Fall Regional Meetings 2016

Fall Regional Meetings 2016

Fall Regional Meetings: KSBA’s own “listening tour”
 
Kentucky School Advocate
September 2016
 
By Madelynn Coldiron
Staff writer
 
This year continues the evolution of KSBA Fall Regional Meetings from spectator sport to participatory give-and-take.

The 2016 format is based in part on the results of an instant handheld electronic “clicker” survey of members taken during last year’s fall sessions, and the meetings will feature even more opportunities for them to give KSBA feedback.

“This year’s regional meetings are building off what we learned at last year’s regional meetings,” said KSBA Associate Executive Director Kerri Schelling. “During last year’s program board members shared their thoughts about the regional meetings themselves. And using that information, we found our members greatly preferred to have multiple topics presented, as opposed to one topic in depth.”
Accordingly, each regional meeting this year will have four parts:

1. Board members will get information on combatting inappropriate student-teacher relationships. They’ll watch a video featuring KSBA Executive Director Mike Armstrong and Jimmy Adams, who heads the Education Professional Standards Board. An EPSB task force, which included Armstrong, recently examined the issue and made a series of recommendations, which the two discuss in the video, along with the implications for school boards. Attendees will have a chance to discuss these points afterward.

2. Like last year, board members will be asked to help shape KSBA’s legislative agenda, again using the instant electronic polling. Last year, Schelling said, the association “received a lot of information that was very useful in this year’s legislative session, so it made perfect sense to do that again.”

“I look forward to getting feedback from our members on the issues that are most important to them for 2017 and how our membership feels about issues like student financial literacy and pensions,” KSBA Governmental Relations Director Hope McLaughlin said.

Besides helping with the association’s 2017 legislative agenda, the polling “will also help shape future training opportunities, to make sure our members have training options for the topics they want to know more about,” Schelling said.

3. A second instant poll will ask attendees to weigh in on a new KSBA Legal Training Service. The service will be headed by an attorney now in the process of being hired. “There are so many legal topics that are important for boards to receive training on that we owe it to our members to get their input. We are going to ask boards to help us prioritize the topics they would like to see our new Legal Training Service focus on first, to help give this person some direction and better meet our members’ immediate needs,” Schelling said.

4. Finally, board members who come to the regional meetings will hear a follow-up on last year’s feedback, “because their feedback absolutely drove a lot of our work” in 2016, Schelling said. At last year’s sessions, attendees provided input on board member self-evaluations and priorities of the KSBA Board of Directors for the association, among other topics. This year, they’ll receive an update on the progress made in those areas.

Fall Regional Meetings over the last few years have featured more interaction among board members and KSBA staffers, Schelling added, noting that this has been intentional.

“We listened,” she said. “We really took what they told us last year – whether it was feedback on individual projects or feedback on the legislative priorities, feedback on the direction of the association, feedback on what they want their regional meetings to look like – all of that has come to life. It absolutely bore fruit, because we know our members are the richest source of information for our work – that’s why we’re bringing some additional opportunities for feedback this year.

“There is more shared leadership with our members than ever before. We’re no longer assuming that we always know what our members need and want and we recognize that we need their input. I think people are really enjoying being part of the conversation.”
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