IASB Annual Convention

Convention and Trade Show logoNov. 17–18, 2021
Iowa Events Center
Des Moines, IA

Register Now

For registration dates and fees, visit our Convention registration webpage.

We are incredibly excited to be planning a vibrant in-person Annual Convention for 2021 and look forward to welcoming you. As always, our keynote speakers will challenge and inspire your governance team, and our full lineup of education sessions for both experienced and newly-elected board members will be focused on issues and trends that matter most.

SCHED Online Agenda

SCHED logo SCHED, the online 2021 Annual Convention program, is now available! Attendees can login and create a personal itinerary, find details about keynoters, workshops, sessions and vendors, and access the full online calendar. Plus, you can print out, email, or access your conference itinerary on your mobile phone, laptop or tablet.

To help get you acquainted with the SCHED platform, we've put together a short walkthrough video!

Mobile Web App for iPhone, Android and Blackberry: Access the convention program on your phone by visiting iasb2021.sched.com.

SCHED Features:
  • Browse the entire convention schedule
  • Read detailed session descriptions
  • Learn about speakers and presenters
  • Connect with other attendees
  • Receive daily schedule email reminders
  • Download printable schedules
  • Build a personal, portable convention agenda for the sessions you wish to attend
  • Access to handouts and/or presentation slides (if shared by presenters)
  • Provide feedback through digital evaluations for individual sessions
Log in to SCHED today to plan out your day and stay organized!

Key Dates

August 4: Registration & Hotel Blocks/LodgingOpen
September 24:
SCHED Online Agenda Available
October 26: Hotel Blocks Close
November 17: Delegate Assembly, Pre-Convention Workshops & Member-Vendor Social
November 18: Annual Convention & Trade Show

Quick Convention Q&A

Q: Can our district pay for board members-elect to attend Annual Convention even though they won't be seated until the organizational meeting in December?
A: Yes. It is an appropriate use of public funds for public purpose to provide educational experiences for newly elected board members. It is not required that the newly elected board member take office at an organizational meeting before the district expends funds for their education.

Q: When is the best time to register those running for election and those not running for election?
A: Register superintendents, staff, board members not up for election, and unopposed incumbents early. Register re-elected incumbents immediately after the election, beginning Wednesday, Nov. 3. Register newly-elected board members beginning Friday, Nov. 5.

Q: What COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place?
A: We anticipate that health and safety guidance will evolve as events progress, so please watch your email closer to your event date for the most current venue guidance.

Q: Will there be a virtual option for people to attend the convention?
A: This year we are focusing our staff capacity and resources on providing a high quality in-person event; we are not offering virtual options to attend.

Convention Keynote Speakers

Brandon P. Fleming

Brandon P. Fleming Twitter logo

Assistant Debate Coach at Harvard University & Founder/CEO of the Harvard Diversity Project

Learn more about the Opening General Session, read Brandon's official biography and use an interview between Brandon and Lou Ann Gvist as a discussion exercise for your board.
Yong Zhao

Yong Zhao Twitter logo

Foundation Distinguished Professor & Expert on Globalization and Education

Learn more about the Second General Session, read Yong's official biography and use an interview between Yong and Lou Ann Gvist as a discussion exercise for your board.

Pre-Convention Workshops

New Board Member Academy Workshop Series
Ready, Set, Govern! New Board Member Onboarding Workshop

9 a.m.–11:30 OR 1–3:30 p.m. (repeat offerings)
Take advantage of the Ready, Set, Govern! series—all three workshops will set you on the road to success and include critical topics to focus on as a new board member. The first workshop will be in person at Convention, followed by a digital workshop in January on personnel matters and budgeting, and a digital workshop in February on student learning and superintendent evaluation. Learn more about the New Board Member Academy workshop series.

BONUS! All attendees will receive a complimentary hard copy of the 2021–22 School Board Member Handbook!

