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Arkansas State University

Operations Management Practices for the School Superintendent

A superintendent is the school district’s leader who manages the daily operations and plans the community’s long-term goals. They oversee principals, teachers and staff while interacting with school board members to manage the fiscal side of the district. A superintendent will also lobby for additional funding, hire staff and solve problems while executing a shared vision of the district. Superintendents must also possess strong interpersonal skills, such as communicating effectively to encourage community members and build relationships.

The online Education Specialist (Ed.S.) in Educational Leadership, Superintendency program from Arkansas State University provides additional study beyond a master’s degree. This post-graduate program offers educators coursework designed to improve their general educational and specific professional competencies as public school system leaders. The courses are tightly integrated and focused on an application-based curriculum, and students in this program will benefit from incorporating technology aligned with national expectations for the 21st-century educator.

Management and Operational Areas for School Leaders

Major tasks assigned to superintendents include resource management, supervision, policies and procedures, distributed leadership and school management, operational systems and more. Management and operational systems include financial services; marketing, public relations and communications; human resources; facilities; technology; and educational programming and staff development. Below are some of the most important operational management practices school superintendents should know.

  • Predictive and preventative maintenance. This approach to facility management and maintenance is a trend that uses preventative maintenance to ensure the operations team is not simply reacting to the latest breakdown. It takes time, effort and money to enact preventive maintenance practices. When schools put off repairs until the budget accommodates the cost, schools can spend considerably more money than needed to fund a preventative maintenance program.

    Predictive maintenance uses known information about a school’s HVAC system, roof or other assets to optimize the performance of each one based on its individual needs. If the HVAC system should last 30 years but the past few winters have been unusually cold, that information can help anticipate needed upgrades or repairs based on use, not estimates.

  • Energy efficiency. Environmental friendliness and energy efficiency involve using the best practices to save money, reduce the budget and save the environment. Energy is commonly a significant budget issue, typically right behind payroll. Therefore, a strong energy management program is essential to saving money. Tracking bills, discovering inefficiencies, conserving energy, complying with government regulations and communicating goals can help save money on energy use.
  • Business intelligence. When schools make informed decisions based on solid data, they can set themselves and their students up for sustained success. By using key performance indicators and benchmark data, schools can track factors and identify waste to allow schools to adjust and justify decisions.
  • Health and safety. Schools owe it to their students to ensure a healthy and safe learning environment. Students who feel emotionally comfortable and physically safe in school score higher on tests and perform better in life. Adjusting in school for natural lighting and reducing distracting noise can help students focus better.

What’s Next

Arkansas State University’s online Ed.S. in Educational Leadership, Superintendency program emphasizes the operations management skill area with the Management of Operational Systems course. In this class, educators will learn to collaborate with educators to provide safe and appropriate learning environments for their students.

Learn more about Arkansas State University’s online Ed.S. in Educational Leadership, Superintendency program.

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