Duval County School Board discusses next steps in search for a new superintendent

The Duval County School Board met today to discuss the next steps in the search for a new superintendent — including the timeline and how you can make your voice heard in this process.

The goal is to vote on the next superintendent at a meeting on November 21, just a little over three months from now. But, there is a lot that needs to be done before then. Inside the school board headquarters Wednesday, the board and their consultants hammered out the details of what it’s going to take to get there.

School Board Chair Dr. Kelly Cocker says what the community wants to see in the next Duval County schools superintendent is vital to the search.

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On Wednesday, the board worked on fine-tuning a survey that’s expected to go out next week. They’re hoping to get responses from across the community.

“It looks at items such as — what’s their instructional knowledge? What do they know about the financial piece of running a district? How do they relate to the community?

Coker said they’re going to use that feedback when they advertise the position in a national search. The board is also looking for feedback at six community forums at schools later this month. Some of them will also allow people to attend virtually.

Coker also said board members will be there to greet and thank people for engaging. “But then, we’re going to turn it over to facilitators to do this all across the state of Florida, to make sure we get that authentic feedback,” Coker said.

After hearing from the public about what they want in a superintendent, the plan is to post the job in mid-September, and identify semi-finalists about a month later.

The board expects to conduct interviews with three or four finalists in November, and choose the next superintendent by the end of the month.

“We’re staying on this timeline, the only thing that could interfere with it is the caliber of candidate isn’t what we’re looking for. But at this point, that’s the timeline and we’re hopeful we’re going to draw really strong applicants,” Coker said.

But first, they need to know the qualities the community thinks would make a strong applicant.

The survey that is expected to go out next week will be posted on the DCPS website. We will let you know when it’s released, as well as the dates and locations for the community forums once they are finalized.

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