Mirror Staff Writer
The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s Board of Education decided to add another day, May 10, where both the community and District employees can have an opportunity to give input for the District’s search for a new superintendent.
The Board’s decision followed the recommendation suggested by Dr. Bill Attea from the search firm, Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, Ltd. Attea emphasized that some of those who wanted to give input either couldn’t fit it into their schedule or were unaware of times to give input, “due to the circumstances surrounding the spring break.” The two-week break began just after the schedule for the meetings was announced and ended right before the meetings began.
In the first two days of community input the search firm met with over 150 people, including teachers, administrators, parents and community members. Over 150 Leadership Profile Assessment forms were received from the District website, www.smmusd.org. Suggestions included getting someone who has “experience with diversity, multi-culturalism” and is “accessible, personable, approachable, able and willing to say no when necessary and can develop a vision that can be embraced by all stakeholder groups.”
Board member Emily Bloomfield proposed finding a new superintendent who has “a vision and experience with measurably raising achievement for all students and developing students for the 21st century workplace, [who can] prioritize resources in training and staff development in line with these objectives and be responsible for tracking, measuring the results of the efforts.” The Board, on a preliminary basis, supported her suggestions.
Attea told of “the community’s reaction to open or closed search.” Some were concerned about the Board’s decision to have a closed search. The group that was most opposed was the District’s support staff. A closed search means that the community doesn’t get a chance to meet and question the candidates who are finalists unless they decide they want to make their candidacy public. This practice is now being followed so candidates don’t jeopardize their current positions while interviewing with the District. The search firm recommended the District follow this process in order to obtain the “best quality” candidate pool.
The open meetings on Wednesday May 10 will be held from 7-9am in the Malibu High School Auditorium, 30215 Morningview Dr., and at the District Office Board Room located at 1651 16th St., from 12:30-2:30pm and 7:30-9pm. A meeting just for employees of the District will be held at the District office from 3:30-5pm.