At their December 3 meeting, the Bedford School Committee addressed the Superintendent Recruitment Process in an exciting first step into the hiring of a successor to current Superintendent Jon Sills, who is retiring.
Superintendent Recruitment Process Member Services/MASC
Glenn Koocher, Massachusetts Association of School Committees, addressed the School Committee on the upcoming superintendent search. Koocher stressed the importance of the School Committee’s role in the process to select and hire a new superintendent.
As the Committee moves forward, Koocher expected two viable pools of candidates: ones within the current staff of the district and those outside of the district. Roughly two-thirds of school committees hire within district, the remaining third hire exteriorly.
Drawing on his experience with hiring a new superintendent, Koocher also provided important guidance into the process of forming a search committee. The School Committee could designate a sub-committee that included no more than two school committee members (to avoid a quorum) to conduct the search. Alternatively, the School Committee could conduct the search themselves but would be subject to the Open Meeting Laws. Koocher advised that if the Committee were to move forward with a search committee, both educators and non-educators should be included.
Close to the end of the search, Koocher advised that once a narrowed list of candidates is formed, the Committee should invite each to the district to meet with different constituencies. This interaction would help narrow the list as it would test their interactions with various groups within Bedford Public Schools.
Committee member Daniel Brosgol said he isn’t supportive of choosing an interim superintendent but raised a question about the process for the committee. The Committee is not expecting to hire an interim superintendent as they hope to finish the process prior to Jon Sills’ retirement at the end of the school year.
Koocher also stressed the importance of community involvement in the process. In addition to the generic meetings that have been held in similar searches in the past, Koocher and the Massachusetts Association of School Committees recommend also utilizing online surveys to collect information from all members of the Bedford communities, not just those available to attend a meeting in-person.
Superintendent Recruitment Discussion
Committee Member Daniel Brosgol expressed his support for a search committee that included members of the community as well as members of the Bedford School Committee.
Newly appointed Committee member Brad Morrison announced his support for a similar model but stressed the importance that the committee take imminent action.
Committee Chair JoAnn Santiago highlighted the importance that the Committee and constructed “search committee” act within the limitations of Open Town Meeting law.
The Committee intends to discuss and vote on the creation of a sub-committee at their next meeting on October 10.
LABBB Collaborative Executive Director Patric Barbieri addressed the School Committee over the state of the program which helps bridge the social and academic divide for students who have special accommodations.
Throughout his presentation, Barbieri commended LABBB’s accommodations that span to students in over 70 school districts. Barbieri also touted the Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment Initiative (ICEI) program which helps LABBB students enroll in college at Middlesex Community College.
Barbieri urged the committee to continue to support the program due to its wide appeal to over 300 students. Students who are currently enrolled in the program are spread across 34 classrooms and 32 worksites. The LABBB Collaborative currently educates 25 Bedford students.
LABBB is also working on the creation of a Post 22 Adult Program. Although it will take time to establish, Barbieri is excited about the future of this program.