Superintendent and School Board Relationships
Simple arithmetic is not an easy task. Just like some students have difficulties with basic mathematics skills, so does the Superintendent. This is not to say that the Superintendent cannot do basic math. What this is really comparing is the challenging undertaking involved in counting four out of seven votes in favor of the Superintendent's recommendations. Swaying back and forth for Board votes is timely and very hard to accomplish, but it is an essential part of the job. Sharp and Walter (2004) explain board members have no authority as individuals. However, together or as a majority they can be extremely powerful in making policy. Longer tenures and more efficient working relationships are truly evident when the Superintendent is able to sustain the Board's backing. Positive relationships between the School Board and Superintendent are fundamental keys to school district success. In order to maintain these collaborative and trusting relationships, the Superintendent must be able to clearly outline the roles of the Board, provide a consistent system of communication, and develop a team concept framework. School Boards can be both good and bad. Much depends on the how effectively a Superintendent can define the members' roles and responsibilities, including his own. Sharp and Walter (2004) state that problems arise when boards and superintendents do not have a clear knowledge of the rules and responsibilities of each side. When Boards are elected they feel a sense of power, and not knowing their roles can lead some of them to spin out of control. Individually and even as a group, they may venture into uncharted waters. That is why it is important that Boards are familiar with the guidelines and regulations set forth by the State Board of Education (SBEC). Board responsibilities revolve around the following responsibilities: the selection of the superintendent; the establishment of...
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