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Building Great School Board -- Superintendent Teams: A Systematic Approach to Balancing Roles and Responsibilities

Building Great School Board -- Superintendent Teams: A Systematic Approach to Balancing Roles and Responsibilities

by Bradley V. Balch, Michael T. Adamson


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To address urgent challenges and drive continuous improvement effectively, school board members, superintendents, and school leaders must develop strong school board/superintendent teams. The authors offer a systematic approach for establishing a unified school leadership team that can efficiently meet demands, avoid conflict, and respond to the ever-changing educational environment. Each chapter includes professional development activities that can be adapted for teams of any size.

Learn how to build an effective school leadership team:

  • Consider how the school board/superintendent team can remain sustainable and productive in governance, instructional leadership, and school improvement.

  • Foster committed team relationships and develop effective school leadership practices and qualities within the team.

  • Clarify superintendents’ and school board members’ roles and responsibilities to improve governance and avoid conflict.

  • Learn characteristics of effective communication and how to speak with one unified voice as a team.

  • Participate in team professional development activities that build trust, respect, transparency, and accountability among the team.


Chapter 1: Legal Perspectives and the Case for Local Control
Chapter 2: Induction and New Team Member Orientation
Chapter 3: Team Members’ Roles and Responsibilities
Chapter 4: Effective Communication and a Unified Voice
Chapter 5: Team Decision Making
Chapter 6: Committed, Effective Team Leadership
Chapter 7: Foundational Statements
Chapter 8: Continuous Improvement and Quality Assurance
Chapter 9: Governance and Leadership During Change
Chapter 10: Dysfunctional Teams and Rogue Members
Chapter 11: System Evaluation Essentials
Chapter 12: The Future of the School Board-Superintendent Team
References and Resources

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781945349133
Publisher: Solution Tree Press
Publication date: 09/22/2017
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 724,662
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.50(d)

Table of Contents

About the Authors ix

Introduction 1

The Power of a Team Approach 3

The Need for Systematic Implementation 5

The importance of Professional Development 6

Professional Development Activity on Teamwork 7

Summary 8

Part I Teamwork and Leadership Strategies for School Board-Superintendent Teams 11

Chapter 1 Legal Perspectives and the Case for Local Control 13

Educational Governance and the U.S. Constitution 14

Commonwealth and Sovereignty Principles 15

Professional Development Activity on Power and Control 16

Governance Within the School Board-Superintendent Team 18

Summary 23

Chapter 2 Induction and New Team Member Orientation 25

Orientation for New School Board Members 27

Orientation for New Superintendents 29

Professional Development Activities for New Team Members 31

Summary 34

Chapter 3 Team Members' Roles and Responsibilities 35

Role and Responsibility Overlap 36

Ongoing Delegation of Responsibility Conversation 37

Role Designation 38

Role and Responsibility Conflicts 41

Professional Development Activity on Roles and Responsibilities 42

Summary 43

Chapter 4 Effective Communication and a Unified Voice 45

The Art of Effective Communication 45

Superintendent Communication 47

School Board Communication 49

One Unified Voice 52

Professional Development Activity on Communication 54

Summary 57

Chapter 5 Team Decision Making 59

Data-Driven Decision Making 61

Special Considerations in Decision Making 64

Professional Development Activity on Decision Making 67

Morality's Importance in Decision Making 69

Summary 70

Chapter 6 Committed and Effective Team Leadership 71

Effective Team Leadership 71

Strong Relationships 74

Insightful Questions 75

Professional Development Activity on Leadership 76

Implementation Strategies 78

Summary 86

Part ii Strategic and Evaluative Functions of School Board-Superintendent Teams 87

Chapter 7 Foundational Statements 89

Core Value and Belief Statements 90

Mission Statement 91

Vision Statement 92

Stakeholder Buy-In 94

Professional Development Activity on Developing Foundational Statements 95

Summary 99

Chapter 8 Continuous Improvement and Quality Assurance 101

Comprehensive Continuous Improvement 102

Systems Thinking 102

Strategic Planning 105

Professional Development Activity on Prioritization 107

Summary 110

Chapter 9 Governance and Leadership During Change 111

Change Implications for Individuals 111

Organizational Change 116

Professional Development Activity on Change 117

Resistance to Change 119

Summary 121

Chapter 10 Dysfunctional Teams and Rogue Members 123

Define Dysfunctional 123

Recognize and Heal a Breach of Trust 125

Identify the Rogue in the Room 128

Deal With the Rogue Member 130

Manage Someone Who Resists Working as a Team 133

Professional Development Activity on Team Commitment 135

Summary 136

Chapter 11 System Evaluation Essentials 137

Developing a Data System 139

Transforming Data to Information 141

Professional Development Activity on Evaluation 142

Communicating Strategically During Evaluation 145

Using Information From Evaluation 147

Summary 148

Chapter 12 The Future of the School Board- Superintendent Team 149

In Search of the Universal Relationship 150

A Team With a Grand Purpose 150

Future Influences and Challenges 151

Professional Development Activity on the Future of the Team 153

Summary 154

References and Resources 155

Index 161

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