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The Superintendent's Planner

The Superintendent's Planner
A Monthly Guide and Reflective Journal

October 2008 | 152 pages | Corwin

"I do not believe I have ever seen a guide that is so practical and current. I particularly liked the advice on communications, celebrations, board relationships, and community involvement. Those are the kinds of interpersonal gestures and activities that go beyond just following a checklist and are critical to the success of new and experienced superintendents."
—Brenda S. Dietrich, Superintendent
Auburn-Washburn School District, Topeka, KS

A practical planning tool with concrete tasks and tips for new or experienced superintendents!

Written by seven outstanding superintendents, this reflective calendar and planning journal helps superintendents address day-to-day concerns while keeping student achievement in perspective throughout the year. The authors give administrators a structured, goal-oriented look at the work ahead and highlight opportunities for organizational leadership.

Practical and hands-on, this planner takes superintendents from July through June and provides checklists, activities, and templates to foster responsibility, efficiency, and effectiveness. The authors present issues for reflection and action that include:

  • Maintaining effective communication
  • Monitoring program, curriculum, and achievement objectives
  • Building relationships within the educational community
  • Developing the budget
  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Planning ahead, establishing new goals, and facing unexpected events and challenges

The Superintendent's Planner offers beginning and veteran district leaders a fresh perspective and invaluable support for an increasingly complex and demanding role.

About the Authors
1. Welcome to the Superintendency
About the Book  
From Us  
2. July and August: Reflecting and Getting Ready for the New Year
Organizing and Preparing for the Year  
Taking Care of Yourself and Your Family  
Ensuring Schools Are Ready to Open  
Reviewing Board Policies  
Focusing on the Year Ahead  
Speaking From Experience  
3. September and October: Starting Smoothly and Settling In
Opening Year Communication  
Staff Evaluation  
School Board Elections  
Showing Up  
Speaking From Experience  
4. November and December: Checking In and Celebrating Progress
Solidifying Board Relationships  
Building Positive Board Communication  
Monitoring the Current Budget  
Monitoring Programs and Student Achievement Data  
Assessing Facility Needs  
Speaking From Experience  
5. January and February: Taking Stock and Planning for Next Year
Developing a Long-Range Plan  
Budget Forecasting for the Next Year  
Reviewing the Curriculum and Establishing Goals  
Communicating New Focus Areas and Priorities  
Sharing the State of the District  
Speaking From Experience  
6. March and April: Staying Focused and Facing Challenges
Budget Planning  
Planning for Facility Upgrades  
Targeting Personnel Actions  
Monitoring Curriculum, Instruction, and Student Testing Plans  
Planning Board and Leadership Team Workshops and Retreats  
Begin Evaluation of Administrative Staff  
Speaking From Experience  
7. May and June: Wrapping Up and Celebrating
Budget Adoption  
Reviewing New Staff Hiring  
Superintendent Evaluation  
Debriefing With Board Members  
Scheduling Attendance at Year-End Events for You and the Board Members  
Planning Time for Handling Difficult Issues  
Finalizing Summer Activities  
Finalizing Plans for Next Year's Pre-Opening Activities  
Reviewing the District Media and Communication Plan  
Completing Summative Evaluations of the People Who Report to You  
Preparing the Internal Meeting Calendar for Board and Senior Staff  
Speaking From Experience  
8. The Routine and Expected
Planning, Leading, and Attending to Meetings  
Monitoring for Accountability  
Establishing Relationships and Building Community  
Building Internal Leadership Capacity  
Speaking From Experience  
9. Crises, the Unexpected, Caveats, and Musings
The Unexpected  
But Then, There Are the Wonderful Things  
A Word About You  
Resource A: School Site Inspection
Resource B: Site Readiness Inspection Sheet
Resource C: Summary of School Inspections
Resource D: Key Actions Checklist
Resource E: Custodian School Inspection Sheet
Resource F: Playground Inspections
Resource G: Portable Building Inspections
Resource H: Human Resource Annual Calendar
Resource I: Meeting Schedule
Resource J: Administrator Evaluation Form
Resource K: Administrator Evaluation Process
Resource L: Budget Guidelines
Resource M: Budget Calendar
Resource N: Planned Priorities
Resource O: Organization Chart
Resource P: Information for Board Members
Resource Q: School District Responsibility Chart

"A concise resource that can serve as a reference for the new superintendent as well as a refresher for the seasoned superintendent. Information is presented in a chronological fashion rather than by theme, so the book serves as a great planning tool to integrate with the board of education annual calendar."

Dan Lawson, Superintendent
Tullahoma City Schools, TN

"A thoughtful contribution of the utmost importance for district planning as well as a guide for how the superintendent effectively leads the organization. This book provides rationale and examples that help administrators perform at a higher level."

Douglas Hesbol, Superintendent
Laraway CCSD #70C, Joliet, IL

"Without a doubt, this book will be a treasure for any new superintendent! It's a perfect ‘bible’ for the beginning superintendent. I wish I had this at my side when I first began."

Marie Blum, Superintendent
Canaseraga Central School District, NY

"I do not believe I have ever seen a guide that is so practical and current. I particularly liked the advice on communications, celebrations, board relationships, and community involvement. Those are the kinds of interpersonal gestures and activities that go beyond just following a checklist and are critical to the success of new and experienced superintendents."

Brenda S. Dietrich, Superintendent
Auburn-Washburn School District, Topeka, KS

"I love the monthly structure of the book. If superintendents follow these monthly guides, I am certain they would avoid the pitfalls to which many leaders succumb."

Mike Ford, Superintendent
Phelps-Clifton Springs CSD, NY

"As an experienced superintendent, I found the book fascinating to read, and I found myself comparing the suggestions presented in each chapter with tasks that I would list during that same time period. This would be a gift that I would give to mentees and new superintendents."

Robert Frick, Superintendent
Lampeter-Strasburg School District, PA

The Superintendent's Planner will be a supplemental Textbook in our course The Modern Superintendency.

Dr Jack K Barshinger
College Of Education, Aurora University
May 22, 2015

1. Month to Month guide provides students with a format to complete their own portfolios.
2. Easy to read.

Professor Mireille Singh
Educational Admin Dept, National University
August 10, 2013

An excellent planner for superintendents, but I had already chosen several books for this class. I will seriously consider it in the future, however.

Dr Gregory Hicks
Leadership, Policy, and Adult and Higher Education, North Carolina State University
August 25, 2012
Key features
 - Full of practical ideas, tips, and plenty of space for reader reflections, list-making, and note-taking
 - Includes same resources, forms, and charts
 - A concise and portable organizer for reflections, notes, lists, and monthly "to-dos" to complement any superintendent's organization system

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1

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ISBN: 9781412961097
ISBN: 9781412961080

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