The Alabama Association of School Boards is assisting the Bessemer school board in its search for a new superintendent. An important part of that is to gather input from the community and employees about what they would like to see in the next superintendent.

Today, AASB launched an online survey to allow all stakeholders – employees, parents, students, local residents – to share their ideas about the skills the next superintendent will need in order to continue to build on the school system’s success. All survey input is completely anonymous. It will remain open until Sept. 20.

To take the survey, visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Bessemer2019

AASB also will hold a day of input meetings on Thursday, Sept. 19, for anyone who would prefer to give their input in person rather than online. The meetings will be at the schools' central office (1621 5th Avenue North). The schedule is:

10-11 a.m. - for parents and Bessemer residents

11:15-12:15 - for school principals and central office administrators

1-2 p.m.- for public officials

4:15-5:15 p.m. - for teachers, support staff and other system employees

5:30-6:30 p.m. - for parents and Bessemer residents

The survey and the meetings will both ask participants:

What skills and experience should the next superintendent have?What are the challenges facing the system?

The school system is sharing this information on its website and Facebook page. It also is emailing it to employees and will share it with the PTA leadership. But AASB and the Bessemer Board of Education hope to get a broad cross section of the community to participate as well.

School board members will be asked not to attend the input meetings. AASB has found that when board members attend this type of meeting, attendees want to talk about current issues rather than the search. Instead, AASB will present the results of the survey and meetings at a public meeting or work session of the board on Oct. 3.