Changes in administration roles at the Dillingham Middle/High School and Dillingham Elementary School are intended to smooth out bumps experienced in the beginning of the school year. It’s unclear what those bumps are, but they appear to be mismatches of administrators to 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 was in that position is now the interim principal of the middle/high school.
“As you know, we started this school year with many new staff members, including several new administrators. While the school year did not start as smoothly as we had hoped, the district appreciates the hard work and dedication of all our staff,” Superintendent Amy Brower wrote to parents and the community on Nov. 15.
“In analyzing the district’s needs, staff strengths, and what is best for students, we believe that some adjustments in leadership assignments will best serve the community and our students. The district believes that Ms. McCambly’s prior experience at the middle school/high school level will better serve Dillingham Middle/High School students and staff. The district also believes that Ms. Dillman’s administrative experience at the elementary school level would better fit at Dillingham Elementary School. We are pleased to announce that as of November 21, 2022, Ms. McCambly will be the Interim Principal at the middle/high school, and Ms. Dillman will take over the Director of School Climate and Culture duties at the elementary school.”
Megan McCambly, the recent director of climate and culture, was raised in Dillingham and has been with the Anchorage School District before returning home to Dillingham this year. She is the interim principal of the high school. Beth Dillman is director of climate and culture.
The Dillingham Schools are not exactly known as high performing schools and it’s unclear why an elementary school would need a director of school climate and culture. In other school districts around the country, that is code language for diversity and the director is in charge of setting and driving “a vision for productive and equitable school culture including systems, structures, routines, and traditions,” according to Indeed.com.
Another job board described the job as being “responsible building and maintaining systems that ensure a joyous and achievement-oriented school culture.”
Just 14% of Dillingham elementary school students tested advanced or proficient in English on the latest statewide test, Alaska System of Academic Readiness (AK STAR). Just 13.33% of those students tested advanced or proficient in math. 84.91% of the students needed support to get to a proficient level in English, and 86.67% of the students needed more help getting to a proficient level in math.
The elementary school has a teacher-student ratio of 10-1, and about 197 students.
The middle/high school scores are better. Some 19.67% of students are advanced or proficient in English, and 8.80% are advanced or proficient in math. 80.33% of students need support in approaching proficiency in English, and 91.20% need more support to approach proficiency in math. The graduation rate is about 70%
The school district’s mission statement is, “As part of the community, the Dillingham City School District will promote and lead a safe, supportive and equitable learning environment.” The district’s vision is to, “Inspire students to be culturally connected, active community members and motivated to fulfill their goals and dreams.”