SDUSD reaches out to community for principal searches - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 -

SDUSD reaches out to community for principal searches

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) – Loma Portal parents are moving forward from the removal of their child's principal.

“The school is a really good neighborhood school and has a lot of parent involvement,” said Loma Portal Elementary parent Leigh DeForest.

A series of community principal meetings are happening across the San Diego Unified School District at the 13 schools with principal openings including Loma Portal Elementary school.

A spokesperson for the district says 3 vacant principal positions in the district are from retirement and the others are personal decisions or reassignment.

"We are here today to go through a process,” said SDUSD Area Superintendent Julie Martel.

This is a process explained by district leaders as an opportunity to engage parents, teachers and community members in these principal selection community meetings. 

“Our district is very committed to having this community process,” said Moises Aguirre, Executive Director for SDUSD Relations.

During the community meetings parents rattled off the qualities they want to see in a new leader.

“Visible, interacting, approachable,” said a Loma Portal parent.

Some were concerned on the reason why there were there. In June the district removed former Loma Portal Elementary principal Glenda Gerde.

“I've inquired with the district on why they are letting the principal go that has met some pretty extraordinary performances objectives,” said a Loma Portal father.

The area superintendent told the crowd of about three dozen parents and community members it was a personnel issue.

“Let's just stay focused on the positive qualities that we want to see in the new principal,” said Martel.

Parents were in agreement they wanted to move forward and start a clean slate.

“What has happened has happened and moving forward and that we are all focusing on the qualities that the principal need to have,” said DeForest.

The district says these meetings are part of the Vision 2020 education reform plan that develops a system to engage, parents, teachers, students and community members by the year 2020.

“It's way to empower parents and empower community,’ said Aguirre.

The district says this doesn’t mean parents get to dictate who is leading their child’s school.

“Everyone can have a different perspective but at the end of the day we have to come together because it really is focusing on students,” said Aguirre.

The qualities are jotted down and shared with a panel who will be interviewing principals to lead the school.

"Bottom line that children come first,” said Loma Portal parent.

For a list of the remaining community meetings for the principal selection this week and next week click here.

The panel is made up of 8 people, six people from the school; 3 teachers, 2 parents, 1 non-teaching member and a principal from the school’s cluster and the area superintendent.

The interviews are scheduled for August and should be named before the start of the year.

Last year new Superintendent Cindy Marten filled 45 principal positions.

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