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School Committee: 'Excellent Job' by Superintendent in His First Year

The Wayland School Committee recently finalized its evaluation of Dr. Paul Stein.

Superintendent Paul Stein took the reins at Wayland Public Schools in July 2011, and School Committee members agreed in his annual evaluation that he had done an "overall ... excellent job" during his first year.

The evaluation process involved Stein completing a detailed self-assessment and the School Committee following that with its own assessment under the same categories.

"Dr. Stein possesses the capacity to be informative and reflective, and demonstrates an ability to step back and listen," reads the final School Committee evaluation. "He is positive, humble, tenacious, good humored and has an enthusiastic spirit."

Goal Achievement

In particular, School Committee members were impressed with Stein's approach to and progress made under the system-wide goals established for the 2011-12 school year. The goals encompassed wide-ranging elements of Wayland's educational system, including closing the achievement gap, improving wellness education, creating global citizens of its students and improving the system's fiscal operations, among several others.

Under many of the eight goals, committee members agreed that Stein had made "more than adequate progress" or had otherwise worked with acumen toward the goals. The lone exception fell under a goal of "Restructuring the fiscal operations within the school system with an eye toward efficiency, transparency and accountability."

One committee member, not named in the final report, "believes there is room for improvement" when it comes to Stein's oversight of improving "attention to detail, transparency and accountability" and his placing attention and being proactive in "reporting issues and making recommendations to the School Committee as to how best to address them."

Relationships and Communication

When it comes to Stein's relationships and communication with the School Committee and members of the community, he received words of praise in his evaluation.

"He has taken a great deal of time to build relationships with the committee members, by individually reaching out to them, maintaining a very open door policy, being honest with his answers and allowing there to be disagreement," the School Committee evaluation reads.

For his part, Stein said he regularly worked "to assure the committee had whatever information it needed to make informed decisions." He pointed to the budget season as an example, writing in his self-evaluation that during the budget process he conducted formal research and "answers to over 100 questions were provided in writing."

Looking Forward

The School Committee did not offer any areas of dramatic improvement needed, but simply offered suggestions for "future consideration" under several categories. For instance, under the criteria of developing a long-range vision and plan for the school system, the School Committee evaluation suggests Stein develop three- to five-year plans that outline objectives, outcome-based indicators and action steps.

Stein said in his evaluation that he wanted to do a better job of building regular school visits into his schedule, as he was able to do with more frequency when he first began his job in Wayland than he could as the year progressed.

"These visits were invaluable in that they helped me better directly understand the points of pride and areas of concern throughout the schools," Stein's self-evaluation reads. "Simultaneously, it helped staff members get to know me better. I think I began the year with more visits than I could sustain by the end of the year, as other matters crowded my schedule. My intent is to re-commit to sustaining this effort throughout next year."

The School Committee urged Stein to continue the caliber of work he had completed in his first year with a continued effort to monitor the workload of staff as he encouraged staff members to work more efficiently.

"The School Committee is very grateful for Dr. Stein’s leadership this past year," the report reads. "It has been very evident that he cares a great deal about the Wayland school system and everyone associated with it, including the students, staff, families and community members."

The full text of Stein's self-evaluation and the School Committee evaluation are available under the "Presentations & Reports" section of the School Committee webpage.

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