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School Committee Sets Timeline to Hire New Superintendent

After meeting with representatives from the New England School Development Council (NESDEC) at their Oct. 3 meeting, the School Committee has agreed upon a timeline and process for hiring the District's next Superintendent. NESDEC is the firm hired by the District to assist them in the search for a new Superintendent. If everything goes according to schedule, the School Committee hopes to name the next superintendent sometime in February with a start date of July 1, 2013. The Committee already has advertised the position and will accept applications through Nov. 20. Preliminary interviews are scheduled to be conducted in mid-December with selection of finalists made shortly after those interviews. Following the holiday break, finalist interviews will be held in January 2013 with selection of a new superintendent expected in February or March.

With a general timeline set, the School Committee also established a process which they will follow in making a selection. Dr. Arthur Bettencourt and Dr. Carolyn Burke of NESDEC recommended that a Screening Committee be appointed by Nov. 12. The Screening Committee will review all applications and select four or five finalist candidates who would be interviewed by the School Committee. Dr. Burke said the School Committee's policy which outlines the make-up of a screening committee is a good way to make appointments to that committee. The School Committee updated the policy at their Oct. 17 meeting. Under the policy, the Screening Committee will be composed of 15 members appointed from the following groups within the school community and also from the general community: two members of the Administrative Council, two teachers, a member of the support staff, a Groton Selectman, a Dunstable Selectmen, a member of the Student Advisory Council, two parents who have children in different schools, a senior citizen (65 years or older), two members of district support organizations (like GDEF, GDAY, etc.), a member of the Special Education Parent Advisory Council and a citizen at large from either Groton or Dunstable. Dr. Bettencourt told the Committee that most of the work of Screening Committee will be done in Executive Session.

In addition to appointing a Screening Committee, Dr. Bettencourt also recommended that community focus groups be held to develop a candidate profile for the district. Bettencourt added that he thought such a candidate profile would be useful to the School Committee when they interview the finalist candidates. Dr. Burke said the purpose of a community focus group is to get a "finger on the pulse of what the district wants...and who will be successful in the district."

The School Committee agreed to use community focus groups during the search process. However, the Committee has not yet defined how to organize the focus groups and what groups in the community to visit.

Groton Herald

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