Updated 3:08 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27
The Cleveland Heights-University Heights School Board approved hiring an interim principal at Boulevard Elementary School to replace Katrinka Dean, who just started the job in August.
New principal Dr. Karen Muffley's appointment was effective Monday, Nov. 26, the same day the board officially approved the decision at a special meeting.
Superintendent Douglas Heuer sent a letter to parents before the Thanksgiving holiday notifying them of the change.
"As I mentioned in a previous letter which came home with your child, the District has been performing a professional review and evaluation of school leadership at Boulevard Elementary School. Results of the Ohio State Report Card for Boulevard Elementary School in the 2011-12 school year did not meet our expectations," Heuer wrote. "When a new principal was selected to lead the school this year, clear standards were established for the conduct of the educational program and the implementation of a school improvement plan. While a single incident has sparked much speculation, it is a quarterly review of the building’s progress to date that led to the conclusion a change in leadership was necessary to avert a second straight year of declining student achievement."
Boulevard received a "Continuous Improvement" rating for both the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 school years, before Dean took over. In 2011, the school met one more state indicator than the previous year (two instead of one out of eight.) The performance index, which is based on how well all students do on state tests, dropped from about 86 to 83.4 points out of 120.
Adequate Yearly Progress, which measures achievement for students by subgroup, was not met. The value-added measure, which tracks whether students make a year’s worth of growth in grades 3 to 8 for reading and math, was "below."
The board did not approve a change in Dean's status, and Heuer said he could not say whether she was resigning, would be terminated or something else. The district is in pre-litigation with Dean, Heuer said.
Dean took over for former principal Lawrence Swoope Aug. 6. Swoope resigned July 1 to take a job as principal of a private school at his church, where his wife is senior pastor.
“We are very excited to have Ms. Dean lead our Boulevard team,” Heuer had said in June. “Her wealth of experience in STEM education and project-based learning, her willingness to collaborate with staff and parents, and her steadfast commitment to preparing all students to achieve in a global economy will prove very valuable for the Boulevard community.”
Dean earned $104,712 annually, and Muffley will earn $67,319 for the 140-day assignment, which would equal $105,788 a year, according to board documents.
Before Muffley began her new role, Gloria Black served as the substitute principal for two weeks.
Muffley, who the district hired with the help of the Cuyahoga County Educational Services Center and Dr. Paul Pendleton of the Finding Leaders Group was an adjunct profession in the School of Education at the University of Akron. Prior to her job with the University of Akron, Muffley was an elementary principal for 16 years with the Nordonia Hills School District. Muffley has agreed to fill the position until the end of the 2012-2013 school year.
Heuer said the PTA and district would coordinate events so parents can meet Muffley and ask questions.
The CH-UH School District said more information would be available soon. Keep checking Cleveland Heights Patch for updates.