Superintendent receives new set of incentive goals

Could earn up to another $20,000 in compensation

Superintendent Kevin Smith in his office at Wilton High School. — Kendra Baker photo

Superintendent Kevin Smith in his office at Wilton High School. — Kendra Baker photo

After successfully completing last year’s goals and earning $20,000 in compensation, Superintendent Kevin Smith has been given a new set of incentive goals to complete this school year.

During its Nov. 19 meeting, the board approved the superintendent’s 2015-16 incentive compensation plan, which will “build on prior accomplishments, and be linked to specific and measurable progress.” If Smith completes this year’s goals, he will once again earn $20,000 in compensation.

Last year was Smith’s first year with Wilton Public Schools, so the education board decided to base all the incentive metrics planning- and task-oriented. This year, however, the metrics are linked to measurable accomplishments.

The compensation plan, put together by the board’s Business Operations Committee, is based on the district’s values and mission statement and uses the following key components:

  • Whole child.
  • Student outcomes.
  • Fiscal accountability.
  • Teaching and learning.

Whole child

Like last year, 20% of Smith’s incentive compensation is dependent on successful implementation of the district’s “whole child” philosophy.

The whole child goals are to:

  • Ensure that every child in Middlebrook and Wilton High School feels personally connected to an adult in the building, and that every staff member understand the responsibility of monitoring and mentoring students, particularly those who may be at risk.
  • Establish a ‘Freshman Academy’ to successfully transition students into Wilton High School and continue to build on the academy concept so that all freshmen are placed on a team.

In order to do this, the superintendent must complete the following whole child metrics this year:

  • Provide a list of all students and their designated teacher or staff member partner.
  • Document that principals have verified both with students and teachers that interactions are taking place.
  • Provide opportunities for advisors to interact with each other and share experiences.
  • Provide “first year reflections” from students and teachers involved in the Chromebook cohort.
  • Plan for expansion of Wilton High School’s advisory program so that all students and teachers are able to interact in positive and meaningful ways. This will require teachers to understand their roles and students to see the value and worthiness of the program.

Student outcomes

Student outcomes account for 20% of the superintendent’s compensation this year, with the goal of creating a “Wilton Success Scorecard” to monitor student success based on performance in criteria, including:

  • Connecticut State Department of Education’s District Performance Report.
  • Graduation rates.
  • Participation and success in AP courses.
  • SAT and ACT scores.
  • Scientific Research-Based Interventions (SRBI) and Measures of Academic Progress (MAP).
  • Performance Assessment Design Initiative (PADI).
  • Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC).
  • Special education referrals.

In order to do this, Smith will need to:

  • Finalize and maintain the Wilton Success Scorecard that was started during 2015.
  • Analyze and report on the impact of the District Management Council recommendations with regard to delivery of services to struggling students.
  • Demonstrate the effectiveness of SRBI and MAP and how their uses address achievement gaps for all students.
  • Plan for improving Wilton Public Schools performance on the SBAC.

Fiscal accountability

By developing and recommending a 2016-17 operating budget that increases spending by no more than 2% over the current budgetary levels, demonstrating to Wilton taxpayers that they are receiving a good value for their tax dollars and establishing transparency throughout the budgetary and accounting functions, Smith can earn 20% of his incentive compensation.

According to the performance plan, this would require him to:

  • Arrange for an audit of internal controls over financial reporting for assets and accounts controlled by Wilton Public Schools, and develop and action plan based on the audit findings.
  • Report on cost efficiencies attained throughout the district due to changes implemented as a direct result of the District Management Council recommendation.
  • Participate in efforts at the local and state level to support efforts to repeal the Affordable Health Care Cadillac Tax, and work to find ways to minimize the tax’s impact on health care costs.
  • Work with the new Wilton chief financial officer to identify opportunities for cost efficiencies.

Teaching and learning

This year’s incentive compensation plan combines the “human resources” and “Curriculum” categories found in last year’s plan into “teaching and learning.”

This reason for this, according to the plan, is to reflect the board’s thinking that “excellent teaching and a strong curriculum are mutually dependent.”

Forty percent of Smith’s compensation will depend on his ability to achieve the following four teaching and learning goals this year:

  • Continue to attract, develop and retain the best teachers and administrators in the country.
  • Provide innovative professional development opportunities that Wilton teachers can deliver highly creative and individualized learning experiences for students.
  • Ensure that the Wilton Public Schools curriculum is properly aligned with the Common Core standards, and that the curriculum demands the appropriate rigor from students.
  • Ensure that every Wilton student has been assessed and properly counseled so that students have access to appropriate and challenging course materials — both traditional and nontraditional.

In order to achieve this, according to the plan, Smith must:

  • Establish quantifiable goals for curriculum coordinators and coaches.
  • Develop and implement a plan for curriculum changes based on SBAC feedback.
  • Continue to recruit talent from a national pool of high-performing teachers.
  • Strengthen STEM offerings at Wilton schools, which will involve a “substantial increase” in STEM programming at the high school and a “tighter connection” to programming at Middlebrook, as well as “exploring ‘Project Lead the Way’ courses.”
  • Demonstrate the impact of instructional rounds in Wilton’s four public schools.
  • Report on the status of the Curriculum Review Committee and demonstrate the improvements and goals for the subject areas being studied.
  • Demonstrate that steps are being taken in the direction of personalized learning.

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