NEW HAVEN BOE ANNOUNCES THREE SUPERINTENDENT FINALISTS TO APPEAR AT COMMUNITY FORUM SATURDAY
Community invited to attend and participate in open forum at Gateway Community College with three superintendent finalists: Dred D. Scott, Kriner Cash and Garth Harries
NEW HAVEN – After interviewing nine semi-finalist candidates last week for the position of superintendent of New Haven Public Schools, the Board of Education selected three finalists to advance to the final interview stage. The two external candidates, Dr. Dred D. Scott (resume here) and Dr. Kriner Cash (resume here), hail from Independence, Missouri and Memphis, Tennessee, respectively. The Board also chose the only internal candidate, Garth Harries (resume here), Assistant Superintendent for Portfolio and Performance Management for New Haven Public Schools, to advance as a finalist.
The Board of Education will conduct interviews and host site visits with the finalists on Thursday and Friday. The search process then culminates with an open public forum on Saturday, July 20, at Gateway Community College’s downtown New Haven campus, where members of the community are invited to ask questions of the superintendent finalists and hear their visions for the school district.
The schedule will be as follows:
Breakfast in community room
Dred D. Scott
10:45 am-12:15 pm
Lunch in cafeteria
Small group feedback session w/ BOE
The forum will take place from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 20 at Gateway Community College, 20 Church St. with a free continental breakfast beginning at 8:30 a.m. The finalists will each have 90 minutes with the public, with 15 minutes devoted to describing his vision for the school district, 5 minutes for closing remarks, and the remaining 70 minutes for answering questions submitted by members of the community ahead of time and at the event. The forum will be moderated by a lead consultant from PROACT Search.
In order to engage as many people as possible, the district is providing multiple ways for people to participate in the process. Community members can submit questions ahead of time using this online form or this online form in Spanish and their questions will be asked to all of the candidates. The online form allows questions to be grouped by category so the moderator can acknowledge if multiple people are interested in the same topic or question. There is an option to include name and contact information, which will be used to invite participants to a meet-and-greet or reception for the new superintendent in the weeks following his selection.
At the forum, participants will receive question cards on which to write questions throughout the event. Those present will be called upon by the moderator to ask their question directly to a candidate if they opt to write their name on the question card. Otherwise, the moderator will ask the question on the card. Due to time constraints and depending on the number of questions received, not all questions may be asked. The forum will be live-streamed on the Internet, with links provided on the district website, www.nhps.net, and NHPS Facebook page.
After all the finalists have presented, the Board of Education will host a small-group debriefing session. During this session, participants will work within small groups to chart the strengths and weaknesses of the three finalists. Participants will also be given feedback forms to jot down notes on their reactions to the candidates and provide the Board with additional feedback. For those attending, free breakfast and lunch will be served and parking at the Temple Street garage will be validated. Limited childcare will be available at the nearby Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School. To register for childcare, please call 203-497-7055 (English) or 203-497-7056 (Spanish) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Parents should leave their name and phone number to receive a confirmation phone call.
The community forum is the final step in a months-long community engagement campaign that gathered input from more than 550 parents, teachers, administrators, students and community stakeholders for use in the creation of a position profile and for the shaping of final interview questions. The final step of the process aims to incorporate as much community engagement and input as possible.
PROACT Search, the firm hired by the New Haven Board of Education to conduct the search, worked with district staff to orchestrate 30 focus groups and community meetings (including 6 public forums) to gain input from a wide cross-section of school communities. In addition, individual phone conferences were held and an electronic web-based survey was administered. The district also collected 255 paper surveys and submitted them to PROACT.
The event on July 20 intends to further the conversation around the upcoming selection of the superintendent. PROACT also has compiled a final report of all community/staff input. The information in the report has been used by the board to inform the interview process and will provide the next superintendent with fresh ideas and guidance about what priorities parents, staff and community have for the school district. The report can be viewed here.
The Board of Education plans to vote on a new superintendent at its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, July 22.