The Durango School District 9-R Board of Education will meet Thursday to trim the final 10 superintendent candidates down to seven or fewer.
The school board further refined its schedule to find the next leader for the district at its meeting Tuesday held on Zoom.
After the cut, a resume review committee comprised of members of the community, teachers, staff members, parents and students will spend Saturday reviewing the final seven candidates to offer comments and recommendations to school board members on making the cut to two or three finalists.
“The goal is to get down to seven candidates if at all possible to go to the resume committee,” said school board President Kristin Smith. “I’d like to get to consensus. I really don’t want a board member who does not feel strongly about the finalists.”
The original schedule for the superintendent search had slated finalists to be named in the latter half of March, but based on advice from the Aspen Group International, which is helping the district’s search, the schedule was accelerated.
An unusually high number of districts are looking for superintendents across the country, including Colorado, and the consultants told school board members they are more likely to find the highest quality candidate by making their decision sooner rather than later.
The current superintendent, Dan Snowberger, announced in November this would be his last year with the district. He will depart at the end of June.
On Monday, the school board plans to narrow the field further to two or three finalists, whose names will be made public. The finalists will be invited to Durango for meetings, probably virtual meetings on Zoom, with the community on March 8-9.
The school board plans to select the next superintendent March 11 in a closed session and begin contract negotiations. On March 12, the board will notify the unchosen semifinalists of their choice.
State law requires the district to wait at least 14 days before making its choice of the next superintendent public. The district plans to make its choice public March 26.
The new superintendent is expected to start July1.
Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the school board granted a request from The Juniper School to start a sixth grade next school year.
The Juniper School, which currently offers kindergarten through fifth grade, is looking to add a sixth grade for the 2021-22 school year. The school is also examining adding seventh and eighth grades in the 2022-23 school year.
The school anticipates a sixth grade class of 15 to 20 students.