Next steps for Rock Island-Milan School District after superintendent vote

Published: Apr. 26, 2023 at 10:15 PM CDT
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ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (KWQC) - The Rock Island-Milan School District is now looking for a new superintendent. Tuesday night, the school board approved an agreement — mutually separating with Dr. Reginald Lawrence.

After four years, Lawrence will no longer be the superintendent at the end of the school year.

“[I want to continue] working with the board to ensure that I help leave the Rock Island-Milan School District [in] the best place possible,” Lawrence said.

Despite the premature nature of his exit, he said there’s still work he needs to finish.

“It’s the continued work that centers around diversity, equity inclusion,” Lawrence said. “The district started this work back in 2016, probably before a lot of places had.”

Continuing in that work, Lawrence hopes to set up a new social and emotional learning program, which the district recently received a $3.8 million grant for.

“Make sure that we can get those teachers in place,” Lawrence said.”[To} get a chance to work on having everything in place for the students when they begin next year.”

In a statement from the district on Wednesday, the board thanked Lawrence for his time in the district.

“Effective June 3, 2023, Dr. Lawrence will be relieved of his duties as Superintendent of Rock Island-Milan School District 41,” a spokesperson wrote. “Dr. Lawrence has served Rock Island-Milan for nearly four years.  This is a mutual agreement between the Superintendent and Board of Education.

Neither District officials nor Lawrence commented on what led to the departure.

“The most important part is that we came to a mutual agreement,” Lawrence said. “We’re doing what’s best for the district.”

After the agreement was approved Tuesday night, Lawrence also welcomed a new school board, offering some advice.

“Just know that there’ll be tough conversations,” Lawrence said. “There’ll be some easy ones. So enjoy the easy ones. ... Work through together on the tough ones.”

Among Lawrence’s proudest accomplishments are the building improvements completed during his tenure, including a multimillion-dollar. He said he looks forward to seeing the completion of a new administrative center as well.

“If we can stay on pace with that, then we’ll move on to the technology, the phones and things that have to go over and start the next year in our new setting,” Lawrence said.

The new building will be across the street from the old one and is set to finish construction sometime in July.

Dr. Lawrence’s last day will be June 3. As a part of the resignation agreement, he will receive $350,000 for the early termination of his contract.