SPRINGFIELD, NJ - With the search for the soon-to-be new Springfield superintendent getting underway, the Springfield Board of Education (BOE) has taken the first major step in the process by hiring R-Pat Solutions LLC to conduct the search to fill the role.

At Monday's meeting, two representatives from R-Pat Solutions were in front of the board, laying out their plan for gathering feedback. Dr. Robert Rosado and Dr. James Patterson spoke about what their company was going to do to gather feedback.

The solution is two-fold, and involves a survey which is live now, and a series of meetings on Nov. 19. The survey to glean information from residents about the process can be found at this web address: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Springfield-Supt-Search

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As for the meetings on the 19th, there will be four held throughout the course of the day in the Halsey Hall Auditorium. Parents will have two opportunities to come speak in person. The first will be 12:30 p.m.

Following the first parent session, staff will have a chance to give their input at 3:45 p.m., while district administrators will be able to provide feedback at 4:15 p.m. It then cycles back around to the parents again at 7:00 p.m.

As noted by board president Scott Silverstein, the board members will not be attending any of the love sessions on the 19th, so as not to influence the answers from the audience.

Patterson spoke with TAPinto after the meeting, and went into more detail on the information sessions and the survey.

"It's important for the community to di it because the board is going to use that information when they're screening candidates." Patterson said. "They use it to frame their questions."

Patterson added, "They may ask a lot of their questions about questions that are in the public—suppose there's a concern about budget or a concern about the arts—then those can be questions turned into candidates and see what kind of solutions that are out there."

For BOE President Scott Silverstein, who also spoke to TAPinto after the meeting, the board did their due diligence in selecting R-Pat out of a selection of search firms to lead the process in selecting "a roster of candidates that meet our qualifications."

"[It's] very important," Silverstein said. "And that's one of the reasons we selected them. Having both the online component, which people can access anywhere that's convenient at any time that's convenient for them to do so, but also having the in-person sessions and the fact that they're having separate sessions for staff members, for administrators and two different sessions for community members."

Silverstein added, "We want to make sure we hear from as many voices as possible. Ultimately it's going to be up to the nine members of the board to select the right person, but we're hopeful that by seeking input from the community in terms of the attributes that are broadly sought in the community, that'll help us narrow it down [and] identify the right candidates."