Wichita school board members will meet in public Thursday to begin their process of searching for a new superintendent, district officials said.
That marks a change from the previous plan, which was to hold a special closed meeting to discuss steps to replace John Allison, who recently was named superintendent of Olathe schools.
“When we visited with (board president) Sheril (Logan) yesterday, we confirmed that the meeting Thursday would be a brief early conversation in the open session to begin the process,” district spokeswoman Wendy Johnson said in an e-mail.
“We … recognized that the initial statement about executive session was not appropriate for this first conversation.”
Board members will meet at 4 p.m. Thursday in Room 917 of the Alvin E. Morris Administrative Center, 201 N. Water.
The Kansas Open Meetings Act allows school boards to meet privately to discuss specific topics, such as consultations with the board’s attorney, employer-employee negotiations or matters related to non-elected personnel.
The personnel exemption, designed to protect the privacy interests of individuals, applies to talks about specific employees or job candidates but does not include discussions of overall policy or process.
Logan and other board members have said they plan to discuss the qualities they want in a new superintendent and to begin hashing out the process they will use to seek Allison’s replacement.
Among other issues, board members will need to decide a proposed timeline for the search and hiring process, whether they want to conduct a local or nationwide search, whether to use a professional search firm, and how to involve community members in the process.
It’s unclear how long the board will meet Thursday. Logan said board members could discuss the search process again at their regular meeting Monday.