New Duluth Superintendent Dr. I.V. Foster Faces the District's Challenges

By KBJR News 1

July 1, 2011 Updated Jul 1, 2011 at 10:26 PM CDT

DULUTH, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - Day one is in the books for the the new superintendent of Duluth Public Schools and Dr. I.V. Foster is facing the district's challenges.

Duluth schools are in transition. Five new and improved schools are opening up this Fall with two more planned in the future.

Foster will be heading the shift and thinks students and parents will get excited.

"People are going to get excited about the good things that are happening," said Dr. Foster.

Duluth's budget is still up in the air, as the state hasn't decided how much funding the district will get and this Fall the district plans to ask for a levy.

Dr. Foster has said he wants transparency.

"Be open and honest, share as much information with the community and the stakeholders, so that people know what's coming before it actually comes."

Dr. Foster will also be tackling the achievement gap. Measures like data coaches, integration specialists and all-day-kindergarten are showing some results.

"Improved grades from last year to this years first term, a decrease in absenteeism," said Ron Haglund, Office of Education Equity, ISD 709.

The gap still needs work.

With a new superintendent, school board members hope for fresh ideas to deal with the issues.

"If you've ever in your life wanted to do something or had a strong interest in something, you would know the experience that I have each day from the time I wake up in the morning, til the time I go to bed," said Dr. Foster.

Dr. Foster's most recent job was with Prairie Hills School District south of Chicago as superintendent.

The former Superintendant, Dr. Keith Dixon did have plans to retire, but Centennial School District in Circle Pines, Minnesota asked him to be interim superintendent for one year, as their district looks for a new superintendent.

Posted to Web by Jena Pike