KSBA creates new “orientation” seminar for school boards; primary goals are to assist new board members and to help board teams build unity

The word "orientation" means to position yourself in a new place or adapt to a new reality.

For board members, that might mean understanding what a new law means for their district, getting to know a new superintendent, or coming together as a board team when new members join after an election.

This orientation session was developed not only to help new board members get started, but to help board members unify as a team. Its goal is to help every member of the team to adapt to his or her environment, and then to move ahead with confidence.

Though a board may include some longtime members, if it has one or more new board members, that team is new. And boards become effective by learning together.

Research shows that high-achieving school districts are governed by strong, focused school boards.
There is always something more to learn and stronger relationships to build based on the lessons of successful leadership.

What will you gain from this orientation process?

You will build a foundation of knowledge on the law and on best practices so you will feel ready to make decisions on behalf of the students of your district.

The initial two-hour session will cover these topics:

1. Your public role - You are a reflection of the school district. What is the appropriate involvement with schools? With social media?

2. Your legal authority - What are your legal responsibilities as a board member? What are the ethics guidelines board members should follow?

3. Building teamwork - Coming together is hard. What does good teamwork look like? How do board members manage difficult decisions so that disagreements don’t become deep divisions?

4. Characteristics of strong leadership - There are traits that good leaders have. How can you become a leader in your community for public schools?

5. Key decision dates each year - How can you prepare for the big decisions, like passing the annual budget or supporting district improvement plans?

After the initial session, there will be two, one-hour follow-up sessions. For those, you may choose a topic for in-depth study, and a topic for a facilitated discussion based on your team’s interests.

Remember, you are a community leader, and there are time-tested leadership qualities that will build the strength of your school board, your school district and community.

Get oriented as a team and make sure you are heading in the direction of student success.

More information will be coming to your board about this KSBA training. If you are interested, call or email Jean Crowley at KSBA at 502-695-4630 or at jean.crowley@ksba.org.

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