School Committee Meeting Agenda: February 25, 2021

From the Office of the Executive Secretary to the School Committee

School Committee – Special Meeting                                                                          
February 25, 2021  

A G E N D A 

  1. Public Comment 

  2. School Committee Agenda (Policy Matters/Notifications/Requests for Information):  

#21-74 Motion from the Ad-Hoc Superintendent Search Sub-Committee 

That the School Committee adopt the attached job posting for the Interim Superintendent. 

Cambridge Public Schools Interim Superintendent

The Cambridge Public Schools are committed to rigorous, joyful, and culturally responsive learning as well as the social, emotional, and academic supports each student needs to achieve their goals and post-secondary success as engaged community members. The School Committee is searching for a leader who will continue the District's work to be antiracist, including addressing opportunity gaps and meeting the needs of all students.  The Committee also seeks candidates who will lead us through the continual challenges the District will face due to the COVID 19 pandemic. With dedicated stakeholders throughout the community, including students, families, community partners, educators, and administrators, the Interim Superintendent will have the opportunity to move the needle with wide community collaboration and support.

The Interim Superintendent may be considered as a candidate for the permanent Superintendent role.

CPSD invites qualified candidates to apply for the position of Interim Superintendent from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022. The successful candidate for the position must:

  • Ensure leadership and continuity of education and services provided by Cambridge Public Schools

  • Hold high expectations for all students and staff

  • Possess a track record of excellent communication with stakeholders, including students, families, community members, staff, faculty, administration, and both in-person and remotely

  • Bring a history of successful leadership in advancing anti-racism, racial equity, and education for liberation

  • Possess knowledge and experience of curriculum, instruction, and assessment; school finance and budget development and management; and instructional technology

  • Possess knowledge of collective bargaining and experience reaching collaborative agreements

  • Quickly gain an understanding of the Cambridge instructional models for hybrid and remote learning, and associated safety protocols under evolving COVID-19 conditions

  • Demonstrate willingness to make difficult decisions in the best interests of students

Top candidates also will:

  • Articulate bold vision for strengthening public education in the 21st century

  • Possess a history of closing opportunity and achievement gaps

  • Possess direct experience working with families of scholars with special needs

  • Bring a proven track record of effective collaboration with staff and community partners

  • Demonstrate familiarity and relevant experience with the current short-term and long-term initiatives in Cambridge


  • Master’s degree; advanced degree preferred

  • Massachusetts DESE Superintendent licensure or license eligible

  • Five years’ experience as a Superintendent of Schools and/or relevant experience as an Assistant Superintendent of Schools or similar

The School Committee offers a contract and salary commensurate with qualifications and experience. Applicants should include a letter of interest, résumé, 3 current references, and appropriate MA DESE licensure to Lisa Richardson, Chief Talent Officer. The Screening Committee anticipates it will begin to review applications the week of March 8 and begin interviews the week of March 15. The posting will remain open until the position is filled.

#21-75 Motion from the Ad-Hoc Superintendent Search Sub-Committee

That the School Committee adopt the attached timeline for the Interim Superintendent Search.



By 2/19/21

Draft posting and timeline


Ad-Hoc Subcommittee meeting for feedback on posting and timeline


Special Meeting to adopt Ad-Hoc Subcommittee’s recommendations

By 3/1/21

Posting goes live

By 3/8/21

School Committee vets applications, decides whom to interview (ongoing if needed, first round)

By 3/17

School Committee Members (up to 3) have screening calls with top candidates, checks some references

By 3/19

Organize panelists and design forms for submitting questions as well as scoring candidates (Google form)

  • Which (6-8?) people represent each of the three stakeholder groups? How are they selected?

    • For students, consider asking CRLS Deans to select a representative group inclusive of diversity of student demographics, experiences (e.g. feeder school), interests (e.g. athletics/arts)

    • For families, consider representation across schools from caregivers in SEPAC, ELAC, CFCC, SICs/CCPS

    • For educators, perhaps a Cabinet rep, 2 principals, teachers from each grade span - identified internally

  • Once selected, groups will determine whether they ask up to four questions (to allow for follow-up questions from panelists/the candidate) or ask candidates to prepare/lead a presentation or exercise

By 3/26/21

For candidates in whom we have sufficient interest, organize a convening for them to interact with:

  1. Students

  2. Families

  3. Educators (including staff and administrators)

If we have multiple candidates, we could have breakout rooms for each stakeholder group and the candidates could move between them.

At the end of each session, panelists and participants will be asked to score candidates on a series of criteria. We will also have an open-ended question for broader feedback/impressions.

By 3/30/21

Chief Talent Officer compiles feedback from community convening, School Committee digests feedback, and continues checking references

By 3/31/21

School Committee decides whether to advance candidate(s) or keep posting up, recruit more

By 4/9/21

School Committee interview(s) and decision

By 4/30/21

Interim Search regroups to revise RFP for search firm, formulate Search Committee, and outline process for permanent hire

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