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CCSD Board of Trustees to discuss Superintendent Jara's performance review

Posted at 6:23 PM, Dec 04, 2019

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Reviews are finally coming out for Superintendent Jesus Jara.

It’s been a year and a half with Jara leading Clark County School District, the nation's fifth largest school district, and he hasn't had a formal review of his performance until now.

"So, it's a brand-new process for us and it's taken longer than expected because it was really unclear what the process should be,” CCSD Board Trustee Danielle Ford said.

Ford says Jara's review should be done once a year per his contract. Since no formal review had been done before, there were delays, such as making a rubric to grade the superintendent on.

"In hindsight, we should've broken it down over the course of the entire year,” Ford said.

The board's first review draft included grading Jara on: his commitment to the district's vision, developing student success targets, his focus on core values, and following the district’s theory of action.

Overall, the board commended Jara for trying and implementing strategies to improve student achievement and having a listening tour to hear ideas to improve the district. It did raise concerns over issues of communication regarding significant changes, such the proposed elimination of the dean positions.

RELATED: Clark County School District Supt. Jara says he will not eliminate deans

Ford says the review process wasn't perfect, but an important first step in getting the board and superintendent to work together on improvements.

"Our job as a board and individual trustees is to have an amazing superintendent to serve the kids of Clark County and that needs to be our primary focus,” she said.

In a four-page document outlining his self-evaluation, Superintendent Jara says he's been working tirelessly to transition into his position over the past year and a half.

He breaks down four "process" targets he created on determining his work leading the Clark County School District including: School improvement, talent development, communication, and community engagement.

Jara highlights that he met face to face with every principal at their schools and reorganized staff to streamline communication between the district and principals.

Ford says she couldn't comment on specifics of the review before the school board meeting but did say this about Jara's performance: "I personally really do think he does a great job with the operational stuff and has a really good mind for big picture items and there have been some concerns I've had over communication.”

In his self-evaluation Jara acknowledges the communication issues, saying it was due to him working with a "fierce urgency" for the district and that he will be mindful with better processes for rollouts.

Ford says the review is to ensure Jara and all board trustees are on the same page.

"I just hope we're able to come to an agreement and respecting each others opinions while giving a fair evaluation and giving something really clear the superintendent can work off of,” Ford said.

The review will be discussed at Thursday's school board meeting starting at 5 p.m.