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Community meetings for LAUSD superintendent search begin today

Mike Szymanski | October 19, 2015

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Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 12.27.51 PMIt all begins tonight, the chance for people around the city to weigh in what they want in the next LA Unified superintendent.

The first of a series of meetings around the districts is scheduled for 6 pm at the Roybal Learning Center Auditorium, 1200 Colton St.

More meetings are scheduled over the next two weeks in each of the six Local Districts across the city, some starting as early as 8:30 a.m. and some as late as 7 p.m.

Just how the gatherings will play out remains uncertain but the search team is preparing for a variety of scenarios.

“It is impossible to determine how many people will turn out at the various meetings, so we will be handling the meetings depending on the number of people,” said Hank Gmitro, the president of Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, the firm in charge of the search.

Anyone can attend any of the meetings, no matter where they are being held. Each will begin with a short introduction and presentation about how the search is being conducted, followed by public speakers. The meetings could be an intimate group of two dozen or a large group of 200, and each situation will have a slightly different process, Gmitro said.

“We want to primarily listen to what is working well and what the desired characteristics are that the public wants in the next superintendent,” he said.

District officials said the meetings will revolve around three questions: What are the strengths and successes of LAUSD that you want to see continued and enhanced by the new leadership? What are the challenges, issues, and problems that the new superintendent will need to address? And what are the characteristic and attributes that the new superintendent must possess to be successful?

The district has spent considerable time soliciting public opinion and promoting the search process, from an online survey available in Chinese, Korean and Armenian as well as English and Spanish to robo-calls this past weekend, detailing the times and places of the meetings.

Flyers and posters detailing the meetings have been distributed, and the district has also released three videos explaining the search process, including a half-hour presentation made at the last school board meeting by Gmitro detailing the process and how the input will be compiled for the school board members.


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