LSCs have a tight timetable to comply with state laws regarding evaluating and retaining or replacing Chicago Public School principals.

By state law, LSCs must notify principals whether their contract will be renewed 150 days before the agreement ends. That means LSCs have until Feb. 1 to send written notice to principals whose contracts are set to expire June 30, 2002.

The following timeline describes what LSCs must to to rehire or replace their principal.

All LSCs

October, November—Evaluate principal

Set ground rules for conducting evaluation with input from principal.

Gather relevant data such as previously established goals, schoolwide test scores and attendance records and CPS requirements for principal evaluation.

Gather comments, feedback from parents, community members and teachers.

December—Wrap-up evaluation

Meet in closed session to determine principal rating based on compiled research and data. Vote in open session to approve evaluation.

Meet with principal to discuss final evaluation; principal may respond in writing. Within 30 days, LSC can opt to change rating based on principal’s feedback.

January—Decide whether to renew contract

Vote in open session to either: Retain current principal or begin search for new principal. Current principal is eligible to apply.

LSCs retaining a principal

January, February, March—Amend principal contract, draft performance plan

Use evaluation to determine areas where principal needs to improve and whether to add task addendums, such as motivating teachers or improving reading scores, to contract. Obtain legal review of proposed addendums from CPS law department. Vote in open session to approve new contract, including addendums.

Meet with principal to develop a performance plan based on state-mandated nine standards of evaluation. Use agreed upon standards to develop specific goals and an action plan. Principal has until June 30 to submit plan to LSC in writing.

LSCs hiring a new principal

February—Candidate search

Determine who will participate in principal search and hiring process; create a schedule; vote on key characteristics needed in new principal; post position opening in CPS personnel bulletin, local newspapers and other media.

March—Narrowing down

Review resumes in closed session and determine first cut candidates.

Interview candidates. Narrow candidates to three finalists in open session vote. Council can, but are not required to, present candidates at public forum, check references and visit schools where candidate has worked.

April—Making a final decision

Discuss finalists in closed session. Minimum of seven votes needed to approve one candidate. In open session, vote on final choice. If no candidate earns seven votes, submit three names in order of preference to School Board, which will then choose principal based on school priorities and other data. Final selection must be made by April 15.

May, June—Contract negotiation

Use state’s nine standards to draft contract and addendums.

Follow steps 2 and 3 for retaining a principal.

Send signed contracts to Board of Education for approval.

Source: Designs for Change

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