The superintendents of all school districts have similar roles to those of CEOs in businesses. Each day, a superintendent supervises and manages the central staff and principals of all the schools in the system. They must first approve every expenditure within a school system. As the decision-maker on hiring employees and concerns and procedures regarding education programs and facilities, the superintendent bears the responsibility. Because many decisions affect small children, adolescents, and adults, the school system leaders must be exceptional people, knowledgeable of various ages, and logical and creative in their thinking. Thus, only an outstanding person with unique skills can be an effective school system superintendent.
Along with knowledge of the business end of a school system, superintendents should understand teaching in a classroom. There is usually a board of education, composed of members of the community, who provide input and are responsible for the evaluation of the superintendent and the hiring and firing of this office. Some of the significant responsibilities of a school district are the following:
- Prepare agenda for board meetings
- Make recommendations on issues relevant to the school district
- Make recommendations on repairing or replacing buildings
- Have knowledgeable and trustworthy support personnel on whom to rely
- Conduct regular meetings with administrators
- Ensure that the curriculum meets local, state, and national standards and is approved by the board of education
- Seek ways and methods to improve the district’s curriculum
- Review and revise existing policies, and write new ones when necessary
- Submit required reports pertinent to student and teacher data
- Make decisions regarding transfer students in accord with the other school’s superintendent
- Be responsible for the transportation department (buses and drivers)
- Develop walking, bicycle, and alternate snow routes
In addition to performing well concerning the responsibilities assigned to them, dynamic and effective superintendents focus on the success of/her schools. This leader will have a clear vision, objectives, and goals for the district that will be achieved with the superintendent’s instructional leadership and clear and effective communication of these goals.