National Convening for Educational Leaders on March 18, 2024

Superintendent Evaluation: A Guide for School Districts

At a school district, and especially as a school board member, the evaluation of your superintendent is an important task that requires careful consideration and planning. Not only does the evaluation process provide important feedback for the superintendent, it also serves as a means of ensuring that the district’s goals and objectives are being met. Let’s take a look at the different aspects of a superintendent evaluation, including the process, the criteria used, and the benefits of conducting regular evaluations at your school district.

The Evaluation Process

The superintendent evaluation process typically begins with the school board setting specific goals and objectives for the superintendent to achieve over the course of the year. These goals and objectives should align with the district’s strategic plan. Ideally, the strategic plan should be measurable, so progress can be tracked and evaluated.

(Don’t have a Strategic Plan at your school district yet? HYA can help with that, too.)

Once goals and objectives have been established, the superintendent evaluation process can begin. This typically involves the school board conducting a self-evaluation of the superintendent, as well as soliciting input from other key stakeholders such as teachers, staff, and other community members. Often, this is accomplished through surveys or interviews.

After collecting data, the school board can review the results and provide feedback to the superintendent. This feedback should be specific, actionable, and focused on areas where the superintendent can improve.

From our experience and working with school districts across the country, HYA has established a core set of key beliefs with regards to superintendent evaluation:

  • The evaluation process should be systematic, on-going, and timely.
  • The evaluation process should be growth-oriented unless the Board of Education has any concerns with the Superintendent’s performance in the role.
  • The evaluation instrument(s) should provide useful feedback for continuous improvement in key responsibilities.
  • The evaluation process should include both structured measures that address key job responsibilities and open-ended instruments for sharing information and concerns.

Evaluation Criteria

The criteria used to evaluate a superintendent can vary depending on the district and the specific goals and objectives that have been established. From HYA’s experience, some common areas evaluated include:

  • Academic performance: This includes evaluating the district’s test scores, graduation rates, and other academic indicators to determine whether students are making progress and achieving success.
  • Budget and finance: The superintendent is responsible for managing the district’s budget and finances, and this aspect of their performance should be evaluated to ensure that resources are being used effectively and efficiently.
  • Leadership and management: The superintendent’s ability to lead and manage the district’s staff, teachers, and other personnel should be evaluated to determine whether they are providing effective direction and support.
  • Community engagement: The superintendent should be evaluated on their ability to engage with the community and build positive relationships with key stakeholders.

The Benefits of Regular Evaluations

Conducting regular evaluations of the superintendent can provide numerous benefits for the district. Some of the key benefits include:

  • Improving performance: Regular evaluations provide valuable feedback to the superintendent on areas where they can improve, which can help them to better serve the district and its students.
  • Ensuring accountability: Regular evaluations hold the superintendent accountable for their performance and ensure that they are meeting the district’s goals and objectives.
  • Encouraging transparency: Regular evaluations provide an opportunity for the school board and the superintendent to be transparent with the community about the district’s progress and performance.
  • Fostering collaboration: Regular evaluations can foster collaboration between the school board and the superintendent, as they work together to achieve the district’s goals and objectives.

Superintendent Evaluation with HYA and our Associates

Our team of dedicated associates have the experience your district needs to help navigate through the superintendent evaluation process. This process is a critical task that requires careful planning and consideration. In summary, by establishing specific goals and objectives, conducting regular evaluations, and providing specific feedback, the school board can ensure that the district’s leader is effectively serving the needs of the students and the community.

HYA Associates

Hazard, Young, Attea, and Associates (HYA) is a network of independent education consultants across the nation. This independent network has made HYA the preeminent education consulting firm with over 30 years of executive search and education consulting experience. Since 1987, HYA has provided support for education leaders to employ school executives, address issues related to student performance, and support aspects of school district operations.

HYA Associates

Hazard, Young, Attea, and Associates (HYA) is a network of independent education consultants across the nation. This independent network has made HYA the preeminent education consulting firm with over 30 years of executive search and education consulting experience. Since 1987, HYA has provided support for education leaders to employ school executives, address issues related to student performance, and support aspects of school district operations.

About HYA

HYA provides comprehensive and customizable consulting for district leaders and school boards.

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