Roles and Responsibilities
For School Committees and Superintendents
Orange Elementary School District
Those who govern and administer the Commonwealth’s public schools must share a vision, a clear purpose; and the ability and courage to lead Communication is the centerpiece of effective school committee-superintendent relationships and is the foundation that will nurture a climate conducive to growth. When roles are clear and relationships are sound, communities feel a sense of confidence in their school leadership which in turn enhances the education of all students in the community.
Strong collaborative leadership from school committees and superintendents must be a driving force in dealing with the direct and indirect challenges facing our society and our schools. A superintendent must display excellence as an educational leader, be politically sophisticated, aware of and active in legislative developments, possess an extensive knowledge of federal and state laws, and personify effective communication.
A school committee must be responsive to its constituencies in governance, sensitive to the diverse needs of all learners, an advocate for students and learning before the people of the community and, as such, a vigorous ambassador for public education before all citizens. Procedures, determined locally in each school system, should be reviewed annually to assure compliance with current policy.
Harmonious and productive relationships between school committees and superintendents will flourish if two-way communication is established and maintained. Such teamwork will work to enhance and improve the Commonwealth’s schools, enriching the lives of all Massachusetts students.
After reviewing American Association of School Administrators and National School Board Association documents regarding clear roles and responsibilities for school committees and superintendents, the Center for Public School Leadership has merged educational reform and Massachusetts Department of Education guidelines to create a document reflective of current school governance in Massachusetts. It is our hope that this document will provide a starting point for local discussion of these important issues.