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Posted: March 11, 2016

Self-Examination of District Offices

The superintendent has asked supervisors to provide a clear, concise picture of the work being done in their departments.

Dear Colleagues,

We hosted a public forum this week to get input on the 2016-17 budget, and while suggestions were all over the place, the overriding message was clear: APS needs to be smart, efficient and forward-thinking as it prepares a budget plan that best serves our students next school year and beyond.

I heard that message loud and clear, as did other APS leaders and board members who attended the forum. We've also heard it from co-workers, business owners, community members and taxpayers as we visit schools, attend social events, even in line at the grocery store.

It's time to start looking at our budget through a different lens. Rather than quick fixes and across the board cuts that often negatively impact everyone including our students, we need to come up with a better way of doing things.

The first place we must look is at ourselves - the APS administration. And that's exactly what we're doing. I've asked supervisors to provide a clear, concise picture of the work being done in their departments.

Some of the questions we're asking include:

  • Is the work we are doing essential to the education of students?
  • Does it add value and support for schools?
  • Is student and employee safety at stake?
  • How can we work more efficiently?
  • What would happen if the work ceased or was outsourced?
  • What is required of us by law and mandate?

This self-examination will help us get a better feel for what we are doing well, what we can do better and maybe even what we don't need to be doing.

We also are starting to talk about long-term budgeting that coincides with the creation of the Academic Master Plan. What changes do we need to make to prepare students for an unknown future?

This is hard, complicated work. It makes people anxious. It makes them worry. But know that as we go through this process, we are committed to teaching and learning, and that students must come first. As long as we keep students as our focus, we will be headed in the right direction.

Kind regards, 

Raquel Reedy
APS Superintendent