First Year Superintendent Support

Plan of Entry Consultation

Every new superintendent needs to outline a plan of entry into the district. Michigan Leadership Institute can assist a new superintendent by providing a template and samples, reviewing the draft plan and providing feedback, and discussing presentation of findings to the board. MLI works with the superintendent to ensure effective, efficient, strategic learning about all facets of the district; to generate as much political capital as possible for the new superintendent within the school community; and to create a solid basis for addressing necessary change.

Executive Mentoring

Michigan Leadership Institute will serve as the superintendent's "thought partner" during the first year in the superintendency. Mentoring services include up to four days of visitation in the district, plus telephone consultation as needed. When on site, the mentor may also be used to facilitate board or staff retreats. Structured mentoring provides a confidential, experienced and objective sounding board for issues and concerns faced by a new superintendent.

Superintendent Strategic Review Team

As part of his/her Plan of Entry activities, by the end of the first 90 days in the superintendency a new superintendent will have discovered a number of findings about the district and issues that need attention. An MLI Strategic Review Team offers the perspective of experienced superintendents in assessing these findings and providing feedback on proposed strategies for taking action. The Strategic Review Team consisting of the MLI Regional President and two other experienced superintendents will spend a day with the new superintendent to do this review.

Functional Area Review

In this service, a review team will spend up to three days in the district reviewing the structure and operation of a functional area. Functional areas may include: instruction, human resources, facilities, finance, operations, communications, leadership team, or organizational structure. Michigan Leadership Institute will prepare a report outlining strengths, concerns and recommendations. The functional area review gives the superintendent an informed, unbiased review from external expert practitioners. This review lays the foundation for and provides the impetus for making needed changes in an area of concern to the superintendent.

Governance Retreat Facilitation

Michigan Leadership Institute facilitates critical first board retreats for new superintendents and their boards. A facilitated retreat helps ensure that the new relationship between board and superintendent gets off to a great start and that all critical issues regarding communication, standards of practice and first year priorities are discussed.

"After obtaining the position at Almont through an MLI superintendent search, Michigan Leadership Institute continued to work with me and the school board through the transition process. As superintendent, I was so impressed that I recommended them for our board goals workshop. If your school district is looking for a company with professionalism, integrity and dedication; look no further than Michigan Leadership Institute.
- Joseph Candela, Superintendent, Almont Community Schools

Facilitated Evaluation

Michigan Leadership Institute will facilitate a new superintendent's performance evaluations by helping the superintendent and board constructively discuss superintendent strengths, areas of concern, and goals for future performance. These discussions also include a review of governance team performance and how the board is supporting the superintendent's success.

Strategic Planning

When there is a change in district leadership, it is important to revisit the district's plan to confirm that it is still relevant and comprehensive. An existing plan may need updating or significant change. In some cases, a new superintendent may find that no plan is in place. Whether a district's plan needs review, revision or development; MLI can assist with a process customized to meet the district's and superintendent's needs. The process of reaffirming or identifying priorities, clear indicators of success, strategies and accountability will help the superintendent by bringing shared focus to the district's efforts and establishing the rationale for use of district resources.

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