Superintendent Entrance Plan

Picture of four Mount Pleasant Schools  

Successful organizational leadership is often derived

from the creation of a meaningful and well thought out plan of action.

It is important to share that plan with stakeholders, engaging them in the planning and implementation process.

Entry Plan

The purpose of this entry plan is to provide the Mount Pleasant Board of Education with clear expectations of Dr. Kurtis M. Kotes, Superintendent of Schools.  This plan will detail the first 12 months of employment, explaining course of action, timeline, and anticipated outcomes.

Curriculum & Instruction

  • Meet with Board of Education for briefing on current status of instructional program, common goals, and establishment of priorities for the future.
  • Conference with building principals to learn of strengths of program, formulate plans to address concerns, and to reframe the Mount Pleasant Five Year Strategic Plan.
  • Meet with stakeholder groups (community members and all staff constituencies) to learn of their hopes and aspirations for the school district. Share the findings of this research with the Board of Education.
  • Share timeline and data goals for any new initiatives.
  • Develop anticipated reporting expectations for the Superintendent.

Human Resources

  • Hiring practices, staff development, and staff training should reflect the strategic goals of the Board of Education.  Work to ensure that the proper protocol has been established and is being implemented.
  • Annual professional development goals should be developed and progress should be shared regularly with the Board of Education.
  • It is imperative to work on the hiring of a new Director of Curriculum and Instructional Services.  This process will begin right away.


  • No academic or program related goal should be established without a clear financial plan.
  • It is essential that the Director of Business Administration be a part of the development process for the Mount Pleasant Five Year Strategic Plan.


July 2018 - August 2018 (60 days)

Effective leadership is built through quality relationships. The Superintendent of Schools will spend the first 60 days initiating relationships with stakeholder groups both within the school community and the Mount Pleasant community at large.

  • Establish relationships with district office staff and building principals. (July 2018)
    • Meet individually with district office staff members and principals to hear of their personal and organizational goals.
    • Meet collaboratively with district office staff and building principals to hear of district accomplishments, including the Mount Pleasant Five Year Strategic Plan, concerns, and group aspirations.
    • Share professional goals.
      • Convene stakeholder group to determine next phase of Mount Pleasant Five Year Strategic Plan. (2019 -2024)
      • Review and implement 5 year facilities plan from 2015 presentation by H2M Architects.  
      • Review status of International Baccalaureate Implementation Plan. Allocate resources as needed with high school staff for professional development.  Ensure that community is well informed of the changes to the academic program and course of study.
  • Initiate relationships with Thornwood Lions Club, Thornwood-Hawthorne Chamber of Commerce, local and state police, fire protection agencies, local elected officials, local clergy, and other local dignitaries. (July 2018)
    • This will be accomplished  by written correspondence followed by scheduling personal meetings.
  • Establish meetings with all bargaining units to share common goals. (August 2018)
    • Administrators’ Association- principals, assistant principals, athletic director and supervisor and director of special education.
    • Teachers’ Unit- teachers, teaching assistants, and all other instructional personnel.
    • CSEA Bargaining Units- transportation, food services, clerical, paraprofessionals, buildings and grounds.
    • Central Office Staff including all confidential employees.
  • Electronic communication is vital in a busy world. Continue to work to maximize use of website to communicate relevant and important information. (August 2018)
    • Ensure that the information on the website is current and up-to-date.
    • Prepare written letter of introduction to be placed on the district website.

September 2018 (30 days)

Presence in the school buildings in vital.  The first 30 days of the school year should be spent exclusively visiting every classroom throughout the district meeting teachers, support staff, and all other building level personnel.

  • Regular building visits with principals and teachers to help increase collaboration to improve academic programs.
  • It is important to identify opportunities to stay connected with students as well. Visiting schools during times when extracurricular activities and athletics are in progress helps to increase opportunities to engage in conversation with students to learn of their experiences in the district.
  • Visit buildings when transportation is in place at each building and when lunch is being served.  This will provide an opportunity to see transportation patterns, meet drivers, and food service workers.
  • Continue to meet with local dignitaries and local agencies. Schedule time to meet with PTA groups.
  • Attend some fall sporting events.

October - November 2018 (60 days)

It is important that we never stop examining opportunities to improve the academic program in the district.  Monitor and continue to implement the International Baccalaureate Program . (October 2018)

  • Meet with Director of Curriculum and Instruction (TBD) and building principals to ensure that all curriculum and course materials are in line with the standards of the program and Mount Pleasant Five Year Strategic Plan. Discuss strategies to address potential modifications.
  • Meet with the Director of Business Administration to discuss financial solutions and implications for academic proposals.

The strategic plan requires specific and intensive professional development.  A course catalogue/menu allows staff members to understand some of the opportunities afforded to them for professional development. (October 2018)

  • Work with principals and directors to ensure opportunities for teachers are both in line with strategic plan and provide chances for teachers to fulfill CTLE requirements.
  • Work with IT staff responsible for MyLearningPlan maintenance to make sure course opportunities are loaded properly into the system.

The budget season starts earlier and earlier each year.  It is important to meet with the Director of Business Administration to discuss the budget process and the Superintendent’s expectations in the process. (November 2018)

  • The proposed budget should stay under the tax cap.
  • A zero based budgeting approach helps to allocate funds and prioritize goals within an organization.
  • The development of a budget calendar will help establish checkpoints within the development cycle and allow for open collaboration between the Superintendent, the Board of Education and all stakeholder groups.

