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Principal's post eliminated at OPRF

School board eliminates position to make space for equity director

March 22nd, 2019 11:23 AM

By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

Oak Park River Forest High School Superintendent Joylynn Pruitt-Adams has released an organizational chart for the 2019-20 school year, but with a notable exclusion – the position of principal.

The announcement at the March 21 meeting of the District 200 school board comes just a few days after OPRF Principal Nate Rouse announced his resignation for an unnamed "exciting school program director position."

Pruitt-Adams also announced the promotion of Assistant Superintendent Greg Johnson to the role of associate superintendent, which will include many duties traditionally handled by the principal.

The new organizational chart allows the district to establish a new position – executive director of equity and student learning. This will make the change "cost neutral," according to Pruitt-Adams.

A press release announcing the restructuring states that the district is committed to implementing a racial equity framework throughout the school district. That includes racial equity coaches for teachers, training in restorative justice practices and the execution of a new racial equity policy.

"This structure is, admittedly, somewhat unconventional," Pruitt-Adams said in the press release. "But OPRF is not a conventional district. This is a forward-thinking structure that will allow us to transform the way we do teaching and learning in this school."

Pruitt-Adams said the district is developing a document for parents and staff to answer frequently asked questions such as who parents should turn to instead of contacting the principal.

"We have an opportunity for transformation, and I wholeheartedly believe that this new structure will take us where we want to go," Pruitt-Adams said. "Change is difficult, even when it's positive change, and I ask our school community to stay open to the possibilities."

tim@oakpark.com