Friday, April 24, 2015

Regarding The Superintendent Search

Ken O’Brien

Back in May 2010 The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education issued a report titled Southbridge Public Schools - Level 4 District Review.

At the time the district was facing the departure of Superintendent Dr. Dale Hanley.

Here is what the State had to say on the subject of finding her replacement at the time. 

The school committee should conduct an open, transparent, and inclusive process for the replacement of the retiring superintendent.

It is imperative that the school committee hire a superintendent who will continue to build upon the systems developed and implemented by the current superintendent and her staff and who will provide the leadership necessary to move the district to the next level. To accomplish this, the school committee should enter into a contract with an independent consultant with experience in superintendent searches for assistance with the process. The consultant could assist the school committee by such services as helping to identify the qualities and qualifications sought in the new superintendent, drafting a superintendent of schools job description, developing a brochure about the community and the position, advertising the position, preparing a timetable for filling the position, seeking input from the various constituencies both in the school system and in the community, and assisting with the initial screening of applicants. 

It is essential that representatives from each of the various stakeholder groups, such as teachers, parents, students, and citizens of Southbridge, be included in the interview process and that the interviews be open to the public. Furthermore, it is suggested that provision be made for a smooth and orderly transition by enabling both the retiring and the new superintendent to work together for a reasonable period of time.

For ESE: In addition, it would be most helpful if ESE monitored and supported the recruitment, screening, and interviewing process for the new superintendent, in order to help make sure that the candidate who best fits the needs of the district is selected.

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