The search for the Superintendent of Schools is usually not a silent process in New Jersey

Parents of children who attend Paterson Public School have until Monday to complete an online survey and voice their opinions on how the district is run today, and share the qualities they would like the next head of the district owns.

An online community forum on Thursday night touched on the same topic.

“We go the extra mile to make sure everyone has a voice or a seat at the table,” said Nakima Redmon, vice chair of the board of education and chair of the superintendent’s search committee, New Jersey. 101.5.

This is the first time in decades that the Paterson Board of Ed has been able to make this decision without state input. Current district superintendent Eileen Shafer plans to retire at the end of the 2022-23 school year, and whoever is chosen as the next superintendent can follow Shafer to get a better sense of the district and its budget process. . .

“During COVID, we have had learning losses in the school district, so we want to make sure our students have someone who will push them to think outside the box,” Redmon added.

Collecting feedback from parents and other stakeholders, experts say, is considered best practice in New Jersey. Districts partner with outside groups or companies to conduct surveys and/or town hall meetings, to ensure a transparent decision-making process.

“At the worst of the pandemic, most school districts used to use online surveys exclusively, but now that gathering restrictions have eased, it is also possible to offer parents, community members and other groups the opportunity to meet in person with a facilitator to discuss what the community wants in its next superintendent,” a spokesperson said. with the New Jersey School Boards Association.

The Paterson Board of Ed survey is conducted by Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, an Illinois-based executive search firm. The board retained the company on June 23; the company also hosted Thursday’s community forum.

Parents and all ratepayers in districts choosing a superintendent would be wise to watch the decision-making process closely, “to make sure politicians and unions aren’t making behind-the-scenes deals that could cause the job goes to someone who might not be the most qualified,” according to Kyle Rosenkrans, president of New Jersey Children’s Foundation.

According to, the Monroe Township School Board recently revealed that its acting superintendent will get the job on a permanent basis, despite backlash from residents who cited a lack of transparency and fairness during the selection process. The school board president has repeatedly attacked these claims as false.

Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]

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