Parents in the Millard Public Schools will have a chance to weigh in on the selection of a new superintendent.
A consultant hired to lead the search will solicit community opinions with an online survey.
Residents will be able to indicate the traits they would like to see in the person who will replace retiring superintendent Keith Lutz.
The survey will also ask residents to indicate the district's strengths and weaknesses.
Eva Prokop, chief operating officer of PROACT Search of Chicago, said she hopes to post the survey online this week.
The district is paying PROACT Search $22,500 to recruit candidates to replace Lutz, 66, who announced in October he would retire June 30. He has been with the state's third largest district for 25 years, 17 of them as superintendent.
Opinions from the survey will help school board members develop a profile that the search firm will use in recruiting. Prokop said she will also interview board members and gather opinions of community groups, teachers and district administrators.
Prokop said the timing of the search is good because during the holiday season, other superintendents typically ponder whether to renew their current contracts.
Applications will be accepted until mid-March. Then Prokop will identify a diverse group of 10 to 12 candidates, from young go-getters to highly experienced superintendents, for board consideration.
Once the board narrows that field to four or fewer finalists, their names, applications and resumes will be made public.
Board members expect to select the new superintendent in early to mid-spring, she said.
At a meeting Monday night, several board members said they hoped the consultant would solicit the opinions of various segments of the community, including the Chamber of Commerce, parent-teacher organizations, teachers, district administrators and the clergy.
Board president Mike Pate said the community might have insights that board members don't have.
Board members have yet to decide what salary range to offer. Prokop said it is important to provide an expected base salary. The final salary would be negotiated based on a candidate's qualifications, she said.
Pate said the salary should be attractive but reasonable.
“We have to be competitive, but we can't be out of the ballpark,” he said.