LIVINGSTON, NJ - The Livingston Board of Education held a meeting on Monday, Jan. 28 to further discusses the search for a new superintendent and projected upcoming changes in the school system.

The Leadership Profile report, presented by Jamie Savedoff of Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, released important findings from the survey and interviews they have been conducting in search of a new superintendent. The survey, which was available on the school districts webpage, allowed the community to give input in
the search for a new superintendent.

They have conducted interviews with 99 board-selected constituents and there were 578 responses to the online survey, a good number for a district the size of Livingston according to Savedoff.

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“It was acknowledged that the district has come a long way in the past 5-7 years in technology, and people would like to see it continue,” Savedoff said. “They want to see more computing in the schools.”

Savedoff and the board ensured that they are looking both inside and outside of existing district staff in this search. They also addressed the $167,500 salary cap for the new superintendent and some potential incentives the superintendent would receive if certain goals were met or surpassed. He also brought to light many of the challenges that the district would be facing, such as a growing school district, both in numbers and diversity. Savedoff mentioned that one of the goals of the superintendent search is to make sure the person in that position is able to make the best decisions for all students.

“The community is changing and it is going to become more difficult to ensure that all students are being served by the school district,” he said. “It’s a hard position to fill and I think the person is going to have big shoes to
fill as well,” he said.

According to the Board, the draft report will be made public after the board meets with the company to review it. Once it is cleaned up, it will be available for public viewing as well. By April 8, the committee will know whether they will be hiring an interim superintendent based on interviews and general statewide demand for superintendents, according to the Board.

Members of the audience brought up special education. Interests in whether special education students would return to Livingston were addressed. It was suggested that past referendums be used as tools to help the future superintendent to bring students back to Livingston. Assistant superintendent Lawrence Russell assured the public that future special education programming would look to incorporate any student whose parents wished to have him/her at Livingston Public Schools and would also be based on high needs from the youngest students and older.

“There really is no absolute about who will come back,” Russell said.

In light of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, the public inquired about security in the school district. The safety committee will meet on Feb. 6 to discuss plans to ensure the district’s safety. This meeting will be open to the public.