Boston may need an acting superintendent after all, school board members say

Even though Boston Public Schools is able to hire a new superintendent by the end of June, the ambitious deadline set when Brenda Cassellius left was announced in February, the district may still need a leader. acting to allow for transition time, school board members publicly acknowledged. for the first time this week.

District officials have been having conversations about selecting an acting superintendent, committee chair Jeri Robinson said during a school committee meeting Wednesday night in response to questions from committee member Brandon Cardet-Hernandez. .

“I think it’s time, maybe at our next school committee meeting, that we start discussing what an acting superintendent will look like,” Cardet-Hernandez said after hearing an update. superintendent search committee day. “There may be a time gap between who can start and when Dr. Cassellius leaves.”

The school and the city leaders have said since the search began that they would like a permanent superintendent to be hired in time for the next school year, without the need for a temp. The search process is well underway, search committee co-chair Pam Eddinger told the school committee on Wednesday.

But even if it continues to go well, Cardet-Hernadez predicted, “We’re going to need a temp.”

Robinson said she has discussed the possibility with other district officials and a transition plan is being developed.

“I’ve been asked to hold on and allow the process to do what it’s set up to do,” she said. “We will have a transition process that the district is already working on.”

Robinson said she lobbied Michael O’Neill, a member of the search committee and vice-chairman of the school committee, on the issue.

“Once we get some guidance from the search committee on how they’re doing, and if they feel they’re on schedule and what that might look like, I think at that point we’ll have further discussions and we will do that collaboratively. with the district and with the mayor’s office,” Robinson said.

Ideally, Eddinger said, the next superintendent, once selected, could be part of the conversation around an acting character.

Cardet-Hernandez pushed for transparency around the acting superintendent discussion as soon as possible.

“People on the ground, who work in schools every day, deserve to know who it is, not as some sort of last-minute announcement, but with just a proper lead so they can figure it out,” did he declare. . “There has been enough instability and uncertainty at the school level.”

Mayor Michelle Wu’s office maintained that the search process had met milestones set when the search process began in February and that it still expects a new superintendent to be hired by the end of June. .

The search committee has received more than 30 applications and plans to conduct an initial round of virtual interviews with a select subset of about eight on June 1 and 2, Eddinger said Wednesday. After a second in-person round with a winnowed pelvis the following week, the committee will recommend the finalists to the school committee for public interviews in mid-June.

The Great Divide team explores educational inequality in Boston and across the state. Sign up to receive our newsletterand send ideas and advice to thegreatdivide@globe.com.


Christopher Huffaker can be contacted at christopher.huffaker@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @huffakingit.