Schenectady County

Public can weigh in on Schenectady school superintendent choice

What may be the biggest leadership decision of the decade for the Schenectady schools will begin tod

What may be the biggest leadership decision of the decade for the Schenectady schools will begin today at Yates Magnet School.

Today, the Board of Education will hold the first of seven community forums to fi nd out whom they should select as the next school superintendent.

The forum will run from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at the school on Salina Street. Then board members will hurry over to the YMCA on State Street, where they will listen to public comments at a second forum from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Board members want the public’s opinions on what qualities the next superintendent should have, as well as what the new superintendent should know about the school district.

“Given the difficulties we’ve had, I think people would like to have their thoughts considered,” said school board President Cathy Lewis.

The public comments will be used as board members come up with questions to ask the superintendent candidates and as they evaluate the candidates’ answers.

Board members also want public opinions partly to make a change from the past. The current board wants to give the public a voice and be more accountable to residents than past school boards were.

“We would love to have their input,” Lewis said. “We want to get as many opinions, as much input as possible.”

The district is also passing out a survey, which is already available online at the district’s website. It will be distributed in paper form later this month.

Forums will run through Nov. 9, while candidates apply for the position.

On Nov. 30, the school board will make its first cut after reading all of the applications. Interviews will begin Dec. 12. After a second cut, public groups will interview the fi nalists in early January, and the board expects to pick the new superintendent by Jan. 31. After today, the forum schedule is as follows: Thursday, Nov. 3, 3:30 to 5 p.m., Fulton Early Childhood Education Center, 408 Eleanor St.; Thursday, Nov. 3, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Carver Community Center, 700 Craig St.; Tuesday, Nov. 7, 3:30 to 5 p.m., Schenectady High School, 1445 The Plaza; Tuesday, Nov. 7, 7 to 8:30 p.m., Price Chopper Community Room, 1639 Eastern Parkway; Wednesday, Nov. 9, time and place to be announced.

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