Employee Relations Conference

Tuesday, October 12, 2021, 9 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
FFA Enrichment Center, Ankeny

Register Now

Download the full agenda here.    

A thriving workplace culture – an elusive phrase containing a popular buzzword (culture), but what does it really mean? What does it take to not only achieve a workplace culture, but to achieve one that is truly thriving and where all employees feel welcome, supported, happy and productive?  

As an employer, your job is twofold: create an environment where employees are excited to come to work in the morning and are being actively developed and supported to grow in their positions; and create an environment that attracts talented and diverse candidates and becomes known as a desirable workplace.

We are here to help with both these important roles as an employer in your community. This year's conference is all about transforming your district's workplace into a place where employees know and believe the culture is “the way we do things around here”, and with that buy-in, you can create lasting change.

CONFERENCE SNEAK PEEK! Listen in to a special BoardCast episode for an insider look at upcoming sessions at IASB's Employee Relations Conference with Ain Grooms (Professor, University of Iowa) and Amy Mayer (Regents Alternative Pathways to Iowa Licensure (RAPIL) Program Coordinator, University of Northern Iowa). Join us October 12 at the FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny!


Four Phenomenal General Sessions

Train Your Workforce to Build Your Workforce: University of Iowa’s Graduate Certification in Equity and Inclusion
Ain Grooms, Professor, University of Iowa
Districts across the state are investing time and resources into strengthening equity and inclusion knowledge for employees. The University of Iowa’s College of Education graduate certification in K-12 Equity and Inclusion is a great place to start this important work. Professor Ain Grooms will share important facets of the program, such as the competencies in research, policy, practice and student advocacy. This program could be worth your district’s investment!

Labor Management Committees and the Potential Positive Impact on Employee Health
Susan Bolte, Administrative Law Judge, Iowa Public Employment Relations Board (PERB); and Matt Adams, Superintendent, Woodward-Granger Schools
Labor management committees are designed to build better working relationships between administration and employees and tackle tough issues. The Iowa Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) helps districts and area education agencies facilitate these committees. PERB Administrative Law Judge Susan Bolte will share best practices and nuances, and Superintendent Matt Adams will showcase his district’s success story and how they incorporated and prioritized employee physical and mental health.

Compensation Models: No One-Size-Fits-All Solution
Eric Howard, Director of Equity and Employee Relations, Iowa City Schools; and Deron Durflinger, Superintendent, Van Meter Schools
How can districts attract the most qualified candidates for open positions? There are a number of ways—including offering compensation models that are incentivizing and lucrative for both parties. But where to begin? While many priorities may be similar, each school district in Iowa has its own unique needs and community values. There is no one-size-fits-all model—instead, it takes innovative approaches to meet these unique needs. Hear from two distinct districts who did just this—and are willing to share their tales to help your district.

Connecting Talent with Alternative Pathways to Iowa Licensure
Amy Mayer, Regents Alternative Pathways to Iowa Licensure (RAPIL) Program Coordinator, University of Northern Iowa
A common challenge across the state is a lack of professionals who are uniquely qualified but lack the required degrees and licensure to teach in your district. A solution: enter the Regents Alternative Pathways to Iowa Licensure (RAPIL) Program! The University of Northern Iowa’s College of Education program can help districts find professionals from specialized fields for those hard-to-fill teaching positions. And even better—the program strives to find these individuals from your local communities!

Four Fantastic Breakout Sessions

Grow Your Own for a Diversified Teacher Workforce  
Grow Your Own (GYO) programs across the state and nation have proven to be promising initiatives. They help create a workplace that attracts candidates who are more representative of the student population. These GYO programs can also help meet critical shortages in hard-to-fill positions. Several districts in Iowa are devoting time and resources to a Grow Your Own model and have seen success. Attend this session to learn about the program, insights and key takeaways.

Elevating Superintendent Evaluation to a Growth Model
Lou Ann Gvist, Board Development/Convention Director, and Tammi Drawbaugh, Board Development Director, IASB
The release of the new Iowa Standards for School Leaders (ISSL) presents an opportunity to turn superintendent evaluation from a compliance-driven task to a cycle of ongoing, productive discussions for meaningful growth and development. In this discussion, attendees will explore the new standards, related IASB tools and steps the governance team can take to leverage the superintendent evaluation process for enhanced clarity, cohesion and effective direction.

All-New Member Resource: IASB Guidance on Affirmative Action Plans
Anna Harmon, HR Services Director, IASB
In the 1960s, the United States passed equal-opportunity laws prohibiting discrimination based on race, gender, age, and physical disability. Affirmative Action Plans became a legally mandated process to implement those laws. So, what are Affirmative Action Plans and what do they mean in the context of Iowa’s educational hiring? Find out how affirmative action procedures can be incorporated into your district’s employee policies, get best practices on program implementation and updating them annually, and see a sneak peek of IASB’s NEW! Affirmative Action Plan guidance from IASB’s new HR Services Director.

Pay and Insure Them and They Will Come: IASB Compensation and Benefits Toolkit
Shawn Snyder, Associate Executive Director, Government Relations and School Finance, IASB
This summer IASB gathered information on teacher salaries and compensation, insurance plans, and employee relations practices from member districts. The data has been compiled into the comprehensive toolkit that members know and use frequently during the negotiations season—the Teacher Compensation and Benefits Toolkit! The tool is critical for districts to compare and contrast with others, identify areas of concern, and maintain cost-effective organizational operations.

Registration Details

Fee: $140 for IASB members. After Oct. 1, registration increases to $170.

Register Now

   For more information, email Marte Brightman or call (515) 247-7048.


Conference attendees earn
15 Better Boardsmanship credits!

Learn more about
Better Boardsmanship Awards