Back to School: Is Your Board Prepared?

Back to School: Is Your Board Prepared?

By Chris Arnold, Co-Founder, Educational Directions Incorporated, RI & Stephen Dicicco, Co-Founder, Educational Directions Incorporated, RI

Many of you have spent the past several weeks readying your children for school— not just purchasing the books, clothing, and sports gear, but also talking with them about new teachers, courses, and responsibilities.

How many of you have readied yourself for this new school year as a member of the board of trustees?

Take a few moments to consider these questions and answer them with candor. Use the goals and strategies of the current strategic plan as a foundational focus that directs the energies of board, head, and staff. Ponder:

1. Is the board cognizant of the trends and issues that provided the impetus for the
strategic plan?
2. Is it updated on how the landscape has changed since the formation of the plan?
3. Is there some need for professional development time at the board meetings to
ensure that discussions and decisions are made based on current information?
4. Has the board set its annual calendar and included a board retreat? Will the board
be using a facilitator to help with the board retreat?
5. Has the board set a date and format for the annual “State of the School” meeting for
the school’s community members?
6. Have the dates for head evaluation and board self-evaluation been set? Are the
“instruments” in place? Has it been determined how the results will be used?
7. Are committees clear on what their goals are for the coming year? Has the reporting
format for committees to the full board been established?
8. As an individual trustee, have you set expectations for yourself in the coming year in
terms of how you would like to be of service to the school?
In short, is the board ready and excited for the upcoming school year?

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