The Leadership Services team has over 150 years of combined experience in public education. Board development sessions are designed to be interactive, to get board members engaged with the topic and with one another. The topics listed below are common topics covered, but board development sessions can be fully customized to meet your board of education needs.
Roles and Relationships
Defining the role of the superintendent and the board related to governing the school district. The seven powers of the school board are the focus of the discussion — such as policy, directing the superintendent and budget.
Foundations of Board Governance
A package of the various relationships that commonly occur in the course of the superintendent and the board governing the school district. Items like surprises, decision-making, press relations, and superintendent evaluation are covered. Superintendent do/don’t and board member do/don’t issues are covered.
The importance of communication in the superintendent and board relationship are covered.
“What Matters Most” Framework
The focus is on McREL’s research report, which identifies areas of systems that must be addressed for productive change. The role of the board being engaged in the improvement of instruction under the leadership of the superintendent is highlighted.
Effective Board Meetings
Resources used include KASB “School Board President’s Handbook” and the NSBA “Key Work for School Boards.” Both publications provide information to both individual board members and the board as a whole on becoming more effective.
Every year the superintendent and the board should sit down, in some sort of a formal setting, and, together, decide the AGENDA FOR THE YEAR. A decision of what the superintendent is expected to do and what the board is expected to do is made. Outlining these expectations early in the year greatly reduces any confusion related to the board’s focus, and superintendent’s areas of focus. This exercise is especially important for a district that has a new superintendent.
The only person in the school district the board evaluates is the superintendent and this should be done through a transparent on-going process on an annual basis. The focus of the session is on what, how, when, and why as it relates to the evaluation of the superintendent.
From time to time the relationship between the board and superintendent requires “outside assistance” to resolve differences of opinion related to duties, behaviors or actions. Staff will come to the district and facilitate a work session that can be helpful in resolving these differences. If serious differences of opinion on the part of the superintendent and the board are allowed to fester, the school district and its mission to improve student achievement will suffer.