Reynoldsburg schools' former leader has been doing research projects for the district from home this school year, fulfilling the terms of a legal settlement she received from the district last summer.
Ex-Superintendent Tina Thomas-Manning spent the fall analyzing the district's state test results at the request of her successor, Melvin Brown, according to documents The Columbus Dispatch obtained from Reynoldsburg schools.
Starting in early October and wrapping up in late November, she analyzed the 2016-17 state report cards for each of the district's schools, prioritizing Rose Hill Elementary School and Baldwin Road Junior High School at Brown's request and then moving on to others.
She boiled down the state data into a one-page analysis per school, laying out its strengths, "opportunities" (things that need improvement) and patterns between school years.
Brown then asked her in late November to research two things: gifted intervention models that have proved effective and the pros and cons of certain nontraditional schedules for students.
Thomas-Manning replied that she would be happy to, but "I'd expect the soonest I could pull something together would be late winter-early spring."
Thomas-Manning declined to comment on her work for the district.
Brown said in a statement that Thomas-Manning "has conducted a thorough analysis of the school report cards of some of our most concerning buildings and we have had conversations about how best to attack some of our areas of concern.
"Not everything that she has done will lead to a 'paper work product," ' Brown wrote.
"Her expertise has been very beneficial and the cooperation has been very good."
Thomas-Manning was superintendent from August 2014 to July 2017, when she left her position after her relationship with the majority of the Reynoldsburg Board of Education deteriorated and the board voted in September 2016 to not renew her contract. The behind-the-scenes infighting was intense.
In April 2017, she filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging racial and gender discrimination by the Reynoldsburg board and retaliation for reporting it.
Under the legal settlement Thomas-Manning and the board signed in June 2017, she agreed not to sue. In exchange, the district gave her $100,000 in a lump sum and $100,000 plus benefits for a year of consulting work from home.
She agreed to do her best to find other employment, but if she can't find a position by Aug. 1, 2018, she can apply for a year of unpaid leave of absence. After another year, if she's still searching for work, Thomas-Manning can request to return to the district as a teacher.
In December, Thomas-Manning donated $25,000 of the money back to the school district to establish an education fund for Reynoldsburg students.
Recipients can get scholarships for college and grants to go on educational field trips.