The next assistant superintendent of Martha’s Vineyard public schools could be a retired educator or other Island resident, according to the man who held the job for seven years before becoming the school system’s top administrator in July.

Superintendent Richie Smith told the all-Island school committee last week that he has held off on hiring an assistant while the central office undergoes an organizational overhaul this year.

“We want to be informed by [the] reorganization and do this in an intelligent and thoughtful way,” Mr. Smith said at the August 31 committee meeting, which was held online.

Mr. Smith proposed using some of the salary savings from the current vacancy to either hire or contract with a half-time assistant supervisor for this school year.

“There are half a dozen people that come to mind that I think would be very strong in … that position,” he said.

“I’m sure there are other candidates that I’m not aware of that would be fine candidates as well,” Mr. Smith added.

“We have had some retired folks … continue to come back and help us instructionally, so I believe there would be very strong candidates, some of which would be able to move right into the position,” he said.

Mr. Smith described the interim job as likely 20 hours a week, through June 30 at the latest.

Committee members gave the superintendent a green light to recruit an interim or contract assistant for the academic year. His choice would then come to the committee for approval, he said.

“Once we have reorganization, we would open up that advertisement and look for the permanent person,” Mr Smith said.

Among other business August 31, the committee approved the school system’s updated Covid-19 protocol, which no longer includes pool testing or mandatory testing for student athletes and club members who travel off Island for events.

Students with Covid symptoms will still need to be tested, and isolated if positive, under the updated policy.

Despite the nationwide shortage of bus drivers, Vineyard schools have enough to go around — barely, Mr. Smith told the committee.

“We do have the staffing to run our routes in the usual manner, [but] we’re very thin,” he said, thanking the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School for making adjustments in its pick-up schedule to make up for the lack of additional drivers in the afternoon.