Dist. 281 School Board evaluates Sicoli’s performance

Aldo Sicoli
Aldo Sicoli

At the end of Aldo Sicoli’s  third year as superintendent, the Robbinsdale District 281 School Board said June 18 it is grateful for his leadership and the direction the district is headed.

Board Chair Barb Van Heel summarized the board’s June 11 closed-door evaluation at last week’s regular meeting.

Following the closed meeting, Van Heel said, the board met with Sicoli to review and discuss the results.

The board considered Sicoli’s performance in six areas: strategic plan and results, employee relations, community and external relations, operational management, financial management and board relations.

“Commendations and opportunities” were identified under each area, as follows, according to Van Heel’s prepared statement:

Strategic Plan and Results


The establishment of a unified district vision “reinvigorated the strategic plan, and brought a more dynamic and sharper focus to the implementation of the strategic plan throughout the district,” Van Heel said.

She also cited this year’s opening of the STEAM school in Golden Valley and growth in elementary MAP scores as pluses for the district.

Reallocation of resources to restructure the  middle school day next year also is a positive move, Van Heel said.

Opportunities for Action:

The board asked that Sicoli continue to focus on student achievement at all levels, structure a new strategic plan,  work with the board on a monitoring plan for school climate and identify any additional resources that may be needed in the middle schools

Employee Relations


The board commended Sicoli’s increased emphasis on collaboration among teachers within the professional learning communities, as well as increased employee recognition.

Opportunities for Action:

Sicoli was asked to work on expanding professional learning communities to the entire staff.

Community and External Relations


The board cited Sicoli for being “very visible in the district, and well liked in the community, in the schools, and with elected officials.”

“He has excellent customer relations skills and great responsiveness,” Van Heel said.

Opportunities for Action:

The board requested that Sicoli develop a plan to assess and monitor stakeholder satisfaction.

Organizational Management


Board members said the district’s restructuring continues to show good return, and that school improvement plans are more timely and tied to the new district vision.

Opportunities for Action:

Sicoli was asked to continue to evaluate programs for cost- effectiveness.

Financial Management


Sicoli was commended for continuing to demonstrate outstanding fiscal management, and for a budget that “reflects district goals.”

Opportunities for Action:

He was asked to create messages that “tell the story” to the community about how the district budget supports the goals of the strategic plan.

Board Relations


Van Heel said Sicoli “communicates directly, fairly and honestly with all of us, and listens well.”

Opportunities for Action:

“Individual board members do not give direction,” Van Heel said. “We encourage him to listen to board member input and build cohesiveness of vision, but to remember that direction only comes from the board in its entirety and with a majority vote.”

“In conclusion, I am happy to report that during the meeting, board members expressed how thankful we are for Supt. Sicoli’s leadership and the direction our school district is headed under his guidance,” Van Heel said.

Boardmember Linda Johnson said she believes the district has had a great year, and she thanked Sicoli for his hard work.

“A lot of challenges were handled effectively,” Johnson said. “The image of the district in the community has certainly improved.”

Prior to being hired in April 2009 to replace retiring Supt. Stan Mack, Sicoli was assistant superintendent in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage District 191.

Sicoli’s new three-year District 281 contract, approved in January 2012,  is effective July 1 through June 30, 2015. It reflects an annual salary increase of 1.5 percent in each of the three years.

Sicoli’s salary will be $183,745 in 2012-13, $186,501 for 2013-14 and $189,299 for 2014-15.

A graduate of Alexander Ramsey High School in Roseville, Sicoli  has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota, an MBA from Texas Tech University, a master’s degree in teaching from the College of St. Thomas and a doctorate in educational policy and administration from the University of Minnesota.