19, 5:30 p.m. – Meeting with service staff and central office administration
March 21, 4:30 p.m. – EACS staff meeting
March 21, 6 p.m. – Meeting with parents and community

No interim EACS superintendent

Will revisit at end of school year as search progresses

– The East Allen County Schools board has opted not to appoint an interim superintendent while it searches for a replacement for Karyle Green.

Green was given about $205,000 to leave the district last week after serving as superintendent for just over three years. She announced in January she planned to resign after her contract expired on June 30, 2014, but the board decided in a 5-2 vote to buy out Green’s contract instead.

During a work session Tuesday, the board announced its decision not to appoint an interim leader.

“We feel we have an exceptional and dedicated staff in place,” Vice President Chris Baker said.

At the end of the school year, whether to appoint an interim superintendent will be re-evaluated based on where the board stands with its search. The goal is to have a superintendent in place for the beginning of next school year, Baker said.

Board President Neil Reynolds said all superintendent duties will be on hold for the remainder of the school year. He said the board has faith in members of the central office administration, who have been instructed to continue their duties to keep the district running smoothly.

Reynolds said his point of contact with the administration is Kirby Stahly, the district’s business manager and assistant superintendent for administrative services.

Baker said the board’s goal is to make the search “as open and transparent as possible.”

The process will include meetings to gather input from employees, parents and members of the community. The board has chosen a loose timeline to meet its goal of finding a leader mid-summer. Within the next few weeks, the board will advertise the post and begin accepting resumes. Meetings will be scheduled to gather input, and applicant screening will begin in May followed by candidate interviews in June.

Charter school

The board also heard a presentation from Timothy L. Johnson Academy School Leader Steve Bollier about the district authorizing the school’s charter.

Ball State recently announced it would not renew the charters of three city charter schools: Johnson Academy and two Imagine Schools. Officials cited poor performance and insufficient improvement as reasons for the decision. All three schools have announced they will appeal Ball State’s decision. None have received dates for appeal hearings, which are required to be scheduled before June 30.

Shortly after Ball State’s announcement, Johnson Academy asked the East Allen board to consider becoming its new authorizer. Public school boards are among several entities that can authorize charters, along with a state charter school board, the mayor of Indianapolis and four-year higher education institutions.

Board Secretary Stephen Terry, who is also an administrator at the charter school, had said previously that East Allen was the school’s first choice as an alternate authorizer. Terry left the meeting prior to the presentation.

Board members asked Bollier questions, many of which focused on how the partnership between the district and the school would benefit East Allen. Bollier said the Village community in southeast Fort Wayne has been energized and revitalized because of the charter school, which is located in East Allen’s former Village Elementary School.

Another advantage would be about a 3 percent or $60,000 service fee the district could collect as the charter’s authorizer, Bollier said.

Other questions centered on the school’s use of Leona Group LLC as its education management company and if the school will continue to contract with the company. Bollier said the company provides human resources and payroll services, but he, as the school’s leader, reports to the charter school’s board.

Reynolds said if there’s interest among the East Allen board to move forward as the school’s authorizer, it will discuss the option. He said no timeline for a discussion or decision has been set, but Johnson Academy has requested an answer by early April.

sarah.janssen@jg.net

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