MAPLEWOOD, NJ – The SOMA School District Board of Education and consulting firm hired to find a new Superintendent will be hosting a focus group session for parents of children with special needs on Thursday, July 10, at 8 p.m. at 525 Academy Street.  This is one in a series of focus groups that will be held in the effort.  All parents and guardians of district students with special needs are invited to attend.

“The Board of Education is committed to including feedback from all stakeholders as we search for a new superintendent,” said Board President Beth Daugherty.  “We have hired the firm Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates to help the Board with the process, and charged them with seeking input from staff, parents, students, and the general community on the highest priority qualifications of a Superintendent for our district.”

The search firm has held focus groups with administrators and board members already for input on the next superintendent.   A focus group of PTA and HSA presidents will also take place on Thursday.  Additional focus groups are being scheduled for this summer and fall with teachers, administrators, students, community groups, and other stakeholders.  

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On Saturday, September 13, the group has scheduled a full day of focus groups and open forums for anyone who would like to provide feedback in person.  Evening sessions will also be held in September in order to reach more interested parties.

In addition, the Board has invited all stakeholders to “share thoughts about the highest priority characteristics and skills” in an online survey

“On behalf of the Board of Education, thank you for taking the time to respond.  The Board members, along with Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, appreciate your willingness to participate and look forward to learning your perspective,” Daugherty said.

All the feedback compiled through the survey, focus groups, and community forum will be combined into a profile which will be used as a tool in screening potential candidates.

SEPAC/Special Education PTO Focus Group: Thursday, July 10, 8-9 p.m. at the District Meeting Room, 525 Academy Street, Maplewood.