Together with JoAnn Santiago, I am coordinating our efforts to find a new superintendent for the Bedford Public Schools. It is our strong belief that this position will attract a wonderful and diverse set of applicants and we look forward to meeting them and identifying our next district leader. Our schools, and our town, have an outstanding reputation and we are optimistic that the next superintendent will be someone who will understand Bedford, its values, its history, and its tradition of excellence.
With this work ahead of us, our objective is to have someone hired before the end of March, with the position officially beginning on July 1. We are pleased to let you know that we have contracted with the Massachusetts Association of School Committees (MASC), who will be helping us every step of the way as we conduct this search.
I am writing this update to let the community know what to expect as we go through this process over the next 15 weeks.
Job posting – January 6
By January 6, a brochure for the position will be ready to be shared with potential applicants and posted on the MASC website. Applications will open immediately and MASC will be in charge of processing them and preparing them for the Search Committee’s review in February.
Search Committee recruitment – January 7 to 20
During the week of January 7, we will be posting a request for volunteers from the community to screen and interview candidates for the superintendent. The work of this committee will culminate with the recommendation of a small number of finalists to the School Committee. Volunteers selected for this role will be required to commit to a great deal of work over the course of the search process. The Search Committee will be chosen by January 20 and will meet for the first time on Monday evening, January 27.
Online community survey – January 10
On January 10, an online survey will be made available to the Bedford community seeking input on critical questions that will help guide us through the search process. This survey, which we will develop along with MASC, will allow you to let us know what aspects of the Bedford Public Schools are critical for the new superintendent to preserve, what challenges or areas of growth you would like the new superintendent to address, and what expertise they should have.
In-person focus groups – late January/early February
In the middle of January, MASC will begin a series of focus groups that will take place across the Town. There will be meetings at each school with faculty and staff, focus groups held for the public, meetings with central administration and leadership, and with Town leadership and volunteers. These meetings will allow us to more fully understand the wants and needs of the various constituencies in town as we prepare to meet with candidates.
Candidate screening – February 10 to March 5
The posting for the superintendent position will close at 3:00 pm on Friday, February 7. The Search Committee will then spend the next four weeks interviewing candidates. Those interviews will take place on both weekday evenings and on Saturdays.
Handoff to School Committee – March 10
At the March 10 meeting of the School Committee, the Search Committee will present its recommendation of the finalists for the superintendent position. The School Committee will then spend the next two weeks conducting site visits and reference checks.
School Committee offer – March 24
At the March 24 meeting of the School Committee, the members will interview the candidates and select a new superintendent.
As we approach deadlines and key steps along the way you can expect brief updates from us about the process, but to protect the privacy of applicants no information will be made public about the search until the finalists are named in early March.
I wish you a happy and healthy new year.