In developing this guiding document, SAIS consulted with heads and other key school leaders who have recently experienced a leadership transition. They were asked to review existing items and contribute additional items from their transition experience. This will be an evolving checklist for schools planning or working through a head’s transition.



  • Determine if and how the new head will be involved in the search or hiring of personnel for the next school year.
  • Detail faculty compensation models including salary scale if applicable. Identify individuals, if any, for whom there are special circumstances.
  • Compare the compensation and benefits package to peer and competitor schools and the local public school system.
  • Detail the history of tuition remission for faculty and staff.
  • Identify the top issues for the faculty.
  • Determine any promises that have been made or implied.

Leadership Team

  • Identify members of the senior leadership team and those on the broader leadership team.
  • Discern the dynamics of the leadership team using a tool like DiSC or Predictive Index.
  • Identify and acknowledge current concerns from each member of the team.
  • Compile a report of goals, vision, accomplishments and challenges for each division and department.
  • Have directors identify one to two people to meet with first in each division or department.