“I think we can safely say that has not been met in any way, shape or form. We all know that there have been many issues that have been brewing for quite some time that have now come to a full-blown major problem,” Graves said. “There is no communication with this board and the community. We are the public. You serve us, not the other way around. You sit here and refuse to communicate with us, which clearly doesn’t meet Elaine’s goal number two.”
Graves also told the board that the group of about 12 individuals would be hanging around to hear the report on the superintendent’s evaluation that was done in closed session at the end of the meeting.
Hicks told Graves her time was running out, and when she refused to stop, Hicks called a five-minute recess in the meeting.
Stand Up Clark County was organized earlier this year following the December firing of George Rogers Clark High School football coach Paul Columbia.
The group has been to several prior board meetings to discuss their concerns over how Columbia’s firing was handled, as well as allegations of bullying within the schools, and have said they feel like the board has not been willing to listen to their concerns.
During the closed session to conduct the superintendent’s evaluation, Graves said her goal when she spoke to the board was to try to communicate the group’s concerns so they could be discussed during the evaluation process.
“Our goal when we came here was to tell the board what Elaine’s goals were and to give them a community view of how we thought she was handling these goals and the problems we had so that when they did her evaluation, they could say, ‘OK, here are some problem areas, here’s what we need to work on,’” Graves said. “Our purpose was to maybe put her in a corrective action plan. We were not coming here to try to fire her.”
Almost seven hours after the meeting began, the board ended its closed session and Hicks read the results of Farris’ evaluation in open meeting.
Farris was evaluated using the board approved Kentucky School Board Association guidelines consisting of nine performance standards which are scored on a scale of 1-4, with 1 being poor and 4 being excellent.
Farris was scored highest in the standards of curriculum planning and development with a 3.7, instructional leadership with a 3.65 and policy and governance with a score of 3.6.
She also was scored in the excellent range in the standards of organizational management, 3.4; leadership and district culture, 3.2; and values and ethics of leadership, 3.1. She received a 3.0 score in the areas of human resource management and student achievement and learning.
The lowest score on the evaluation, a 2.9, was in the area of communications and community relations.
Hicks said that the entire board shares equally and are responsible for maintaining good communications, and it was an area that they all will be working on.
During the board’s discussions, Hicks said, board members felt like “Dr. Farris has been very excellent about getting out very good messages,” and while the methods of getting those messages out seem to be good, “people have to receive the messages for them to be communicated well.”
“When we receive messages, sometimes what we do with it might result in what appears to be effective communication, maybe. This is an area that all of us will work on,” Hicks said.
Afterward, Farris thanked the board for recognizing the work that is going on in the school district and their support and pledged to work to improve.