District Releases Details on Superintendent Search Outreach

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As promised, the South Orange-Maplewood School District is releasing detailed information about its community outreach efforts related to the search for a new superintendent of schools.

According to a release from the district: “Parents, students, district staff, community members and related stakeholders are invited to attend a Focus Group session with the firm, Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, to solicit feedback and input concerning the qualifications for the next superintendent for our district. Stakeholders are strongly encouraged to attend the focus group session pertaining to their needs since the discussion will be specific to each group.”

There will be two open forums at the Columbia High School Library. One will be held Tuesday, September 9 from 7 to 8 p.m. The second forum will occur at the same time but the date has not yet been determined.

In addition, there will be Specific Group Forums held on Saturday, September 13 in the District Meeting Room at 525 Academy Street in Maplewood:

  • Faith Leaders 9:00 a.m.-9: 45 a.m.
  • Elementary School Parents 10:00 a.m.-10:45 a.m.
  • Secondary School Parents 11:00 a.m.-11:45 a.m.
  • SOMA Parents of Students of African Descent 12:00 p.m.-12:45 p.m.
  • Parents of Students with Special Needs 1:00 p.m.-1:45 p.m.
  • Achieve 2:00 p.m.-2:45 p.m.
  • Community Coalition on Race 3:00 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

Two more special group forums will be held for SOMEA Members and CHS Students. Dates and times are to be announced.

The district asks that parents and community members carefully consider what questions they’d like to ask before attending, such as:

  • What are the strengths of the South Orange-Maplewood School District?
  • What are the challenges and issues that the District faces now and in the future?
  • What are the characteristics you think are necessary for the next Superintendent?

The district is also asking parents to complete an online survey “to help us determine which characteristics you deem to be most important in a superintendent.”

The survey will be open for collection through the end of September. The survey can be found here.

The South Orange-Maplewood School District is being helmed by Acting Superintendent Jim Memoli after the resignation of former Superintendent of Schools Brian Osborne this past spring. Osborne has taken the position of superintendent of schools in New Rochelle, NY. At its July meeting, the South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education announced that a candidate whom the board had hoped to appoint as interim superintendent had withdrawn his application for personal reasons.

The search comes amidst of a time of much change in the district, including the resignation of Maplewood Middle School Principal Jeff Truppo and the hiring of a new principal for Jefferson School, Kimberly Hutchinson. Read about the many transitions in the district here.

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