HVRSD Board of Ed outlines plans for new superintendent search

This letter was emailed to families in the Hopewell Valley Regional School District on May 26:

Dear HVRSD Community:

Thank you for your attention and feedback as we seek to identify the next Superintendent of Schools for the Hopewell Valley Regional School District.

The Superintendent Search Committee and Board continue to move forward in a thorough yet expeditious manner as we adhere to the plan that we have designed for this process.  As we move forward, communications such as this one will ensure that we meet our goal of transparency at every stage of the way.  At the same time, we are firmly committed to providing confidentiality to all candidates of this process.  

Our timeline, while concise, is informed by the Board’s commitment to the highest standard of leadership during this unique transitional period and as District administration and staff continue to plan for the return to school in the Fall of 2021.  Given the timeframe, the HVRSD Search Committee is looking to each of our board member liaisons to serve their appointed stakeholders and to gather feedback from their respective organizations.  At any point during the search process, we encourage those interested to reach out to the Board with particular concerns. You may do so via the public comment sessions offered at all meetings of the Board, through direct communication with your liaison, or via the Board’s email address:  hvrsdboe@hvrsd.org

As we have previously reported, the committee was encouraged to receive over 900 responses to the community survey. Respondents included parents, students, staff, and community members.  Some staff members also took part in surveys developed by their associations to address their particular concerns.  Hopewell boasts a very engaged community, as was reflected in the hundreds of open ended survey responses.  The committee continues to analyze this data.  All responses and be reviewed and will receive consideration. 
Over the course of this past week, Search Committee members had the opportunity to receive more detailed and personal feedback from staff members who represented their respective membership associations in focus group sessions.  We appreciate the time, effort, and candor demonstrated in these sessions.  The insights and information shared will be essential as we move forward in this process.

We continue to seek feedback from all community members via email and during public comment sessions at all meetings of the Board of Education.  Upcoming special sessions of the Board will be held on June 8th and June 14th. 
As we continue to seek input from stakeholders, we are currently in data collection phase of this process, which, in our assessment, puts us solidly in Phase 2 of the four phases established for this process:

Phase 1: Board established ad hoc Superintendent Search Committee Board Goals/Priorities DeterminedSearch schedule establishedCommunity survey developed
Phase 2: Position postedData collection and review of data Administration/staff focus groups Liaisons to gather any additional input
Phase 3: Candidate interviews (To begin the week of June 7th)
Phase 4: Naming of Finalists (End of June)Negotiation of Superintendent Contract, to include start date

As we have also shared previously, the position has been posted nationwide and in numerous employment and education venues. Information may also be found on the district website, www.hvrsd.org, under “Employment Opportunities.”  We have received a number of applications and will continue to do so until the June 4th end date.  It is our aim to determine who the finalists will be by the end of June.  Depending on the finalists’ unique circumstances and commitments to their current districts, the Board’s objective is to have our new superintendent in place as close to the start of the 2021-22 school year as possible.

It is important to note: While the Committees’ timeline is a factor, we will neither rush the process, nor select finalists based on timeframe.  We will only move forward with qualified candidates who meet the specified qualifications as outlined in the Superintendent Job Description and who meet the high standards of our district mission statement.  If at any point we feel that we have failed to identify candidates who meet these determinations, we will adjust our timeframe as needed. 
Again, the Search committee and Board appreciate the interest that has been shown in this process by the community. Please keep an eye out for additional communications, to include a summary of community survey results, in the near future.   

Thank you again for your interest and support.  Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns.

Deborah Linthorst, Board President
Anita Williams Galiano, Chair, Superintendent Search Committee
Andrea Driver and Jenny Long, Search Committee Members

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