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After first year, District 833 schools chief gets positive review

Keith Jacobus is in his second year as School District 833 superintendent. (Bulletin file photo)

Superintendent Keith Jacobus recently got a good report card from District 833 School Board members.

On a five-point rating system, Jacobus got an average 3.6 on a two-part evaluation that was conducted Aug. 10 in a closed session with the board, which is permitted under the state Open Meeting Law. It was his first annual performance review. He took over as South Washington County Schools superintendent in July 2012.

At the Aug. 22 School Board meeting, board Chair Ron Kath read a summary of the evaluation. There were no comments by the board or Jacobus at the meeting, but Jacobus responded to the evaluation in an email.

"While I appreciate the positive evaluation for my first year in the district, I believe this is reflective of the efforts of staff throughout the district and their attention to our mission of igniting a passion for lifelong learning," Jacobus wrote. "We look forward to our second year of focusing on personalized learning to help all of our kids succeed."

The following rating system was used: 5-consistently exceeds expectations; 4-sometimes exceeds expectations; 3-meets expectations; 2-sometimes does not meet expectations; and 1-does not meet expectations.

The board rated Jacobus 3.5 on his goal plan. The board also rated the superintendent on: governance and reporting; administration, planning and management; staff relationship and development; student relations; and communications and collaboration.

In summary, board members said they were pleased with the new matrix budgeting system Jacobus implemented; his new "What I know today" videos that appear on the district website; and board and administration training on governance and management.

The board also said Jacobus should be more proactive in getting ahead of issues and information getting to the board.

Board members were pleased with Jacobus' first year and set the following goals for the coming year: passage of the three referendum questions on the Nov. 5 ballot; revisions to the district's strategic plan; and development and district policy management.

Judy Spooner
Judy Spooner is the longest-serving staff writer at the South Washington County Bulletin. Spooner, who covers education and features in addition to writing a weekly column, has been with the newspaper for over 30 years.
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