It’s official: the Wilmington Learning Collaborative has finalized the contract for its executive director, Laura Burgos, who will sign sometime in the next few days.
A special meeting was called for the agency’s governing council Thursday, and after about an hour of its members meeting executively in private, the group publicly announced it had agreed to hire Burgos, who said Friday she plans to sign the contract as soon as possible.
Burgos will make $170,000 annually. The original listing for the position listed a range between $156,257 and $175,616.
“I look forward to signing it as soon as possible, so as soon as I’m able to sign I will sign,” she said. “I’m incredibly humbled and honored to be the inaugural executive director.”
She’s currently in Fort Worth, Texas where she’s observing a comparable model to the learning collaborative called the Leadership Academy Network.
The goal of the collaborative is to give city of Wilmington families a voice in policy making while aiming to improve academic and social outcomes for students.
It’s made up of nine city elementary schools across Brandywine, Christina and Red Clay school districts and was officially created in November 2022.
Delays in hiring an executive director have caused the governing council to ask the three districts to amend the memorandum of understanding and extend the planning year into the 2023-2024 school year.
In her role, Burgos will oversee the 15-person governing council’s business and affairs and administer the budget and relay financial information to the treasurer. She’ll be able to discuss and introduce initiatives, but will not have voting power.
“We have a unique opportunity to be very innovative in co-designing teaching and learning solutions through increasing the autonomy and decision-making at the school level,” Burgos said. “This is going to require us to focus on root causes and not symptoms while working together to remove barriers to success.”
The collaborative’s ability to meet the needs of all students, Burgos said, will ultimately be determined by how effective it is with supporting city teachers, school leaders and support staff.
“Over the next few weeks, my top priorities will include meeting with principals to better understand their success plans for the year, their needs, their aspirations,” she said, “as well as working with Delaware State University to determine a strategy that will guide us in the design of a school performance framework.”
The nine schools will play a critical role in determining the indicators that the collaborative will measure, Burgos said. Some of those indicators will focus on academic achievement, health and wellness for both students and staff, as well as enrollment and staff retention.
“The next few weeks will be very busy on the ground, getting into schools and making sure that I know exactly what is on everyone’s mind,” Burgos said. “I’m ready to go.”
Raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Jarek earned a B.A. in journalism and a B.A. in political science from Temple University in 2021. After running CNN’s Michael Smerconish’s YouTube channel, Jarek became a reporter for the Bucks County Herald before joining Delaware LIVE News.
Jarek can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at (215) 450-9982. Follow him on Twitter @jarekrutz
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