The Groton Board of Education received bids this week from five search firms to help them find the next superintendent, Interim Superintendent John Ramos said today.
In a statement released via email, Ramos said the board met in executive session on March 11, and he encouraged members to begin the search because his contract expires on June 30.
“At no time during the meeting did anyone suggest that the meeting was illegal; that concern has since been raised as an issue and there are differences of opinion in that regard,” he said.
He said the board decided during the March 11 meeting to solicit applications through a request for proposals of search firms, and they were due March 18.
Five firms responded. The board planned to discuss them on Monday, but Ramos said the meeting was canceled because there was not sufficient time allotted for it. He said the search firm is intended to advise the board on how to involve the public in the search.
He said he contacted the Freedom of Information office about how to proceed.
This is what he will happen next:
- The Board will meet as a Committee of the Whole at 7 p.m. Monday at Charles Barnum Elementary to discuss the search firms and possibly choose one. The meeting will be open to the public.
- At 8:30 p.m., the board will hold a special meeting to consider a resolution appointing itself as the initial search committee. The board will then meet with the search firm and discuss adding or removing members so that others are included in the process.
The full text of Ramos’ statement is below:
Based on legal counsel, an executive session was held under PERSONNEL on Monday, March 11, 2013, to allow the BOE to debrief on any residual personnel related issues in regards to the recent arbitrator’s decision. Here, I took the opportunity to encourage the BOE to get the search for a new superintendent underway given the short time frame between now and my contract end date of June 30, 2013. At no time during the meeting did anyone suggest that the meeting was illegal; that concern has since been raised as an issue and there are differences of opinion in that regard.
The substantive matter arising from the meeting was a decision to solicit applications from search firms through an RFP (Request for Proposals), which were due on Monday, 3/18, and to review those proposals at the scheduled Monday night meeting in order to select a firm which would, in turn, advise the BOE on how best to fully engage parents, local officials, and other members of the public to ensure transparency and, at the same time, confidentiality for candidates in order to get the most qualified pool of applicants.
Because of the number of firms that applied (5) and the short time frame allotted for last night’s meeting (1/2 hour), the meeting was cancelled. Also, due to the disagreements about the 3/11 meeting (referenced above), I consulted with the Freedom of Information (FOI) Office on how best to proceed. In addition, Board Chair, Dr. Kirsten Hoyt, decided to go beyond what is required in order to ensure the public that there is nothing underhanded going on. As a result, the following process will be advanced to the full BOE:
- The BOE will meet during its regular public Committee of the Whole meeting on 3/25, have a discussion regarding potential search firms, and possibly select a firm to conduct the search for the next Superintendent of Schools;
- At 8:30 on the same evening, there will be a Special Meeting of the BOE to entertain a resolution to appoint itself (the BOE) as the initial Search Committee pertaining to the next Superintendent of Schools. If adopted, this resolution will allow the BOE to meet with the selected search firm to determine both the best inclusive process to follow and additional stakeholders to ensure a collaborative process. The Search Committee can then add to or drop members as necessary to ensure an inclusive, collaborative process that gives voice to concerned stakeholders.