Changes in administrative roles at Dillingham Middle/High School and Dillingham Elementary School aim to smooth the bumps at the start of the school year. It’s unclear what these bumps are, but they appear to be mismatches between administrators and job titles.
The principal of the middle/high school has become the director of school climate and culture at the elementary school, and the person who held this position is now the interim principal of the middle/high school.
“As you know, we started this school year with many new employees, including several new administrators. Although the school year did not start as smoothly as we had hoped, the district appreciates the hard work and dedication of all of our staff,” Superintendent Amy Brower wrote to parents and the community Nov. 15.
“In analyzing the district’s needs, staff strengths, and what is best for the students, we believe some adjustments in leadership responsibilities will best serve the community and our students. The District believes that Ms. McCambly’s previous experience at the middle school/high school level will better serve the students and staff of Dillingham Middle/High School. The district also believes that Ms. Dillman’s elementary level administrative experience would be a better fit for Dillingham Elementary School. We are pleased to announce that effective November 21, 2022, Ms. McCambly will serve as interim principal at the middle/high school and Ms. Dillman will assume the responsibilities of director of school climate and culture at the elementary school.”
Megan McCambly, the youngest Director of Climate and Culture, grew up in Dillingham and served in the Anchorage School District before returning to Dillingham this year. She is the acting principal of the high school. Beth Dillman is Director of Climate and Culture.
Dillingham Schools are not exactly known as high performing schools and it is unclear why an elementary school needs a school climate and culture director. In other school districts across the country, it’s the code language for diversity, and the principal is responsible for establishing and driving “a vision for a productive and equitable school culture, including systems, structure, routines and traditions,” according to Indeed.com.
Another job board described the job as “responsibly building and maintaining systems that ensure a happy and achievement-oriented school culture.”
Only 14% of Dillingham’s elementary school students have tested intermediate or proficient English on the latest statewide test, the Alaska System of Academic Readiness (AK STAR). Only 13.33% of these students tested advanced or proficient in mathematics. 84.91% of students needed support to reach a proficient level in English and 86.67% of students needed more help to reach a proficient level in mathematics.
The primary school has a teacher-student ratio of 10-1 and approximately 197 students.
The middle/college results are better. About 19.67% of students are advanced or proficient in English and 8.80% are advanced or proficient in mathematics. 80.33% of students need support to gain English skills and 91.20% need more support to approach math skills. The completion rate is around 70%
The school district’s mission statement is, “As part of the community, Dillingham City School District will promote and guide a safe, supportive and equitable learning environment.” The district’s vision is, “To inspire students to be culturally connected, be active community members, and.” to be motivated to achieve their goals and dreams.”