THE SUPERINTENDENT - SCHOOL BOARD
The major elements necessary to establish a positive school board-superintendent relationship include:
- A clear understanding of the difference between policy decisions and administrative decisions.
- A description of the administrative position listing the major duties and responsibilities of the superintendent of schools.
- Clearly established goals for the school district and the superintendent with appropriate timelines for completion.
- A plan for achieving the priorities of the position after an opportunity for mutual discussion between the school board and the superintendent.
- A plan for review and appraisal of the superintendent's performance.
- A plan for improvement, if necessary, depending upon the review and appraisal results.
- A contract determining the terms and conditions of the employment relationship between the superintendent and the school board to include such matters as salary, fringe benefits, leaves of absence, expense reimbursement and other items agreed upon.
A positive school board-superintendent relationship is essential to the effective management of the public school district. The foundation of that relationship is a clear, written understanding by the superintendent of the superintendent's position and the expectations of the school board. The position description shall be specific in delineating responsibilities and authority. The expectations of the board for the superintendent shall be set forth in an annual prioritized list of goals.
School Board Roles and Responsibilities
In working together and utilizing the written position description and previously established performance goals, the school board as a whole shall:
- Hold the superintendent responsible for the administration of the school district.
- Give the superintendent authority commensurate with the position's responsibility to carry out school board adopted goals and policies in addition to administration rules and regulations necessary to implement school board direction.
- Appoint employees after recommendation of the superintendent.
- Participate in school board action after the superintendent has furnished adequate information supporting the superintendent's recommendations.
- Expect the superintendent to keep the school board adequately informed at all times through oral and/or written reports.
- Provide the superintendent counsel and advice.
- Refer all constituent complaints to the superintendent who will discuss them with the proper administrative officer.
- Present personal criticisms of employees to the superintendent.
- Provide support for the professional growth of the superintendent.
- Provide the school district with professional administrative personnel.
- Devote appropriate time to the ongoing development and review of educational policies.
- Recognize that the authority for school district governance rests with the school board operating in legally called meetings. It does not rest with individual members of the board except as may be specifically authorized by law.
Superintendent Roles and Responsibilities
The superintendent, in a relationship with the school board and the school district, utilizing the written position description and previously established performance goals, shall:
- Give full, faithful and diligent attention to all administrative duties.
- Discharge all responsibilities concerning staff, students, parents and school district constituents in a professional manner.
- Have as a highest priority in the school district students and their educational program.
- Keep the school board fully informed on all school district affairs so that the board will have the benefit of the superintendent's professional recommendations.
- Prepare and recommend such board policies, district rules and regulations as may be necessary for the district's administration.
- Keep the school board informed of current developments in school law including state and federal statutes, rules and court decisions.
- Keep the school board informed of legislative activity.
- Be the educational leader for the school district.
- Provide community leadership through reasonable participation in community activities.
- Communicate the educational program and needs of the school district to the community it serves.
- Ensure that the business transactions and financial affairs of the school district are in compliance with state laws and accounting practices.
- Recognize that the overall authority for school district operation rests with the school board operating in legally called meetings and does not rest with individual members of the board except as may be specifically authorized by law.
Adopted by the Board of Education: November 20, 1995
Reviewed by the Board of Education: August 21, 2000, August 1, 2005, February 21, 2012, February 1, 2016
(NOTE: Jointly prepared by MSBA and MASA)