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Hamilton-Wenham Regional School District, MA: Operational Audit

Hamilton-Wenham Regional School District selected Evergreen Solutions to conduct an Operational Audit of school district operations. The purpose of the Operational Audit was to complete an external review of the efficiency of various departments and operations within the Hamilton-Wenham Regional School District (HWRSD) and presented a final report of the findings, commendations, recommendations and projected costs and/or cost savings associated with the recommendations.

The review ensured that non-instructional functions were operating efficiently and identified short- and long- term savings that could be gained through the implementation of best practices. During the process, existing and potential collaboration, regionalization and cost sharing efforts were reviewed and identified to ensure that school operations were being conducted as efficiently and effectively as possible. In addition to auditing the operations of the HWRSD, Evergreen examined the efficiency of instructional services with the ultimate goal of providing guidance to the HWRSD in determining whether educational dollars were being utilized to the fullest extent possible; and where indicated, identified recommendations to reduce costs while maintaining or improving the quality of education.

Throughout the Operational Audit, Evergreen’s team reviewed: personnel policies and procedures including compensation, benefits, and the staff performance evaluation process; union contract negotiations, procedures, and management; staffing levels, allocations, composition, ratios, and policies and procedures; accounting processes; IT systems; school committee costs and reporting; and elementary level grade and class configuration. In addition, Evergreen will review policy, procedures, practices and controls in the areas of time keeping, purchasing, inventory control, curriculum, special education, traffic, cafeteria, medical, athletics, and extracurricular programs. In regards to structural effectiveness of the RSD, Evergreen also reviewed costs associated with interaction between HWRSD, State Departments, Associations, and other Towns as well as evaluate the Center School as a site for Administrative Services.

Evergreen then compiled a comprehensive report detailing the findings of the study as well as summarized the evaluation process. Recommendations to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of HWRSD operations were provided in conjunction with methods to implement change based on these recommendations. As a result of the Operational Audit, Evergreen assisted HWRSD in becoming a school district that is competitive, cutting-edge, and ready to take on the challenges of the 21st century.