Board of Ed re-issues RFP for superintendent search firm

MAPLEWOOD, NJ — The South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education unanimously agreed at a May 29 special meeting to begin anew the process to select a search firm for a new superintendent of schools. South Orange-Maplewood School District Business Administrator and BOE Secretary Paul Roth has thus issued a revised Request For Proposals for a superintendent search consultant.

“Earlier this spring, Mr. Roth issued an advertisement soliciting superintendent search firm proposals,” BOE President Elizabeth Baker said at the meeting. “Proposals were returned by three and the board has determined that it’s in the best interest of the district to cancel the prior advertisement and to request that Mr. Roth issue a new solicitation with honed and refined specifications, which we expect will yield a more robust set of proposals.”

The board voted 7-0 — BOE members Susie Adamson and Johanna Wright were absent — to reissue the advertisement, which, according to Roth at the meeting, will be advertised for 20 days. All proposals are due by June 21; Roth agreed with Baker at the meeting that the re-issuance will not delay the search for a new superintendent and that no delays are anticipated.

According to Resolution No. 3739, the resolution to issue the new advertisement, the first RFP was issued April 26; six companies requested proposal packets, though only three returned them. According to district spokeswoman Suzanne Turner, the three companies that returned their proposals by the May 17 deadline were: Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, in Schaumburg, Ill.; Ray and Associates Inc., in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and SLF Consulting, in Manassas, Va. All three proposals were rejected.

The revised RFP, according to Turner, has added language to include stakeholder input, an added timeline for providing information and updating scoring criteria to select a search firm.

Turner told the News-Record that Atlantic Research Partners of Chicago, the firm that suggested former Superintendent of Schools John Ramos Sr. to the BOE, was not one of the six firms that requested more information. Ramos served as superintendent for two years before leaving in the summer of 2017; Thomas Ficarra has been acting as superintendent since then.