Superintendents of a school district sets the direction and tone of an entire district. As the chief executive officer of a district, a superintendent is responsible for working with the district’s school board to establish and maintain the district's educational standards. Superintendents are responsible for long-range planning, hiring and supervising other administrators in the district, communicating with the public, monitoring personnel and ensuring financial accountability.
A superintendent develops and recommends to a school district’s board long-range educational, staffing and resource plans that take into account a district’s population trends, cultural needs and educational goals. Superintendents need to be knowledgeable of best practices for maximizing student achievement and support principals and teachers in achieving district goals. Looking at trends, such as literacy rates, and working to improve problem areas by implementing long-term plans are key aspects of the job.
There are many people within a community who are invested in a school district's activities. A superintendent is responsible for ensuring that the school board, parents, teachers and the general public are aware of educational matters, policies, school-related incidents or events. A superintendent must communicate regularly with the school board, principals in each of the district’s schools, teachers and other resource staff, community groups and parents. A superintendent’s office is responsible for issuing news releases and approving media interviews with any member of the school district’s staff. The role also requires a superintendent to listen and respond to complaints, comments, concerns and criticisms regarding the operation of the district from parents, the public, employees of the district, students and board members.
Maintaining adequate records for schools, including a system of financial accounts, business and property records, personnel records, school population and scholastic records is a significant part of a superintendent’s job. A superintendent drafts the annual school budget, taking into account the needs of each school in the district, makes financial recommendations and submits a budget to the district’s board for review and approval. A superintendent also ensures that funds are accurately managed and physical assets and other district property are properly overseen and maintained.
Personnel and Staffing
Principals are the key leaders at each school. It is the superintendent's job to evaluate their performance, make sure they are effectively leading their individual schools and are making strides toward the educational standards and goals a superintendent has outlined for the district. Superintendents listen to principals and work to serve the needs of students throughout the district. That could mean adding specialized staff to help with reading or literacy goals, adding special programs to address learning deficiencies or funding professional development opportunities to improve teachers’ instructional abilities.