The all-Island school committee has begun its search to replace Vineyard schools superintendent Dr. James H. Weiss, who will retire at the end of this school year.

Mr. Weiss gave his official letter of resignation to the committee at its meeting on Tuesday, although his plans have been widely known since last year. He retires June 30, 2015.

And now the search begins in earnest. On Tuesday the committee discussed the various stages of the process, including developing a timeline with Jim Hardy from the Massachusetts Association of School Committees.

Committee chairman Susan Mercier said a letter will be mailed out to a range of stakeholders to begin the process of selecting an 11-person search committee. She hopes to name the group at a meeting on Oct. 16.

Mr. Hardy recommended the committee begin advertising the job on Oct. 15.; the search will likely run through early March. Semi-finalist interviews are tentatively scheduled for the first week of December with finalist interviews scheduled to take place a month later. Site visits are tentatively planned for the first two weeks of February.

The goal is to have a superintendent appointed by the first week of March, Mr. Hardy said.

“As you can see we are right up against trying to get things done,” he told the committee. He also warned the committee that it won’t be an easy job to fill. Statewide turnover for school superintendents is much larger now than it was 10 years ago, he said. “But given all that it doesn’t mean we can’t find a candidate for you.”

Much of the discussion Tuesday centered around establishing guidelines, and whether or not to pursue local candidates first. A subcommittee formed this summer recommended that school leaders conduct an internal search first. But some committee members felt that could limit the pool of candidates by discouraging outside applicants.

In the end, the committee voted to conduct a single search that will be open to both Island and off-Island candidates.