In-District Workshops

In-district workshops for the school board and superintendent leadership team

Learning together will move your board forward as a governance team and IASB has numerous in-district workshops to help you make an impact.  How can the board clarify its goals? Better engage the community? Strengthen the board superintendent relationship? Monitor district performance? And conduct more effective meetings? For boards looking to strengthen their governance role, IASB offers the following in-district workshops.

In addition to the workshops and sessions outlined below, IASB field services directors can create unique workshops and sessions to meet specific needs of the board team. Call us to discuss your needs!

Note: In-district workshops are now available in-person when IASB’s COVID-19 related requirements are met. See these requirements for holding an in-district workshop and contact your Field Services Director for further information.

See these necessary remote work and Open Meetings Act requirements for districts that prefer to complete a workshop with IASB remotely.


Your success depends on your ability to work with the rest of the board and the superintendent. School Board work is a group effort. This workshop will focus on board and board member roles and responsibilities, and how boards in high functioning districts can make a positive impact on student learning. Specifically, this workshop will help you to identify the role and work of the school board, distinguish board work from that of the superintendent and staff, understand how each member relates to the full board, and discuss effective board and board member best practices.

Newly revised in 2019, this introduction to the Foundational Principles of Effective Governance is a great place to start your board learning.
How do members assess the board’s meetings, member behavior, vision and planning, policy work, and board/superintendent relations? Learn how your members view the work of the board by starting with this Likert-scale survey of the board. Upon completion of the survey online, our field services staff will facilitate a discussion focused on continued learning and improvement.

Every board can benefit from a self-evaluation and the Board Evaluation Instrument is one way to identify issues before they become problems or strengthen what the board already does well. Effective school boards recognize that in order for them to be successful, they need to take responsibility for their processes and work and this instrument and facilitated workshop will help you identify your strengths and areas for improvement.
The Board Evaluation Instrument is a type of Board Self-Evaluation. The Illinois Open Meetings Act allows boards to meet in closed session for the purpose of board self-evaluation “when meeting with a representative of a statewide association of which the public body is member.” 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(16).
How does your board work align with the Foundational Principles of Effective Governance?  An IASB-facilitated Board Governance Review (a type of school board self-evaluation) allows the board to assess its own work against these key standards. Board members and the superintendent are surveyed in advance allowing field services staff to facilitate a board discussion regarding what is going well and how you can improve.

Every board can benefit from a self-evaluation. The self-evaluation process can provide preventive maintenance to alleviate issues before they become problems, or it can be a problem-solving tool. It can help the board to further strengthen things it already does well and address areas of challenge. The best school boards recognize that in order for them to be effective, they need to take responsibility for their processes and work.

A Board Governance Review is a type of Board Self-Evaluation. The Illinois Open Meetings Act allows boards to meet in closed session for the purpose of board self-evaluation “when meeting with a representative of a statewide association of which the public body is member.” 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(16).
Have you ever felt as if you just don’t know what to say anymore to someone culturally different? And you’re not sure if you’re doing something to offend or demean others when you have the best of intentions?

In this interactive workshop, you will receive greater confidence and skill practice in valuing and working across racial and cultural differences and will have mutual support to identify unconscious, exclusive behaviors which we all exhibit at times. You will focus on how to contribute to the school district’s mission and strategic focus on student preparedness and excellence for all students. You’ll deepen your understanding of the important and central role boards play in creating an equitable school environment that leads to greater student success.
The only authority board members have is through working collaboratively at a convened board meeting. Meetings matter…a lot! This workshop will challenge you, whether you are a new or veteran board member, to evaluate your board meetings and consider the following: How effective are your school board meetings? Do your board meeting agendas align with your district’s goals/priorities? Are your meetings focused on student achievement? If you dread your meetings and are wondering, “There has to be a better way,” this workshop is for your board.
Available summer 2021.
How do you know the district is making progress? All of your expectations about district performance live in your written board policy manual. This workshop will help you learn and implement a monitoring process for your board policies, board vision/mission/goals (ends), operational parameters, and board/superintendent relations so that you can effectively monitor district performance. Participants will understand the purpose and importance of reviewing and monitoring board policy, consider how they address board and district performance and practice continuous improvement, and implement a process for effectively monitoring written board policy.
The Myers-Briggs® Type Inventory (MBTI) has proven a valuable resource for board members and administrators who want to be part of an effective team and make a significant contribution. Governance teams will learn to identify individual and team strengths, enhance board communications, and ensure effectiveness and efficiency in board processes and decision-making. All participants will receive their MBTI preference profile and useful interpretive materials. Participants attending this workshop will develop skills that will enhance their effectiveness at the board table, as well as their personal and professional lives.