The district has made a significant commitment to facilities through the 2016 Facilities Capital Improvement Bond.  Work with Director of Facilities and Director of Business Administration to ensure that current project is being carefully implemented and proper paperwork is being filed with final cost reports when possible.  (October 2018)

  • Timely filing of cost reports allows for state aid to offset bond expenses with the capital project. Work with Director of Business Administration to monitor progress.
  • Work closely with Director of Facilities and Board of Education to plan for next steps of five year facilities plan.
  • Examine budgetary possibilities of establishing capital reserve fund to offset expense of facilities maintenance and improvements.  

Superintendent’s Conference Day (November 2018)

  • Use this as an opportunity to speak to the district staff, aligning the professional development goals to the strategic plan throughout the day.
  • Invite local dignitaries to be part of the district program.

December 2018 (30 days)

Holiday events present great opportunities to continue to meet many families and share in their experiences at concerts, shows, and other seasonal productions. (December 2018)

  • Work with principals to have a brief opportunity to speak at the beginning of each holiday concert or production.
  • Attend community holiday events within the greater Mount Pleasant Community community.
  • Schedule time with district office staff to build camaraderie and celebrate  good work. Positive organizational culture fosters greater productivity and trust within the organization.

The budget planning process is unique to each leadership team and requires a collaborative approach among all stakeholder groups. (December 2018)

  • Work closely with the Director of Business Administration to plan and draft a budget planning calendar that covers the entire budget season including the annual budget vote.
  • Present a budget planning calendar to the Board of Education for approval.

January - February 2019 (60 days)

The beginning of the calendar year indicates a need to continue to plan for new initiatives for September 2019. It is important to build consensus and plan training and support for any new initiatives. (January 2019)

  • Plan building level meetings with building principals and directors to discuss and share plans for new programs within the district.
    • Discuss action steps for strategic plan. Review with building principals and directors completed action steps and begin discussion on needs to continue implementation of Mount Pleasant Strategic Plan.
    • Listen to thoughts and concerns of stakeholder groups on strategic plan implementation.
    • Solidify plans for actions steps for September 2019.
  • Continue to work with Director of Curriculum and Instruction and building principals on Implementation of International Baccalaureate Program.
    • What data is being collected to monitor student progress? Ensure that schools are closely tracking student progress so that modifications can be made when necessary.
    • Work with Director of Curriculum and Instruction and high school administration to ensure that the course offerings in the high school are diverse, meeting the needs of all of the student population.

The budget planning process will now be well underway.  It will be imperative for the superintendent and the the Director of Business Administration to meet individually with each principal and director to review their budgets. (February 2019)

  • Schedule and hold meetings with each principal and director and review budget proposals.
  • The Director of Business Administration should attend each of these meetings.
  • If possible, develop multiple budget scenarios with the Director of Business Administration based on state aid and tax cap projections that exist.

March 2019 (30 days)

Many of our new initiatives and the budget planning process require a strong school and community partnership. (March 2019)

  • Continue to build community relationships by joining and attending community groups.
  • Meet with community leaders to discuss plans for programmatic changes within the school community.
  • Continue to meet with parent groups such as PTA groups, booster groups, and other parent groups. These are excellent opportunities to hear first hand impressions of school progress and share plans for new initiatives and the budget planning process.
  • Attend some spring sporting events.

April 2019 (30 days)

Plans for new initiatives should now have a clear framework for the future, including plans within the budget and plans for professional development with the staff where necessary. (April 2019)

  • Meet with principals and directors to finalize plans for further implementation of the strategic plan. Complete final assessment of needs for continued progress.
  • April  3 - 8 is testing time.  Use this time as an opportunity to potentially schedule conversations and/or visits with schools that have already engaged in the computer testing process.
    • Having an opportunity to discuss the process with schools that have already engaged in the process helps to reduce the anxiety of having to go through the transition in the future.

Assuming the state has released state aid runs for the new year, the budget should be finalized. (April 2019)

  • Present the finalized budget to all employee groups.
  • Present the finalized budget to all parent and community groups.
  • Work with Board of Education for final approval of the budget for public vote and approval.

May 2019 (30 days)

Meet with the High School Principal to discuss graduation program. (May 2019)

  • This is a culminating event for many students and their families that will leave lasting impressions for many years. The ceremony should be dignified, yet personable.
  • The ceremony is also a large community event. We should also make sure that we are aware of the needs of the community and are sensitive to those needs as well.

The budget vote will occur on May 21.

  • Answer any last minute questions for school employees and constituency groups before the budget vote.
  • Develop clear understanding with Board of Education district communication protocol with media regarding budgetary matters.
  • Celebrate the passing of a responsible and well-planned budget!

Continue to attend spring concerts, sporting events and other school and community events.

June 30 (30 days)

This is always a very busy time of the year. The secondary students are planning for finals and Regents exams. Elementary teachers are winding down and setting the stage for grade level transition.  However, this is a crucial time to share with teachers what to expect in the new school year. (June 2019)

  • Celebrate the passing of the budget and share the new initiatives that this will unlock.
  • Share with staff professional development plan needed to support them in new initiatives.
  • Be sensitive to the needs of staff during this busy time and plan sharing sessions purposefully as not to disrupt their busy end of the year schedules.

The entry plan should be constantly revisited. This will allow for a clear vision for the first year and allow for the new Superintendent to plan for future years and initiatives as well.  Similarly, certain goals may have to be carried into subsequent years.


Dr. Kurtis M. Kotes - Superintendent of Schools

Updated - July 24, 2018