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Douglas County School District Interim Superintendent Erin Kane

Erin Kane is the Interim Superintendent of the Douglas County School District, Colorado’s third largest school District, serving approximately 67,000 students.

Kane brings a broad range of experiences to her latest role with DCSD. As the Executive Director of American Academy, she has built a charter system with a third campus expected to open in 2017. Kane previously spent time in the high technology industry in project development, project management, education and consulting. She earned her engineering degree in applied mathematics and computer science from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

The Superintendent’s responsibility is to ensure accomplishment of the Board of Education's goals and vision for the District.

Superintendent's Message

+ March 2017

+ January 2017

+ October 2016

+ September 2016

Interim Superintendent Goals
In September, The Board of Education met with Interim Superintendent Erin Kane, setting the following goals for her tenure:


GOAL 1: Focus on Climate and Culture throughout DCSD

  • Objective: Create and foster a work environment that will increase employee satisfaction and reduce turnover*.

    (1) Create organization-wide practices around cultural norms and communication. Measure by the level of communication to employees and employee groups and personal conduct.

    (2) Follow board policy regarding the chain of communication for staff, parent, and community grievances.

    (3) Meet with stakeholder groups and be willing to listen to and compile feedback.

    (4) Respond to feedback from schools, including curriculum concerns.

    (5) Demonstrate transparent communication. Send the board regular updates with an honest view of the status of the district. Be honest about mistakes and challenges. Communicate honestly and regularly with staff, parents and community. Clearly communicate challenges and how they are being addressed.

    (6) Improve leader and teacher turnover. Measure by looking at the number of leader and teacher resignations known at the end of the school year as compared to the number of teacher and leader resignations known at the end of the last two school years.*

    *Understanding that the financial reasons for turnover (pay not competitive) cannot be resolved at this time. 

GOAL 2: Formulate a transition plan for a permanent superintendent

  • Objective: Bring stability to the district and leave DCSD in a better place than it was.

    (1) Collect feedback from school leaders to determine what challenges they are facing.

    (2) Collate the feedback into a specific Action Plan.

    (3) Create and execute a plan to address each item in the Action Plan.

    (4) Structure the organization based on feedback.

    (5) Communicate expectations during this interim period.

    (6) Fill leadership positions as needed to ensure DCSD can continue moving forward.

GOAL 3: Perform budget analysis

  • Objective: capture savings and examine spending priorities to ensure we keep as much money as possible in schools in a climate of flat revenue and rising expenses.

    (1) Identify current year savings. Measure by comparing the 2016-17 projected year-end with the 2016-2017 budget completed prior to Sept 1.

    (2) Identify future year savings through central administration reductions (expenses and staffing) in order to maximize money to schools. Measure by comparing the 2016-2017 budget completed prior to Sept 1 with the proposed 2017-18 budget, before adding in unavoidable expense

    increases (benefits, PERA, special education, etc.) that are not in the superintendent’s control.

    (3) Analyze the district’s budgeting process and make changes/recommendations where appropriate. 


GOAL 4: Create two versions of the budget: one reflecting the status quo and one reflecting new revenue from a mill levy override and bond

  • Objective: Communicate the need for a mill levy and bond through staff and community education.

    (1) Preform a full analysis on DCSD’s current funding as compared to current and future needs.

    (2) Work with the Joint Committee to assist them in their efforts to provide a recommendation to the Board of Education.

    (3) Develop a funding communication plan and presentation that includes feedback from stakeholders.

    (4) Ensure school and district leaders have a full working knowledge of funding.

    (5) Discuss funding with community leaders and groups whenever possible. 

District Senior Leadership Action List
This list is not in any particular priority order.

Action 1: Determine how to further define the three key elements: educational excellence (foundational skills, content knowledge, and complex analysis), stakeholder satisfaction (students, parents, staff and community), and positive culture.

Action 2: Evaluate district outcomes and curriculum through the lens of the three key elements above and develop recommendations for the superintendent and Board of Education as a foundation for the next Strategic Plan.

Action 3: Ensure the current DCSD teacher evaluation system (CITE) captures the true value of the cultural impact and professionalism of a teacher relative to the practices of instruction, planning and assessment, while also providing the freedom to use different types of instruction (including direct instruction).

Action 4: Collaborate with special education stakeholders to create a feedback loop to inform special education programming and initiatives.

Action 5: Analyze the school budgeting processes to identify gaps that exist for low enrollment and highly impacted schools and create equitable, sustainable solutions.

Action 6: Move to zero-based budgeting for central office departmental budgets, to ensure we are as efficient as possible with district monies, maximizing support to schools and staff (zero-based budgeting is financial planning in which all expenses must be justified each new fiscal year).

Action 7: Collaborate directly with school leaders to prioritize the work of our Human Resources department to support the needs of schools.  

Action 8: Refine the market-based pay structure to create strategies that will simplify DCSD’s pay system with a focus on valuing people.

Action 9: Analyze pay gaps with other districts as well as those internal to DCSD (for instance, between long-time and new teachers) and recommend possible strategies to address the gaps.

Action 10: Refine systems to ensure operations and maintenance departmental priorities align directly with school-identified needs.

Action 11: Examine athletic, activities, and field trip transportation needs and make recommendations on ways to meet those needs.

Speaking Engagements
Interim Superintendent Erin Kane and her team enjoy meeting members of our community. Recently she has been working to speak to local groups about the state of the Douglas County School District, including the challenges the district faces and possible ways for the community to support our students and staff.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Castle Rock Chamber of Commerce

Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Partnership of Douglas County Governments

Thursday, February 9, 2017
Parker Chamber of Commerce

Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Partnership of Douglas County Governments

Friday, March 10, 2017
Women's Empowerment Conference

Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Highlands Ranch Chamber of Commerce and Northeast Douglas County Education Development Council

Monday, April 24, 2017
Wind Crest Community

Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Castle Rock Rotary

Friday, April 28, 2017
Highlands Ranch GOP Breakfast Club

Thursday, May 4, 2017
Lone Tree Rotary

Schedule a Visit

If you would like to have the interim superintendent or another member of the Douglas County School District's leadership team speak to a community organization, contact our Parent & Community Liaison. She will help to make arrangements.

Katherine Brown
School/Community Partnership Coordinator