DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – This week, it was announced an agreement was not reached on new contract terms with Dayton Superintendent Dr. Lori Ward, and she and the district would be parting ways.
“It was a very lengthy procedure,” said Dr. Adil Baguirov, president of Dayton Board of Education, about the negotiations with Ward. “There were several offers and counter offers.” He said it went on for about six weeks. Ultimately, negotiations failed, and the search for Dayton’s next superintendent is underway.
“She is leaving behind a very good and strong team,” he said about Ward. “We are in a good position to take DPS much farther.”
Baguirov said he feels pretty confident they’ll have a new superintendent in place for the start of the 2016-2017 school year. “Not only do we have tremendous talent within the district, we actually have four of our existing employees who have a superintendent license and are therefore ready to step into those shoes at any time,” he said.
The district has also started a national search, which Baguirov said will cost about $7,000.
“The next superintendent has to be very innovative and not afraid of challenges,” he said. “We need to be able to rapidly improve. We also need someone with very strong experience in technology because that is going to be the key to propel this district much farther.”
He said they are unveiling a new initiative which will allow each DPS student to have a Chromebook. Then, they’ll be to do all their curriculum online.
Dayton Public Schools is facing significant and unique challenges. The district is facing the possibility of a state takeover if test scores don’t improve, not this coming year, but the following year. Dayton is also the second poorest district in all of Ohio.
“We also have more charter schools in the city of Dayton than we have public schools and that creates extreme volatility and mobility,” he said. “What I would really urge parents is to not take their children out and into schools and change them every single year, as some parents have been doing. Because of that, the academic performance of all the children in the city of Dayton has been suffering; both in public schools and in charter schools.”
Baguirov also encouraged more parental involvement, and maintained that Dayton children are getting quality education they need and deserve.