IASB to help districts salute board members
Linda Dawson, IASB director of editorial services and Journal editor, answers the question for this issue.
Question: Last year I seem to remember that Friday at the Joint Annual Conference was a special recognition for school board members. Is that something that will happen again this year?
Answer: Just a few weeks before conference last year, the Illinois House passed a resolution proclaiming "November 15 in 2007, and November 15 of each year thereafter, as School Board Members Day" in Illinois. Illinois Association of School Boards posted samples of a proclamation, a news article and some public service announcements on IASB.com, along with some tips for their use.
Because the measure was approved so close to the first official celebration, your Association realized that 2008 would offer a better opportunity to provide member districts with more and different ways to celebrate the leadership of their school board members. And that's just what we have for you this year.
This month, your district will receive an entire kit by mail. The kit will include:
- A memo to superintendents, district secretaries and school public relations specialists from your Association's executive director, Michael Johnson, encouraging them to include other community leaders, business partners and local civic groups in their plans.
- A tip sheet with 24 ideas on ways to recognize board members.
- A press release that can be personalized with information about the district and distributed to local media.
- A sample letter that can be sent to community groups and service clubs to solicit their participation.
- A sample editorial that can be shared with the local media.
- A sheet with sample slogans that can be used on school or community marquees.
- Public service announcements of 15 and 20 seconds to share with local radio and television stations.
- A sheet of quotes that focus on the importance of public education and leadership.
- A sample proclamation that can be submitted to township, village, city or county officials for passage.
- A sheet of logos of various sizes to use in preparing any materials.
These materials were developed by IASB's communications and production services departments after looking at the best of what other states have been doing well for a number of years to recognize school board members. While every district may not be able to use every piece of information, it is our hope that your district will find something useful that will spark a celebration in your community.
In addition to the pieces listed above, the kit will contain a fax-back evaluation sheet. We want to know how your district used these materials, whether they were helpful and if there is something else that you would like for us to think about for next year.
Last, but not least, these materials also will be posted on IASB.com for easy accessibility. We recognize that the "green" way might be to just post the materials on our website, but we also want to make certain that, for this first year of an official kit, the materials are distributed to each and every member district.
School board members in Illinois, and across the United States, serve countless hours … most without any remuneration … to see that public education remains at the core of democracy. One day may seem insignificant in light of all of the hours of board meetings and committee meetings … but it's a start.
This year, November 15 falls on the Saturday before Joint Annual Conference in Chicago, so most of you should be home for the celebration. While some districts may include board members when planning events, others may want to keep their plans under wraps from board members.
So, even though you read it here, practice acting surprised!
And get ready to "Celebrate Leadership" on November 15, 2008.
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