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​​CSPG 96 - Superintendent PK-12

Administrative Area Code 1150
Modified: July 1, 2023

The Superintendent certificate involves the science or art of knowledge, competence, and leadership required in the provision of administrative services when working with school-aged youth in grades PK-12 in a school entity.

Grade-Level Scope of Certificate

A person holding a valid Pennsylvania Superintendent Letter of Eligibility or its alternative, a Commission Qualification Letter, is qualified for assignment to administer PK-12 school operations. The Letter of Eligibility or Commission Qualification Letter also permits the certificate holder to serve as Assistant Superintendent. 

Certification Assignment

An administrator holding a valid Letter of Eligibility or Commission Qualification Letter and serving as Superintendent is responsible for fulfilling the following responsibilities in addition to other responsibilities as directed by the school district's Board of Directors: 

  1. Instructional leadership focusing on:
    • Comprehensive plan​ning for the school district as required by Chapter 4 of Title 22 of the Pennsylvania Code;
    • Planning and initiation of programs and policies concerning organizational, operational, and educational functions of the school district;
    • Data-driven decision-making and problem solving; 
    • Professional development that focuses on student learning; and
    • Effective management of the school district.
  2. Oversight of all employment actions of the school district as directed by the district's Board of Directors, including the hiring and supervision of instructional and non-instructional staff required for district operation; 
  3. Assurance that all district employees and individuals who provide instruction and services to district students are properly certificated; 
  4. Strategic planning for fiscal operations and resource allocation as required by law, as well as maintenance of adequate records for the school district including a system of financial accounts, business and property records, personnel, and scholastic records as required by law; and
  5. Alignment of district curricula with state standards.

Certification Clarification

  • An educator who holds a Superintendent Letter of Eligibility may also serve as a Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction; Supervisor of Pupil Personnel Services; Supervisor of Special Education; Elementary, Secondary or PK-12 School Principal; and Executive Director or Assistant Executive Director of an Intermediate Unit.
  • An educator with a Commission Qualification Letter may serve only as a Superintendent or Assistant Superintendent.


  • An educator with a Superintendent's Letter of Eligibility or the Commission Qualification Letter may not serve as a Director of Career and Technical Education without a Career and Technical Administrative Director certificate.
  • An educator employed with the Superintendent's Certificate/Letter of Eligibility may supervise career and technical education programs as long as this supervision is less than 50 percent of their assignment.


Program Specific Guidelines for Certification

PA Public School Code: §10-1003(b), §12-1202

Article X

22 PA Code: §49.41, §49.42, §49.172

Chapter 339: §339.41(4), §339.41(5)

This revision supersedes all earlier CSPGs carrying this number and/or addressing this subject. Previous printing dates on this subject: 1973, 3/75, 3/78, 2/82, 1/87, 8/04.

Summary of Changes

​Date of Revisions
​Major Changes to CSPG #96

​Clarified certification assignment, including the responsibility of assuring proper certification of staff. Changed "strategic planning" to "comprehensive planning."
Added information about the Commission Qualification Letter.


​Updated terminology per Act 76 from “vocational” to “career and technical”.


​Clarified Restrictions of a Superintendent to serve as Vocational Administrative Director per Chapter 339.41-42.


​A Superintendent was permitted to additionally be assigned as Vocational Administrative Director and Supervisor of Special Education.


​CSPG #46 – Letter of Eligibility:

  • Letter of Eligibility may be used to serve as a Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, Executive Director of an Intermediate Unit, Assistant Executive Director of an Intermediate Unit, Curriculum and Instruction Supervisor, Pupil Personnel Services Supervisor, and Principal of a Secondary, Middle, or Elementary School.
  • A certificate for Executive Director or Assistant Executive Director may not be used to serve as a Superintendent or Assistant Superintendent.
  • An Acting Superintendent may be appointed without a Letter of Eligibility for one year.
  • A substitute District Superintendent or Assistant Superintendent may be appointed to fill a temporary approved leave when the regular Superintendent or Assistant Superintendent is absent on an approved leave provided that the appointed substitute holds the appropriate Letter of Eligibility.

​CSPG #69 – Administrative Certificates

Letter of Eligibility for District Superintendent or Assistant Superintendent may be used to serve as Principal, Curriculum and Instruction Supervisor, and Pupil Personnel Services Supervisor.