NxG Leadership Series for Onboarding Superintendents

Best Practice, Policy and Procedure for Guiding Kentucky’s new Superintendents 
 to a successful first year and beyond.




Next Generation Superintendents


Contact Information:

Dr. Fred Carter/ Dr. Rhonda Caldwell

NxG Leadership Series for Onboarding New Superintendents

Kentucky Association of School Administrators

87 C. Michael Davenport Blvd.

Frankfort, Kentucky 40601

(502) 875-3411


Program Overview

Program Authors & Sponsors

Rhonda K. Caldwell, CAE, Ed.D. and Ronald Anthony Strong, Ed.D. 

The Kentucky Association of School Administrators (KASA) in partnership with the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE).

Program Description

New superintendents in Kentucky benefit from an organized and sequenced professional learning and onboarding program designed as a just-in-time, standards-based induction model that provides immediate support for a newly hired superintendent by an Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) team. The program is designed and written for the program participants - education leaders who are entering their first year as a new superintendent or their first year as a superintendent in Kentucky.

Program Purpose

  1. To deliver training to new superintendents required by KRS 156.111 (new superintendent professional development), including:

    • Core concepts of leadership quality best practice

    • Effective implementation of school-based decision-making

    • Kentucky school law

    • Kentucky school finance and budgeting

    • School curriculum and assessment

    • Instructional leadership

    • School improvement

    • Community and board relations

    • Effective communication

    • Ethical leadership

    • Executive coaching/mentoring program, emphasizing demonstrated professional growth

  2. To collect work products and assessments from new superintendents demonstrating proficiency, which shall be delivered to KDE and the employing board of education at the conclusion of the training
  3. To strive for successful completion of the onboarding program within two years of taking office to maintain superintendent certification

Program Design

The program was designed by a team of experienced superintendents, KASA staff, and university representatives with support from Scholastic Achievement Partners and the International Center for Leadership in Education. The program is a continuous improvement model that includes the following elements:

  1. Superintendent and district diagnostic data to inform and guide the training.
  2. Individualized Learning Plans (ILP) crafted by a team comprised of the new superintendent, an executive leadership coach, a superintendent mentor, and a school board member liaison.
  3. Assessments tied directly to new superintendent implementation documents, including self-completed pre- and post-assessments of the superintendent standards, a Leadership Practices Inventory, a finance pre-assessment, a “30-60-90” day plan for the first year, a district improvement plan, a professional growth plan, a district budget, and district policies. These documents are collected in an e-portfolio and defended to the ILP team and the Board of Education in a Capstone of Learning presentation at the end of year one.
  4. Diverse learning modules in live and/or online formats that facilitate both customized learning from the ILP and a timely resource for new superintendents.
  5. Strong coaching and mentorship programs with training and evaluation, including specific objectives outlined in the ILP and guidance throughout the onboarding process