March/April 2015

Nesa Brauer is a trainer in IASB's Board Development department. She answers the question in this issue of The Journal.

Question: What can new school board members do to launch their board career successfully?

Congratulations to all new board members!

Every other year, the Illinois Association of School Boards offers New Board Member Workshops to help its newest mem-bers acquire the knowledge, skills and resources to become effective school leaders. Workshops fulfill state-mandated train- ing and provide a “fast-track” for admission into IASB’s LeaderShop Academy.

New Board Member Workshops — IASB offers 20 this year, more than ever before — will take place across Illinois on Fridays and Saturdays in May, June and July.

State law mandates that every school board member elected for the first time in 2015 complete Professional Develop- ment Leadership Training (PDLT) in the first year of his/her term. Re-elected board members who have not already done so must also complete PDLT. New Board Member Workshops include PDLT, covering education and labor law, financial oversight and accountability, and fiduciary responsibilities. This training will also include a component on the Performance Evaluation Reform Act (PERA).

Illinois law also requires that newly elected school board members complete Open Meetings Act (OMA) training within 90 days of taking the oath of office. IASB focuses on both the Open Meetings Act and the School Code as they apply to school board members and meetings. All sessions covering state requirements take place on Friday of each New Board Member Workshop.

Board members only need to take PDLT, PERA and OMA training one time.

In addition to mandated training, New Board Member Workshops also offer Basics of Governance, with a focus on board and board member roles and responsibilities, plus networking and decision-making skills. The Basics of Govern- ance component of these workshops occurs on Saturday of each event.

Along with valuable training and essential information, New Board Member Workshops offer a “fast track” to be-coming a member of the LeaderShop Academy, IASB’s professional development and recognition program. To qual-ify for the LeaderShop Academy, the Basics of Governance workshop is required, along with two additional courses. The state-mandated PDLT and OMA workshops will complete the admission requirements into the Academy.

For more information, including a list of New Board Member workshop dates and locations, see page 24 or visit

To register online, determine the workshop you wish to attend, and find its registration link on the calendar at