I received an interesting e-mail from the Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs today about the new Seattle Schools District Arts Manager position:
"At our last forum on October 25, Seattle's Chief Academic Officer Carla Santorno announced the plan to hire a new district manager of visual and performing arts to provide innovative leadership and strengthen arts education district wide...The announcement launched a multi-year commitment between the district and the city to create a core leadership team comprised of the new arts manager and four arts "coaches." The district's arts leadership team will support principals, teachers and arts partners with the goal of transforming the way in which arts education services are delivered to school buildings and programs. High on the list of priorities for the new manager and team will be to maximize the potential for partnerships with Seattle's vibrant arts community.
Since the forum, the arts commission's education committee - consulting with teachers, administrators, parents and arts advocates - has represented the community, working with Ms. Santorno and district officials on the job description and hiring plan for the new district manager. We are pleased to report the district will post the position February 12."
That news led me to look at other open leadership positions in the district right now and, so I read with interest the posting on the 2007-2008 Principal and Assistant Principal Selection Process which says:
"At this time principal openings are; The New School, Bagley, Sacajawea, Stanford International, Stevens, African American Academy, Aki Kurose, Hamilton, Whitman and Roosevelt." The deadline for applying is February 23rd and hiring decisions will be made the first week in April.
"Recommended candidates [from school site-based interviews] meet with Superintendent and CAO and are assigned to schools at the Superintendent’s discretion."
In addition (emphasis is mine):
For transfer and reassignment of current principals:Don't they have that backwards? Who really wants to "dialogue" about a decision that has already been made? And why do schools were a principal is being transferred or reassigned have so little say in who the principal will be compared with schools where principal openings are officially announced?
Transfers and reassignments may occur at the request of a current principal and/or at the discretion of the Superintendent. The Superintendent will consider the leadership needs of schools in his decision. After the Superintendent announces principals recommended for transfer, the Principal and Instructional Director will meet and dialogue with the staff and community.
Also, there is no mention here of the principals who have lost their jobs due to the closure and consolidation decisions and whether or not they will have any preference for principal openings. The decision about who will be the principal at each of the merged schools has already been made (see the FAQs and the Key Dates and Implementation Timeline). The school principals are:
Dearborn Park --- Barry Dorsey
High Point --- Gayle Everly
Emerson --- Marion Vinson
Broadview-Thomson --- Jeanne Smart
I find the Dearborn Park announcement to be surprising. It is the only school at which the current principal is being replaced by the principal of the incoming school community. But of course, I have no idea what Evelyn Fairchild's plans are for next year. For all I know, she could be applying to be the new District Arts Manager.
But no matter what the specifics of that particular decision, I would like to know how the district is handling the displaced principals from the closure and consolidation process. What is happening to Evelyn Fairchild from Dearborn Park, Davy Muth from Fairmount Park, Cathy Thompson from Rainier View and Joanne Bowers from Viewland? Do they get priority in placement for the open positions announced above? or in transfer/reassignment decisions? If so, why isn't that clearly stated? And if not, why not?