2018 Policy Leadership & Legal Issues Conference

Engage. Lead. Deliver. Transform. 

April 12, 9 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
New Location! Airport Holiday Inn and Conference Center, Des Moines

Featured Topics

Board Policy Basics: Learn and understand the basics of board policy. This foundation can help your governance team use policy as a tool that shapes school culture.
Cybersecurity: Take home proactive steps to enhance cybersecurity and protect your district, students and families, and staff.
School Safety: Learn about what proactive steps your district should be taking to provide safe schools.
Emerging Legal Issues: Get up-to-speed on several legal issues that should be on your radar screen, including the move to November school board elections in 2019 and changes to confidential information regarding personnel.
Employee Relations: Clarify your board’s core beliefs and expectations for the district’s relationship with employees using an IASB facilitation guide.
Employee Engagement Strategies: Hear from your peers across the state on ways they are giving employees a voice in decision making through structures like employee handbook committees, labor/management committees and leadership teams.
Compensation and Benefits: Understand how to make decisions that enhance your district’s ability to attract and retain quality educators through a variety of compensation concepts.


Early Bird Registration Fee: $140 for IASB members. Registration increases to $170 on Monday, April 2 at midnight. Includes program, materials and lunch.

Register Now

Morning Sessions

Afternoon Sessions

The Power of Policy: Capture Your Culture—9:05–9:30 a.m.
Lisa Bartusek, Executive Director, IASB

As the “voice of the board,” policy is a powerful way to express the intent of the board and to shape school culture. Ground your knowledge in the basics of board policy, and learn how to move beyond the basics to use policy as a governing tool that shapes school culture.

Legislative Update—12:45–1 p.m.
Phil Jeneary, Government Relations Director, IASB
Emily Piper, Lobbyist, IASB

Hear the latest on top issues from the Iowa Capitol for the 2018 legislative session.

Cyber Security: What School Leaders Need to Know—9:30–10:15 a.m.
Rob Christensen, Chief Information Officer, Iowa Economic Development Authority, Former School Board Member, Former IT Director
The US Department of Education has warned that public schools nationally are one of the prime targets for cyber attacks, with criminals seeking to extort money from school districts on the threat of releasing sensitive data from student records. Iowa schools have already experienced this threat, including a cyber breach that sent threatening texts to parents, forcing schools to close to protect students.
This session will give board members and superintendents a leaders-level view of proactive steps you can take to enhance cyber security and protect your district, students and families, and staff.

Workshop: Building Better Employee Relations through Policy—1–1:35 p.m.
Harry Heiligenthal, Leadership Development Director, IASB

As board/superintendent teams all across Iowa navigate a changing landscape of labor relations law, there’s never been a better time for every board to clarify its core beliefs and expectations for the district’s relationship with employees. Use a new IASB facilitation guide to have that discussion at your board table—and help your board come together on its commitments through sound policy development.

Proactive Steps to Enhance School Safety—10:45–11:30 a.m.
Gary Schwartz, Consultant, Iowa Department of Education
Jerry Loghry, Loss Prevention Manager, EMC Insurance

School leaders have an important responsibility to provide safe schools. With attention focused nationally and in Iowa on school safety measures, what proactive steps should your district be taking? This session will explore resources and practical guidance your district can use to prevent tragedy and support school safety. The session will also cover Iowa law and emerging legislation.

Employee Engagement Strategies, Post HF 291—1:45–2:30 p.m.
Tim Kuehl, Superintendent, Clear Creek-Amana Schools
Jennifer Mooney, Board Vice President, Clear Creek-Amana Schools
Devin Embray, Superintendent, Glenwood Schools

Learn how these Iowa school districts are creating ways to give employees a voice in decision making in addition to the voice they have through the bargaining process. Our panel will explore structures such as employee handbook committees, labor/management committee, leadership teams and more.

Legal Issues Quick Fire—11:30–Noon

This session will provides a quick overview of several emerging legal issues that should be on your radar screen. On the docket: the first-ever November school board election in 2019; changes to confidential information in regarding personnel; and more.

Compensation and Benefits through a New Lens—2:30–3:25 p.m.
Jim Hanks, Ahlers & Cooney, P.C.

Board/superintendent teams have a new landscape for thinking about employee compensation and benefits, with greater authority to make decisions about employee compensation structures. With greater authority, also comes great responsibility to make decisions that enhance the ability of your district to attract and retain quality teachers and ultimately, to benefit students. This session will lay out a variety of potential compensation concepts, as well as explore questions boards must first ask themselves.

   For more information, contact Marte Brightman at mbrightman@ia-sb.org or by phone (515) 247-7048.

Conference attendees earn
15 Better Boardsmanship credits!

Learn more about
Better Boardsmanship Awards