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Governance Trainings and Services

The work of school board members is best accomplished when they work as a Board-Superintendent leadership team. Through trainings and services, the goal of the WASB is to develop board member’s ability to lead their districts’ efforts to implement change that will lead to improved student achievement.

How to begin?

Boards often begin developing their governance skills one of two ways:

1. If your board needs training on the basics, start with a Legal Roles and Responsibilities Workshop (see below). It outlines the board's fundamental roles and helps the members understand what is their responsibility and what they should be delegating to staff.

2. If your board needs to develop a better understanding of where the members agree and where they disagree, start with the Annual Board Development Tool (see below). This easy-to-use online tool can help boards quickly see the areas that require additional discussion.

If your board requires something else, the WASB staff are more than willing to customize trainings and workshops based on the unique needs of individual boards.

Annual Board Development Tool

The WASB and School Perceptions have teamed up to create an online tool—the Annual Board Development Tool—to help school boards evaluate their processes and procedures to ensure effective leadership.

Using the Key Work of School Boards as the foundation, the Annual Board Development Tool allows board members to rate their work on 12 different areas including vision, assessment, policy and more.

Board members have the ability to participate on their own schedules, allowing time for individual education and reflection. After all board members complete their review, a report displaying aggregate district results can be provided by School Perceptions. Of course, the results will only be useful when the board reviews and uses the data to drive planning. The WASB is happy to facilitate the conversation and assist you with the development of your plan.

Board Development Trainings and Workshops

The WASB staff and consultants provide a wide range of workshops to meet district needs. Select a workshop or presentation for your individual board or partner with neighboring boards for a joint workshop. They can be 1-3 hours or more. Just contact the WASB to schedule an on-site, customized workshop. Here is a small sample of the workshops available:

Key Work of School Boards
The Key Work of School Boards provides clear guidance for board members looking to develop the leadership skills they need to deal with today’s educational and political challenges. The framework uses a systems approach to help school boards focus on student achievement. Learn how to use this practical framework to make a difference in your district.

Legal Roles and Responsibilities of School Boards
The workshop provides an overview of key areas of Wisconsin law, including open meetings, public records, conflicts of interest, liability and risk management, and a board’s power and duties.

Financial Roles and Responsibilities of School Boards
This workshop provides an overview of key areas of school district budgeting for school board members, including relevant statutes, the budgeting process, effective and efficient resource utilization, and community participation.

Listening and Asking Questions
Proficient listening skills are essential to a successful working relationship because they reduce misunderstandings and contribute to teamwork and constructive conflict management. A spirit of inquiry, rather than advocacy, can also help you use conflict effectively. In this workshop you will learn how to identify obstacles to effective listening and improve your listening skills. You will also learn how to use questions to focus your conversations and understand how to communicate constructively to create productive relationships and building strong schools.

Data First
Learn simple practices to effectively organize and present data to your board and your public. This workshop will also review key questions to ask any time data are in front of you. You will do hands-on exercises to put the principles into practice. Core concepts come from Data First for Governance, a research-based, board-tested workshop series developed by the Center for Public Education and the National School Boards Association.

Additional workshops are available to meet districts' individual needs.

Other Board Development Services

 Organizational Consulting Services

The WASB Organizational Consulting Service is designed to provide an outside perspective and resolution strategy to address specific challenges that confront a district’s school board and leadership staff. The WASB Organizational consultants can analyze key operational systems in the areas of finance, curriculum, transportation, food service, facilities, and personnel. This service will provide a report that gathers data to define the problem, assess the current situation, and provide a response to improve the organization’s effectiveness to address the local challenge in a systematic manner.

Strategic Planning (contact the WASB for more information)

Employee Opinion Surveys

Facilitation Services (contact the WASB for more information)

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122 West Washington Avenue | Suite 400 | Madison, Wisconsin 53703-2761 | Phone: 608-257-2622 | Fax: 608-257-8386 | Email: info@wasb.org