Superintendent Glenn Gelbrich offers a brief critique of the school system in his resignation letter.
“Clinging to the status quo will not produce a different result. Without broader support for systemic instructional changes, our students who now struggle will continue to struggle in the system. While we have dramatic gains in the graduation rate, academic improvement has been modest. Change is needed — for the sake of so many of our community’s kids.”
Gelbrich began as Juneau’s superintendent in July 2009. At the end of his first year, the district’s graduation rate was 69 percent, according to state education statistics. By the end of his fourth year, the graduation rate had risen to 79.3 percent. Standardized test scores in reading, writing, math and science were stagnant.
The letter, dated March 12, is only four paragraphs. Gelbrich goes on to thank school and community leaders who “understand that we are capable of stronger, more systemic practice.”
Gelbrich writes that he does not have another job lined up, but that he must move on “for personal and private reasons.” He has declined discussing his resignation. In a board memo, Gelbrich estimates finding a new superintendent is likely to cost $30,000 or more.
The Juneau School Board meets Tuesday to approve its budget for the 2014-2015 school year, discuss its evaluation of the outgoing superintendent and formally accept his resignation. The board meets at 6:15 p.m. at Juneau-Douglas High School.
(Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct which budget the school board is meeting about. It’s the budget for the 2014-2015 school year, not the 2015-2016 school year.)
- The Juneau Assembly declined to pass a broaden sales tax exemption for seniors. Opposition from businesses prodded elected officials to refer the initiative back to committee.
- Fines for pet owners whose for critters scooped up by animal control officers have gone up. The fees hadn't been adjusted for nearly 17 years.
- Local education officials are applying for state money to replace and repair leaky roofs at several Juneau schools. About $5 million is coming in over the next five years earmarked for school maintenance from sales tax money that voters approved in the Oct. 3 election.
- "They’re calling it GTA, grand theft Anchorage, right now," said Rep. Lora Reinbold, who says she wants to repeal Senate Bill 91. "It’s outrageous, what’s going on in the city that I love.”