Arlington Superintendent Patrick Murphy

Former Arlington Superintendent Patrick Murphy.

[Updated to include comments from Oct. 3 School Board meeting.]

Oct. 11 is the deadline for firms interested in conducting the search for a new Arlington superintendent of schools to get their bids in to the county school system.

It will be the first search for a superintendent in Arlington since Patrick Murphy was recruited from neighboring Fairfax County to succeed Robert Smith in 2009.

Murphy this June announced he was leaving to take a post in West Virginia; he departed in early September. Cintia Johnson, the assistant superintendent for administrative services, has been tapped as interim superintendent.

The request for proposal from the school system to interested search firms lays out a general timetable for the process. The selected firm will be responsible for recruiting and vetting applicants and directing community involvement in the search process.

While School Board members have been mum on how transparent they plan to be in selecting a new chief for the 27,000-student school system, board chairman Tannia Talento on Oct. 3 said the board planned to hire a firm “as soon as possible” – having one on board by December.

The request for proposal gets into great specificity in what the school system will, and won’t, pay for during the search process. Laundry services, premium hotel movies and bowling are among the items that will be non-reimbursable.

State law requires that a permanent superintendent be in place within 180 days of the departure of the previous one, but does provide school systems with the chance to ask for more time.

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