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Custom On-Site Workshops
Bring a customized, facilitated board learning workshop directly to your district. IASB will work with your board and superintendent to design a workshop just for you, based on your board development goals and district needs. Popular topics are below, but each workshop emphasizes application to your specific situation. Most workshops are 3 or 4 hours and can be scheduled on weekdays, evenings or Saturdays at your convenience.
Fees vary based on the length of the workshop. Costs cover the workshop and all materials for your board/superintendent team.
4 hours or more
Note: No additional fee is charged for facilitator travel to your site.
Partner with a neighbor: IASB can also design workshops for multiple boards wishing to learn together. Invite a neighboring district or two to take part with your board. Workshops that include other school boards in your region are done at a reduced fee for each board.
Call IASB to schedule a workshop. Facilitators vary based on the topic. Start by contacting Emily Rhodes,
, 1-800-795-4272, ext. 246. Emily will connect you to an IASB facilitator based on your topic.
5 Better Boardsmanship credits are awarded to participants in workshops of 3 or more hours. Participation in a custom workshop also fulfills the Elective requirement toward earning a Basics of Boardsmanship certificate.
Board Job Descriptions/Roles and Responsibilities
In this custom session, an IASB facilitator helps board teams and superintendents identify and discuss roles and responsibilities of school board members and the superintendent. The IASB facilitator will provide information and research on effective practices to enhance the discussions and learning together. The board/superintendent team uses these insights to build strong, shared understanding of how each team member contributes to the district through their appropriate role.
Team Vision and Goal-Setting
This board workshop is designed to bring the board team together to articulate a clear vision for the future of their district and determine central beliefs that influence the decision-making process for the district. The program can be extended to creating a mission statement and/or goals for the district. The facilitator will provide a framework that allows the board to develop its vision and goals in an atmosphere that allows free expression of opinions and ideas.
School Boards and Student Achievement
If your team is interested in becoming a board that helps make a difference in student learning, this workshop may be a great fit! There are a variety of potential entry points for board/superintendent teams wanting to strengthen their focus on student learning at the board table. The possibilities include areas such as, data study, student learning goals, or understanding and supporting key initiatives. An IASB facilitator will consult with your district’s board leadership and superintendent to determine an effective starting place. These workshops are developed based on effective practices for board teams influenced by IASB’s ground-breaking Lighthouse Research and other studies on school board leadership.
The options for workshops regarding student learning range from a single session to a series of workshops conducted over the course of several months. IASB staff works with your team to define the option that will be the “best fit.”
Governance teams are most effective when they take collective responsibility for monitoring their leadership in creating a positive organizational culture focused on improving instruction and student learning. An IASB facilitator will provide a suite of 3-4 board self-assessment options, including a tool that is specifically aligned with IASB’s Standards for Effective School Boards. The facilitator will help the board identify the tool that best matches current needs, implement steps for participants to complete the survey, and prepare to discuss the compiled data at a board workshop.
During the workshop, an IASB facilitator guides the board team through a discussion of their compiled self-assessment data. The team focuses on what they are doing well and areas they would like to improve. This session can also include the board using results of the self-assessment to establish goals and key indicators of progress to improve performance and create accountability.
Is your team interested in enhancing the superintendent evaluation process? In this customized board workshop, an IASB facilitator will lead your team’s learning and discussion on key areas of superintendent evaluation: legal requirements, the state’s standards for school leaders, tools/practical tips, and effective practices.
Options for this work include:
• Reviewing district policy.
• Re-visiting the district’s superintendent evaluation instrument.
• Determining a process to set superintendent goals and key indicators of progress.
• Establishing a plan for progress reports during the year.
• Identifying a process for regular board feedback to the superintendent on goals.
• Preparing for the end of the year, summary superintendent evaluation.
• Using information from superintendent summary evaluation to set next year’s goals.
• Determining other steps the board/superintendent team believes will be helpful.
Coming Together: District Sharing
This workshop is designed to assist boards whether they want to explore possibilities for sharing with nearby districts or their district is already engaged in sharing with other districts such as in whole-grade sharing or sharing a superintendent, administrators, teachers, other staff or services. The focus is to identify common interests, goals and concerns and to develop specific techniques to help boards communicate and work together. These sessions can also be designed for boards engaging in reorganization discussions.
Since sharing is highly situational, IASB staff work with board leadership and superintendents to design support that will best fit district needs. IASB facilitators can lead workshops involving single board/superintendent teams, pairs, or multiple teams.
Creating a Culture of Excellence and Innovation: The School Board’s Role
What is the board’s role in working with and guiding district staff? How does the board's role compare to that of the superintendent? How can your board/superintendent team work from your respective roles to create a culture of excellence and innovation that focuses the school community on student learning? In this custom session, an IASB consultant will work the board/administrative team to help you understand your roles in establishing instructional leadership that reflects the goals and vision of the board.
Sound Policy Development Practices for School Boards
Sound written board policy clarifies the goals and intent of the board. In this custom session, an IASB consultant works with the board/administrative team to understand the board’s policy making role, strengthen your policy development and maintenance practices, identify policies most relevant to your district’s current goals and needs, and ensure your policies align with state and federal laws.
District Finance Consultation
An IASB staff member will facilitate a customized review of your district’s financial condition, based on your own data and trends, and help the board/superintendent team consider appropriate oversight and decision points to address the district’s financial condition. IASB staff will work with the board, either at a board meeting or a board work session, to understand your district’s finances. IASB can also provide a half-day session one-on-one with a district’s new superintendent or school business official to support these key administrators in gaining knowledge of Iowa school funding laws, processes and the district’s current financial condition.
Developing Your Board’s Advocacy Action Plan
To have a say in the legislative process your board needs voice. In this session, an IASB staff member will work with your board to develop an advocacy action plan customized to your school district. You’ll focus on specific issues facing your district and construct an advocacy plan based on maximizing efforts that will have the greatest impact in persuading your elected officials. The workshop can take a broad view on advocacy, or “dig deep” on a specific advocacy practice, such as legislator relations, community engagement, social media communications and more.
Can’t Find a Custom Board Workshop That Matches for Your Team’s Needs?
Please contact IASB to talk with a facilitator about your team’s needs and explore possibilities/options. An IASB facilitator will help design a workshop that fits your board and superintendent team’s specific needs or put you in contact with a colleague who can assist!
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At the Board Table
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