Effective Superintendent & School Board Collaboration

With the Michigan Association of Superintendents & Administrators (MASA) and the Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA), Hanover has created the Effective Superintendent & School Board Collaboration research brief. This resource aims to equip superintendents with resources and practices to foster a constructive work environment with school board members.


Over the past several years, we have observed a record number of superintendent resignations and retirements because of politically polarized local communities. Particularly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, rhetoric in school communities has intensified over political divisions on high-priority state or national issues, such as diversity and equity initiatives, school reopening plans, or mask mandates. Unfortunately, this conflict is making it difficult for superintendents and school board members to reach consensus and govern collaboratively.

Understanding that superintendent longevity influences student outcomes, the brief examines promising practices for school boards and superintendents to govern collaboratively and productively.

Key Findings:

Examine Effective Superintendent & School Board Collaboration

The Research Recommends:

Develop a district code of civility in collaboration with the school board

Adopt a "policy governance" mindset

Find common ground through values-based dialogue and consensus-building

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