engage - collaborate - reflect - strengthen

Connecticut Superintendents’ Network

Overview

The Superintendents’ Network is a clinical study group focused on improving instructional practice. The 24 superintendents currently participating in the Network represent geographically and demographically diverse districts.

This network was one of the first professional communities in the United States to support the development of superintendents as instructional leaders.  The Network served as the origin of Instructional Rounds, now well known from the work of the Harvard Graduate School of Education.  In this network, superintendents meet monthly, rotating between instructional rounds school visits and professional learning sessions focused on leading instructional improvement.  Members also participate in a spring retreat at Harvard University, where they work with professors of leadership and organizational improvement.

The Network meets 10 times per year for five hours to discuss ways to improve student achievement. Alternate sessions are clinical examinations of a school and focus on a problem related to the theme of instructional improvement that is posed by the district superintendent.  The superintendents work collaboratively to examine classroom practice, describe their observations using protocols, and suggest strategies for improvement.

Beliefs

The Network is guided by Harvard University professors Richard F. Elmore and Lee Teitel’s theoretical work that focuses on a superintendent‘s leverage points, which include:

  • Resources
  • Time
  • Accountability
  • Professional development

Goals

The Network aims to:

  • Break down the isolationism of superintendents and individual districts
  • Promote sharing and peer support
  • Connect theoretical work to actual practice to improve districts and create the conditions that foster student achievement.