Well, friends, we were hard at work on a fun-filled new blog posting, but this just couldn’t wait… the Scarborough School Board is soliciting input on the qualities of our next school superintendent. And it’s important that they hear from as many community members as possible, not just those with kids in school. So NOW is the time for all of us to take a couple minutes and share what we would like to see in our next superintendent. Time is short so please act now.
We imagine most everyone would agree that the next superintendent should be an experienced leader with a solid record of educational success and excellent communications skills. In addition to those, here are a few qualities/priorities we consider essential for the new school leader:
- an appreciation that what happens in the schools affects all Town residents (remember, 65% of our tax bill goes toward school costs),
- an acknowledgment that there are not unlimited funds available for education,
- a commitment to an improved budget and financial reporting system that allows residents to understand the operations and expenses of the schools,
- a commitment to continuous improvement in operations and costs instead of ever-expanding “level services.”
This is certainly not an exhaustive list, but we think it’s a good start.
What you can do:
There are three ways you can let you voice be heard about what you want to see in a new superintendent. Please share your thoughts in one or more ways.
1. Take the School Board’s online survey
Click here or go to the School Department webpage to submit your thoughts on the background/experience you would like to see in the new superintendent and what issues you would like him or her to work on in the first 6-12 months. The “survey” is just two open-ended questions, so it only takes a couple of minutes to complete. The deadline to participate is March 2.
2. Send written comments to the search firm
For those without Internet access, a good old-fashioned letter will work just fine. Send your written comments to: Dr. Kenneth DeBenedictis, NESDEC, Scarborough Superintendent Search, 28 Lord Road, Marlborough, MA 01752. Make sure your comments arrive before March 2.
3. Attend the “focus group” for the general public on March 2
The School Board has arranged for four focus groups to be held to ascertain the “attributes, experience and knowledge” the new superintendent should possess. The focus group for “parents and community” will be held at 7pm on Wednesday, March 2 at the All Purpose Room at the High School. Click here for more details.
We commend the School Board for soliciting community input on the new superintendent. Let’s make sure we take them up on this opportunity.
Scarborough desperately needs a superintendent who believes he or she is accountable to the entire community and who has demonstrated fiscal responsibility in previous positions. Please take a few minutes to provide your input. This is a critical decision for the Town and schools; its impact will be felt for years to come.
That’s it for now. Stay tuned for the next rollicking issue of this blog… coming soon.