Nothing affects a school district more than its ability to create and execute a strategic plan. A good strategic plan can improve student outcomes, keep great teachers, and enhance the reputation of district leadership. The education sector has shifted the process of strategic planning from a boardroom activity to a community-involved process to get everyone on the same page. This enables all stakeholders to work towards a common vision, so employees understand how the work they are doing helps their organization.
With a plan in place, the board has a roadmap which it can track, evaluate, and modify to facilitate better governance decisions and provide direction for the future of the school. Within each school district, communication is critical so that everyone understands his or her responsibilities and departments are effective in coordinating their efforts. We make managing communication easier and more effective than creating a static document every year. A well implemented and communicated plan holds all staff accountable for their actions and encourages collaboration.
Our School Districts Framework© enables a well communicated and executed plan, where everyone is informed of their school’s goals and how their actions are contributing to the achievement of these goals. Once implemented, it encourages commitment by showing staff members that their work is essential and part of a larger strategy to help their school succeed. A school with a strategy demonstrates its progress toward key outcomes and evaluates where and how it may have gotten off track.
Superintendents are keenly aware that disparate deployments of new technologies could divide schools between the haves and have-nots, and they worry that their own districts and students could fall behind on their watch. At the same time, many acknowledge that their own technology knowledge and competencies are not where they need to be.
Districts are at very different places when it comes to realizing the full, transformative value of technology. Education lags most other industries in using technology effectively as a tool for productivity, learning, communications and creativity. With districts under pressure to improve student achievement and modernize educational practices, superintendents must be at the vanguard of technology leadership to reach this new frontier.
Integrating technology into district leadership, management and operations will empower people to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively. For example, performance management systems can help superintendents, their leadership teams and school staff better understand, access, use, manage and report on progress to plan. Superintendents voice strong satisfaction with the power of such technologies like these to support transparent parent involvement and community engagement.
Support the district’s mission by identifying, articulating, and planning to meet the educational needs of students.
Work collaboratively to develop both long and short-range goals and objectives, consistent with the strategic plan.
Monitor progress in achieving goals and objectives of all staff and relevant stakeholders.
Provide feedback to principals on goal achievement and needs for improvement.
Many aspects of school district leadership are the same regardless of the size or location of the district, including administrative training and the basic elements of effective leadership. However, several key differences make the leadership experience in a rural school setting a distinct challenge.
Large districts have the luxury of hiring assistant superintendents who specialize in one or two specific areas such as transportation or curriculum. These assistant superintendents meet regularly with the superintendent and receive their direct instruction from them but manage the daily operations of their area. Small districts typically do not have assistants, so all the responsibility would fall on the superintendent. They must wear numerous and varied hats to meet the demands of state and federal initiatives, manage local politics and ensure students receive the highest quality public education.
There is a lot of technology out there that can especially help rural superintendents during these difficult times and certainly into the future. The technology becomes even more powerful when it works together as they provide the superintendent with an exceptional view of their school operations on every level. Our School District Framework© design embedded into flexible software acts as a collaborative “pull system” from a single database.
We recommend you become familiar with our unique reporting offering where goal linkage and data integration help provide more informative results and help the superintendent demonstrate progress against their strategic and operational planning framework.
The school board and superintendent play significant parts in the performance of the local school district. These two bodies do not achieve success through rogue members, but through the collective work accomplished by these joint representatives of the community. A positive relationship between these two parties ultimately determines the success of the district.
Modern governance is the practice of empowering leaders to fuel good governance in the digital age with the right tools, processes and insights, greatly impacting districts, schools, and students. Modern governance goes beyond the boardroom to engage and equip board members and administrators. The right technology can support modern governance by providing a streamlined platform for board members and superintendents to improve effectiveness.
Building trust and respect between board members and the superintendent is essential in meeting district goals and supporting student achievement. Leveraging the right technology enables these leaders in cultivating a team rooted in respect, trust, and transparency.
Teamwork requires effort and intentionality, so leadership teams must be purposeful in how they work together. Successful boards and superintendents recognize that their positive partnership results in greater achievement for their students and district. Our Framework enables alignment and a clear line of sight across the planning framework ensuring all stakeholder are ‘on the same page.
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