After hearing public presentations Tuesday night from four search firms, the school board plans to select a company to oversee its search for a new superintendent.
Four firms that submitted proposals to the district will attend Tuesday's special meeting: Ray and Associates; Leadership Associates; Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates; and McPherson & Jacobson. Each firm will present for 15 to 20 minutes and then take questions from the board, including questions received through a public email address and from the district's teachers and classified employee unions.
After the presentations, there will be time for public comment.
The board aims to select a firm by the end of the meeting and approve a contract at its next regular meeting on Dec. 5. Board members are aiming to hire a permanent replacement for former superintendent Max McGee, who resigned suddenly in September, by July.
The board asked each firm to answer a series of questions in writing before Tuesday or at the meeting, including on the companies' previous superintendent searches, both successful and unsuccessful; their work in California and nationwide; their processes for identifying and recruiting candidates; and what they see as the district's "biggest challenge" in filling the superintendent position.
Leadership Associates conducted the last two superintendent searches in Palo Alto Unified, resulting in the hiring of McGee in 2014 and his predecessor, Kevin Skelly, in 2007.
McPherson & Jacobson, which is based in Nebraska, represents the California School Boards Association in superintendent searches.
The Illinois-based Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, has conducted searches for nearby districts. McGee is now employed there as the firm's new Midwest president, but board members said at a previous meeting they didn't think this constituted a conflict of interest.
Ray and Associates, based in Iowa, does less work in California, but has conducted searches for some Bay Area districts.
Tuesday's meeting will run from 5-10 p.m. at the district office, 25 Churchill Ave. View the full agenda here.