Mentoring Matters for Superintendents: December

Leadership-life Fit:

Are you addicted to “busyness”? Learn how to let go of “busyness” to attain a better leadership-life fit. 

Leading Learning:

This report, Empowering the 21st Century Superintendent, published by the Consortium for School Networking presents 5 themes for technology leadership:  

  1. Strengthen district leadership and communication.
  2. Raise the bar with 21st century skills
  3. Transform pedagogy with compelling learning environments
  4. Support professional development and communities of practice
  5. Create balanced assessments 

Read the report for more information and a plethora of potential resources to support your work with regard to each of the five themes. 

Questions for mentor and mentee:

  1. How do you or could you model innovative technology in your work with staff and the community?
  2. How have you or could you integrate technology into district leadership, management and operations? (e.g. HR solutions, web communication solutions, text alerts, recorded phone messages, student information systems, etc.)
  3. What is your district’s vision for integrating 21st century skills into the K-12 instructional program?
  4. What type of learning opportunities do you have for your administrative team to deepen their knowledge of and skill in 21st century skills?
  5. How is your district using technology to engage students in higher-order thinking, the creation of student-led projects outside of school, and the generation of engaging questions, for example?
  6. How has your district infused technology into professional learning and communities of practice? What ideas do you have for increasing the use of technology proficiency among all members of your learning organization?
  7. Describe your assessment system. What alignment do you find between your current assessment system and the one described in the report? 

The Consortium provides a self-assessment tool so that you can identify your progress and next steps as well as those of your leadership team:

Additional resources specific to each of the themes are available here

Coaching Conversations:

Paul Bambrick-Santoyo discusses his strategies for coaching principals to be instructional leaders in this excerpt from his article “Leading Leaders” which appears in the November issue of Phi Delta Kappan

How might you adapt his plan to fit your district? What would be the benefits? The challenges?  

Legal Vortex:

We want your questions and concerns!! Please access the following website and double click to add a “post-it” note with the question/topics you would like to see addressed in January. Please post your requests by January 4, 2013, on this site

December/January Monthly Checklist: 

These lists are intended as a guide and are likely not all-inclusive! Process in your mentor-mentee team to identify other items that need to be addressed during these months. 


  • Plan and conduct district holiday celebration
  • Set up January meeting with legislators
  • Visit building holiday celebrations
  • Develop upcoming year’s school calendar
  • Board Items:
    • Approval of curriculum handbook
    • Approval of reviewed board policies
    • Approval of audit report
  • Review of Early Retirement Policies
  • Review potential personnel issues in regard to termination procedures
  • Weekly/regular communication/correspondence with Board
  • Fiscal planning conversations
  • Prepare monthly board packet
  • Schedule and hold administrative meeting/s (learning opportunity!!)
  • Attend to community relations


  • Conduct mid-year review of goals & performance
  • Distribute budget handbook and building allocations
  • Approve curricular changes for upcoming year
  • Begin review of personnel requests for upcoming year
  • Review and update long-range capital projects plan/PPEL (to include technology)
  • Board Items:
    • Set fees (textbook rental, drivers education, etc.)
    • Approval of 2013-14 calendar
    • Tentative budget and enrollment figures
  • Weekly/regular communication/correspondence with Board
  • Continue fiscal planning
  • Begin work on Aid & Levy worksheet
  • Begin formal negotiations process
  • Ongoing communication with legislators as needed
  • Prepare monthly board packet
  • Schedule and hold administrative meeting/s (another learning opportunity!!)
  • Attend to community relations