May 5-12, 2017
In This Issue

Earlier this week a special edition of the Communicator was sent to you with information on four individuals who have been hired into executive director positions. I hope you found that helpful in introducing the individuals and the background each will bring to their job. But, I want to go back now and explain how these positions came into being and what is expected of each as we work to improve GSCS.

It all goes back to the curriculum audit conducted last year and the set of recommendations we have been diligently addressing this year. The audit team reviewed our organizational structure and job descriptions before making recommendations for improvement to both. Six criteria were considered in determining the appropriateness and effectiveness of our structure. First, there should be a clear line separating line and staff functions. In other words, the organizational chart should clearly highlight the line representing our core business - direct instruction of students. Under our new chart, you can see the line that goes from the Board of Education to the Superintendent to the Deputy Superintendent down to executive directors for elementary and secondary education and on to the school principals and faculty. All other positions support the core work of GSCS. Second, scalar relationships should be clear. The relative responsibility and authority of jobs should be clear. The new chart carefully titles positons so that the relative authority can be identified. Third, tasks of a similar nature should be grouped together. In our case, the instructional technology department has been moved into the Instructional Services division from Administrative Services since that is where its work most logically fits. A couple of other grouping changes are also under discussion. Fourth, span of control should be such that no supervisor has an unduly large number of direct reports. While there is no hard and fast rule on what that number should be, the new chart works to target 12 to 15 direct reports, but, as always, budget and/or practicality is a consideration. Fifth, the chain of command should be clear. No employee should have more than one supervisor and the line of supervision should be evident. And, finally, all central functions should be represented, especially those whose functions impact quality control.

Recommendation two of the curriculum audit details the issues we addressed this week. Our goal has been to meet the criteria as best we can with the new chart. I knew it would not be easy and would require financial resources to produce a structure that met the recommendation. The position of Executive Director of Administrative Services is basically the same position we currently title under an assistant superintendent. Organization support operations fall under the oversight of this position - facilities, transportation, nutrition, student services, administrative technology, and athletics. The old Teaching and Learning Division has been retitled Division of Instructional Services to better highlight its work in developing and supporting our instructional program. Once again, this will be overseen by an executive director rather than an assistant superintendent. The executive directors of elementary and secondary education are new to our chart and provide us with individuals focused solely on those grade bands rather than having responsibilities across the full K-12 spectrum. This arrangement will provide more focused support directly to elementary and secondary schools. The Deputy Superintendent will provide coordination between the four roles to ensure a smooth flow of services to schools. The net addition in positions involved with this change is three. Overall, the investment is budgeted at $450,000 for these three positions which includes salaries and benefits.

The curriculum audit also influenced other inclusions in the budget. 10.5 teachers were added based on a new allotment formula that included equity factors (Recommendation 7). The restoration of a professional learning director is budgeted to develop and implement a system-wide district professional learning plan (Recommendation 8). The development of a comprehensive curriculum management plan for the design, delivery, monitoring and evaluation of the curriculum is also included (Recommendation 4).

I hope this provides you with some insights into the changes adopted earlier this week. I believe the curriculum audit provides a roadmap to improving GSCS and the foundational changes highlighted herein are made in response to those recommendations. We will continue to work on other recommendations in weeks and months to come. In the end, GSCS will be stronger.

Have a great weekend!
Jim Smith 

Click HERE to view the briefs from the May 2, 2017 meeting.

The Griffin-Spalding County Board
of Education named four new executive directors at its May 2 meeting.
Dr. Norman Sauce, Dr. Donald Warren, Sara Jones and Anthony Aikens will
join GSCS as executive directors.
Dr. Kiawana Kennedy, current
assistant superintendent, was named deputy superintendent at the same meeting. These appointments are based on the recommendations of
our recent curriculum audit.
Congratulations to Carlos Alvarez (Cowan Road Middle), Diego Deliz (RRMS), Marcoiya Sutton (KRMS), Thavious Neal (RRMS) and Emily Van Eps (Carver Road Middle), who were named recipients of a $10,000 REACH Scholarship. We are excited about the bright futures of these five winners!
Pictured (L-R): Rehoboth Road Middle Principal Larry Jones, Thavious Neal, Diego Deliz and Superintendent Jim Smith

Pictured (L-R): Carlos Alvarez (Cowan Road Middle) and Superintendent Jim Smith
"People who have faults are a lot more interesting than people who are perfect ."

-Spike Lee
Bus discipline referrals are down by 72% and tribunals are way down this year.

Thank you teachers and staff for your work to improve discipline and increase instructional time!

The application process for Cohort 3 of the GSCS Quality Leaders Academy begins May 3, 2017 and ends at 5PM on Monday, May 15, 2017.

Admission to the Aspiring Leaders, Aspiring Principals, and District Office Leadership programs will be competitive and it is expected that Cohort 3 will be limited to a maximum number of candidates per program. All interested candidates who meet the prerequisites must complete and submit the following:
  • Online application
  • Two (2) professional references (current supervisor must complete Reference Form 1)
  • Two (2) essay questions (between 350-500 words each)
* All current GSCS teachers, employees, assistant principals, and central office administrators who meet the prerequisites of these respective programs are eligible to apply.

Click HERE for the application and required documents.

Selected participants will be announced the week of May 22nd, 2016.
Federal Programs Director Ashley McLemore
Ashley is knowledgeable in so many areas especially Title I programs and regulations. She is conscientious, concerned, helpful and fair. She models what she expects. She has impeccable integrity and strives for perfection in whatever she does. She is wise beyond her years. GSCS is lucky to have her.

For more information, including sponsorship opportunities, click HERE to view the flyer/registration form.

 Visit for detailed info.