How to Evaluate Your Charter School Leader Using the BoardOnTrack CEO Evaluation Tool

How to Evaluate Your Charter School Leader Using the BoardOnTrack CEO Evaluation Tool

Supporting and evaluating your chief executive is among the most important functions of any charter school board.

The board is responsible for effectively selecting, supporting, and evaluating your charter organization’s CEO.

With a proven evaluation process built right into BoardOnTrack, the charter leader evaluation process becomes straightforward.

Here’s how it works. And even if you aren’t a BoardOnTrack member just yet, you’ll find these steps helpful in ensuring you complete an effective evaluation of your school leader.

Your annual CEO evaluation is only part of the process. Be sure to look at our year-round approach to CEO support and evaluation.

Your CEO evaluation coordinator takes the lead.

Usually, the board chair or chair of your CEO Support & Evaluation Committee will lead the process.

If you don’t have a CEO Support & Evaluation Committee, your Governance Committee might take the lead. Or, a board member who has HR experience.

To start a new evaluation in BoardOnTrack, select the start date, and BoardOnTrack will automatically complete a 90-day timeline for you.

Be sure to follow a good process. Your start date should be agreed upon with your governance team and your CEO. Learn more about our CEO support and evaluation timeline.

It’s easy to change the dates should you need to. But, it’s ideal to have your process buttoned down tight from the outset.

BoardOnTrack guides you through a proven, evidence-based CEO evaluation process. 

What’s the most common reason CEOs' name for not having a consistent evaluation? It’s that the board hasn’t set the process. BoardOnTrack solves this by building the process for you. Year to year, even if your board officers change, you have a proven process you can rely on.

We’ve designed this process based on the experiences of hundreds of charter school boards nationwide, as well as BoardOnTrack’s founder’s extensive knowledge.

With our evaluation process checklist, the right steps are all laid out for you.

From when to gather your CEO’s input, to the board’s input, and even staff’s input, and what happens next.

Your board doesn’t have to create the process. We’ve done it for you.

As you complete the actions laid out for you in each step of our process, BoardOnTrack will check off the steps for you, automatically.

You’ll easily see where you are in the process, and what’s next. Without adding project management to your own list of things to do.

Customize your evaluation to fit your charter school’s unique needs.

From evaluation subjects to even CEO job titles, BoardOnTrack’s CEO evaluation tool is completely customizable to fit your charter school’s unique needs.

Using Survey Builder, you can customize any aspect of the BoardOnTrack standard survey, or you could enter your own survey if there’s one you want to use.  

Is there something you’d like to add to the CEO job description? This could inform the goals you set for your school leader for the coming year.

Customize your CEO’s title.

Charter school leaders go by many names. We use the term CEO to denote the person at the very top of the organization, who reports directly to the board. Some call this person their head of school, principal, or executive director.

Choose the right title for your CEO from a pre-set list of title options: CEO, Director, Executive Director, Head of School, Headmaster, President, Principal, School Leader, Superintendent Director, Headmaster, or School Leader.

What if none of those fit the title your organization uses for your top executive? Tell us what you prefer, and we can add a custom title just for you.

We want the experience to fit you, your organization, and your school leader, through and through.

BoardOnTrack ceo evaluation customize ceo job title

First: your CEO completes a self-evaluation

Before the board (or anyone else) is asked to evaluate your CEO, they’ll evaluate their own performance.

When you click Start, the CEO will receive an email alerting them that it’s time to do their own evaluation.

Based on the goals set for them, and the profile of a BoardSavvy charter school CEO, they’ll answer the questions in the BoardOnTrack CEO evaluation survey. (These are the same questions that the board will answer later.)

Upload documents to help celebrate your successes

As part of their self-evaluation, the CEO can create a portfolio of evidence related to their work and performance.

Some of our CEOs even add assets there throughout the year, so that it’s all ready and waiting for them when it’s time to complete their self-evaluation.

What kind of documentation should a CEO include in their self-evaluation?

Here’s an example: if your CEO had a goal this year of improving teacher retention by 10%, they could upload a document that shows the teacher retention rates for this year.

Or, to support a goal related to closing the achievement gap as measured through test scores, they’d upload the presentation they gave to the board illustrating this year’s test scores performance.

It’s all stored in BoardOnTrack, in perpetuity, meaning that year-over-year you’re building a history of your successes. So you’re building an institutional memory at the same time that you’re effectively evaluating each year’s progress.

With the CEO’s self-evaluation complete, the board will now evaluate the CEO.

First, share the CEO’s self-evaluation with the board.

Once the CEO has completed their survey, your CEO Evaluation Coordinator can share the CEO’s answers with all board members. Those answers appear in an easy-to-read report, even before trustees have weighed in.

