Annual Conference preview

Annual Conference preview

KSBA Annual Conference preview

KSBA Annual Conference preview

Fresh training, unique speakers and an app for that

Kentucky School Advocate
January 2016

By Madelynn Coldiron
Staff Writer

Nitty-gritty fundamentals and new technology: KSBA’s 2016 annual conference will showcase both as the association celebrates eight decades of providing training for school board members.

This year’s event, Feb. 26-28 at Louisville’s Galt House, will unveil the new KSBA Events App (see sidebar), feature speakers that include an artist and a former NFL football great, and offer some clinics that get down to the nuts-and-bolts level of school board service.

“I think we have some of the best clinic sessions we’ve ever had,” KSBA Board Team Development Director Kerri Schelling said. “We’re providing some fundamental, kind of hard-hitting topics that we haven’t always been able to work out in the past.”

Among those are clinics on facilities planning, model procurement and bid law, closing the achievement gap, everything board members need to know about transportation and the board’s role in the Professional Growth and Effectiveness System that evaluates educators. Several sessions will be led by school board members.

Board members also will get a fresh look at their state-mandated training topics. New modules have been developed this year for ethics, superintendent evaluation and finance. “We are holding to our commitment of having new choices. In fact, veteran board members, in theory, would not have to repeat any mandated course they’ve taken,” Schelling said.

In another change based on member feedback, the conference will offer additional clinic sessions after the Sunday brunch on each of the three mandated topics – superintendent evaluation, finance and ethics. This provides an additional training opportunity for those who stay for the Sunday brunch and, at the same time, Schelling said, “it gives them a little more latitude in what they can choose during the rest of the conference. When there are so many good options, it makes it hard to get sessions you’re interested in as well as making sure you have all your mandates.”

The tweaks in the 2016 conference don’t all relate to feeding the mind. Board members who attend pre-conference sessions, which end at noon Friday, often have little, if any, time to grab lunch before the opening session at 1 p.m. This year, arrangements have been made with the Galt House sandwich shop to offer box lunches at a special price. This meal will be listed with others to check off on the conference registration form.

The speakers
Friday opening session

Opening speaker Richard Hight will kick things off with an unusual combination: motivational talk with artwork. While he presents his inspirational message, Hight, who is also an artist, will be creating an original 6-by-6-foot painting on stage. “It really demonstrates in a graphic way the importance of art in education,” Schelling noted. While Hight’s message will be left with attendees, his creation will be left with KSBA.

Saturday plenary
Saturday’s speaker will focus on a theme of trust, a quality that is pivotal for school boards, superintendents and staff in working together. David Horsager is a business strategist and author of The Trust Edge, How Top Leaders Gain Faster Results, Deeper Relationships, and a Stronger Bottom Line. Schelling said his presentation “will help every person who hears him, even beyond board service.”

Sunday brunch
Are you ready for some football? Sunday’s inspirational message will come from Former Denver Broncos captain and All-Pro linebacker Karl Mecklenburg, whose pro career included six Pro Bowl and three Super Bowl appearances. It’s no stretch for Mecklenburg to talk about teamwork and leadership.

App-lause, App-lause!

The 2016 KSBA Annual Conference marks the launch of the association’s new Events App, which will bring all facets of information about the three-day gathering to the smartphones or tablets of attendees.

The app will become a staple at Annual Conference, Summer Leadership Institute and Winter Symposium from this point forward. By downloading it, board members and others will be able to access the conference program, create schedules, find workshops and exhibitors, and connect with KSBA’s social media accounts.

KSBA Events App icon 

The app will be a particular advantage to board members who are interested in advancing in the Academy of Studies, since it will allow them to sort the conference agenda by courses and levels. “At the touch of a button, they’re going to have access to data sorted in very useable ways for them,” said KSBA Board Team Development Director Kerri Schelling.

The app was a priority of the KSBA Board of Directors and one of the most requested services named by board members in surveys conducted at last year’sa Fall Regional Meetings. Besides offering convenience, it will also move events in the paperless direction, though not quite yet.

“Especially for this first year, we will keep the paper format as well, but in time, as attendees have access to everything they need electronically, then we could save some trees,” Schelling said.

Beginning in mid-January, when registering for the conference, board members will receive in their confirmation a code that will allow them to download the KSBA Events App free from whatever store serves their device. Content and updates will be added frequently before and during the event, she said, so attendees should check the app often to better plan their schedule.

“We’ll be able to keep in touch with members much more easily and make sure they stay abreast of every change. They will get information in real time as it happens,” Schelling said. She noted there will be Wi-Fi connections for every participant.

Schelling hopes to be able to offer board members technical assistance in using the app from those who perhaps know technology best: students. She is in discussion with students about serving as “assistants” during the conference. “It would showcase students and give them an important role, and allow board members to see firsthand some of the things that are going on in public schools around technology,” she said. “And also, who doesn’t want to learn something from a student?”  
View text-based website