ACS superintendent community input survey available now

Press release from Asheville City Board of Education:

Dear ACS Community,

We have published our Community Input Survey as part of our comprehensive effort to engage the community in the search for the next Superintendent.

The survey is available online by clicking here. If you have five to seven minutes, please take the survey!

All online survey responses are due no later than Sunday, July 28.

Anyone with questions about how to complete the survey may call (828) 350-6120 between 7:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M., Mondays through Thursdays for assistance.

Our Asheville City Schools staff will have the opportunity to answer every question in the Community Survey, plus additional questions just for them. A Staff Input Survey will be distributed later this week.

For the first time, ACS is developing age-appropriate input surveys for students as part of the Superintendent search. We intend to have those ready when our students return to school in August. Just like the input collected from adults, the results of those student input surveys will be made public and also shared with candidates who apply to be our next Superintendent.

In addition to surveys, ACS will also hold community input forums. It will be a busy summer with lots of opportunities for the school family and the public to be involved.  For additional information about the timeline for the Superintendent search, visit our 2019 Superintendent Search webpage.

In determining how to go about this search for our next Superintendent, we looked at what process appears to have worked recently in own community. Our district is located within the City of Asheville and within Buncombe County. With few exceptions, Asheville City Schools students and their families are residents of Asheville, residents of Buncombe County, or both. Many of our staff and their families are residents of Asheville and Buncombe County, with exceptions due to economic and cultural barriers. Therefore we looked at what’s been going on with chief-executive-level public positions right here in Asheville and Buncombe County.

The City of Asheville recently faced the need to replace its City Manager after his tenure abruptly ended. There was a lot of turmoil leading up to and surrounding that situation. Buncombe County recently faced the need to replace its County Manager, also abruptly, and there was also a lot of turmoil. The City Manager position, County Manager position, and Schools Superintendent position have a lot in common. Each is the chief executive of its organization, and our Superintendent is the chief executive of our schools. Each organization is part of local government, and our schools are part of local government.

In these two high-profile situations, the searches to replace a City Manager and a County Manager, both organizations opted for community engagement through surveys and forums. In both cases, the organizations opted for a confidential process for narrowing the candidates down to the person who was offered the job. The surveys and forums were presented as being for the purpose of engaging the public and collecting information from the public. That information was to be used to inform the decision-makers about what the public wanted in the new hire, according to the process.

Both the City Manager position and the County Manager position were filled within the timeframe suggested when the processes were announced. Based on a review of media coverage, the community seems to be pleased with the outcomes of the search processes.

We are following the same basic process used by both the City and the County to fill their chief-executive-level positions because our community appears to have responded well to this process and because we hope for the same positive outcome.

People got excited about the hiring process for a new City Manager and new County Manager. We hope to generate as much or more interest in our Superintendent search. We are especially counting on our Cougar families to participate. We need you.

Printed copies of the survey are available beginning today. Surveys are available at all schools and at central office. Surveys can be returned to the same locations or dropped off at the central office between 7:00 AM  to 5:00 PM. Monday through Thursday. Hard copies of surveys can be delivered to central office no later than Monday, July 29.

Cougar Pride!
Shaunda Sandford, Chair of the Asheville City Board of Education

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