Independence Schools Forcing Administrators to Move Into District

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- The Independence School District says that they are hoping to strengthen the relationship between the district and the community, and now they are forcing the district's administrators to become a closer part of the community - or possibly lose their jobs.

The Independence School Board has passed a new policy requiring the district's 92 administrators to live within the boundaries of the school district. The policy does not apply to teachers or other staff members.

"We want students and parents in the community to see people that we think are great leaders in the community and actively involved," said district superintendent Dr. Jim Hinson. He says that the policy isn't new - three years ago, all newly-hired administrators were required to reside in the district.

The district currently has 92 administrators - and two-thirds of them live outside the district. The district's director of Public Relations, Nancy Lewis, is one of them.

"I`m one of those administrators,  and I do think that it is a good idea," said Lewis, who says that she believes most of the district's administrators support the policy. "The feeling has always been that this would be something that would be best not only for the district but for the community."

The new policy states that administrators must move into the district by 2015.

"If they don't, it could impact their employment for 2015-2016 school, so they have a couple years to deal with the situation," said Dr. Hinson. "But if there are legitimate circumstances that we need to sit down and take exception to, we are very willing to listen to those cases."

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