What should be included in a general outline for an entry plan for a new superintendent of schools based on best practices and research?

The Dim Bulb

The Occasional Musings of an Educator

by Michael Keany

#26 - March 16, 2023

The brain is capable of performing 10 quadrillion (that’s 10 to the 16th) “calculations,” or synaptic events, per second using only about 15 watts of power. At this rate, a computer as powerful as the human brain would require 1 gigawatt of power. Maybe a dim bulb isn't really as dim as it seems.

The photo at the left is the  Livermore Centennial bulb, the world's longest-burning electric bulb


What should be included in a general outline for an entry plan for a new superintendent of schools based on best practices and research?

  1. Establish Relationships: The first step for a new superintendent is to establish relationships with the school board, administrative team, teachers, staff, parents, and community stakeholders. A listening tour, community meetings, and school visits can help in understanding the district's culture, strengths, challenges, and aspirations.

  2. Review Data: The superintendent should review data related to student achievement, attendance, graduation rates, discipline, and other key performance indicators to identify areas that need improvement and align priorities and strategies accordingly.

  3. Develop a Strategic Plan: Based on the data analysis and input from stakeholders, the superintendent should develop a strategic plan that outlines the district's vision, goals, and strategies to improve student outcomes, teacher quality, and operational efficiency.

  4. Build Leadership Capacity: The superintendent should work with the administrative team to identify leadership development needs and provide professional development opportunities to build leadership capacity at all levels of the organization.

  5. Engage Parents and Community: The superintendent should engage parents and community members in district decision-making, communication, and collaboration to build trust and support for the district's goals and initiatives.

  6. Enhance Communication: The superintendent should enhance communication channels with all stakeholders, including regular updates on district initiatives, successes, and challenges. Effective communication can help in building trust and support for the district's goals and initiatives.

  7. Monitor Progress: The superintendent should establish a system to monitor progress towards achieving the district's goals and adjust strategies as needed. Regular reports to the school board, staff, and community can help in keeping everyone informed about the district's progress and challenges.

  8. Foster a Positive Culture: The superintendent should foster a positive culture of continuous improvement, collaboration, and innovation that values all stakeholders' contributions and feedback.


  • Kowalski, T. J. (2015). The superintendent’s handbook: A guide to leadership. Corwin Press.


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