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Get on Board: Board-Supt. Team

The Board-Superintendent Team

Effective school boards lead as a united team with the superintendent, each from their respective roles, with strong collaboration and mutual trust. 


Working with the Superintendent

While not all school boards in Alabama appoint their superintendent, the relationship your board has with the superintendent has a far-reaching impact on the quality and reputation of your school system. It’s important for board members to see the superintendent not as an opponent, but as a team member, working collaboratively for the benefit of all your students.

AASB and School Superintendents of Alabama have prepared a guide for school board and superintendent relationships called School Boards & Superintendents: Roles and Responsibilities.

Take a few minutes to read this handy guide so that you are familiar with how a successful board will interact with its superintendent.

Building and sustaining an effective board-superintendent relationship requires board members be willing to trust the superintendent's professional judgment and be committed to open, honest communication. Without these, the progress of most school systems grinds to a halt.

It’s essential for the board to treat the superintendent with courtesy and respect, operating with few surprises and keeping the channels of communication open.

Effective boards:

  • Set measurable goals in consultation with the superintendent
  • Work to ensure the superintendent and staff have the tools to meet them
  • Review the data
  • Celebrate and reward successes
  • Hold the superintendent accountable for failures

Both appointed and elected superintendents have stakeholders to whom they are responsible – the school system’s students and the parents of those students.

The School System CSFO

All school systems in Alabama are required by law [Code of Alabama 16-13A] to have a Chief School Finance Officer, or CSFO. The CSFO is one of only three individuals who may be employed in consultation by the school board. (The superintendent and school board attorney are the other two, and not all boards appoint those positions.)

Video: The Critical Triangle

Take a minute to watch this video explaining how the school board, superintendent, and CSFO work together to ensure the success of their school system.  



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