Superintendent could earn up to $20K compensation

While negotiating Superintendent Kevin Smith’s contract, the Board of Education’s Business Operations Committee decided that a certain portion of his compensation would be incentive-based, which the board unanimously approved during its Nov. 13 meeting.

If Dr. Smith successfully meets the metrics stipulated by the board, he could earn as much as $20,000 in incentive compensation.

Board and committee member Christine Finkelstein said the committee decided to base Dr. Smith’s compensation on the district’s values and mission statement.

“We identified key components of the mission statement and the values — whole child, student outcomes, fiscal accountability, human resources and curriculum,” explained Ms. Finkelstein.

“From that, we came up with some specific metrics and assigned a percent base to each of those categories, [which] will determine his incentive income.”

Since it’s Dr. Smith’s first year as the new superintendent, the board agreed that the metrics will be largely tied to planning and initiative rather than to actual outcomes.

Ms. Finkelstein said the board will review and redraft the metrics on an annual basis.

Dr. Smith said he believes the approach of the incentive-based compensation is important.

“I think the only other superintendent contract that has an incentive component is maybe in Norwalk, and so when you first propose this, you're in new territory,” he told the board.

“I think the approach is the right approach in structuring compensation for public employees like me, and it also gives you [the board] an opportunity to help me prioritize in this way.”

Whole child

Twenty percent of Dr. Smith’s incentive compensation is dependent on successful implementation of the district’s “whole child” philosophy.

The goal of the “whole child” is 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 understands the responsibility of monitoring and mentoring students, particularly those who may be at risk.

Dr. Smith will need to establish a plan at the start of the 2015-16 school year to query students about the adult to whom they feel connected, and ask staff about students to whom they feel connected,” the performance plan outlines.

He will also need to establish a plan for a Wilton High School Freshmen Academy and publish plans on the district’s website.

Student outcomes

Student outcomes account for 30% of the superintendent’s compensation, with the first goal being to create 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;
  • Student testing, which will be suspended pending successful implementation of SBAC.

Additionally, Dr. Smith need to establish a process for capturing data and information about academic scholarships offered to Wilton students, college graduation rates and college admissions statistics.

He will also be required to provide progress updates on the progress of the school district’s website.

Dr. Smith said his overall goal for student outcomes is to “put together a composite of indicators that would [show] that we’re making incremental progress.”

“One of the indicators that I’m very interested in is knowing once kids get to college, do they stay and do they graduate in four years?” he said.

“To me, that’s a really strong indicator of not only a strong community, but also a strong academic institution.”

Fiscal accountability

By demonstrating to Wilton taxpayers that they are receiving a good value for their tax dollars and establishing transparency throughout the budgetary and accounting functions, Dr. Smith can earn 20% of his incentive compensation.

According to the superintendent’s performance plan, this would require him to:

  • Conduct an audit of the 2013-14 operating budget;
  • Initiate and complete a staffing audit by May 2015;
  • Develop and implement a process for regular two-way communication wiht all stakeholders about the budget process and publish quarterly “economic performance report cards on the district’s website.

Human resources

Twenty percent of Dr. Smith’s compensation will depend on human resources, in which he must continue to “attract, develop and retain the best teachers in the country,” according to the plan, by:

  • Developing standards for what will be known as “the Wilton Way” and communicating those standards to all staff members;
  • Developing a comprehensive plan for new teacher orientation and assimilation.

Dr. Smith must also publish both the standards and comprehensive plan on the district’s website.


The final 10% of Dr. Smith’s compensation rides on curriculum and the success of a continual curriculum evaluation that ensures the right courses are in place to achieve the school district’s priorities.

Dr. Smith will be required to:

  • Develop a plan for implementation of the Wilton STEM Academy;
  • Investigate and report on the possibility of expanding curriculum offerings through various online instruction methods, including through virtual high school courses;
  • Publish a Wilton STEM Academy plan, vision for online instruction and resources for online instruction on the district’s website.

Click here to read the full draft of the Superintendent Performance Plan.