Best Practices in Evaluating Performance

Board of Trustees Self-Evaluation

The Board self-evaluation is a tool designed to surface a Board’s strengths and weaknesses. It provides an opportunity for the Board to learn about itself, celebrate what it does well, and address those areas in need of improvement.

If for no other reason, most international schools conduct periodic self-evaluation because it is required by the major accrediting agencies.  But the value of the process extends far beyond just compliance with external standards. Effective Board self-evaluation serves to enhance governance in a variety of ways by enabling the Board to:

  • identify ways in which the Board can improve its performance;
  • ascertain to what extent the Board met its Board goals for the year;
  • affirm the shared understanding of the Board's role and responsibilities;
  • remind board members of their individual and collective responsibilities;
  • improve communications within the Board and with the Director;
  • signal to the rest of the school community the importance of accountability; and
  • determine relevant Board goals for the next school year.

View the Self-Evaluation

Head of School Evaluation

No, it’s not a report card, not a “gotcha” opportunity for the Board, and not a collection of anecdotes about the Head of School’s performance.  Rather, the Head of School evaluation is a vital component of the Board-Head relationship and the overall functioning of an effective school.

The Head of School evaluation is meant to enhance professional development, as a growth- and improvement-focused exercise.  The instrument used to facilitate/document the evaluation of the Head of School should be viewed primarily as a prompt for discussion between Board and Head to clarify her/his performance and inform goal setting and professional development strategies.

The benefits of a sound, proven-practice-based Head of School evaluation process are many:

Board benefits

  • A good evaluation process enhances communication between the Board and the Head of School and strengthens that collaborative relationship.
  • Evaluation facilitates the board’s oversight function.
  • Identifying Head of School strengths and needs enables the Head to better support the work of the Board.

Head of School

  • Constructive feedback is the best guide to show what works and where change is needed.
  • Self-evaluation as part of the process forces the Head to reconcile his or her own weaknesses and strengths — and then to improve them or to build on them.
  • Clarifying expectations for the coming year highlights the Board’s priorities for the Head’s performance.
  • Clear and frank feedback to the Head on her/his performance enables the Head to engage in professional development strategies that address areas of need.

The School 

  • Affirming and aligning expectations of the Board and Head promotes clarity in forging strategic direction and implementing policies and procedures. 

View the Evaluation



The AAIE International School Board Development Curriculum is a component of the AAIE Governance Suite by David Chojnacki and Rick Detwiler, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Under this Creative Commons license, you are free to share this material — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, under the following terms:

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