A handful of parents who attended a community forum to select the next Minneapolis superintendent said Wednesday night that the district's next leader should have a proven track record and a deep understanding of the city.

Sheila Crabbe, who works in the district, said that the new head of the district should “have a sense of what’s going on in Minneapolis” and be accessible.

The Minneapolis Board of Education hosted the forum for parents and community members to talk about what they want in the next superintendent, something school officials will be wrestling with over the next several months.

The school district began searching for a new leader after former superintendent Bernadeia Johnson resigned in December. Interim superintendent Michael Goar took over Feb. 1, and wants the job permanently. In that time, he cut more than 100 central office employees – the largest staff reduction in at least two decades – and hired a new chief financial officer.

Attendees at the forum brainstormed issues that a new superintendent should address, such as class sizes and working with the influx of students from different communities. The new leader should make ample school visits and engage educators, teachers and parents, attendees said.

Further characteristics a superintendent should have include a history of success and knowing the city.

Only 15 people attended the forum, which troubled JoAn Campbell-Sudduth, a retired school nurse.

“This room should be full of parents tonight,” she said among rows of empty seats.

That’s something she hopes the new superintendent will encourage, she said – connecting with parents and communities.