Monica Santana Rosen, president of Alma Advisory Group welcomes parents and community members to the session.
Monica Santana Rosen, president of Alma Advisory Group welcomes parents and community members to a community input session about the selection of a new CMSD CEO. Credit: Paul Rochford / Signal Cleveland

After about a month of collecting feedback from parents and community members, the school board said it is ready to build the job profile for the next CEO of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD).

At Tuesday evening’s school board meeting, Alma Advisory Group, the search firm the board hired in November, presented a summary of the feedback it received from more than 5,000 Clevelanders who participated in community meetings, interviews, focus groups and surveys. 

Alma said 3,700 survey responses represented the diversity of the CMSD community both racially and geographically.

CMSD enrollment for the current school year is just over 36,000 students.

In surveys and community meetings, Alma Advisory Group asked residents six guiding questions. For Tuesday’s presentation, they distilled responses into three main categories.

CMSD questions asked the following questions
A slide from Alma Advisory Group’s presentation to the school board shows the questions they asked community members at the public input meetings.

Programs parents and residents want CMSD to keep and develop

Where they would like to see improvement

The top-ranked areas respondents highlighted were: 

  • Safety and security for students and teachers
  • Support for the health and well-being of students and staff
  • Increased academic rigor so that graduates are competitive in college and careers.

Other concerns included:

  • Improved teacher and staff retention
  • Expanding career and technical education opportunities 

Qualities they want to see in a new CEO

  • An attentive, empathetic, experienced leader who cares deeply about Cleveland  
  • Someone who holds themselves and others accountable to high expectations
  • Culturally aware and politically savvy enough to galvanize the community 
  • Fully committed to fostering relationships across lines of difference
  • Collaborating with others in ways that are impactful and sustainable
  • Capable of focusing on the safety of students and staff while creating a more comprehensive support system for mental health and physical well-being

Slides Alma Advisory Group presented to the board
You can watch Alma’s full presentation to the school board here.

Next steps 

The board will use this feedback to write the CEO job profile, which the search firm will then use to recruit candidates.

Candidate interviews are expected to begin in March, finalists will be selected by April, and the new CEO should be appointed by late April or early May.

Community feedback and questions about the process are still welcome via email: 

K-12 Education Reporter (he/him)
Paul, a former City Year Cleveland AmeriCorps member based in a charter school, covered K-12 education for Signal Cleveland until August, 2023. Paul joined us from Cleveland Documenters, where he focused on creating infographics and civic tech to make public information more accessible. Paul is also a musician, photographer and graphic designer.