August 15, 2008
James M. Withrow, Esq.
Kanawha County Schools
200 Elizabeth Street
Charleston, WV 25305
Dear Mr. Withrow::
I am in receipt of your request for a Superintendent Interpretation regarding the evaluation process for a county superintendent of schools. Specifically, you ask:
Since the establishing of goals and objectives is described as part of the evaluation process . . . are the part or parts of the meeting or meetings in which the goals and objectives are established required to be held in an executive session?
I believe that your question is answered by West Virginia Code ?18-4-6(b), which states, in pertinent part:
(b) At a minimum, the evaluation process shall require the county superintendent and county board to establish written goals or objectives for the county superintendent to accomplish within a given period of time. Additionally, the county board shall evaluate the county superintendent on his or her success in improving student achievement generally across the county and specifically as it relates to the management and administration of low performing schools.
(d) The evaluation of a county superintendent shall occur in executive session. At the conclusion of the evaluation, the county board shall make available to the public a general statement about the evaluation process and the overall result. Additional information about the evaluation may be released only by mutual consent of the county superintendent and the county board . . .
In looking at paragraph (d), the statute provides that the only portion of the ?evaluation process? that is to be made available to the public is a general statement about the process and the overall result. Otherwise, the evaluation is to occur in executive session. In paragraph (b), the ?evaluation process? is defined to include the establishment of written goals or objectives. Thus, the statute can only be understood to require that the establishment of written goals and objectives is to occur in executive session and that only a general statement about the establishment is to be made available to the public. Any other information about the evaluation may only be released by mutual consent of the county superintendent and the county board.
Hoping that I have been of service, I am
Steven L. Paine
State Superintendent of Schools