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Effective Superintendent-School Board Practices

Effective Superintendent-School Board Practices
Strategies for Developing and Maintaining Good Relationships With Your Board

Other Titles in:
Leadership | Local Authorities

November 2006 | 152 pages | Corwin
'The authors fill a gap in the literature by providing a practical, experience-based look at how superintendents should approach the most important relationship in their professional lives. Working effectively with school boards is what it is all about, and this book shows you how' - Paul D. Houston, Executive Director, American Association of School Administrators

'This book provides practical insights and useful ideas to help district leaders who are serious about keeping the educational interest of children first among their priorities' - Pedro A. Noguera, Professor, New York University

Effective Superintendent-School Board Practices helps governors and school management team members develop an effective team that prioritizes quality teaching and learning.

Designed for practising and aspiring governors and school management team members, this exceptional book relates the everyday experiences and challenges faced by this important team. Combining 84 years of service in urban, rural, and suburban school districts, the authors offer:

• Real-life vignettes that highlight problems, successes, key points, and useful practices

• Indispensable information on building relationships, creating a team, managing conflict, and staying focused on priorities

• Reflective practice questions and self-assessments throughout

This rich resource offers knowledge, skills, and strategies to teach and inspire current and future leaders, based on the experiences of practitioners who have learned what works and what doesn't, leaving valuable time to focus on student achievement.

About the Authors
1. Building Relationships
The First Step

Understanding Each Board Member?s Interests and Goals

Adapting Communication Methods

Another Election, Another Challenge

Political Fine-Tuning

The Hidden Job Description

The Board Member Who Wants to Be Governor

Honoring Past Board Member Accomplishments

Relationship Building Never Ends

Chapter Summary

2. Creating a Team
Board-Superintendent Protocols

Use Planned Priorities as a Key Communication Strategy

Board Communicator

May I Ask That?

Preparing the Board for an Upcoming, Difficult Decision

When Is a Civility Policy Necessary?

Board Meeting Follow-Up

When Board Members Know Their Roles

A Facilitated Superintendent Evaluation Process

Board Self-Evaluation

Recognize Board Member Accomplishments

Chapter Summary

3. Staying Focused
Keeping the Mission, Philosophy, and Priorities in the Forefront

Taking the Plan to Others

Updating Your Strategic Plan

Monitoring Progress of District Goal Attainment

Working for Board Consensus

Maintaining Board Policies

Budget as a Decision-Making Tool

Chapter Summary

4. Managing Conflict
Who Is Really in Charge?

No Surprises

You Heard What at the Party?

All Internal Communication Is Not Internal

Responding to a Violation of Board Protocol

The Rebel Board Member

Chapter Summary

5. Moving On and Succession Planning
When to Leave

Learning About a New District

Knowing When to Retire

Saying Good-Bye

Making the Transition

Selecting a New Superintendent

Working as an Interim Superintendent

Chapter Summary

Resource A: Board-Superintendent Protocols for Effective Governance
Resource B: Planned Priorities
Resource C: Civility Policy
Resource D: Mission Statement and District Goals
Resource E: Strategic Plan
Resource F: Superintendent?s Evaluation Process
Resource G: School District Budget Development Calendar
Resource H: Budget Guidelines for Boards and Staff
Resource I: School District Responsibility Chart

"...clearly lays out the important role the superintendent has in leading the district in partnership with the board of education. This book is loaded with practical tips and pearls of wisdom. It is an easy read with loads of good examples...well worth the time of every current and aspiring superintendent and school board member!"

Anne Bryant
Executive Director, National School Boards Association

"The success of a school district is determined at least in part by the ability of the school board and superintendent to develop a constructive working relationship. This book provides practical insights and useful ideas that will prove to be helpful to district leaders who are serious about keeping the educational interest of children first among their priorities."

Pedro A. Noguera, Professor
New York University

"The authors of Effective Superintendent-School Board Practices have filled a gap in the literature by providing a practical, experience-based look at how superintendents should approach the most important relationship in their professional lives. Working effectively with school boards is what it is all about and this book shows you how."

Paul D. Houston, Executive Director
American Association of School Administrators

"A wonderful, clear, and jargon-free primer on how to be a successful superintendent. Not only is this book must reading for anyone who aspires to be a superintendent, it would be a real plus for school boards. As a former school board member myself, I would have benefited from having a better understanding of the myriad challenges facing the superintendent."

Dede Alpert, Former California State Senator
Former Member, California State Assembly

"This book is a must 'read-and-keep' for students interested in the superintendency as well as new and mature superintendents. An outstanding fieldbook for those interested in down-to-earth strategies needed to navigate the complexities of providing leadership in school districts."

General Davie, Jr.
Retired Superintendent of Schools

"This book is a very useful tool in building school district governance teams. The collective wisdom of the authors will provide valuable insight to superintendents and school board members alike as they strive to provide a high-quality education for all of the children in their districts."

Luan B. Rivera, President
California State Boards Association

"An easy-to-read guide that can be referred to again and again by current and aspiring superintendents and board members."

The School Administrator, September 2007

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1

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ISBN: 9781412940412