The Superintendent's Work with Principals: Improving Instruction and Achieving Results

The Superintendent’s Work with Principals: Improving Instruction and Achieving Results balances the expansive work of the school superintendent with prioritizing the most important leverage points to increase student achievement. This book presents candid, realistic, and valuable “go-to” resources for dealing with the range of responsibilities that comprise the work of high-level leaders.  Using a framework to help analyze a leader’s assets and barriers to spending productive time in classrooms, Pia focuses on her own work supporting, coaching, and supervising principals toward higher performance in working with the educators they lead. The strategies, tools, and examples within the book will clearly resonate with those who currently serve as superintendents, district leaders, and principals, as well as with those aspiring to take on these complex roles, and with the boards and programs who are charged with selecting them.


Book chapters include:

Implementing the Will and Skill Leadership Framework shows ways to analyze, identify, and improve leadership practice. 

District Structural Change talks about what needs to be changed at the centralized district level so that principals have the tools to accelerate the progress in their schools.

  • The Power of Classroom Visits uses a five-step process for superintendents to support, coach, and supervise principals in schools and models how principals can do the same with their teachers in classrooms.
  • Building Results-Focused Teams discusses teams at both the central and school levels and how the work of teams can prioritize and support the drive for improved instruction.
  • Excellence with Equity for All Students addresses how superintendents and principals can pay attention to the multiple needs of their students particularly those with English Learner and special education needs by asking key questions about how these students are served. 
  • Framing High-Impact Feedback dissects the complex skill of providing the right feedback in the right way to help educators improve leadership will and skill and how leaders can be prepared for the range of reactions that can undermine feedback's best intentions.
  • Managing Conflict analyzes the importance of resisting the tendency to avoid taking on conflict and how to keep emotional reactions "in check" to resolve difficult situations. A four-part model demonstrates the "when" and "how" of leading through conflict. 
  • Systematic Approaches to Hiring and Evaluating Principals describes deeper ways to go "under the hood" in making the right hiring decision and, once hired, how to evaluate the underlying aspects of leadership practice.
  • Deciding to Become a Superintendent shares a frank discussion of the "pluses and minuses" in applying for a superintendent position and provides guidelines for both candidates and school boards in how to determine the best "fit" for the job.

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Product information

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Pia Durkin
216 pages
11 × 8.5 × 0.5 in
ISBN 13: