Search for New Permanent APS Superintendent

Overview

The Arlington School Board is conducting a nationwide search for a new permanent superintendent to replace Dr. Patrick K. Murphy, who retired from APS on September 1, 2019. Our goal is to find a highly-qualified leader who will sustain our positive culture of learning and promote excellence and equity for all students.

APS is approaching the search in phases to fulfill both immediate needs and long-term goals, and we also want to ensure the community has a voice in the process. On July 30, the School Board appointed Cintia Johnson as interim superintendent, effective September 1, 2019, to lead the school division during the upcoming school year as we conduct the national search for a permanent superintendent. 

On December 10, the School Board selected BWP & Associates, an executive search firm specializing in the recruitment of top leadership positions in the education field, to assist with the national search. We intend to engage in a search process that is transparent and inclusive of input from across the community. This page provides a timeline, links to important updates and resources, and ways to engage.

Virginia law requires that the division superintendent shall be appointed by the school board within 180 days after a vacancy occurs and allows for one request for an extension.

 

Timeline

The following timeline will be updated regularly throughout the process as more details and information is available.

July 2019
  • Appointment of Interim Superintendent Cintia Johnson
  • Develop Request for Proposal (RFP) for executive search firms
August 2019
  • Finalize and issue the RFP for an executive search firm (Mid-August)
  • RFP issued on the APS Procurement web page on Monday, August 19
September/October 2019
  • RFP re-issued on the the APS Procurement web page on Monday, September 23
  • Search firm proposals due on Friday, October 11
  • Review search firm proposals
November/December 2019

 

Community Engagement

A community engagement process will be established in coordination with the executive search firm. We anticipate that BWP will meet with our community and gather stakeholder input in a variety of ways to help prioritize desired qualities and develop a profile for the superintendent position. This will guide the search process and result in the successful appointment of a leader who meets the needs of the Arlington school community and, most importantly, the needs of students. The School Board will meet with BWP on December 12 to develop a plan and timeline and will share additional details with the community about how to get involved, when available.

 

Resources

Signed Contract with Executive Search Firm, BWP & Associates (12/10/19)

Request for Proposal for Executive Search Firm to Aid with National Search (Updated) (9/23/19)

Request for Proposal for Executive Search Firm to Aid with National Search (8/19/19)

Interim Superintendent Appointment Announcement (7/30/19)

School Board Chair Update on Search Process (7/1/19)

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the process for selecting a new permanent superintendent?

The School Board is approaching the search in phases to address immediate needs and long-term priorities. Our goal is to find a highly-qualified leader who will sustain our positive culture of learning and promote excellence and equity for all students.

The first phase was to identify an interim leader to provide stability and continuity in the new school year as we execute the search for a permanent superintendent. Cintia Johnson was named interim superintendent on July 30. On December 10, the School Board selected an executive search firm, BWP & Associates, to assist with the search process, which will take several months and include input from staff, families and the community.

Why was the RFP for an executive search firm been reissued?

We issued the RFP to hire a search firm on August 19, with proposals due on September 9, and we received three proposals. Unfortunately, all three proposals were considered non-responsive. Therefore, we reissued the RFP on Monday, September 23. We expect to be reviewing proposals and interviewing firms in October and November and anticipate selecting a search firm some time in December.

How will you solicit feedback from the community and how can I get involved?

The School Board and APS staff are committed to an open, inclusive process that includes input from staff, students, parents and the community. The process for community engagement will be determined in partnership with the executive search firm. We anticipate that the search firm will meet with our community and gather stakeholder input in a variety of ways to help prioritize desired qualities and develop a profile for the superintendent position. This will guide the search process and result in the successful appointment of a leader who meets the needs of the Arlington school community and, most importantly, the needs of students. The School Board will meet with BWP on December 12 to develop a plan and timeline and will share additional details with the community about how to get involved, when available.

When do you expect to have a new permanent superintendent in place? 

Virginia law requires that the division superintendent shall be appointed by the school board within 180 days after a vacancy occurs and allows for one request for an extension. We are moving forward with this timeline in mind and do plan to file for an extension to allow the time necessary to find a highly qualified leader whose experience, values and background meets the needs of our school community.

 

Comments or questions? Please write to engage@apsva.us

 

Please be aware that correspondence through email is subject to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This means that your correspondence may be made public if (1) it deals with APS business, and (2) someone requests it – even if you have asked that your message be kept confidential. Only a few topics are exempt from the Virginia disclosure requirements such as communications about identifiable students and personnel information about individual employees.