California Department of Education
Taking Center Stage – Act II

School District Superintendents

Superintendents help to ensure that middle grades students are not “caught in the middle.” Those who know about middle grades issues work to provide professional development for articulation and to learn how to engage young adolescent learners.

A team of California superintendents, including the ACSA Superintendents Committee and the CSBA Superintendents Advisory Council, developed a set of Superintendent Governance Standards stating that the superintendent shall:

  • Promote the success of all students and support the efforts of the board of trustees to keep the district focused on learning and achievement.
  • Value, advocate, and support public education and all stakeholders.
  • Recognize and respect the differences in perspective and style on the board and among staff, students, parents, and the community and ensure that the diverse range of views inform board decisions.
  • Act with dignity, treat everyone with civility and respect, and understand the implications of demeanor and behavior.
  • Serve as a model for the value of lifelong learning and support the board’s continual professional development.
  • Work with the board as a “governance team” and ensure collective responsibility for building a unity of purpose, communicating a common vision, and creating a positive organizational culture.
  • Recognize that the management team in each district supports the board/superintendent governance relationship.
  • Understand the distinctions between board and staff roles, and respect the role of the board as the representative of the community.
  • Understand that authority rests with the board as a whole; provide guidance to the board to assist in decision making; and provide leadership based on the direction of the board as a whole.
  • Communicate openly with trust and integrity, including providing all members of the board with equal access to information, and recognizing the importance of both responsive and anticipatory communications.
  • Accept leadership responsibility and accountability for implementing the vision, goals, and policies of the district.1

Support for professional development

Set the vision

1 Superintendent Governance Standards (PDF; Outside Source), California School Boards Association.

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