Robbinsdale School District Lays Out Timeline To Hire New Superintendent
The school board for Robbinsdale Area Schools is laying out a timeline to hire a new superintendent.
Former Robbinsdale Schools Superintendent David Engstrom resigned from the board on Sept. 18. He had been on medical leave before stepping away from the district.
At a lengthy meeting this week, the board discussed plans to hire an outside search firm by mid-November to help identify candidates.
The board expects to gather feedback from parents, district employees and other stakeholders through this winter.
Ultimately, the board is aiming to hire a new superintendent between February and March of 2024.
Robbinsdale Area School Board Member Greta Evans-Becker questioned if the timeline was realistic. It might be more feasible to plan for interviews in April and a selection of a superintendent by May, she said.
Robbinsdale School Board is Ready for Superintendent Search
Some board members said they feel a sense of urgency to move ahead rapidly while there’s not a permanent figure acting as the district’s top executive.
“Actually we’ve been without a permanent superintendent in the seat since July 1,” said Helen Bassett, chair of the Robbinsdale Area School Board. “This is October. I say there is a sense of urgency about trying to shoot for a target sooner than later.”
If it becomes clear the board needs to adjust the timeline, they can do so at a future date, Bassett said.
“Shoot for what we want,” she said. “I’m not forgetting that we have referendum stuff on the table — we do not have a permanent superintendent in the job right now. We do not have a permanent executive director of finance right now. The kinds of things we’re talking about are major things. This is a significantly sized [district,] it’s the ninth largest school district in the state of Minnesota.”
Robbinsdale Area School Board Member John Vento said delays could impact the pool of available candidates.
“There’s actually two districts that are actively recruiting superintendents right now,” he said. ” One’s a small one, one’s a little bit bigger. But when we talk about that extended timeline, just like when we talk about transportation, I worry that we might lose candidates.”