After 18 months at the helm of Foxboro schools, Superintendent Amy Berdos has aced her second exam, boosting her cumulative GPA in the process.
Berdos, who replaced retiring superintendent Debra Spinelli in January 2018, was given a glowing performance review, receiving an “exemplary” rating by school committee members in a composite ranking.
“We set the bar very high and you cleared it by a mile,” school board Chairwoman Tina Belanger said.
The favorable evaluation — so positive that it lacked even constructive criticism — earned Berdos a $5,458 (3 percent) merit raise, bringing her salary to $187,396 and her total compensation (including auto and phone allowances) to $191,396.
Thanking board members for their confidence, Berdos said she was privileged to work in a community that values learning and supports its public schools.
“To be in a community that does not charge [user] fees shows the type of commitment we have,” Berdos said. “I appreciate this, but it is the work of many.”
Presented by Belanger at a special summer session held July 15, the annual review utilized a composite framework instituted by the state Dept. of Education, with each school board member rating Berdos — first, against four established goals — and second, against four state-determined standards: instructional leadership, management & operations, community engagement and professional culture.
Established goals included:
Professional practice —
- creating a comprehensive overview of the school district to identify areas for improvement, and develop strategy to address them;
- Student learning
- implementing a student advisory council at Foxboro High School to gain student perspectives about school-related issues;
- District improvement
- Reviewing results of an assessment test taken by 15-year-olds to identify district strengths, curriculum implications and steps for improvement;
- Reaching a new collective bargaining agreement with teachers and educational assistants.
Participating in the annual evaluation along with Belanger, Beverley Lord and Richard Pearson were former school board members Christopher Connolly and Marilyn Weiss, whose terms expired in May.
Notably, Connolly assessed Berdos’ performance at the highest available level in each of the eight different categories.
Using a cumulative ranking, Belanger, Connolly, Beverley Lord and Weiss rated Berdos’ overall performance as “exemplary,” while Pearson rated her as “proficient.”
This reflected an improvement over her 2018 performance, which was rated “proficient” in the cumulative ranking after just six months on the job.
In addition to the rankings based on different criteria, a summary narrative of Berdos’ evaluation selected quotes from the individual evaluations, but did not attribute them to specific board members.
“There were no negative comments,” said Belanger, who noted that she would have included them just for the sake of providing balance to the numerous superlatives. “There weren’t even any examples of constructive criticism.”
“Dr. Berdos has quickly become one of the top superintendents in the state,” read one of the quotes. “Additionally, she is a tireless advocate for the students, even when that means making difficult decisions.”
“Amy continually improves and supports a positive culture and climate in FPS, essential for the success of this organization, while teaching and learning remains the focus,” said another.
“Her drive and dedication to learn and always improve herself overflows into her continually creating and improving opportunities of growth, challenge and nurturing for both faculty/staff and students.”