Dayton Public Schools continues search for superintendent

Next update will be at the Dec. 12 meeting

The Alma Advisory Group, an education consulting firm retained to hire the next Dayton Public Schools superintendent, presented a few findings from the surveys and discussions they’d done with the public on Monday night in a special meeting.

Monica Santana Rosen, founder and principal of the Alma Group, said so far, the group has done in-person meetings and surveys of the public for the search. She said the group has asked what people love about DPS and want to preserve, what do they want to see changed, what skills the superintendent needs and what the Alma Group can do to demonstrate the feedback was useful.

So far, 17 meetings have been held with 649 participants, Rosen said. In addition, 68 students provided feedback through focus group and survey participation and 436 people responded to the district’s survey. The largest groups providing feedback in the survey were parents and caregivers and teachers.

The group will present on Tuesday, Dec. 12, at a regularly scheduled board meeting, Rosen said.

“That will share a complete summary and synthesis of what we’ve heard from the community, both from within these conversations but also through the community survey itself,” Rosen said.

Dayton Public Schools board president Chrisondra Goodwine said she wanted people to be aware of what was happening in the search as the last update was more than a month ago, with the community feedback sessions.

She said she wanted to make sure people knew their feedback was taken during those meetings and used in the process.

Goodwine said she has heard a mix of opinions from the public so far. Some people feel the interim superintendent, David Lawrence, is the correct person for the job, while others want to look elsewhere. She said the most consistent feedback has been that the district needs to undergo change, especially academic change.

“They want to see action,” she said. “They want to see someone that leads and inspires individuals to follow.”

She invited those who wanted to give feedback but hadn’t gotten the chance to reach out to the board.

“This organization is really ran by community input,” Goodwine said. “It’s also sometimes ran by lack of community input. So whichever way you go, you got to have a seat at the table.”

The Alma Group has said they plan to begin vetting people during this month and will begin interviews in January, with a finalist announced in March. DPS is paying the Alma Group $65,000 plus expenses, with a not to exceed mark of $75,000.

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