Ypsilanti-Willow Run board hires firm for 'quick' superintendent search, pushes forward with planning
There was no rest for the weary in Ypsilanti this holiday break.
Though students enjoyed a reprieve from their studies, the Ypsilanti-Willow Run consolidated school board continued to meet, plan and push forward with designing the new district.
The cost of MLI’s services is not to exceed $12,000.
A subcommittee of the board — comprised of trustees Don Garrett, Celeste Hawkins and Anthony VanDerworp — was designated to lead the superintendent search.
It researched both firms and made a recommendation to the full board. The trustees said the winning factors were MLI’s emphasis on student and community input, its employees are former superintendents and it takes responsibility if the search selection doesn’t work out.
There was a negligible cost difference between the two firms.
MLI’s typical superintendent search lasts between 10 and 14 weeks. But Garrett said the group’s president and chief executive officer is aware of the consolidated district’s unique situation and is willing to work with the board on a shortened time frame.
“Our first meeting with them is next week, so we will have more details then about the length (of the search),” Garrett said. “We probably won’t shorten the posting time. But we’re shooting for no later than February (to have someone selected).
“So it’s going to be quick, very rigorous and very pressing, like a lot of things we are having to do because of the amount of days we have left before the new district opens.”
The consolidated school board also authorized the Washtenaw Intermediate School District to conduct a program/curriculum audit of both Ypsilanti and Willow Run schools. The purpose of the audit is to tally what instructional content and delivery methodology already exists in both districts, so programmatic decisions for the new district can be made.
Additionally, the audit will provide guidance for when the board makes staffing and professional development decisions.
The board discussed presenting the results of the curriculum audit at a public meeting.
The superintendents of Ypsilanti, Willow Run and the WISD have been directed to establish formal and consistent communication protocols for updating the community, staff, students and parents on the decisions being made and the planning that is taking place for the new district.
The three leaders were given a timeline of mid-January to have these protocols developed for the board’s input and review.
The board also recently approved creating the following collaborative working groups that would include community and district representation:
- District naming committee
- Athletics committee
- Early childhood task force
- High quality teachers and teaching
- Effective leadership
- School culture and climate
- College credit and credentials
The board approved creating the following board subcommittees:
- Board policies
- Labor relations
- Compensation and benefits
- Budget and finance
The next regular meeting of the Ypsilanti-Willow Run consolidated school board starts at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Willow Run High School, 235 Spencer Lane.
The board will handle Willow Run business first, followed by Ypsilanti business and then business for the new joint district.