Board of Education Update – September 6, 2018 Focus on Achievement

Schedule Extended in Search for New Superintendent

At the September 6, 2018 the Board of Education announced it will extend the timeline in the district’s search for a new superintendent, including the deadline to receive applications and the schedule of public meetings to gather input from the community.

Timeline Extended

The board announced that it plans to extend the national search process for a new district superintendent by a little more than a month. The board now plans to announce finalist(s) on Nov. 26 and formally choose a final candidate Dec. 10. Along with this change, the board announced that its preferred due date for applications is Oct. 15.

The board emphasized that the planned community engagement previously announced will still follow the same three-phase process:

  • Phase 1 will happen through Oct. 15 and culminate with the preferred application due date.
  • Phase 2 will occur between Oct. 15 and Nov. 26, during which time, candidate interviews will take place.
  • Phase 3 follows with two milestone dates: on Nov. 26, finalist(s) will be announced and on Dec. 10, the candidate will be announced.

Board Member Jennifer Bacon said that the board made this decision based on the desire to conduct as much community engagement and get as much input as possible: “We are extending the timeline by a little over a month to recover primarily some of the time it’s taken us to plan and to be able to provide the space and capacity to our staff and the teams supporting us with the engagement effort so they can continue to further and deeply engage.”

Community Engagement Facilitation

The first two large community meetings, held earlier this week, enjoyed more than 150 attendees engaged in meaningful discussion. “In order to have both the breadth and depth that our community deserves in these meetings, we need to be really intentional about the kind of data we are collecting, both qualitative and quantitative,” said Board Member Angela Cobian.

The board announced it will hire an external facilitator, Dimension Strategies, to support large community meetings. The firm is a locally-owned, minority- and women-owned business.

The board then opened a special public comment session dedicated specifically to taking input on the superintendent search.

For more information and updates on the search, visit

Trauma-informed District Work Moves Forward

One year ago, the board asked the district to design and begin implementing a comprehensive strategy designed to better address the social-emotional and mental health needs of our students. The district’s trauma-informed approach was explained and an update on progress made provided to the board.

The presentation included background on what it means to be a trauma-informed district, next steps in implementation, information on a grant from the Campbell Foundation to support the work, and additional curricular efforts to support trauma-informed practices. A pre-reading the board received also included a draft strategic plan, as well as significant resources for educators on bully and suicide prevention.

Last school year, DPS trained teachers in more than 60 schools on trauma-informed practices, including how to recognize trauma, training in the use of restorative practices and de-escalation strategies.

Watch this video about supporting students in the midst of trauma.