CAPSS Supporting Professional Learning for Superintendents:
Programs and Services

CAPSS’ mission is to lead the continuous improvement of public education for all students by advocating public policy for children and by developing and supporting executive school leaders. CAPSS continues to be committed to providing a range of programs and services, outlined below, to support and extend the professional learning of superintendents. The LEAD CT Superintendent Competency Framework is intended to provide a framework for the support.


CAPSS is engaged in a partnership with the Neag School of Education’s Educational Leadership Department in the Executive Leadership Program that prepares aspiring leaders for the position of superintendent of schools. CAPSS assists in coordinating the superintendent internship component of this program. Experienced CAPSS superintendents are invited to serve as ELP mentors each year. In many cases ELP mentors are also invited into Executive Leadership classes to share standards-based, best practices in district leadership with aspiring superintendents.

Early Career Superintendent Support - CAPSS/Neag Early Career Superintendents' Seminar Series

CAPSS, in partnership with Neag School of Education’s Educational Leadership Department, offers a community of practice seminar series for early career superintendents. CAPSS invites all newly appointed superintendents and superintendents in their first three years to participate in monthly seminars organized around district leadership problem of practice. The Institute is intended to develop a networked community of practice for early career superintendents (generally superintendents in their first to third year in the superintendency). Participants will be expected to commit to active participation in each session and to be willing to both share their evolving district leadership theories of action and to share timely district leadership problems of practice that will become the primary content of the Institute sessions. Key themes and discussion topics will also be identified with the group for each session.


  • To support strategic leadership development focused on improving student achievement through district coherence using the Public Education Leadership Project Coherence Model, the Advanced Leadership Development Series (ALDS) framework and the Collaborative Inquiry Process.
  • To share and extend new understandings and insights regarding the strategies necessary to apply a contextualized district leadership theory of action to authentic district level issues and challenges.
  • To develop a networked community of practice of superintendents committed to leading for learning and working collaboratively to develop new capacities for purposeful, powerful and effective district leadership. This network will become a resource in and of itself for participating superintendents.

CAPSS Mentor for First-Year Superintendent

CAPSS will arrange for a mentor for any first-year superintendent who would like this support. The mentor will usually be a superintendent in the same general geographic area for ease of meeting. However, mentoring may occur via telephone as well as in person.

Mentoring is focused on a current, experienced superintendent helping a new superintendent respond to situations by sharing his/her own experience in dealing with similar situations. Mentoring is usually an informal process that is not based on pre-established goals or objectives and does not follow a pre-established schedule or agenda. Rather it is a process that is determined by the needs of the new superintendent as they arise. In effect, the mentor is there when the new superintendent needs him/her. Mentoring works best when there is collegial relationship based on mutual respect and usually quickly evolves into both collegiality and friendship. The mentor becomes a supporter, encourager, colleague and friend.

CAPSS Mentor for Superintendents New To Connecticut

CAPSS also offers a mentor to an experienced superintendent who moves from another state into Connecticut. This mentoring is focused on assisting the superintendent in understanding and responding to requirements of Connecticut education mandates. It also provides the superintendent new to the state with an immediate, accessible professional colleague.

Lead Connecticut/CAPSS Executive Coaching Program for Superintendents

Executive coaching will be offered to all interested superintendents based within the limit of resources of LEAD CT and CAPSS. The Executive Coaching initiative is designed to:

  1. Build the capacity of educational leaders in specific leadership competencies as identified in the LEAD CT Superintendent Competency Framework;
  2. Support educational leaders in implementing the continuous improvement cycle in their districts;
  3. Assist superintendents to design and implement a district improvement theory of action as part of the cycle of inquiry;
  4. Provide superintendents with a thought partner to work through actual district leadership problems of practice.

Executive coaches are trained in both the techniques of good coaching (listening, questioning, reflecting, and direct communication) and the strategy of moving leaders towards designing, implementing and measuring success of the plans they put in place to increase student achievement. The LEAD CT Partners involved in this portion of the work include the CAPSS, CCSC and the Neag School of Education.

Funds are available to support the Executive Coaching Program for first-year Superintendents through LEAD CT. LEAD CT’s priority is to provide first-year Alliance district superintendents with Executive Coaches trained through LEAD CT first. However, all first-year superintendents are eligible within the available resources. Experienced superintendents are also eligible for Executive Coaches on a cost-shared basis. The goal of executive coaching for experienced superintendents is to extend professional learning.

CAPSS Superintendent Support Team

The purpose of the Superintendent Support Team is to provide superintendents with support and counsel when they are facing one or both of the following situations: a situation in which the superintendent’s job status is being threatened, or a situation in which a superintendent is facing a particularly difficult challenge and needs the advice and counsel of others who have faced the same or similar situations in the past. CAPSS' Executive Director is the key contact for superintendents who would like to access this level of support.

The Marshall Memo

The Marshall Memo, "A Weekly Round-up of Important Ideas and Research in K-12 Education" is emailed to members on a weekly basis. Members are given a password to access archived issues of the memo, which may be downloaded or searched on over more than 5,500 articles.

Read more about The Marshall Memo.


For more information about any of these programs or services, contact the Leadership Development staff at CAPSS; or to join CAPSS, please call (860) 236-8640.

To lead the continuous improvement of public education for all students by advocating public policy for children and by developing and supporting executive school leaders.



Connecticut Association of
Public School Superintendents

26 Caya Ave | West Hartford CT 06110-1186
Phone: 860.236.8640 | Fax 860.236.8628
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