DeKALB – The DeKalb District 428 school board on Tuesday voted unanimously on a search firm to head up the process of finding a replacement for superintendent Jamie Craven.
Craven is leaving at the end of June, with an interim superintendent expected to be named by the middle of the month.
Ray and Associates was voted as the search firm for a permanent replacement by a 7-0 margin.
"Where they place their superintendents, they tend to stay for a period of 7 to 10 years is their average," board member Valerie Pena-Hernandez said. "I like that. I like that they focus on diversity in terms of everything. Race, gender, everything. Another thing I liked was this is all they do. They exclusively focus on this."
The board also voted on some changes to the school handbook. Some of the changes included attendance tweaks, but one at the high school also changed some language around the wording of the dress code.
"It was felt by the high school discipline committee that it unfairly targeted our female students," high school principal James Horne said. "Particularly when it used phrases like immodest or distracting. We're removing that language and keeping 'appropriate cover' and things that are a little more concrete."
The meeting started with school board president Sarah Moses addressing the events around the Black Lives Matter protests locally and across the country motivated by the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police officers in the past couple weeks.
"I realize the immense impact of these events particularly on our African American students and I will continue to collaborate with the board, district leadership and our community to seek resources, support and connection with other community organizations to create a safe and compassionate learning environment," Moses said. "I can assure you that we are here to support all of our students and families in this difficult season."