A school district has a hierarchical structure of educational administrators responsible for academic success in a specific region. The different levels of responsibility funnel from the state level to specific schools. This pyramid structure ensures that all educators are committed to the goals defined by the state.
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Board of Education
The state board of education governs state academic policy. This board is generally appointed by a state's governor, and they hire and evaluate all school personnel. The board of education sets all education standards, including adoption of textbooks, development of standardised testing, definition of education policy and approval of district budgets.
Superindendent of Schools
The superintendent of schools reports directly to the state board of education. This management role may oversee one or more school districts and is responsible for enforcing state education policy at the district level. The superintendent directly (or indirectly) supervises every employee and administrator in his district. A superintendent of schools attends board meetings, prepares budgets for board review and facilitates implementation of policy at the school level. Large districts may also have an assistant or deputy superintendent.
Executive directors are responsible for a specific aspect of the school system in their district. Divisions may be split by grade level (elementary and high school) or school location. Some executive directors oversee schools while others oversee programs or administrative needs, such as maintenance or human resources. The executive directors, sometimes known as associate superintendents, report to the superintendent of schools.
Each school has a principal whose role is to manage the school on a day-to-day basis. The principal reports to his respective executive director, and also works closely with the teachers and students in his school to support the goals of the board of education and ensure that the school adheres to the outlined curriculum. The principal monitors the academic performance of his school and implements programs to boost performance if necessary. The principal is also responsible for student discipline, event scheduling, budget proposals and community relations. An assistant principal often assists with delegated duties.
A school teacher works directly with students to support goals outlined by the Board of Education. They prepare lesson plans that adhere to the curriculum designed by the board, and they also administer standardised tests. In addition, teachers meet with students and parents to discuss academic progress and offer additional assistance when needed. Teachers usually report to the school principal, but may report to a lead teacher for their specific discipline.
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