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Effective Superintendent-School Board Practices

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

March 2014 | 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

Rene S. Townsend

Rene Townsend, former superintendent for ten years, is executive director of the Urban Education Dialog (UED) and Public School Services (PSS), nonprofit organizations founded by Price Charities. PSS has a mission of reducing the price of goods and services to all public school districts; UED is a forum to confront challenges facing urban school districts and exchange best practices. With seven other superintendents, Townsend coauthored Eight at the Top; they are working on book two, offering more leadership insights for superintendents. Townsend received her bachelor of science from the University of Washington, her master's from San... More About Author

Gloria L. Johnston

Gloria L. Johnston has devoted over 40 years to a career in education. She currently coaches, mentors, and provides professional development for principals, central office administrators, superintendents, and school boards. The focus of her work is on systemic strategies that lead to improving student achievement and closing the achievement gap. Her years of service in PreK–12 education included serving as a teacher, principal, central office administrator, and 12 years as a superintendent of schools. She worked in urban, suburban, and rural school districts in Illinois, California, and Caracas, Venezuela. Most recently, she served as dean... More About Author

Gwen E. Gross

Prior to joining the 26,000-student Irvine Unified School District in Orange County, California, Gwen E. Gross served as superintendent in Manhattan Beach Unified School District, Beverly Hills Unified, Ojai Unified, and at the then one-school Hermosa Beach City School District. In addition to her 17 years as a superintendent, she has been an elementary and middle grades teacher, principal, director of operations, and faculty member at universities in the Midwest and on the West Coast. She was named as one of the “Top 100 Educators in North America” and was honored as the “2005 Superintendent of the Year” by Pepperdine University, where... More About Author

Margaret A. Lynch

Peggy Lynch recently retired after serving for nearly seven years as the superintendent of the San Dieguito Union High School District, located in the northern part of San Diego County. Prior to San Dieguito, she was the superintendent of Brea Olinda Unified School District in Orange County, California. Her career spans 38 years and includes middle and high school teaching, high school assistant principal and principal, and assistant superintendent.Lynch served on the San Diego County Department of Education Achievement Gap Task Force, as well as other county advisory committees. She was also co-chair of the San Diego and Imperial counties... More About Author

Lorraine M. Garcy

Lorraine M. Garcy serves as a consultant with the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) as the coordinator of a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant to provide training for superintendents in California. She previously served 34 years in education as a California superintendent, assistant superintendent, site administrator, and K–12 instructor. Garcy has been as a member of the ACSA State Superintendents' Committee, New Superintendents' Workshop Planning Committee, and Superintendents' Symposium Planning Committee. Garcy also worked as director of the Superintendent Academy, North, for administrators aspiring to be... More About Author

Benita B. Roberts

In July 2001, Benita B. Roberts retired as superintendent of a 20,000-student California school district where she served for eight of her thirty-four years in public education. Prior to her tenure as a superintendent, she was a classroom teacher and held several administrative positions, including assistant superintendent of education services. Since retirement, she has spent time in interim administrative assignments, taught classes in the administrative services credential program at California State University, San Bernardino, and served as the human resources manager in her family’s business. As superintendent, an especially memorable... More About Author

Patricia B. Novotney

Patricia B. Novotney is an associate professor at the University of La Verne in the department of organizational leadership. In addition, she serves as chair of the professional administrative services credential program. She is also a consultant with school districts in the areas of governance team training, leadership development, strategic planning, and organizational development. Previously, she spent 36 years in public school district service. The majority of her work was in school administration, where she was a principal in three Southern California school districts and superintendent in two California school districts, serving for... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781412940412
$ 30.95