BELOIT — The School District of Beloit could have a permanent superintendent found by the end of February.

The Board of Education voted unanimously at a Tuesday special meeting to rescind a April 29 motion to resume the search for a permanent superintendent in January of 2021, as board members decided they wanted to get started on the search sooner.

Board of Education President Kyle Larsen said waiting until January would have put the district behind in its efforts to find a permanent superintendent, and fellow board members agreed.

Dan Keyser is the current interim superintendent for the 2020-2021 school year, and has said in earlier interviews that he is interested in the permanent position.

Wisconsin Association of School Boards (WASB) consultant Dan Nerad shared the timeline and process of the search with the board.

The board discussed all phases of the search including focus groups, vacancy posting, interviews, a potential site visit and more.

Nerad noted all aspects of the search can be virtually including focus groups.

The board and Nerad also discussed a Superintendent Search Services Community Survey where the public would select and prioritize the personal characteristics, leadership styles, specialized skills and expertise the community believes are the most important for the district’s new superintendent.

WASB has five potential focus groups which are incorporated into the search proposal. Each meeting would be about 40 minutes long.

Nerad’s draft timeline is as follows: planning meeting, Oct. 13; vacancy notice posted, Oct. 21; focus groups, Nov. 11 and 12; community survey, to-be-determined; brochure and essay questions, Nov. 25; application deadline, Dec. 23; review of applications/choose interviewees; Jan. 6; first round of interviews and selection of finalists, Jan. 13 and 14; background and reference checks, Jan. 21; final round of interviews, Jan. 28; site visit (if desired), to-be-determined; final selection, Feb. 4; negotiate contract, Feb. 11; announce new superintendent/district administrator, Feb. 18; and position start date, to-be-determined.

Board Vice President Megan Miller asked the board if the hiring date should coincide with the strategic planning process.

Larsen said he would prefer the superintendent search take priority. Amiee Leavy said she would be comfortable focusing on the district’s short-term goals first, knowing they will roll over into the superintendent search and the other board members agreed.

Leavy also suggested the board do unconscious bias training. Nerad said such training would have to be prior to interviews, and would be ideal between now and the first week in December.