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September 29, 2021

School District of Philadelphia seeks public input as search for new superintendent begins

The Board of Education plans to have William Hite's successor in place by next spring

Education Schools
Philadelphia Schools superintendent Thom Carroll/For PhillyVoice

The School District of Philadelphia is hosting 17 public listening sessions throughout the city as part of its search for a new superintendent. William Hite will leave the district in August after 10 years heading the city's public school system.

The School District of Philadelphia's search to replace Superintendent William Hite will begin with a series of 17 in-person and virtual listening sessions seeking the public's input. 

The sessions will be held in every City Council district beginning Oct. 11 and running through the end of the month.  

MORE: School District of Philadelphia changes schedule to add professional development for teachers

Parents, students and other stakeholders are invited to share the qualities they want to see in the next superintendent. The Board of Education said the input it receives will be used to inform its search for Hite's successor. 

"As we search for the next superintendent, the Board of Education wants to hear from you," board President Joyce Wilkerson said. "We want to know what you want to see in our next superintendent. Your voices are critical to this process, so we hope you will take part in any of the listening sessions taking place in the next few weeks."

Before the process begins, people are encouraged to complete a five-minute survey where they can share their thoughts on the search for a new superintendent.

The formal search for a superintendent will begin in November. Interviews will be conducted through the end of the year. 

The process will be led by both a professional search firm and an 11-member advisory committee. The committee will include representatives from the school district, local charter schools, parents, students and other community stakeholders.

The search will consist of candidates at the local and national levels, the Board of Education said.

Five finalists for the position will be unveiled in January, when town halls will be held to provide the public with opportunities to meet each candidate and ask questions.

A new superintendent could be selected as soon as February, the Board of Education said. A decision on Hite's successor is expected by no later than the spring. 

The new superintendent will take office in August, when Hite steps down after 10 years as the head of the school district. On Monday, Hite announced he would not seek to renew his contract, which expires at the end of the academic year. 

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