Additional materials costs per person apply.
Your governance team has recently gone through an unprecedented time that requires your school board to reflect and consider making necessary adjustments and changes. In the “Reflect. Respond. Recover. The 3 Rs of Moving Forward” workshop, your governing team will reflect on challenges related to recent crises you have experienced, define areas where the challenges were successfully met, and identify areas that need further response. Your team will develop an action plan to help the district recover and continue on the path of success. This is a complimentary, open session workshop, available to any member district that would like to reflect on its governance during a crisis and build a plan of action.
Has your board identified goals for the district? Does the board need to refine existing goals? This session provides an opportunity for the board governance team to develop, revise, and clearly articulate the district’s mission, vision, and goals. Prior to beginning the work, IASB staff will consult with the board and superintendent to determine the scope of work that the governance team wants to pursue, based on what currently exists in the district and what the board wants to accomplish. This highly customized session may include review, revision, and/or development of shared values and beliefs to support the district’s work; mission (purpose) statement; vision (direction) statement(s); and district-level goals for accomplishing the mission and vision.  IASB field services directors are also available to facilitate the planning and implementing a community conversation to inform district planning efforts.
New members want to make an impact but don’t yet know how.  Veteran board members can guide them by sharing the board’s practices and procedures. IASB can help by facilitating a Starting Right workshop. Starting Right, a type of board self-evaluation, begins with a review of the board’s role in effective governance and continues with a discussion of the board expectations for communications, board superintendent relationships, board meetings, and much more.  In order to become a high-performing team, each board must address the needs of new board members and the development of the “new” governance team. You may also wish to schedule a Starting Right workshop with your new superintendent as many boards find value in discussing the expectations of all parties in this crucial relationship.

Starting Right is a type of board self-evaluation. The Illinois Open Meetings Act allows boards to meet in closed session for the purpose of board self-evaluation “when meeting with a representative of a statewide association of which the public body is member.” 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(16).
How can your board build trust and improve communication with your superintendent? An effective school board works to develop and maintain a productive relationship with the superintendent — a relationship consisting of mutual respect and a clear understanding of respective roles and expectations. In this workshop, the board/superintendent team will review the characteristics of a high-quality relationship, learn a framework for identifying issues, and consider steps to develop a more productive relationship.
Engaging the community isn’t easy and the public comment portion of the business meeting isn’t designed for productive dialogue. This workshop is designed to help your board engage in a deliberate, collaborative process around your common interests.  You will have the opportunity to clarify your purpose for engaging the community, determine your intent for how you will utilize community input, consider the voices that need to be represented, and plan your next steps for engaging your community stakeholders.
How does your board provide feedback and ensure accountability for its most important employee?  A good superintendent evaluation process will make sure that both the board and the superintendent have a clear, common understanding of expectations, roles/responsibilities, and intended outcomes. This workshop offers the board and the superintendent clarity and input surrounding superintendent evaluation process components. There are, also, evaluation instrument templates that can be provided, reviewed, and/or customized to meet the mutual aims of both the board as well as the superintendent. Consider this workshop as a pivotal step in forging a deliberate, honest, and productive approach to assessing leadership among the governance team. 

*Evaluation Instrument Templates available upon request to a Field Services Director
“When organizations have a high-trust culture, they experience highly efficient teams, achieving maximum results with incredible morale.” - David Horsager, CEO Trust Edge Leadership Institute

The Trust Edge Experience builds high-performing teams and creates a common language to build connection, improve clarity, and increase productivity. Led by a certified Trust Edge coach, participants will explore the 8-Pillar Framework™ for building trust and identify how trust impacts every area of their work and life. Participants will practice methods to clarify expectations, improve relationships and reduce interpersonal conflict, as well as methods for appreciating others, building an accountable culture, and recognize how to rebuild trust when it has been broken.

DISCLAIMER: The Illinois Open Meetings Act allows boards to meet in closed session for the purpose of “Self-evaluation, practices and procedures or professional ethics, when meeting with a representative of a statewide association of which the public body is a member.” 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(16). A board self-evaluation can be facilitated in closed or open session.

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