You can choose who the CEO’s answers are shared with.

We recommend that it be shared with the full board. After all, the board will be asked to weigh in on the CEO’s evaluation.

If you’re including staff in your evaluation process, note that they won’t see the CEO’s Self-Evaluation. There’s no risk of even accidentally sharing it with them.

Use BoardOnTrack to invite each board member to do their evaluation

BoardOnTrack will email each board member, providing them a link that takes them straight to the evaluation.

While the evaluation tool is thorough, it should take no more than 30 minutes for each trustee to complete their evaluation.

Easily include staff members in the CEO evaluation

The board should decide whether senior staff will participate in your CEO evaluation.

We recommend a modified 360-degree evaluation.

With this approach, the senior staff are invited to participate in the evaluation process. This. might include the CFO, CAO, Dean of Students, or principal.

Ultimately, it’s the board’s role to conduct the final evaluation and document it in a memo.

Some boards choose not to have direct reports weigh in. But the board has a relatively small window into the CEO’s day-to-day performance. And these staff members work with the CEO on a daily basis.

Each staff member will need a BoardOnTrack login. We’ve made this easy by creating different use types for “staff” and “board.”

And just like the board, any staff members you choose to include in the process will receive email alerts via BoardOnTrack linking them to the survey.

BoardOnTrack summarizes the evaluation results in a simple report

Your CEO evaluation becomes far more actionable when you can aggregate and evaluate the data. This is one of the biggest differences between using BoardOnTrack to evaluate your CEO, as compared to the many other approaches we’ve seen.

BoardOnTrack creates a robust, yet simple, report for you.

View and share the results easily right in BoardOnTrack. (You can print or export to PDF as well.)

Your CEO Support & Evaluation Committee will review the report and finalize the evaluation with the board and CEO.

Some features of the report:

  • Your respondents’ ratings are displayed in table form making it easy to see where your CEO shines, where they need improvement, and where there is any misalignment in expectations or evaluation.
  • Data is color-coded to separate the CEO’s responses from the board’s and the staff’s.
  • Anonymous vs. non-anonymous responses are also clearly delineated. All Board members’ and direct reports’ responses are anonymous.
  • All free-text comments are easy to read and understand. Board members’ and direct reports’ comments are also anonymous.
  • With one click, see a print view of the report. 

Keep track of who’s done what, at each stage of the process.

Even while responses are anonymized in the report, with BoardOnTrack, your coordinator can easily track who’s completed their responses, and who has yet to respond.

Then, send reminder emails to those who need them, directly from the platform.

BoardOnTrack provides you with a sample CEO evaluation memo.

Documenting the evaluation process that took place and summarizing the results is arguably the most important step in the evaluation process.

Your memo documents your process. And it provides an executive summary highlighting the results — the strengths and potential areas for improvement next year.

BoardOnTrack members can download our template memo straight from the BoardOnTrack platform, to get a head start on this key task. 

Note: If you don’t have a CEO Support & Evaluation Committee, the group that led this process will handle this step. This might be your Governance Committee. Or, if your board is relatively small, you might be a committee of the whole, together.

Keep track of who’s done what, at each stage of the process.

Even while responses are anonymized in the report, with BoardOnTrack, your coordinator can easily track who’s completed their responses, and who has yet to respond.

Then, send reminder emails to those who need them, directly from the platform.


Our leader oversees multiple schools, not just a single school. Will this work for us?

The full range of types of charter organizations use BoardOnTrack. And this evaluation is built to fit you at every stage, from single-site to CMO.

Can the report be amended after the evaluation is completed?

Once everyone’s answers have been submitted, they cannot be changed. If someone accidentally submits their response, they can go in and edit their own responses before the coordinator closes the evaluation. But, once the coordinator has closed the evaluation, no responses can be changed.

Are the responses really anonymous?

The coordinator can see which participants have responded. But not what they said.

And, if less than half the board has responded, the report will not show any data. That way, we ensure that a report is not generated if there’s not enough data to protect respondents’ anonymity.

Can we use this to also evaluate individual school leaders within our CMO?

The CEO evaluation is designed to evaluate the top executive of your organization. The board’s role is only to evaluate the CEO who reports to them; not the senior staff who report to the CEO.

But, the process will ask for you to evaluate your CEO’s performance in managing those individual school leaders.

And, your CEO certainly could take a page from our book, and use our questions as inspiration for their own evaluations of their executive direct reports.

Is there a way to incorporate an executive coaching program into this evaluation process?

BoardOnTrack is designed to support both the board and the CEO. A significant amount of our resources and trainings are built for both groups. And we look forward to continuing to build even more executive support & training to help boards help their CEOs do their jobs even better.

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