FORT WORTH -- Key members of the community will offer opinions on what they want in Fort Worth's next schools superintendent during an "invitation only" focus group Monday.
Consultants from the Houston law firm Thompson & Horton will meet with people from various parts of the district, including former City Council members, parents, school principals, community activists, pastors and Texas Christian University Chancellor Victor Boschini.
The meeting is closed to the public, and school board members have been asked not to attend.
A public hearing is scheduled this month.
"This is to engage the community and give opinion leaders and the community the chance to reflect on the school district -- its strengths and challenges -- and get into what they desire in personal and professional characteristics of the next superintendent," said consultant Mike Moses, a former Dallas superintendent who is working with the law firm on the search.
"We want to give these stakeholders at the meeting a chance to listen to their input as freely as possible," Moses said.
After the focus group meeting, the school board will meet at 6 p.m. to hear a wrap-up from the law firm.
Board President Ray Dickerson said input from the community is vital in picking a superintendent for the 80,000-student district.
"We have an opportunity to hear thoughts and opinions from a wide range," Dickerson said. "The worst trap any of us can fall into is to think we know everything. Looking forward, I think we as a board ought to pay particular attention."
The district is looking for a new superintendent after Melody Johnson resigned this spring.
Longtime Fort Worth educator Walter Dansby is interim superintendent, and some trustees have publicly called for him to get the permanent job.
Eva-Marie Ayala, 817-390-7700