The HISD Board of Trustees received the announcement from Dr. Saavedra on Friday.
Board President Lawrence Marshall says they've asked the search firm to provide a short list of candidates by next month.
"If the search, if it does not get completed at that time then we have other options that we can exercise. We have a very, very strong tier 2 leadership team. And we can go to tier 2 to ask someone to serve in that capacity, so we're in good shape."
Marshall says he doesn't know who the potential candidates are, the board won't get that list until next week.
As for the timeline, Marshall says the board always hoped to have a new superintendent in place by the start of the school year. He says they're looking for someone who is administratively and politically astute.
"When you read our work that has been done by the search firm that clearly jumps at you — that in an urban environment not only must there be an attention to the urgent needs of our students, but also to the political environment."
Saavedra has been HISD's superintendent for five years. His tenure was often characterized by a rocky relationship with board members and the community.
Laurie Johnson. KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.