SPRINGFIELD — Superintendent of Schools Daniel J. Warwick received a 2% performance-based raise after the Springfield School Committee voted to accept a report describing his work during the 2021-2022 school year as exemplary.The return to full, in-person learning after the pandemic 'was almost flawless' under Warwick's leadership, the committee's summative evaluation report said, even as it noted he needed to better engage with community members and parents.Warwick, the report said, 'has led our district with dignity, respect, and professionalism. He and his team has continued to provide our (Springfield Public Schools) with stability, continuity, and progressive strong leadership in all facets of the job.'The performance-based raise, in addition to a 2% cost of living adjustment, means Warwick's new salary is $306,698.86.Four of the seven School Committee voted to accept the evaluation at working session Dec.
- Two committee members, LaTonia Monroe Naylor and Barbara Gresham, voted no. According to the minutes from the session, committee members discussed how to rate the superintendent's performance, exploring the difference between an exemplary and proficient rating.'My take on exemplary is that we are doing so well that there are no need for improvements and proficient means that we are mastering our craft but there is still more room for growth and impact,' Monroe Naylor said in an interview.The evaluation noted several areas for improvement.
Math scores for English learners and students with disabilities lagged.While 68% of students in Springfield schools are Hispanic, staff diversity is not where the School Committee wants it to be, according to the document. 'Hispanic/Latino remain under represented in our school system which remains key for students to have representation,' the evaluation says.According to Monroe Naylor, although increasing the diversity hiring is a positive step in the right direction, the number of individuals in the district who identify as a person of color does not equate to a positive work culture or improved student learning.'The work of equity doesn't rest in the human resource department,' Monroe Naylor said. 'There should be a separate position like other districts in the Commonwealth and equity should be felt in the very fabric of the work we do daily.'Committee member Denise Hurst abstained on voting to accept the evaluation of Warwick.
Hurst's reason for abstaining was because she participated virtually and she could not see the evaluation documents, according to the minutes of the meeting.Vice chair of the committee, Christopher Collins, said Springfield is unique because it waits until the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education releases data such as standardized testing results, graduation and drop-out rates before making any recommendations about the superintendent's performance.'We want to see what has developed throughout the year to make a fair, honest and equitable evaluation,' Collins said.Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, who chairs the School Committee, said in an email that Warwick has also significantly decreased the district's dropout rate from 14% to 1.9% and has increased the graduation rate to over 86% from 50%.Sarno made the recommendation to label Warwick's job during the 2021-2022 school year as exemplary.'Examples of his stellar leadership include, working with my administration and the School Committee to invest over $750 million in building new state-of-the-art schools and renovating existing schools,' Sarno wrote, 'the most in the Commonwealth thanks to our partnership with the Massachusetts School Building Authority.'Committee member Peter Murphy said the school district is heading in the right direction but more work must be done.'We have labor peace with all collective bargaining agreements settled. We have outpaced the state in every category under challenging post pandemic circumstances,' Murphy said.Warwick, who became superintendent in 2012, has been with the district for 45 years.
Last year in December, Warwick's 2% raise bringing his salary from $284,000 to $289,680 was met with scrutiny by the committee who questioned the processes' transparency during a time when contract negations went from good to bad with the Springfield Federation of Paraprofessionals.In May, Warwick's contract was extended out to 2025.Warwick declined to comment about his evaluation and performance-based raise.