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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Rochester School Board will be asked next week to approve the discontinuation of some top administration positions as part of a restructuring and cost-cutting plan put together by Superintendent Kent Pekel.

The plan calls for the elimination of eight leadership positions, including the Director of Secondary Education and the Director of Elementary Education. The others on the list are the Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Executive Director of Student Services, Executive Director of Communications, Marketing and Technology, along with the Teacher on Special Assignment and Principal on Special Assignment.

Kent Pekel
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It also calls for the creation of three new positions. Superintendent Pekel says the Chief Academic Officer will lead a unified Office of Academics. The Director of School Support will be assigned to provide support for “school improvement planning, crisis management, and school discipline initiatives.” Pekel is also planning to create the position of Director of Leadership Development. He says that person will "lead a systemic effort to continuously enhance the leadership capabilities of leaders at every level of our district."

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In addition to the elimination and creation of top leadership positions, the restructuring plan also renames various central administration departments and shifts some of their responsibilities and personnel to other departments. Pekel emphasizes the district employees now holding positions slated to be eliminated by the changes, which are scheduled to take effect July 1, have been invited to apply for the new administrative positions.

A school district memo distributed by Pekel says restructuring is designed to enable the school district to achieve six key objectives.

1. Better aligning the departments and functions within our school district’s central
administration to improve the academic outcomes achieved by all students

2. Unifying leadership of and support for all of our schools and programs to strengthen school
culture, belonging, and safety

3. Expanding our efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion to encompass engaging families from marginalized communities and putting young people from those communities on the path to success in postsecondary education and a career

4. Broadening the role of the school district’s Community Education arm to encompass
community partnerships of many kinds

5. Creating an organizational structure that is easier for both internal and external stakeholders to  understand and navigate

6. Organizing the district’s central administration to advance the goals of the RPS Strategic Action Plan.

He notes the plan will reduce the school district's central administration expenses by more than $350,000 per year as the Rochester Public Schools grapples with overcoming a projected $23 million structural deficit over the next several years.

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