Friday, September 4, 2015


Dr. Theodore Josiha Haig
The Board of Education last week spent more than $8,000 to have a longtime friend of Superintendent John Ramos run a one-day retreat for board members to help organize for the new school year.

Dr. Theodore Josiha Haig, an education consultant based in Qatar -- where Ramos had previously worked -- confirmed he was paid $7,000 for his time, as well as about $1,100 to cover his travel and hotel expenses.

The board approved the funding, 6-1, at the Aug. 24 meeting in a resolution posted below. Board Member Johanna Wright cast the lone opposing vote.

RESOLUTION          3321R


BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Board of Education enters into an agreement with Dr. Theodore Haig of Dunnellon, Florida to facilitate the KIVA data gathering process and subsequent data analysis for the School Board Retreat on August 28, 2015 in the amount of $7,000.00 plus travel and material expenses. 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Board President, Superintendent and Board Secretary are authorized to execute and deliver any necessary contracts and reports on behalf of the Board.

A request for quotes for a KIVA facilitator were sent out on August 3, 2015.  Dr. Haig was the only respondent available to perform the requisite services on the scheduled date.

Haig told that the fee covered his use of the KIVA data gathering system for use in the retreat. A former superintendent in several Connecticut districts, including Hartford, Haig also said he'd known Ramos for years. 

He said he was the reason Ramos had been brought to Qatar several years ago for Ramos' previous position as principal of the Middle East International School in Qatar.

Ramos did not respond to requests for comment on the cost, but District Business Administrator Cheryl Schneider responded with this email:

In response to your question on the specific costs for the plane, etc. - we are still awaiting the invoice with the cost of reimbursables. As far as the definition of KIVA, it is the data gathering tool that Dr. Ramos described when he first visited the district. Perhaps the Scope of Services we used in soliciting quotes may help: 

Scope of Services 

The South Orange Maplewood School District recently hired a new Superintendent of Schools, Dr. John Ramos. 

A meeting is scheduled for Friday morning, August 28, 2015, with Dr. Ramos, Board of Education members, and members of the senior administrative team to allow communications between the groups to help inform Dr. Ramos of the current operational structure and to develop an appropriate and successful administrative structure for future management of the school district. 

The desired process for evaluation and design of the operational structure is the KIVA mechanism for collecting and analyzing data. The KIVA process, noted for collecting a great deal of data in a short time frame, is a highly regimented structure in which circles of participants answer questions in limited time frames, followed by feedback from additional participants. 

The successful proposer will be experienced in facilitating KIVA data collection and will be required to provide subsequent analysis and reporting of the data, including the recommendation of structural and operational changes for institutional development and capacity building in the district administration. In the future, when looking for specific information, you may need to utilize the OPRA process we have in place so that we have the request and response on file.