Published in the November 22, 2017 edition.


WAKEFIELD — The School Committee last week updated the contract for elementary school assistant principals at the Woodville and Dolbeare Schools as well as the job description for a Level 2 technology specialist.

School Business Administrator Michael Pfifferling explained that the technology specialist was not a new position, but since the position was vacant it seemed like a good opportunity to update the job description which had been created six years ago. He said that when the job description was originally written, it was before there were Chromebooks in the schools and before teachers had laptops at every grade level. The job description also included many references to outdated operating systems, he noted.

“The responsibility in this job is much higher than it was,” he added. 

Pfifferling said that since the position was recently vacated, it was a good opportunity to update the job description so that it aligned with the actual duties of the position.

He explained that when the position was created six years ago there was a salary of $30,000 attached to it, but the budgeted salary is now in the 60,000 range. 

School Committee member Kate Morgan asked if the salary was actually being doubled. Pfifferling said that he would not characterize it as doubled. He said that the salary was $30,000 when the job was created six years ago, but that the hiring range had been changed in the ensuing years. He said that the budgeted salary range for the position had already been updated, but the job description had not.

He stressed that the position and salary range were already in the current year’s budget and there was money in the budget to pay for it.

The School  Committee unanimously approved the updated job description.

Pfifferling also discussed with the committee a revised Unit B elementary school principal contract. The contract applies to the assistant principal positions at the two larger elementary schools, the Woodville and the Dolbeare. The Greenwood and Walton schools each have an assistant to the principal, which is a teaching position with an additional stipend.

Pfifferling said the fact that the two assistant principal positions were vacated as of June 30 gave the administration the opportunity to rewrite the contract. Previously they had been full-year (12-month) positions, he explained, but under the new contract they would be “school-year” positions. The school-year contract has them working 184 days (180 school days plus four professional development days. There are also five additional work days at the beginning and at the end of each school year. Salary and benefits are at about 85 percent of what the full-year position had been. He said that the two individuals now in those positions are being paid according to the terms of the new (school-year) contract. 

“This is a formality,” he said. He added that when the School Department had tried to change the assistant principal positions to school-year positions several years ago, the union had opposed it, but they were in support of it now.

Pfifferling noted that the assistant principal positions at the Galvin Middle School and Wakefield Memorial High School are still full-year positions.


School Superintendent Dr. Kim Smith reviewed her updated goals for 2017-2018 with the School Committee last week. The updated goals relate to monitoring professional development across all schools to ensure that specific collaborative practices directly impact student learning outcomes.