Surveys and focus groups help create a culture for positive results
By Bob White
Lee’s Summit R-7 Board of Education President
On behalf of our Board of Education, I want to thank our community and staff for an overwhelming response to our request for feedback regarding our search for a Lee’s Summit R-7 permanent superintendent. More than 500 individuals completed an online survey earlier this fall with almost 250 participating in a total of 17 focus groups.
This type of community involvement is much greater than what is normally received in this type of process, and we truly appreciate each person who took the time to share opinions. This feedback, presented to the Board of Education by BWP and Associates at our Oct. 13 work session, is helping Board members identify and prioritize critical attributes for our new superintendent.
Your involvement and support is especially vital as we continue involving the community in order to a achieve positive results. BWP and Associates noted that based on the survey and focus groups Lee’s Summit R-7 citizens are very proud of the school district and the quality of administration and teachers supporting our students.
Our school district is currently accepting applications for the position of superintendent with the application process closing on Nov. 11. In early December, the Board of Education will receive a slate of qualified candidates as recommended by BWP and Associates. The consulting firm will determine this list using a comprehensive screening process that incorporates feedback from the community and Board of Education.
Throughout December and January, the Board of Education will continue to narrow the list of candidates. Following further screening and interviews, the goal is to name the new superintendent by late January or early February. The permanent superintendent will begin his or her duties in July 2017.
I also want to thank the many staff and community members who have welcomed our interim superintendent, Dr. Dave Benson, to Lee’s Summit R-7. We have been pleased with Dr. Benson’s leadership and his focus on student success as well as community engagement and open communications. On the job since Sept. 1, Dr. Benson has been working with R-7 staff on tasks such as implementing our district’s new five-year strategic plan, known as Destination 2021. Our Board of Education has also been working with administration to strengthen Board policy and has approved contracts in accordance with newly revised Board policy DGA that has given greater guidance as to how to comply with state statutes.
I want to call your attention to an additional effort to enhance communications with our public. Beginning in December, we plan to begin videotaping our Board of Education meetings with videos available via our district’s webpage. More information about how to access these videotaped meetings will be included in district communications later this fall.
I hope you are having an outstanding school year and a wonderful autumn. Our students and staff members are accomplishing great things both in the classroom and beyond. Just recently, we learned that our 2016 graduates scored above the state and national averages on the ACT college-entrance exams. In addition, Lee’s Summit R-7 students performed well on the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) tests, scoring above the state average in each subject area and each grade level tested.
Please feel free to contact our Board of Education — or any school district department — via our “contact us” webpage, available at https://contact.lsr7.org/. We welcome your feedback and are grateful to serve our students, staff and community as Board members.