Evaluating the superintendent

Why evaluate?

Evaluation fulfills the four board governing roles: 
  • Vision: Goal Setting.
  • Structure: Clear plan, timeline.
  • Accountability: Measurement of progress to goals, superintendent performance.
  • Advocacy: Communication of goals and progress in meeting them.
Evaluation should be...
  • A positive, objective process
  • Structured communication between the board, the community and the superintendent
  • A tool for informed change
  • A method for promoting the goals, values and progress of the district
  • Performed in a supportive atmosphere
It's all about "Clear expectations"

Think About:

  • What issues require leadership from the superintendent?
  • What changes do we want to see next year?
  • What is the superintendent's role in leading these changes?
  • How do we measure progress?
  • When do we want a report on the progress?

How can we evaluate objectively and fairly?

  • Only evaluate on the agreed upon performance objectives and/or goals
  • How will you measure achievement?
  • What documentation or evidence will you require?

Plan the evaluation calendar

  • Identify one or more informal progress review meeting dates
  • Identify formal evaluation date
  • Beware of the Ides of March requirements
  • Give advance notice to the person about the option for an "open hearing."


  • February - August: Goal Setting
    • Adopt an evaluation document
    • January: Interim progress report
    • February: Evaluation process
    • By March 15: Formal evaluation meeting
    • End of school year: Final results

    What are the requirements?

    • State statutes (ORS) 192.660, 332.505, 342.513, 342.815
    • Administrative Rules (OAR) 581-022-1720
    • Board Policy Manual Policy CBG
    • Superintendent Employment Contract
    • Board/Supt. Working Agreement

    Adopt an evaluation document

    • Should list the goals
    • Provides a defined rating system; i.e. numerical, descriptive, etc.
    • Provides space for written comments
    • Also serves as worksheet for the board's composite evaluation
    Part 1: Performance Standards
    • Leadership and District Culture
    • Policy and Governance
    • Communications and Community Relations
    • Organizational Management
    • Curriculum Planning 
    • Instructional Leadership
    • Human Resources Management
    • Values and Ethics of Leadership
    • Labor Relations
    Part 2: Goals 
    • The Board meets to set goals immediately after one evaluation, for the next year
    • Three to Eight Goals
    • SMART:
      • Simple
      • Measurable
      • Attainable
      • Results Oriented
      • Time Bound
      Part 3: 360 degree evaluation
      • May be Superintendent or board driven 
      • Decide what groups will be surveyed
      • Statistically significant, random?
      • Define the questions


      • Superintendent fills out forms for both part 1 and part 2 and reports back to the board.
      • Assists board in understanding what has been accomplished.
      • May be reported before the formal evaluation meeting or at the same time.

      Completing the job

      • Superintendent reports results of self-evaluation and 360 degree evaluation to board.
      • Members fill out the evaluation worksheets for parts 1 and 2 individually
      • Board meets to prepare a composite evaluation (executive session allowed)
      • Composite evaluation is presented to superintendent. (executive session is allowed)
      • Once signed off, it becomes a public document
      • Report the composite evaluation to the public


      1. Consult district requirements
      2. Review relevant documents
      3. Adopt evaluation criteria (public)
      4. Adopt evaluation calendar (public)
      5. Hear interim progress reports
      6. Circulate worksheets to board
      7. Schedule executive session to compile results 
      8. Discuss composite evaluation with the superintendent
      9. Report results to the public

      A Good Superintendent Evaluation Process:

      • Provides for no surprises during the performance review
      • Promotes a growth process with follow-up plans for action and review by the board
      • Begins with the board's self-assessment prior to evaluation of the superintendent
      • Assures timely, thorough review of performance.

      Public adoption?

      • A governing body (school board) may hold an executive session to review and evaluate the job performance of the chief executive, employees and staff, so long as the person whose performance is being evaluated does not request an "open hearing."


      • Not Allowed
        • A governing body may not use an executive session held for purposes of evaluating the chief executive "to conduct a general evaluation of an agency goal, objective or operation."
          ORS 192.660(8)
        • Public Records
          • The final evaluation document is a public record
          • Any evaluation documents/surveys returned to the board/central office are public records
          • Board member's notes may be public records
          • A moving target

          Questions to consider...

          • Is the final evaluation document a public record?
          • Are the individual board members worksheets, notes, input paperwork public records?
          • Are the individual survey responses to a 360 degree evaluation a public record?
          • Can we discuss salary as a part of the evaluation in executive session?
          For more information contact Steve Kelley at 800-578-6722 or via e-mail at