BOARD OF EDUCATION TO PRESENT SUPERINTENDENT FINALISTS AT OPEN COMMUNITY FORUM ON JULY 20
Chosen finalists for superintendent vacancy to be presented at open forum where public can ask questions and hear candidates' vision for New Haven Public Schools
With the search for a new superintendent for New Haven Public Schools almost at a close, the final step of the process aims to incorporate as much community engagement and input as possible. On Saturday, July 20, the community is invited to an open public forum at Gateway Community College's downtown New Haven campus to ask questions of the superintendent finalists and hear the finalists' vision for the school district.
PROACT Search, the firm hired by the New Haven Board of Education to conduct the search, organized a community engagement campaign in the spring that gathered input from more than 550 parents, teachers, administrators, students, and community stakeholders for use in the creation of a position profile. With the help of the Board of Education and district staff, 30 focus groups and community meetings (including 6 public forums) were scheduled 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 Board of Education received 66 applications for superintendent. Of the 66 candidates, the board chose nine semi-finalists and will conduct interviews this week in order to select three to five finalists by next week. The final step is for the community to meet those final candidates at the open public forum on July 20 and ask them questions about their vision and leadership.
The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 20 at Gateway Community College, 20 Church St. The finalists will each have an allotted time to describe his or her vision for the school district and then will answer 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 or her selection. There will also be a process for members of the community to ask questions at the public forum.
After all the finalists have presented, the Board of Education will host a roundtable debriefing session before going into deliberations. For those attending, free 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 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 will be 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 will conduct interviews with finalists in the days leading up to the public forum on July 20 and plans to name the new superintendent at its meeting on July 22.