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WATERLOO | Superintendent Jane Lindaman's performance was on target during her first year leading Waterloo Community Schools, based on a set of 42 indicators.

The Board of Education on Monday unanimously approved a contract extension and a 4.68 percent salary and benefits increase using its performance pay plan. The board-developed plan looks to student achievement measures such as test scores, participation in college classes, graduation rate and growth in reading ability at the elementary level. But it also accounts for a range of other factors like teacher retention, staff development, financial indicators, parents' teacher conference participation, bullying incidents and extracurricular involvement.

Lindaman's salary and benefits are rising $9,600 to $214,600, retroactive to July 1. All of the increase was added to her salary, boosting it to $192,600. Her benefits -- a $15,000 tax-sheltered annuity and a $7,000 car allowance -- will remain the same.

Board president Shanlee McNally said the board was "very satisfied" with Lindaman's performance based on a June review and how the indicators stacked up. "We felt that we had hit on target."

She added, "I'm very proud to say that Waterloo is the only district in the state that sets a pay-for-performance plan." It was initially implemented for the final year of Lindaman's predecessor, Gary Norris. This is the first time it has been used in setting her salary.

In the past, said board member Lyle Schmitt, the superintendent's pay increase took into account the raises given to district employee groups, such as teachers and administrators.

"There's no tie there anymore," he noted. "So, 100 percent of the increase of the superintendent is based on the performance of the 42 metrics." He is part of a board committee that reviewed the data to determine the pay increase.

Under the plan, Lindaman had the possibility of earning a raise of as much as $20,000 based on the 42 indicators in five strategic focus areas. "The pay increase, I believe, was 48 percent of the possible amount this year," said Schmitt.

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McNally noted the plan was designed so the 100 percent mark would not be attainable, with many of the metrics "stretch goals" that would be very challenging. The hope was Lindaman would be on target for between 45 and 55 percent of the indicators.

One indicator Schmitt mentioned that fell short of its metric was the number of freshman earning 11 credits to advance to sophomore status this fall. The goal was 85 percent, but 83 percent of freshmen advanced across the district's three high schools.

"That's one metric that was worked on real hard," said Schmitt. "She didn't get any pay for it, but it was close."

Some students who were short of credits continued moving toward that goal during the summer. "Through summer school we added 6 percent of students who passed that magical threshhold of 11 credits," said Lindaman.

"The metrics that we set this year were extremely rigorous and meaningful," she added. "It helped focus my work."

Board member Sue Flynn noted indicators can be adjusted each year to reflect the district's needed focus.

"It's always a moving target, which I think is positive," she said. "I just think it's innovative and an excellent way we can gauge our progress."

Board member Mike Young, who didn't run for re-election Sept. 8 and was attending his last meeting, said, "I fully support extending the contract for another year. I think Dr. Lindaman has done a fantastic job over the last year and I think we're lucky to have her."

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Education Reporter

Education reporter for the Courier

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