The Durango school board is looking for public input on priorities for a new superintendent as it begins its search for a new leader.
An eight-question survey is on the Durango School District 9-R website seeking feedback that will help the school board and Aspen Group International, an educational firm hired to help with the search and write announcements seeking applicants for the position.
The survey is up through Monday.
“We would love to get as much community input from as wide an array of community members as we can,” said 9-R Board of Education President Kristin Smith. “We don’t just want the opinions of parents and teachers. It’s a very public position, the position of superintendent, and we want to make sure that we’re consulting with the whole community.”
The survey doesn’t ask for names, but it does ask participants to identify if they are a 9-R staff member, a member of the community, a parent, a student or a retired 9-R staff member.
The last question on the survey is open-ended, allowing people to share any ideas or thoughts about the next superintendent or the superintendent search process that were not asked in the survey.
Linda Dawson with the Aspen Group stressed the consultancy is committed to involving the public in the superintendent search, and the surveys will begin that outreach.
Information from the surveys will help guide the Aspen Group when it drafts employment notices for the position that are expected to run in Education Week, LinkedIn and other sources beginning in early January.
In addition, 9-R has formed focus groups with various stakeholders – including teachers, 9-R support staff members, parents, business leaders and others – who will also help inform the Aspen Group and the school board about the proper wording for vacancy announcements.
In February, Smith said the 9-R board will form a group of community members who will go through applicants’ curricula vitae, letters of interest and other application materials to help narrow the field to semifinalists.
Another survey will go out after semifinalists have been named and have appeared in public during visits to Durango, Smith said.
“We will send out another survey when we have semifinalists to get community feedback – you know, you heard from the candidates, what did you think – and then that will help us shape our decision,” she said.
In November, Dan Snowberger announced his decision to resign from the 9-R superintendent position effective at the end of June.
The Aspen Group is looking to bring about three to four finalists to Durango for interviews in March with the decision on hiring the next superintendent set for early April.