Division, Discourse and Decision-Making—the Board’s Role in Adaptive Times

Bill de la Cruz9 a.m.–11:30 OR 1–3:30 p.m. (repeat offerings)
Bill de la Cruz, Belonging and Inclusion Facilitator, De La Cruz Solutions
In a society that’s more polarized than ever, is civil discourse a lost art? Is it possible to find commonalities and connections in a divisive environment? What are the conversation schools board should be having? Skilled facilitator Bill de la Cruz will help uncover answers to these provocative questions and more. This interactive workshop is designed to help board members explore the impacts of division in discussion and decision making. Together, Bill and participants will define division, talk about purposeful conversations, and explore strategies to move through conflict. This session will deepen your thinking, model elements of relational leadership – and equip you with techniques and practices designed to help foster a culture of belonging and inclusion.

Basics for Board Secretaries

11 a.m.–Noon
This free, mini workshop is designed to support newer board secretaries with practical tips on foundational basics such as meeting minutes, agendas and more. Connect with peers, get your questions answered and then deepen your learning by attending the afternoon Board Secretary Workshop. Now offers SBO credit!

ATTENTION! You must register to attend a Wednesday Pre-Convention Workshop. Walk ins welcome based on space availability.

Board Secretary Workshop

1–3:30 p.m.
Our popular Board Secretary workshop is a staple in our Wednesday workshop lineup! With all new content, we’ll once again shape an afternoon of interactive networking and learning focused on issues and questions most pressing to Iowa’s school and AEA board secretaries. Session offers SBO credit.

School Finance 101

9–11:30 a.m. OR 1–3:30 p.m. (repeat offerings)
If you’re a newer board member, you’ll value this introduction and overview of basic school finance concepts and terminology. The session will introduce budgeting and funding components in relation to your role on the board. Session offers SBO credit.

School Finance 201

9–11:30 a.m. OR 1–3:30 p.m. (repeat offerings)
When the terms “authorized budget” or “unspent balance” come up in a board meeting, you’ll know what they mean after attending this intermediate level workshop. You’ll also understand trends using real-world data to help you meet the challenges your district may face. Session offers SBO credit.

School Finance 301

9–11:30 a.m. OR 1–3:30 p.m. (repeat offerings)
This advanced level workshop provides a more in-depth analysis of important concepts such as cash/fund balance, spending authority, use of the School Budget Review Committee (SBRC), fiduciary responsibility and more. Session offers SBO credit.

2021 Trade Show

2020 was the first year, possibly ever, that IASB did not hold a Trade Show in conjunction with Annual Convention. We missed our exhibitors, and we know members missed this aspect as well. Due to the virtual nature of the 2020 Annual Convention, a Trade Show was simply not possible.

But the Trade Show is a go for 2021! Exhibitors can now submit their contracts for the trade show. We can’t wait to see and experience the bustling Trade Show, brimming with new ideas and quality products for public schools!

Visit the Trade Show webpage for more information and submit your contract. For questions, email Jeff Rohrick or call (515) 247-7047.


Nov. 17, 2021

The Delegate Assembly & Annual Meeting is an important annual event where member delegates gather to hold the annual meeting, set and approve the legislative platform, and convene nominating caucuses for open IASB District Director seats. Learn more.

Learn more about serving on the IASB Board of Directors.


IASB has reserved blocks of rooms for Nov. 17–18 at area hotels. Rooms must be reserved in advance and dates vary. For questions, contact the Iowa Housing Bureau at reservations@catchdesmoines.com or 1-(800) 451-2625. Please do not contact the hotels directly.

Hotel blocks close Oct. 26, 2021.

Learn More


Convention Contacts

Convention Programming

Lou Ann Gvist
(515) 247-7064

Registration & Trade Show

Jeff Rohrick
(515) 247-7047


Matt Vinsand
(515) 243-7038


Tammy Votava
(515) 247-7040

Delegate Assembly

Stephanie Rousseau
(515) 247-7042

Accounting & Billing

Helen Grage
(515) 247-4680


For registration dates and fees, visit our Convention registration webpage.

Register Now


BBA Credits iconConvention registrants earn 20 Better Boardsmanship credits!

Learn more about Better Boardsmanship Awards