When the Monroe County School District meets Tuesday, Nov. 16, they’ll hear a report on the district’s six charter schools starting at 4 p.m. in Marathon. The College of the Florida Keys also is proposing a new high school-level charter school at its Key West campus, which Executive Director, Assessment & Accountability Dave Murphy will mention in his presentation.
CFK spokesperson Amber Ernst Leonard said CFK is “excited about this major college initiative,” but it will be addressed in 2022.
District charter schools serve 1,181 students and all have an A-rating on the five-letter scale, except Key West Collegiate, which has a B. Sigsbee Charter in Key West serves the most students at 204.
School Board member Sue Woltanski said the topic aims to standardize the renewal process with the various charter schools so it is understandable and approvals can go smoothly. Some high school students graduate with college associate’s degrees in addition to their diploma due to current dual enrollment options.
At 5 p.m., the School Board will determine its meeting schedule for 2022, choosing 21 or 18 meetings, along with its leadership for the coming year. Currently, longtime board members John Dick serves as chair and Andy Griffiths as vice chair. Committee appointments also will be determined.
On the agenda is the review of various district policies such as purchases and contracts and procurement of federal grants and funds.
Executive Director of Finance and Performance Beverly Anders will share a financial update across $24.5 million of its funds, and a new adult education director and the job description for a position specializing in high school special student well-being social work will be addressed.
Also, the district’s legal team will lead a discussion of Schools Superintendent Theresa Axford’s contract, which calls for a $175,000 salary beginning in August 2022, $12,800 in allowances for civic and community participation and vehicle expenses, as well as insurance and retirement benefits. Axford was approved as superintendent in July 2020 upon the retirement of Mark Porter; her current salary is $165,000 a year, plus benefits.
If the School Board was unhappy with the superintendent’s performance, the district would need time to conduct a nationwide search; hence, the timeframe of this discussion.
Updates to the public comment policies include codifying the ability to call in public comments, which became more popular during COVID-19 restrictions and is practical due to the 112 miles comprising Monroe County. Additionally, a speaker is limited to three minutes unless representing a group, but that is changing with a requirement of the group representation to be presented in writing to the school district so the speaker can have two additional minutes.
Speakers are encouraged to pre-register their comment requests and they will be recognized in the order in which requests are received. The current policy has been in place since June 2015.
During Great Educational Moments for Students, the school board will recognize School District employees, students, volunteers and community partners as “GEMS,” an acronym for Great Educational Moments for Students.