Proposals for superintendent search due Jan. 31

Jan. 23, 2014 @ 09:40 PM

Search firms wanting to help Durham Public Schools find its next superintendent have until Jan. 31 to submit proposals.

Interim Superintendent Hugh Osteen told the Board of Education Thursday that the administration already invited several search firms to submit proposals, including the five that competed for the job in 2010.

Osteen said additional firms will be asked to submit proposal per the board’s request at a meeting earlier this month.

“There’s a quick turnaround,” Osteen said. “We’re asking for their proposal, their costs, their timeline and a beginning date.”

The board also will accept unsolicited proposals and will post an item on the school district’s website to alert firms about the district’s search for a superintendent.  

Firms receiving email about the search from the school district include Center for Reform of School Systems, Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, Jim Huge & Associates, N.C. School Board Association, Ray & Associates, BWP & Associates, PROACT Search, McPherson & Jacobson, Inc., and Sockwell Partners.

School board Chairwoman Heidi Carter distributed a brochure she had received from the Omaha, Neb.,-based executive search firm of McPherson & Jacobson, which is conducting the superintendent search in Wake County.

In 2010, the board hired the School Board Association, a professional organization that represents all 115 school boards in North Carolina, to help with a national search that delivered Eric Becoats, who at the time was chief administrative officer for Guilford County Schools.
The association was chosen from among four groups seeking the search contract at prices that ranged from $8,500 to $31,000, plus expenses.
The board settled on the association and its less expensive fee of $8,500.

Becoats resigned under pressure last month after a series of high profiled missteps that caused the board majority to lose confidence in his ability to lead the school district.

In other business, the board approved local options for incorporating the district’s two alternative schools -- Lakeview School and Durham Performance Learning Center -- into the NC READY Accountability Model.

The state requires school districts to select three of eight local performance options for alternative schools to use in the accountability model.

For Lakeview, a school for students in grades six through 12 who have a history of chronic misbehavior, the board adopted attendance, student progress and proficiency and parental involvement as the three local options.

School administrators hope to increase attendance rates to 75 percent this school year, which would be a four percentage point bump over the 71 percent attendance rate recorded during the 2012-13 school year.

Officials also have set a goal of increasing overall growth on standardized tests by 3 percent and parental involvement by 35 percent.

The local options chosen for Durham Performance Learning Center, an alternative school for students ages 16 to 20 who are at risk of dropping out of school, were attendance, higher expectation for student achievement and student progress and proficiency.

Administrators set a goal of 60 percent of students being proficient on math 1, biology and English II end-of-course exams, 100 percent of students meeting expected growth and overall achievement rate of 85 percent.