The search for a new leader for the state's largest school district is underway, with the first stage of public input meetings scheduled and a community survey taking a pulse on what the search firm JG Consulting should look for in the high-profile hire.

"My goal is to identify the best superintendent to serve the students of Houston ISD," JG Consulting CEO James Guerra told trustees in February.

The district's board of trustees is hoping to name a sole finalist by the end of May. Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan is stepping down at the end of the school year to take a new position in Springfield, Missouri.

A series of 20 public Zoom and Microsoft Teams meetings are set for March 22-26. The Zoom meetings will allow for live interaction but are limited to the first 50 participants who log in. The Teams sessions will only allow for interaction through the chat function, but with no limit on the number of viewers. The meetings are held at four time slots each day: 10 a.m., noon, 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

The survey asks participants to rank a list of desired attributes, list what they think HISD's top accomplishments are and provide open-ended feedback.

The results of the input sessions as well as the survey will inform the creation of a leadership profile that JG will create to inform their recruiting efforts.

The rest of the search process is expected to follow the following proposed timeline.

  • April 8: Firm presents community findings and job profile to trustees for approval

  • April 9: Application window opens and public recruiting effort begins

  • April 30: Application window closes

  • May 9: Prescreened applicant packages are presented to trustees

  • May 13-14: First round of interviews is held

  • May 20-21: Final round of interviews is held

  • May 24: Sole finalist is named

  • June 17: New superintendent takes office