On Thursday, July 13, Superintendent Dr. Lisamarie Spindler presented her 100-day entry plan to the Florida Union Free School District Board of Education.
Below is the information she presented. A printable, graphic version of the plan is available here.
Dear Members of the School District Community,
With great enthusiasm and excitement, I introduce myself as the new Superintendent of Schools for our district. I am Lisamarie Spindler, Ed.D., and I feel privileged to join this incredible community. I bring a wealth of experience and an unwavering passion for education.
Throughout my career, I have held various leadership roles in education, including Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent of Finance, and Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Secondary. Additionally, I have served as a principal, assistant principal, and teacher. These experiences have equipped me with a diverse skill set and a deep understanding of the complexities of our education system.
In my previous district, I successfully created a balanced school budget with a zero percent tax levy, ensuring fiscal responsibility while providing necessary resources for our students. I co-authored numerous grants to increase revenue, negotiated and ratified employee contracts and presented district budgets to the Board of Education and the community. I also supervised and evaluated central office administrators and building principals, fostering a culture of accountability and continuous improvement.
Moreover, I take pride in the strategic initiatives I have implemented. I developed a district strategic plan that guided our collective efforts and led to improved outcomes for our students. We created new program opportunities, such as early college and career and technical education pathways, expanding their horizons and preparing them for success. To further support our families and scholars, we launched a Saturday Academy, providing additional academic and enrichment opportunities. I am proud to mention in my previous district, we secured a grant through the NOVO Foundation, which significantly boosted teacher morale and retention. Furthermore, my former district’s acceptance into the League of Innovative Schools showcased our commitment to innovation and forward-thinking practices.
As I embark on this new journey with the Florida Union Free District, I am committed to working closely with our community to ensure every student receives a high-quality education. Together, we will strive to unlock the boundless potential within each individual. Education is the key that opens doors to limitless possibilities, and I am dedicated to creating an environment where our students can flourish.
In the coming months, I will execute a 100-day plan outlining our goals and strategies for immediate and long-term success. I will collaborate closely with district administrators, faculty, staff, parents, and community members to develop this plan, ensuring that it reflects the aspirations and needs of our district.
I firmly believe that a strong partnership between the school district and the community is vital for our collective success. Your valuable insights, support, and collaboration will be instrumental in achieving our shared vision for education. Together, we will continue to build upon the strengths of our district, foster a culture of excellence, and empower our students to reach their highest potential.
Thank you for your warm welcome into this incredible community. I am honored to serve as your Superintendent of Schools, and I look forward to positively impacting the lives of our students and the future of education in the Florida Union Free School District.
Lisamarie Spindler, Ed.D.
I will listen and learn from stakeholders and use data to inform decision-making
I will create a vision and plan, provide support for educators, and promote a culture of growth
I will prioritize data-driven decision-making and focus on improving the quality education for all
Strengths of the Florida USFD
- Close-knit community with easy access to New York City
- Deep village roots and history, with generations of families staying in the town
- Growing diversity in the town and schools, oﬀering exposure to a more representative population
- Highly engaged and passionate residents who provide a strong sense of community
- Small class sizes and low adult-to-student ratio, providing a more personalized education
- Highly dedicated administration, longtime hard-working staﬀ, and great teachers
Challenges & Issues Facing the the Florida USFD
- Need to repair and improve relationships with various stakeholder groups
- Decrease in enrollment, potentially leading to lower state aid, class sizes, and staﬀ/program reductions
- Need to focus on improving student achievement in math and adding rigor to the academic program
- Increase in student discipline problems, requiring exploration of more productive solutions and creative approaches to mental health and emotional learning
- Informed by the analysis of the district’s Leadership Proﬁle
- Clear Vision and Mission
- Exceptional Educational Quality and Rigorous Academics
- Recruitment and Retention
- Transparent Communication
- Continuous Facilities Management
- Financial Sustainability and Strategic Financial Forecasting
- Advanced Teacher Training & Integration of Innovative Educational Technology
Phase 1: Observe Listen Learn (Days 1-30)
Meet with the Board of Education and district leadership team
- Schedule individual meetings with each Board of Education member and central leadership team
to discuss the district goals and objectives
- Listen to their insights and perspectives regarding the current state of the district
- Understand their individual strengths and challenges, and learn how they contribute to the success of the district
- Begin building relationships with each member of the Board of Education and the leadership team to establish trust and open communication channels
Meet with building principals and support staﬀ
- Schedule individual meetings with each building principal and support staﬀ to learn about the school culture and expectations
- Understand the challenges and opportunities facing each school building and support department
- Identify areas of strength and needs within each building and support department
- Begin building relationships with each building principal and support staﬀ to establish trust and open communication channels
Meet with community stakeholders
- Attend community events and meetings to learn about the community and establish relationships
- Meet with local business leaders, community organizations, and local government oﬃcials to understand community priorities and concerns
- Begin building relationships with community stakeholders to establish trust and open communication channels
- Identify opportunities for the district to collaborate with community stakeholders to improve the educational experience for students
- Hold two Town Hall meetings to engage families, community members, and others to learn about their priorities for the District
- Send out a listening and learning survey and/or thought exchange
Goal of Phase 1: Engage and connect with all Florida School District stakeholders for a smooth and purposeful leadership transition.
