TRAVERSE CITY — Traverse City Area Public Schools officials announced substantive changes to the district’s administration structure.
The changes go into effect July 1 and stem from an effort to improve academic instruction at TCAPS and offer more diverse ways to learn. That’s the way education in Michigan is heading, Superintendent Stephen Cousins said.
“The state is requiring us to diversify programs and is tying funding to student performance,” Cousins said. “We’ve got to be proactive to faster meet those changes.”
Foremost among the changes is the creation of a new chief of schools position. Sander Scott, currently Westwoods Elementary School principal, will be appointed to that role.
Scott will oversee daily instructional operations of schools and will supervise principals, social workers, and the district’s athletic and LEAP directors.
School principals will report directly to Scott, who will share an administrative secretary with Cousins. Scott will make about $156,000 in total compensation annually in his new role.
Principals now report to Jayne Mohr, associate superintendent of quality learning development. Mohr will lose that responsibility, but the reorganization puts her in charge of innovative academic programs and specialty schools, like the International School at Bertha Vos.
“We’re really taking some things off Jayne Mohr’s plate so she can focus on that,” Cousins said.
Mohr also will pick up duties previously held by TCAPS’ director of professional development. The district officially deleted that position, currently held by Cathy Meyer-Looze.
The reorganization also includes a change to Chief Financial Officer Paul Soma’s title. Soma’s post will be renamed associate superintendent of finances and operations.
Neither his nor Mohr’s compensation levels will change.
The district will save about $46,000 through the reorganization. TCAPS will spend about half of that on professional development, including improved math instruction and a program called instructional rounds, the equivalent of medical rounds in the classroom.
Board of Education President Kelly Hall said the restructuring brings innovation and academic accountability to TCAPS.
“We need to try new things and be willing to take the lead in innovating for our kids, not do the same thing education has been doing for 100 years,” Hall said.