Monday September 10, 2012

SHEFFIELD -- The Southern Berkshire Reg ional School District and its School Committee have launched the new school year with a search for a new superintendent.

Beginning today, consultant Pat Correira of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees will moderate a series of public focus group meetings to be held this month in the district's towns. The purpose of the forums is to discuss what people want in a new superintendent.

The current superintendent, Michael Singleton, is scheduled to retire in August.

Southern Berkshire Regional School Committee member Vito Valentini said the committee hired Correira to help with the early stages of the search. Correira recently consulted with Pittsfield Public Schools during its superintendent search this spring.

"Our thought was let's get this done as soon as possible because we don't want to settle. We want to find a person who is going to commit to this community and our district," Valentini said.

Though each public input forum will target a specific group of people, be it seniors or school PTOs, Valentini said that anyone is welcome to attend and provide feedback at any session. An online survey will also soon be offered as an avenue to collect public insight.

Correira will take notes at each session and also organize data collected from the online survey. The information will be used to put together an
advertisement and brochure for prospective candidates.


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The advertisement for the position is scheduled to be published on Oct. 24 and the deadline to apply for it will be Dec. 7.

After this, Valentini said, Correira will come up with a list of between 8 and 10 semi-finalists, based on the desired qualities of a superintendent expressed through the forums and survey. Mean while, the School Committee will be working on aspects like salary parameters for the position.

During December, a screen ing committee of about 10 people representing the schools and community will review applications and ultimately create a list of three to five finalists to present to the School Comm ittee.

The committee will then perform site visits to go and meet candidates during the week of Jan. 28.

"We're scheduled to vote for a new superintendent on Feb. 14. So maybe on Valentine's Day we will get our valentine," Valentini said.

Focus Group Schedule

All of the meetings below are open to the public and will be moderated by Pat Correira of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees.

Today

6 to 8 p.m.

Egremont Fire House

For Egremont residents and members of the SBRSD community.

Tuesday

10:30 a.m. to noon

Sheffield Senior Center

Senior forum and members of the SBRSD community.

Thursday

6 to 8 p.m.

Undermountain Elementary School cafeteria, Sheffield

Forum for town officials and town administrators, and members of the SBRSD community.

Tuesday, Sept. 18

3 to 4 p.m.

Undermountain Elementary School cafeteria, Sheffield

Forum for school councils and school PTOs, and members of the SBRSD community.

Tuesday Sept. 25

4 to 5:15 p.m., and again from 6 to 8 p.m.

Undermountain Elementary School cafeteria, Sheffield

General forum for all interested parties and members of the SBRSD community.

For more information and updates, visit sbrsd.org or call Vito Valentini at (413) 229-3601.