A mid-year evaluation of Karsten Anderson, superintendent of Red Wing Public Schools, revealed areas of improvement and strength.
The evaluation was conducted in a closed session June 7 by the Red Wing School Board and was based on four goals that the board previously identified in November 2020.
The following is a summary of the goals and the board’s feedback for each, which became public at the June 21 meeting.
Goal 1: Equity planning
The district is committed to strengthening this area through leadership.
The board’s feedback: “We have a good start on this goal, but some felt that this should have been addressed a long time ago. More outreach is needed in diverse groups, and in all corners of our community. The board believes that the superintendent is committed to working on this goal and appreciates his willingness to dive into the difficult conversations.”
Goal 2: Student achievement
An education plan is set to address achievement gaps.
The board’s feedback: “The achievement gap continues to be a large area of concern. The learning plan that is in place for the upcoming school year (and beyond) needs to be thoughtful and focused.”
Goal 3: Recovery from COVID
Many areas within the district have been changed in response to COVID-19, including the budget.
The board’s feedback: “COVID has dramatically impacted our school district and posed great challenges. Budgetary and personnel considerations have been addressed to right-size within the district. Providing devices to students to engage in distant learning happened quickly, and support was given to staff so they could be successful in their positions.
“There was concern over a recommendation that came from the superintendent regarding shortened quarantining. A special meeting was called by the superintendent to discuss, however, there were many concerns around the timing of posting this meeting and scheduling it when a quorum was known to not be available. The board, overall, feels that the superintendent did a good job managing the needs of the district through the COVID pandemic.”
Goal 4: Human resources
Hiring practices must follow a consistent course of action.
The board’s feedback: “The consistency of hiring practices continues to be a strong area of concern for the board. The superintendent has hired an independent consulting firm to review human resource practices and make recommendations for future improvement. It is imperative that the district has consistent and fair hiring practices that follow district policy. Some board members feel that the overall structure of district office personnel needs work to provide the superintendent with more support.”
Anderson thanked the Board members for the session and said, “I think it is important to have dialogue with multiple perspectives. I think that makes us better."