After my first month in the Parkland School District, I wanted to provide the community with an introductory message. I am honored to join the Parkland School District as your newly appointed Superintendent of Schools. The Parkland School District sets a high standard academically, athletically, and in the arts across the state. To join this amazing organization and family is something very special. I look forward to maintaining the excellent programs, and growing and expanding educational opportunities, academic achievement, and co-curricular activities for our students. I am coming to Parkland from the Nazareth Area School District where I served as Assistant Superintendent. I was fortunate to have great mentors and colleagues at Nazareth. I am forever grateful for the time, experiences, and friendships built over the years. In the months and years to come, I expect to build these same relationships with you through our work together.
The leadership of the administrative team and school board has positioned the school district to succeed through these challenging times. The tradition of excellence in all things will continue to be a focus for our school district. I first would like to thank Rich Sniscak for his unwavering leadership in this District. He is a tremendous leader who is well respected around the Valley and has touched the lives of countless students and families. I wish him and his family well on their next phase of life. We collaborated over the past few months to ensure a smooth transition and Rich provided me with access to a plethora of information and meetings in order to orient me to this new position. Over my first 100 days as your Superintendent, I will focus on four main areas:
1. Building Trust by Listening and Learning
3. Excellence across Academics, the Arts, and Athletics
4. Post Pandemic Planning
One of the outstanding qualities that drew me to this District is the sense of family and community. The support of the community for the School District and the reverence in which people talk about the Parkland teaching staff and administration is inspiring. The work, dedication, and accomplishments of the teaching and support staff is second to none. This staff has pushed through a very challenging year, but I have no doubt they will emerge stronger than ever as we look to the year ahead. We will work together to ensure that every child is provided the opportunity to succeed.
It is a challenging and unpredictable time for all of us, not just for those of us who work in public education. As we move through this global pandemic, we continue to see families and businesses struggle with many children needing support. We need to continue to work and grow together to provide the highest standards of education for our children in a healthy and safe environment. We look forward to a full return to 5 days per week of in-person instruction in all of our schools while keeping the health and safety of our staff and students at the forefront of our decision-making process.
Parkland School District is the centerpiece of this community and students will continue to be at the forefront of our decision making. We will continue to advocate for the community and maintain a healthy and fiscally responsible budget. My office will always be open to you to discuss how to improve the experiences we provide to our students. I look forward to joining you on this journey for our children's future. Please consider following me on Twitter (@parklandsupt) to get District news as I share some of the great things that are happening within our schools and community.
In closing, please know I believe if we remain strong together, be positive, stay safe, and be united as a community, we will all be doing what is best for our children. Continue to enjoy your summer and reach out to me or anyone on our staff if we may be of assistance to you. And remember, August 30 is the first day of school. #ParklandStrong
Please click here to learn more about my Entry Plan.
All the best,
Mark J. Madson, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Parkland School District
Follow me on Twitter: @parklandsupt
Click here to ready my Entry Plan to Parkland School District:
SUPERINTENDENT’S OBJECTIVE PERFORMANCE STANDARDS FOR THE 2021-2022 SCHOOL YEAR
(1) Developing, Implementing and Monitoring of School District Goals and Objectives
Establish short-term and long-term goals and objectives for the School District through research and analysis including input from the Board and staff and continue to monitor the implementation and attainment of all goals and objectives taking into account future needs of the School District.
(2) Measuring and Assessing Student Growth and Achievement
Oversee the use of multiple data sources to assess student growth and achievement. Such sources may include Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT), Advanced Placement Test (AP), National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI), Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA), Keystone Exams, Pennsylvania Value Added Assessment System, School District assessments, and other assessment tools. Oversee student growth and achievement with the goal of developing and expanding student growth and achievement in accordance with their abilities in curricular programs, co-curricular activities and extra-curricular school sponsored activities (including academics, athletics and the arts).
