We have much to celebrate in Duval County Public Schools (DCPS), including the recent National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) scores that rank our fourth and eighth-grade students at the top in reading and math achievement for urban school districts. As the leader of our public education system, Duval’s next superintendent will play a critical role in continuing DCPS’ success while working relentlessly to improve outcomes for all our students so they receive an excellent education.
Collecting Community Input
The school board recently wrapped up its series of community engagement meetings, facilitated by communications firm Tucker Hall, to gather input to inform the search for our future superintendent. During 12 meetings, the district received feedback from about 200 people and a few themes emerged:
- Possesses a background in education;
- Trustworthy; and
- Willing to learn from others.
Participants voiced a preference for a superintendent with education experience, with business community members expressing the desire for a leader with a business background.
In addition to the feedback collected by the school district, JPEF has been listening to the community in a variety of settings for the past year, hearing from close to 400 students, parents and community members about what we need in our next superintendent. We learned that community members believe the following are characteristics of an excellent superintendent:
- The ability to authentically listen to diverse stakeholders, especially students;
- Have a permanent and constant interaction with school-level personnel and incorporate their perspective in his or her decision-making; and
- Be a transformational leader with a proven record of effectiveness.
In addition, seven priorities for the next superintendent emerged. Importantly, when JPEF’s Annual Public Education’s Perception Poll asked Jacksonville residents what the next superintendent’s highest priority should be, participants overwhelmingly chose “attracting and keeping high-quality teachers.”
What’s Coming Up:
Remaining dates superintendent search (all are open to the public)
- April 23, 9 a.m. - Presentation of all candidates to the school board. Open to public comment. DCPS, 1701 Prudential Dr.
- May 11 and 12, 1 p.m. - Candidate interviews by the board and focus group. Schultz Center, 4019 Boulevard Center Dr.
- May 14, 6 p.m. - Board determines semi-finalists. Open to public comment. DCPS, 1701 Prudential Dr.
- May 16 - 18, 9 a.m. - Board conducts second round of interviews with semi-finalists and District visit.
o May 16 - DCPS, 1701 Prudential Dr.
o May 17 and 18 - Schultz Center, 4019 Boulevard Center Dr.
- May 22, 9 a.m. - Board determines preferred candidate. Open to public comment. DCPS, 1701 Prudential Dr.
- On or before June 1 - Board offers final contract to finalist.
- July 1 or as negotiated - Superintendent assumes responsibility.
How You Can Take Part
For Jacksonville to reach its potential, the entire community must invest in this search because we know that the superintendent will serve as our education system’s leader and play a critical role in shaping the future of our children’s lives and ultimately, our city. As the search moves into the candidate selection phase according to the timeline below, we encourage you to get involved by attending the meetings, especially those that are open to public comment and make your voice heard by:
- Asking the candidates questions that matter to you and your neighborhood.
- Contacting your school board representative to share your opinion.
- Reaching back out to JPEF and let us know what your priorities are for the superintendent so we can elevate them during these meetings as well.
Our Commitment to You
At JPEF, we believe deeply that the public has to be part of important decisions like selecting a new superintendent. As the search progresses, we will continue to provide updates by e-mail, Twitter (@JaxPEF) and Facebook (www.Facebook.com/JaxPEF).