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KSBA Answers

District recognition of school boards should be thoughtful, not tedious

Kentucky School Advocate
December 2021

By Josh Shoulta
KSBA Director of Communications

Just because school board members aren’t necessarily looking for special recognition, that doesn’t mean districts shouldn’t take steps to celebrate their service. January is School Board Recognition Month, making it the perfect time to express gratitude to the locally elected men and women charged with governance of your district. The task, however, needn’t be overly cumbersome. KSBA has created a wide variety of easy-to-use resources and templates from which district central office staff may borrow.

Coordinating events is so difficult, and everyone is so busy. Do we really need one more thing?

Luckily, you already know exactly where all your board members will be at least once a month. Honor school board members at a regularly scheduled board meeting. Serve some refreshments before or after the meeting and, voila, you have a party!

There are plenty of other ways to fold school board recognition into things already on the calendar. If you are able, invite board members to lunch at school, hosted by students. Recognize them during an athletic event or prior to the start of a play or music program. Ask them to read a book to a class or feature them at an all-school assembly in honor of School Board Recognition Month.

Examples like these take minimal time and effort, and members of your community are already present to help you commemorate the occasion.

Tip: Whenever possible, consider student involvement. After all, that’s why school board members do what they do. And it makes for some very powerful photos!

What are the best ways to communicate to our community that January is School Board Recognition Month?

No need to reinvent the wheel. Use your existing channels of communications – the ones that are already performing well – to share School Board Recognition Month with faculty, families and friends. Use marques outside of your central office and/or schools to let the community know how you feel about your school board. Include a special message in your weekly/monthly school newsletters. If your district does periodic video messages from members of the administration, either give a shout out to the school board or, better yet, feature some/all of them in the videos. An easy way to show your board members some love is via your social media accounts. A few tweets and/or Facebook posts can go a long way. You’ve made the moment sharable, likable and something your followers can comment on.

KSBA has also prepared templates (available at the link below) for press releases, letters to the editor and proclamations should you wish to engage your local media and government.

Use the month to help your community understand what it is school boards do.

One of the best ways to celebrate school board service is to increase awareness of the roles and responsibilities of school boards. Even your most involved parents and community members may not know how a school board functions, or the tough decisions with which they are charged. Consider an awareness campaign that highlights how board leadership impacts your district. That might include interviewing your board members (for use in a possible newsletter or video) and asking them why they chose to run for school board in the first place? A more informed community is a more engaged community.

Access KSBA’s School Board Recognition Month toolkit. Download social media graphics, document templates and certificates and review our list of suggested activities. When sharing your School Board Recognition Month Activities on social media, use the hashtag #LoveKySchoolBoards. KSBA will share/retweet our favorites all month long!

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