(3) Anticipating and Solving Issues and Problems
Anticipate and resolve issues that if ignored could turn into a material problem and identify an existing material problem and the relevant information to solve the problem through an unbiased and objective view by using appropriate and different skills, strategies and techniques (methods and tools) that allow for effective and feasible solutions tailored to the problem.
(4) Providing Leadership
Observe and be aware of what is going on within the School District; make decisions timely to serve the best interest of the School District; know when to act unilaterally or collaboratively; look for constructive solutions with a focus on moving forward rather than a focus on past mistakes and assigning blame; take responsibility for the entire School District by monitoring the effectiveness of policies; take steps to solve problems timely and efficiently; act with confidence; use strategies that have been well researched or thought out; communicate positively with solutions in hand or the willingness to find solutions to problems; at all times while on and off the job, serve as a role model for staff and students that demonstrates ethical behavior, honesty, integrity and reliability; plan ahead taking into account possible impacts of decisions and giving consideration to viable alternatives or contingencies for decisions that do not work out; encourage staff innovation and creativity; create and maintain a positive work culture and school environment where staff will feel valued for their work and opinions; and inspire others to be the best they can be by giving them the support, tools, training, and latitude to pursue goals and objectives for their success and the success of the School District.
(5) Delegating of Responsibility
Know when to delegate; know to whom to delegate; know how to delegate by clearly defining what needs to be done and when; maintain control by establishing timelines and open communications; encourage questions and appropriate collaborative efforts and address questions and progress; and review all work following completion to assure quality work that meets pre-established standards and expectations.
(6) Establishing a Working Relationship with the Board of School Directors.
Prepare agenda and other meeting materials in timely fashion; attend and participate appropriately in meetings of the Board. Keep the Board informed on all matters that may require Board action and on other matters deemed to be appropriate and necessary; provide recommendations based on research and analysis to the Board for formulation of Board policy and other matters that require Board action; Implement and interpret Board adopted policies and recommend changes as necessary.
(7) Managing Personnel
Recruit and assign the best available personnel in terms of their qualifications, eligibilities, certifications and competencies; develop and execute sound personnel policies and practices; accept responsibility for maintaining liaison between staff and the Board; conduct a staff supervisory program; work with supervisory employees in a timely and constructive way to carry out performance evaluations and to correct deficiencies to increase effectiveness.
(8) Overseeing Curriculum and Instruction
Understand and keep informed regarding all aspects of the instructional program; organize and plan a continuing program for curriculum; evaluate and improve curriculum; utilize the abilities and talents of the professional staff and community to provide input for new and improved curriculum; oversee studies conducted by staff or committees to examine, evaluate and recommend curriculum changes.
(9) Overseeing Business and Finance
Evaluate financial needs both short term and long term; make recommendations for adequate funding for both operating expenditures and capital expenditures; utilize funds efficiently and maintain effective controls to monitor district expenditures to stay within the adopted budget; oversee the preparation and fair presentation of financial statements in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States and pursuant to the regulations of the Commonwealth; and oversee the design, implementation, and maintenance of internal control relevant to the preparation and fair presentation of financial statements that are free from material misstatement.
(10) Maintaining Communications with staff, students and community
Speak effectively in front of large and small groups; express ideas in a logical and forthright manner; respond timely to questions and requests; Listen, absorb and process both verbal and written communications; be receptive to recommendations, new ideas and complaints; and share information openly and frequently.
(11) Developing and Maintaining Relationships to Foster Community Needs
Develop cooperative relationships and work effectively with the following persons, groups, and organizations to foster community based needs: parents/guardians and patrons; news media; business community; non-profit organizations; charities; service organizations; law enforcement; emergency services; legislators; local, state and federal agencies; governmental entities (including townships and other political subdivisions).
(12) Engaging in Self and Staff Development
Maintain professional development through engagement in educational pursuits; engage in educational related endeavors (read educational materials, teach educational courses, matriculate in educational courses; attend educational conferences; participate on educational committees both professional and non-professional; visit or communicate with other public school districts, charter schools or private schools; support and create opportunities for professional development for staff.