Survey, public meetings planned as Duval School Board sets timeline to hire superintendent

Florida Times-Union | Steve Patterson | August 9, 2023

Duval County school officials are planning a half-dozen meetings this month to collect public input about qualities people want in the school district’s next superintendent.

An online survey to gauge public preferences could be ready early next week and School Board members agreed Wednesday on a timeline scheduling a final decision on the superintendent for Nov. 21.

“We want to hear from everybody,” School Board Chair Kelly Coker emphasized, saying experience is leading school officials to expect thousands of survey responses from groups including parents and students, educators, businesspeople and civic activists.

The survey will be online through Sept. 6. But for people who don’t want to only fill out a form, meetings are being planned between Aug. 22 and Aug. 31.

In a workshop Wednesday, School Board members talked to consultants from the Florida School Boards Association about staffing a mix of exclusively in-person meetings in school media centers as well as hybrid meetings that combine in-person and online audiences for people who’d rather appear remotely.

Where will the meetings be?

The board scheduled these meetings:

Aug. 22

11 a.m.: Baldwin Middle-High School, 291 Mill Street West, Baldwin; hybrid

6 p.m.: Westside High School, 5530 Firestone Road; in-person only

Aug. 24

6 p.m.: Atlantic Coast High School, 9735 R.G. Skinner Parkway; hybrid

Aug. 29

6 p.m.: Raines High School, 3663 Raines Ave.; hybrid

Aug. 31

11 a.m.: Fletcher High School, 700 Seagate Ave., Neptune Beach; hybrid

6 p.m.: Sandalwood High School, 2750 John Promenade Blvd.; in-person only

Details about the meetings, including links to join remotely, will be posted on a school district webpage reserved for information about the superintendent search.

Duval County Schools Superintendent Dana Kriznar
Duval County Schools Superintendent Dana Kriznar Provided By Dana Krizmanr

Meetings usually last about an hour and commonly draw about 25 people, but FSBA consultant John Reichet said the association has had up to 125 people come to gatherings like this, where staffers talk with people at a series of tables to keep discussions moving.

The School Board hired the association in June to find potential replacements for Superintendent Dana Kriznar, a longtime school district administrator who was picked in May to run the district for six months following the departure of former Superintendent Diana Greene.

By next month, School Board members plan to decide questions like what pay-range to offer a prospective hire and what duration to put on the next superintendent’s contract. Greene was hired for $275,000 per year in 2018 and her pay increased to $300,000 last year.

Advertisements for a national search are scheduled to run from Sept. 15 to Oct. 13, with School Board members meeting the following week to talk about which candidates should be considered semifinalists.

The schedule discussed Wednesday called for a Nov. 8 meeting to identify finalists for the job, who would be invited to one-on-one meetings with School Board members before the Nov. 21 vote on the top pick.

The board would approve a contract for the new superintendent in December.

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