AURELIA - The Aurella and Alta School Districts' Boards of Education met in Aurelia on Tuesday evening for a joint session focusing primarily on the upcoming search for a shared Superintendent of Schools.
The Alta Board had a brief meeting prior to the joint session to discuss an upcoming project their District has concerning the construction of a parking lot near the Alta Middle School. The Board set the time and date for a Public Hearing regarding this project as 4:45 p.m. on October 4, at the Alta school.
The joint session was called to order by the Board presidents, and the two Boards then discussed the proposed contract for the shared position of Transportation Director. The attorneys for each District had recently reviewed the proposed contract and made a few suggestions and recommendations, which were then reviewed by the administrators of each District and reported to their respective Boards.
After some discussion, the two Boards agreed upon a three-year agreement, 60% of which will be funded by the Alta District and 40% by the Aurelia District. Superintendent Fred Maharry of Alta and Aurelia's Interim Superintendent Jack Johnson will work out the language and details of the contract.
Guest Les Douma of D & M Consulting Services then addressed the two Boards regarding the Superintendent search which his firm has contracted to perform. Douma provided all Board members and Administrators with a booklet which profiled D & M and the services they will provide under the contract, which include Pre-Interview, Interview and Post-Interview services. He then discussed some items which the Boards need to discuss and decide upon before D & M will actively begin pursuing candidates for the position. Among these would be determining which District would hold the Superintendent's contract; How the Districts will split the cost of the contract; what the salary will be; what the travel expenses will be; any other expenses, such as conferences or association dues; who will be serving as the Elementary, Middle and High School Principals, and in which District their office(s) will be located. The Boards are to determine the answers to these questions at their October meetings.
Douma then presented the timeline he intends to follow in the search. The next step will be meeting with Board members and five small District-wide focus groups (Administrators, Support Staff, Teachers, Students, and Community/Parents) to identify desired leadership characteristics and current issues facing the district. Following these meetings, which will be held on October 27, a Leadership Profile will be developed.
With the Profile established and the questions about salary, benefits, etc., the position will then be advertised in the Des Moines Register, Omaha World Herald, Sioux Falls Argus-Leader, and the TeachIowa website for two weeks or more in November. D&M will receive and process all applications through December 10 (give or take a few days), including conducting phone interviews with candidates and conducting extensive reference checks.
D & M will then meet with the Boards in a closed session, tentatively scheduled for Jan. 5, 2011, to present the Boards with applicants and share information gleaned from the interviews and reference checks. D & M will then assist the boards in determining a list of 3-4 candidates who will be invited to the District for an interview.
These interviews with the Board and all five focus groups will take place during the week of Jan. 10-14, 2011, and a week later, D & M will meet with the joint Boards to select a new Superintendent, who will be contacted the same evening. After a candidate accepts the position, D & M will assist the board with finalizing the contract and notify all applicants that the position has been filled.
D & M would then provide mentoring services for one year following the selection of a Superintendent.