Superintendents work with the State Department of Education, the local school board, the district leadership team, and community advisory councils to develop district goals. It is their responsibility to provide the overall leadership that maintains the direction in which the larger team plans for student success. He or she maintains communication with all principals in the district ensuring the continuity of plans for daily management of schools, implementation of budgets, and focus on student learning.
The school board hires the superintendent or director. While the board oversees making policy and ensuring that it is carried out, the superintendent is responsible for actually making the district run smoothly while following the policies. Some districts may have assistant, deputy, or associate superintendents who are responsible for overseeing specific areas of the business of education such as curriculum.
Some basic responsibilities of a superintendent follow:
- Policy development and implementation
- Recommendation and evaluation of staff
- Facilities maintenance
Policy Development and Implementation
The superintendent keeps the school board informed about needed policies. That information comes from various sources, including but not limited to fellow administrators, school and community leadership teams and committees, and legislators. Upon board acceptance of the superintendent’s recommendation, he or she develops and carries out the logistics of implementing the new policy.
The superintendent is the lead administrator and manager of all district operations.
Recommendation and Evaluation of Staff
The superintendent makes the official recommendations for staff to be hired. He or she completes and files district staff evaluations, and also recommends the renewal, nonrenewal, and dismissal of staff (following requirements of federal, state, and district policy).
The superintendent develops a budget and presents it to the board for approval. Once approved, the superintendent presents the budget to the funding body for approval and appropriation of the necessary funding. The superintendent may also meet with the budget team to make revisions as necessary. Once the budget is approved and funded, the superintendent oversees its implementation.
The superintendent is in charge of leading the discussions, plans, communication, and presentation of information regarding the maintenance of, management of, and improvements to all district buildings and facilities.
The superintendent is ultimately responsible for communication with any individuals and groups involved in the school district. This includes political leaders, state and local education association officers, State Department of Education staff, Centers of Regional Excellence (CORE) employees, parents, board members, principals, teachers, business owners, and the media.