The San Diego Unified school board will interview five candidates to be its new superintendent behind closed doors this morning. It is ultimately expected to choose three finalists who will be publicly vetted, eschewing the ordinarily closed and secretive process that school systems use to choose their chiefs.

The school board extended the deadline for applicants until tomorrow, hoping for more after its superintendent search committee sent it just five names, instead of seven as expected. Board members said potential candidates have been dissuaded from applying because they believe — some say incorrectly — that Interim Superintendent Bill Kowba has a lock on the job.

If more candidates apply and impress the search committee, the board might do more interviews, said Richard Barrera, president of the school board. The board expects to choose a superintendent in July.

— EMILY ALPERT

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