California School News — November 2017
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Governance Corner Practical Tips From Our MIG Faculty

Maximize your investment in professional development and training

CSBA’s recent publication The School Board Role in Creating the Conditions for Student Achievement: A Review of the Research makes a strong case for the need for professional learning and board training for governance teams. The research presented in the report shows that board professional development can help to improve student outcomes in a school district.

As thousands of board members return to their communities after attending CSBA’s Annual Education Conference and Trade Show — the largest professional development event in the state for governance teams — it is a good time to revisit strategies for maximizing the investment. Here are some tips to make the most out of any learning opportunity:

Before you go, devise your strategy: Governance teams should take time during a regularly scheduled board meeting to review the offerings, prioritize which should be attended and develop questions that they would like answered. By doing so, those who attend can seek specific answers to the issues presented by the full board, using the session’s Q&A to ask any questions that were not answered during the presentation.

When you return, make a plan for how to share information: At the next regularly scheduled board meeting after you return, there are a couple of ways to share in an open session what you learned. Board reports provide an excellent opportunity for board members to share information that they have learned while attending a training or event, and allows fellow board members, district staff and community members to benefit from your experience. Printed information can also be provided to the superintendent’s office for distribution to other members. Additionally, your team may consider scheduling a special study session to share information gathered and learned by all, thereby maximizing the conference experience for everyone.