Washoe County School District Superintendent Traci Davis “met expectations” in her job performance over the past school year. She exceeded expectations in seven categories, met expectations in 10 areas, and partially met expectations in three areas. Her overall rating was 3.06, or meeting expectations. A score of 3.6 or higher would have meant that Davis exceeded expectations.
Davis was praised yesterday by school trustees at the board’s monthly meeting. Board President Katy Simon Holland, however, acknowledged that there is “more work to do.”
Part of that work is in the increased low morale among school staff, teachers in particular. Employee rankings dropped from 2016-17 in the “overall perception and satisfaction” category.
Administrators and school leaders generally ranked Davis’ performance highest in academic achievements, such as increased graduation rates. Teachers noted that Davis is “very good at leading the process for new construction,” and she demonstrated “improvement in the graduation rates in the district.”
The district paid local firm OnStrategy $54,000 to conduct the survey and provide strategic planning services to the district.
Employees reduced their ranking of the school district “as an exceptional district that fully meets the educational needs of its students.”
“Morale is not just the superintendent. We have to be mindful of the $30 million cut.”
— Superintendent Traci Davis
Only 13 percent strongly agreed with this statement, which is a drop from 31 percent in 2016-17.
Teachers cited not feeling supported, needing more time to teach, and wanting to reduce the number of district administrators.
“Teachers are told what to do, more is added, and no one listens,” the survey noted. “Communications don’t invite feedback, only ‘tell’ information. Bullying, harassment, and other negative environments are not dealt with.”
The district is facing litigation and is in arbitration over administrators fired from positions related to bullying and retaliation complaints.
Davis blamed budget reductions as part of the reason for low morale.
“Morale is not just the superintendent. We have to be mindful of the $30 million cut,” she said. “We’re working on a little video about allocation. There’s a lot of work communicating the finance piece of it.”
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Davis also cited misperceptions by the public about the district.
“We’re doing a lot better than we ever have done for our students,” she said. “We want to value all 8,000 employees. There is a gap in communication. We have to do a better job of making sure the flow of information gets to all of our staff members.”
Community members were not allowed input into her evaluation.
Simon Holland said that Davis was going to decline any performance bonus if offered. The board accepted the evaluation.
Read the evaluation below.
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