Thursday’s School Board Meeting was “just too tidy.”

After attending last Thursday evening’s Columbia Borough School Board of Director’s Meeting or watching the streamed to its Youtube channel, maybe you were one of those who were confused by the part of the meeting that related to the school superintendent.

CBSD notification policy

There was some conversation about district policy. We looked up the policy at the District Website and here’s the reference. We interpret the word “or” to be mutually exclusive. It’s either one way or another. Yet, the evening’s agenda had two options. You could revisit the agenda, but this link Board Meeting Agendas appears to be broken today. Here’s the two items that were listed on the meeting agenda:

“A Motion is requested to notify the Superintendent that the District intends to retain him as Superintendent for an additional contracted term of between three (3) and five (5) years, with the specific terms and provisions of such contract to be hereafter agreed upon by the Board and Superintendent.”

“A Motion is requested to notify the Superintendent that the District intends to consider another or other candidates for the office of Superintendent for the term beginning January 1, 2021.”

We cannot recall a precedent of the verbiage having been applied with any of the previous school superintendents.

Performance reviews

There was little discussion, except when Superintendent Tom Strickler brought it up, about the topic of performance reviews. Seemingly, the decision to “consider another or other candidates” almost certainly had to be a performance issue.

In the District policies, the topic of “objective performance standards” is addressed. The police stipulates that the standards “shall be posted on the district website.” And that
Upon completion of the annual performance assessment, the date of the assessment and a “GO/NO GO” (our words) statement “shall be posted” too.

We found neither of these items posted at the School District Website.

CBSD policy re superintendent performance standards

We agree with this assessment “at least 90% of Performance Improvement Plans (‘PIPs’), also called Performance Enhancement Plans (‘PEPs’), are fraudulent at their very core.” Performance improvement plans seldom achieve what they claim to want to accomplish. Too often, they are what some believe: They are a means to an end that may satisfy legal scrutiny.

Sorry, but to expect anyone to compete for the position held following the completion of the term unless specified in the employment contract is just bogus. Try that in your own situation. How’s it feel knowing you’ll have to compete to be rehired on the anniversary date of your employment?


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