Superintendent announces plan to spend more quality time in schools

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 6, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

Don’t count on finding Suffolk Schools Superintendent Dr. Milton R. Liverman in the office too much in the coming weeks.

Liverman informed school board members at Tuesday’s retreat in Chesapeake that he, along with assistant superintendents Dr. Lynn Cross and Deran Whitney, will be &uot;spending less time in the office&uot; and more quality time visiting schools across the 430-square-mile city.

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Liverman explained that the three officials will respectively cover the southern, central and northern regions of the state’s fastest growing city.

&uot;We will be going into buildings on a regular basis with a specific checklist,&uot; said Liverman. He added that visits will take place &uot;at least quarterly&uot;, at which time the school environment, cleanliness and use of instruction will be among the issues analyzed. As for the latter, Liverman elaborated that they hope to &uot;not just (see) kids doing homework, but actively engaged in instruction.

&uot;This will not be a half hour, 45-minute walk-through. We will be spending time…to provide assistance and feedback,&uot; stressed Liverman. &uot;We want to bring the schools to the level we all want them to be.&uot;

Board member William Whitley, a retired Suffolk schools principal, expressed concern that the visits might come as an unfair surprise to the schools, particularly if the division’s chief administrator is dropping in.

&uot;I think the principals should know the superintendent is coming to their school,&uot; he said.

Liverman stated that the principals will be aware of the &uot;specific things we’re looking for…The principals will know before we come in.&uot;

Liverman added that the administration is currently &uot;refining&uot; the tool which will be used during the evaluations, and said it will &uot;mirror ones used by another school system.&uot; He expects to share the eight-page form at the board’s August meeting.