Thursday, June 08, 2000

Schools prepare for audit results

By Andrea Tortora and Travis Mayo
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — The current and future leaders of Covington Independent Schools met Wednesday to plan how they will share the results of state audits with staff on Monday.

        The meeting, between Superintendent James Kemp and his temporary replacement, Jack Moreland, is expected to be the first step down a long road of improvements for the district, Mr. Moreland said afterward.

        The school board chose Mr. Moreland on Tuesday to be interim superintendent. Mr. Kemp's contract expires June 30.

        Next Monday, the state Education Department will present the board with the results of its scholastic and management audits of the district.

        School board member Jim Vogt said he expects the state audits to be critical yet helpful. Board member Col Owens added: “I suspect there will be a lot we have to be responsive to.”

        Mr. Moreland said he looks upon the audits as an “enabling device” for improvements.

        “This is something that's just not going to go away, and the sooner we do something about it the better the schools will be. ... It will have a more dramatic amount of credence than the effort of one individual.”

        Mr. Moreland said he and Mr. Kemp will present a united front to convey the state's conclusions to the schools' staffs.

        Mr. Moreland, a former superintendent of Dayton Schools, was made a consultant to the district until July 1, when he becomes interim superintendent.

        Mr. Moreland inherits a school system struggling to make improvements, which has created rancor at school board meetings.

        At Tuesday's meeting, for instance, four of the five board members objected that too many items and rules of order had been placed on the agenda and walked out; they later returned.

        Add to that an exodus of teachers and administrators in recent months. Staff departures have left six administrative and more than 40 teaching jobs open.

        “To me, Monday night will be the end of this chapter and the start of the next,” said board member Joe Meyer.


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