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The Superintendent's Planner

The Superintendent's Planner
A Monthly Guide and Reflective Journal

October 2008 | 152 pages | Corwin
A practical planning tool with concrete tasks and tips for new or experienced superintendents! Written by seven outstanding superintendents, this reflective calendar and planning journal helps superintendents address day-to-day concerns while maintaining a focus on increasing student achievement. Month-to-month, this planner takes administrators from July through June, provides checklists and templates for overlaying timelines with events, and presents issues for reflection and action that include:

maintaining visibility and effective communication

monitoring program, curriculum, and achievement objectives

building relationships among the educational community

developing the budget

coaching and mentoring

planning ahead, establishing new goals, and facing unexpected events and challenges

About the Authors
1. Welcome to the Superintendency

About the Book

From Us

2. July and August: Reflecting and Getting Ready for the New Year
Organizing and Preparing for the Year

Taking Care of Yourself and Your Family

Ensuring Schools Are Ready to Open

Reviewing Board Policies

Focusing on the Year Ahead

Speaking From Experience

3. September and October: Starting Smoothly and Settling In
Opening Year Communication

Staff Evaluation

School Board Elections

Showing Up

Speaking From Experience

4. November and December: Checking In and Celebrating Progress
Solidifying Board Relationships

Building Positive Board Communication

Monitoring the Current Budget

Monitoring Programs and Student Achievement Data

Assessing Facility Needs

Speaking From Experience

5. January and February: Taking Stock and Planning for Next Year
Developing a Long-Range Plan

Budget Forecasting for the Next Year

Reviewing the Curriculum and Establishing Goals

Communicating New Focus Areas and Priorities

Sharing the State of the District

Speaking From Experience

6. March and April: Staying Focused and Facing Challenges
Budget Planning

Planning for Facility Upgrades

Targeting Personnel Actions

Monitoring Curriculum, Instruction, and Student Testing Plans

Planning Board and Leadership Team Workshops and Retreats


Begin Evaluation of Administrative Staff

Speaking From Experience

7. May and June: Wrapping Up and Celebrating
Budget Adoption

Reviewing New Staff Hiring

Superintendent Evaluation

Debriefing With Board Members

Scheduling Attendance at Year-End Events for You and the Board Members

Planning Time for Handling Difficult Issues

Finalizing Summer Activities

Finalizing Plans for Next Year's Pre-Opening Activities

Reviewing the District Media and Communication Plan

Completing Summative Evaluations of the People Who Report to You

Preparing the Internal Meeting Calendar for Board and Senior Staff

Speaking From Experience

8. The Routine and Expected
Planning, Leading, and Attending to Meetings

Monitoring for Accountability

Establishing Relationships and Building Community

Building Internal Leadership Capacity

Speaking From Experience

9. Crises, the Unexpected, Caveats, and Musings
The Unexpected

But Then, There Are the Wonderful Things

A Word About You

Resource A: School Site Inspection
Resource B: Site Readiness Inspection Sheet
Resource C: Summary of School Inspections
Resource D: Key Actions Checklist
Resource E: Custodian School Inspection Sheet
Resource F: Playground Inspections
Resource G: Portable Building Inspections
Resource H: Human Resource Annual Calendar
Resource I: Meeting Schedule
Resource J: Administrator Evaluation Form
Resource K: Administrator Evaluation Process
Resource L: Budget Guidelines
Resource M: Budget Calendar
Resource N: Planned Priorities
Resource O: Organization Chart
Resource P: Information for Board Members
Resource Q: School District Responsibility Chart

"A concise resource that can serve as a reference for the new superintendent as well as a refresher for the seasoned superintendent. Information is presented in a chronological fashion rather than by theme, so the book serves as a great planning tool to integrate with the board of education annual calendar."

Dan Lawson, Superintendent
Tullahoma City Schools, TN

"A thoughtful contribution of the utmost importance for district planning as well as a guide for how the superintendent effectively leads the organization. This book provides rationale and examples that help administrators perform at a higher level."

Douglas Hesbol, Superintendent
Laraway CCSD #70C, Joliet, IL

"Without a doubt, this book will be a treasure for any new superintendent! It's a perfect ‘bible’ for the beginning superintendent. I wish I had this at my side when I first began."

Marie Blum, Superintendent
Canaseraga Central School District, NY

"I do not believe I have ever seen a guide that is so practical and current. I particularly liked the advice on communications, celebrations, board relationships, and community involvement. Those are the kinds of interpersonal gestures and activities that go beyond just following a checklist and are critical to the success of new and experienced superintendents."

Brenda S. Dietrich, Superintendent
Auburn-Washburn School District, Topeka, KS

"I love the monthly structure of the book. If superintendents follow these monthly guides, I am certain they would avoid the pitfalls to which many leaders succumb."

Mike Ford, Superintendent
Phelps-Clifton Springs CSD, NY

"As an experienced superintendent, I found the book fascinating to read, and I found myself comparing the suggestions presented in each chapter with tasks that I would list during that same time period. This would be a gift that I would give to mentees and new superintendents."

Robert Frick, Superintendent
Lampeter-Strasburg School District, PA

The Superintendent's Planner will be a supplemental Textbook in our course The Modern Superintendency.

Dr Jack K Barshinger
College Of Education, Aurora University
May 22, 2015

1. Month to Month guide provides students with a format to complete their own portfolios.
2. Easy to read.

Professor Mireille Singh
Educational Admin Dept, National University
August 10, 2013

An excellent planner for superintendents, but I had already chosen several books for this class. I will seriously consider it in the future, however.

Dr Gregory Hicks
Leadership, Policy, and Adult and Higher Education, North Carolina State University
August 25, 2012

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1

Preview this book

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

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

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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