Friday, February 17, 2012

Guiding Principles

Three Guiding Principles

Like anything new the Employee Handbook is drawing a lot of questions. There are several reasons for the Handbook as I wrote about in an earlier Blog, but two reasons given here are to create clarity and consistency in what is expected of employees. Its overarching purpose is to create a great place for students to learn and to create a better work environment for all employees.

Let’s talk about why we need a Handbook. We need all employees to be committed to our students. Our first guiding principle begins with what is key to student learning, the other two follow.

1. The School District of Janesville will recruit, retain and recognize high performing employees who embody the standards of integrity and accountability.
2. The School District of Janesville will commit to the continuous development, coaching and support of our employees.
3. The School District of Janesville will continue to adhere to strict standards of achievement and excellence.

Dave Parr stopped in the other day to let me know some of his concerns. I have also heard questions from others. Here are some of them:

1. Are these secret closed session meetings? No
These are Cabinet meetings of which I invited two Board members to attend. Closed sessions must be posted. These are not posted Board meetings. These meetings are for the purpose of finding ways to improve student learning through employee engagement and making the School District of Janesville a place where employees want to work.
2. Are we writing the entire Handbook all on our own without input from employees? No
In fact one of the tasks of the committee is to talk about and design the process we will use to receive input from employees. As stated in my last Blog we want employees involved and will be putting a mechanism in place to do just that. Right now we are still in the very early stages of meeting.
3. Is the Handbook already completed? No
The committee began with our beliefs because beliefs are already imbedded in the culture of our organization. We don’t often take time to speak of them, even though our district beliefs drive our decision making on a daily basis. The committee is taking time that is CRITICAL to establishing a document that encapsulates our beliefs and our expectations of all employees. The Handbook will add clarity not confusion regarding expectations of all employees.

I appreciate those of you who are asking questions. Feel free to contact me directly anytime you have one. ( 608-290-9352) As a District we want a great place for students to learn, a satisfying place for employees to work, an exceptional place for parents to send their children and an excellent educational system where taxpayers want to invest their money.

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