Phase 2: Analyze Identify Align (Days 31-60)
Analyze District Data
- During this period, I will take a deeper dive into the district’s data to understand the current state of student achievement and ﬁnancials. I will review the results of recent assessments, attendance records, graduation rates, and other data sources. This will help me identify trends and areas for improvement that need to be addressed
- Analysis of data, including student achievement data, climate data, and ﬁnancial data
- Complete school-speciﬁc student academic achievement and equity analysis, and conduct goal setting with every school leadership team and the district oﬃce to set measurable targets for SY
- Review the District budget
- Conduct a review of our special education budget and services to develop a plan to provide excellent and inclusive services to our students
- Review all of the collective bargaining agreements
Committee Convene – Meet with District Committees
- Get to know district committees and their work
- Meet with curriculum and instruction, ﬁnance, facilities, and other relevant committees
- Listen to their concerns and challenges
- Identify areas to provide support
- Build relationships with committee members
- Gain insights into the district’s operations
- Convene advisory groups for students, families, and educators that meet regularly to advise the superintendent on key issues
Review District Policies and Procedures
- Conduct a thorough review of district policies and procedures Work closely with district leadership team
- Identify areas needing updating or improvement
- Develop plan for implementation of necessary changes
- Ensure district operates eﬃciently and eﬀectively
- Ensure policies and procedures align with district goals and vision
Goal of Phase 2: Empower To enhance district operations and academic growth, I will analyze data, review policies, and convene advisory groups with school leadership teams and committees to set measurable targets, identify areas for improvement, and ensure that district policies align with our goals and vision.
Phase 3: Prioritize Strategize Innovate (Days 61-90)
Plan the development of a district-wide strategic plan
- Gather input from district stakeholders
- Create a plan that aligns with district goals and objectives
Develop a plan for community engagement and communication
- Identify ways to improve communication with parents and community members
- Develop a plan to keep stakeholders informed about district initiatives and achievements
Enhance the district’s professional development plan for teachers that prioritizes student learning and student well-being
- Identify professional development needs for district staﬀ
- Work with district leadership team to create a plan for professional development
- Provide opportunities for staﬀ to enhance their skills and knowledge
Implement instructional rounds in collaboration with administration and determine our areas of focus for instruction and to foster a learning community
- Establish a curriculum workgroup that will develop recommendations to create deep, rigorous learning for all students across the District.
- Visit every school to observe classes and student learning with the leadership team.
- Spend time engaging with students in hands-on learning
Goal of Phase 3: Excel Develop and implement a district-wide strategic plan prioritizing student learning and well-being, improve communication with stakeholders through a comprehensive engagement and communication plan, and foster a learning community by implementing instructional rounds, a professional development plan for teachers, and curriculum workgroup recommendations.
Phase 4: Measure Assess Communicate (Days 90-100)
Optimize progress through trust and collaboration
- Evaluate progress: Assess the progress made during the ﬁrst 100 days and identify areas of focus moving forward
- Solicit feedback: Gather feedback from various stakeholders to gauge perceptions of progress and leadership
- Reﬁne strategic plan: Adjust the district’s strategic plan based on progress evaluation and stakeholder feedback
- Build relationships: Continue building relationships with stakeholders to establish trust and support for initiatives
- Monitor ﬁnances: Monitor the district’s ﬁnances to identify areas for improvement and ensure budget compliance
- Communicate regularly: Maintain regular communication with stakeholders to build transparency and engagement
Goal of Phase 4: Evaluate progress, gather stakeholder feedback, reﬁne the strategic plan, build relationships, monitor ﬁnances, and maintain regular communication with stakeholders to promote transparency and engagement. This will enable me to lead the district towards achieving its academic, ﬁnancial, and community-building goals.