Saturday, May 25, 2013
Carol Comeau’s Final Plans for School District Before Retirement
With a budget deficit and concerns over minority students’ test scores, it could prove to be the superintendent’s most challenging year yet.
After working nearly four decades in the Anchorage School District, Superintendent Carol Comeau is calling it quits, but not before she finishes one last school year.
Facing a budget deficit and concerns over minority students’ test scores, her 38th and final year could prove to be the most challenging one yet.
The average time of employment for a superintendent is three years—Comeau has outlasted her national counterparts by a big margin.
In her twelfth and final year as ASD’s head boss, the plan is simple: Keep students in school and offer support so they can succeed.
Comeau said her priorities for her last year will be similar to that of years past—to effectively teach every kid, no matter what level they are on.
“Not just the real bright kids, and not just the kids who are in special education or have specialized programs. We really need to help figure out what our students’ strengths are,” she said.
In order to do so, Comeau wants to adjust instruction to include career and technical courses, as well as decrease class size so Anchorage students can be prepared for the real world.
“At the end of the day, a high school diploma is bare bones basic for people getting jobs anymore,” said Comeau.
And even though the state extended money to save teacher jobs, the question is what to do when the funds runs out.
“Even though we are able to restore class size down to a level it was before, and we are able to implement some program changes for at least one more year, we are still going to go through very significant budget challenges,” the superintendent explained.
Comeau hopes the entire community will get behind the district to overcome the budget deficit.
“I think people work so hard,” said Comeau. “We have some areas we need to improve, we understand that, but we need the community with us…help us invest in our students and our staff so we can have a high quality educational program.”
Before she hangs up her hat June 30, Comeau will look into making changes to elementary boundaries to help even out schools across the city that are over capacity.