HARVARD -- The Harvard School Committee nailed down the degree to which it will rely upon services provided by the Massachusetts Association of School Committees to aid in Harvard's search for a new full-time school superintendent. Interim School Supterintendent Joseph Connelly, hired on a critical needs waiver granted by the DESE on a one-year basis for the 2011-2012 school year, remains aboard for the 2012-2013 school year on a .8 FTI part-time basis to bridge until a new hire is made.

Chairman SusanMary Redinger said in speaking with MASC Executive Director Glenn Koocher, it's been agreed the association will serve as the receptacle for applications, give them a priority review and make "tiered recommendations" to aid the local Superintendent Search Committee.

MASC will also provide two training seminars for the local SSC. The first will be a training session on the importance of maintaining confidentiality for the applicants. Only the names of finalists are to be made public. The second will be a session on how to conduct semi-finalist interviews, which are scheduled for late November.

As the Harvard School Committee is a member of MASC, Redinger reported that there is to be no charge to the district for these preliminary services aside from ordinary out of pocket expenses.

The SSC is reviewing the job description before it's posted and will sign off on an "employment brochure" and packet of information including the salary range, district overview, the School Committee's self-evaluation, a summary budget, and town data. That packet is to be presented to the full school committee at its Sept. 17 meeting and then posted on the school district's website.

The SSC also will consider community feedback in hiring the next superintendent. An online survey is planned for the week of Sept. 24-28.

The position itself will be posted on the MASC and the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents websites on Oct. 1. The School Committee will also formally appoint its Superintendent Search Committee at this time.

The 14-member Superintendent Search Committee is to be comprised of two School Committee members Redinger and Keith Cheveralls. Maureen Babcock of the Devens Education Advisory Committee will serve, as well as Conley and central office administrator Mary Zadroga. Both school principals will serve -- The Bromfield School Principal James O'Shea and Hildreth Elementary School Principal Linda Dwight -- as will Special Education Director Pam DeGregorio.

The Harvard Teachers Association will nominate a teacher from each school, and the respective School Councils for HES and TBS will nominate members to serve on the SSC too. There's to be one representative for the Harvard Finance Committee and Town Finance Director Lorraine Leonard.

Between Oct. 1-5, the School Committee is to host focus groups with faculty and staff to ascertain qualities necessary in the next school superintendent. Community-wide survey results are to be analyzed and released Oct. 15 when MASC will conduct its first orientation training for the Superintendent Search Committee.

Applications from potential candidates are to be received by MASC no later than Friday, Nov. 9, at 4 p.m. MASC will then conduct preliminary screening of applications.

Over the week of Nov. 12-16, The Superintendent Search Committee will further review resumes and assess the candidate pool recommended to advance forward by the MASC. MASC interviewing skills training seminar for the Search Committee and School Committee takes place after the Thanksgiving holiday week on Nov. 27.

First round interviews will take place during the week of Dec. 3-7. Candidate interviews will be scheduled in the evenings from 6 to 10 p.m. To remain eligible to vote on the finalists selected, all members of the Superintendent Search Committee must attend all candidate interviews.

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