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District hopes to find new superintendent by March

By March of next year, the Abbotsford School District would like to have a new superintendent chosen to replace the retiring Sherry Baker at the end of this school year.

That’s the plan according to a draft timeline laid out by the Wisconsin Association of School Boards (WASB), which was hired Monday by the school board to assist with finding a new superintendent. The timeline starts with posting the vacancy as of Thursday, and accepting applications until Jan. 28, 2021.

February will be a busy month for the selection process, with a review of applications by the board on Feb. 4, followed by three rounds of interviews in the ensuing weeks.

The board is projected to select finalists by Feb. 18 and do a final round of interviews Feb. 25 before selecting a new superintendent on March 8, according to the draft timeline.

Baker said this timeline could still be adjusted at some point if needed.

The school board has also agreed to have WASB create a community survey regarding the superintendent’s positions, which will be released in English and Spanish for 10 days. The date for releasing the survey is yet to be decided, At a special meeting on Monday, the board met in closed session with Guy Leavitt and Cheryl Gullicksrud of WASB’s search services, which helps hire superintendents throughout the state. WASB was employed five years ago, when Baker was hired to replace longtime superintendent Reed Welsh, who retired at the end of the 2015-2016 after 39 years in the district.

Groups allowed back in gyms

The board also voted Monday to allow non-district sports groups to start using the schools’ gyms again, within certain restrictions.

Baker said she had placed a temporary moratorium on outside groups using the gyms at the end of November, in response to increasing COVID-19 numbers.

The board will now allow youth and adult sports leagues to use the gyms, as long as the youth programs do not mix kids from different grade levels and do not participate in competitions.