Rounding conversation in action. Colleagues walking through hallway talking and discussing project.

Rounding for Success: A Superintendent’s Journey from Skepticism to Impact

Dave Kline, Superintendent of the Colton School District in Oregon, shares an inspiring journey from skepticism to success with the implementation of rounding as a strategic leadership tool. Initially cautious, Kline embraced rounding, recognizing its transformative power beyond routine check-ins. During his breakout session at What’s Right in Education, Superintendent Kline emphasizes its role in continuous improvement, shaping it into a dynamic feedback mechanism that guides leaders toward actionable insights.

I was the first person to say ‘This is kind of lame. I don’t really want to do this as a superintendent.’ But when you follow the protocols and build relationships you see change and you have people begin to develop further trust in the process and district. I think in our current societal situations with public education, building further trust in your community is vital in our roles.
Dave Kline, Colton School District Superintendent

The essence of rounding lies in building trust and relationships within the community. Rounding becomes a strategy fostering transparency and openness, facilitating meaningful connections between leaders and the community. Kline highlights the impact of rounding in the Colton School District on customer service, employee engagement, and communication dynamics, showcasing how this simple yet profound tool contributes to positive change within the district.

As Superintendent Kline reflects on the lessons learned and the trajectory ahead, his story becomes a roadmap for other districts. By embedding rounding into the organizational culture, districts can enhance customer service, engage employees, and amplify student voices. His journey from skepticism to advocacy underscores the effectiveness of rounding in achieving success across teams, schools and districts.

Download Leader Rounding Agenda and Template


Think differently.

Rounding challenges traditional notions by emphasizing the power of open feedback and constructive dialogue. It encourages a shift in mindset, urging education leaders to view their roles as collaborative team members, fostering trust, and enhancing relationships with both internal and external stakeholders.

Plan differently.

Superintendent Kline’s strategic approach to rounding is not just a one-time survey; it’s a continuous, intentional process that aligns with broader organizational priorities. By incorporating rounding into the strategic planning framework, education leaders can break out of siloed environments, gradually release control, and empower their teams, promoting a more focused, collaborative, and efficient leadership structure.

Act differently.

Rounding isn’t just about asking questions; it’s about taking actionable steps based on the feedback received. Whether it’s with community members, staff, or students, rounding provides a mechanism to build trust, improve customer service, and enhance overall communication, urging leaders to actively engage and address concerns for continuous improvement.

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Diverse audience at community meeting applauding