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1 Expectations for a High Performing School Board Scott Chase 10-19-05.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Expectations for a High Performing School Board Scott Chase 10-19-05."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Expectations for a High Performing School Board Scott Chase

2 2 Expect the Highest Quality Leadership Students, parents, District staff, and Greece residents should expect the highest quality leadership from the School Board: Drive the development of the District’s vision & mission Develop themselves as a governing body Improve the District’s image with the community Be responsive to the public they serve Focus on the use of information to gain knowledge and make wiser decisions, & NOT try to run operations Promote & practice effective communications with the Superintendent, staff, teachers, parents, students & the Greece community

3 3 What to do isn’t new. It’s already defined! Extensive information already exists, tailored to public school boards, that can be adopted immediately, which will: Set the Greece Central School District on an even better path to improving student achievement Improve the trust within the District Improve morale within the District Improve the board as a governing body Information is based on fundamental leadership concepts and best practices applied to a public school system Board members just have to want to do it!

4 4 Information Sources National School Boards Association publications & web site: The Key Work of School Board’s Guidebook, NY State School Boards Association web site, Monroe County School Boards Association reference materials & web site, The American School Board Journal, $57 / year Five Habits of High-Impact School Boards, Doug Eadie, 2005

5 5 Why do it? Benefits include: Improved student achievement Increased parental involvement Increased administrative efficiency & financial stability Increased teacher & staff morale Stronger community support Higher school board member satisfaction Increased pool of highly qualified candidates for school board

6 6 Key Areas of Focus 1.The governing work of the School Board 2.Board member behavior 3.School District performance 4.Climate and Culture 5.School board membership

7 7 Governing Work of the School Board Governing – means the School Board plays a leadership role, in partnership with the superintendent & staff, in making decisions that answer 3 fundamental questions: Where should the GCSD be headed over the long term? Vision, long range strategic goals, strategic change initiatives, long-range capital improvements What should the GCSD be now and in the short term? Purpose of the GCSD, establishes general tone or organizational climate, policy decisions to better lead & manage District operations How well is the GCSD performing – educationally, functionally, administratively? Financials, external relations

8 8 Governing Work of the School Board Governing should be the number one focus of the SB The capacity to govern effectively needs to be developed; it requires developing the board as a governing entity Every board that is committed to governing at peak performance must also be committed to its own continuing education Effective governing requires the board, superintendent and top administrators to work together, collaboratively as a close-knit leadership team

9 9 Governing Work – 2 Key Governing Products A detailed vision statement: Defines the desired future state of the District An internal guide for planning & a powerful community education tool Adopting & updating the vision statement is one of the most important decisions the school board makes A detailed district image statement: Answers the question, “We the Greece Central School District want to be seen as...” Provides guidance in developing key messages to the community

10 10 Destructive Board Member Behaviors Trying to “fix things” for your constituents rather than referring problems to the district for a systematic fix Refusing to participate in board development, choosing instead to revel in “lone wolf” notoriety Publicly criticizing the board or the superintendent with the intent of promoting yourself & undermining public confidence in colleagues Declaring your First Amendment right to say & do as you please, without regard for the responsibility you have assumed as a member of the board to work for the whole Circumventing the superintendent to give directives to the staff L. J. Dawson, R. Quinn, American School Board Journal, Sept. 2004, 28

11 11 School Boards should not focus on details As the leadership entity in making governing decisions, the School Board must focus on the “big picture” and not get involved with the day-to-day activities of operating the school district. This means using information provided by administrators and relying on their expertise for data collection, analysis and interpretation The Greece community must realize and NOT expect the School Board to focus on the details of operating the District

12 12 Information Pyramid Reality Data Information Intelligence Knowledge Policy (Wise Decisions) Real World World of Information Provider World of Information User Adapted from V.P. Barabba, G. Zaltman, “The Inquiry Center,” Planning Review, 19, No 2 (1991), 5

13 13 Attracting “The Best” School Board Candidates is key High-performance school systems, characterized by excellent student achievement & strong community support: Develop a process for identifying strong potential board members Realize that school board elections should not be left to the whims of the electorate Have board members who are clear about their role in policy, budgeting & planning – they avoid engaging in micromanagement Have board members who are team players, with excellent interpersonal skills Have board members who enjoy working with one another & the superintendent J. M. Cronin, R. H. Goodman, W. G. Zimmerman Jr.

14 14 Help new & existing neighbors to register to vote Make known your expectations of what the School Board should be focusing on Write letters or ads, speak at board meetings Be an advocate for what the School Board should be focusing on – help educate the community Share information through PTA channels Volunteer, in some form, at schools to see the positive practices & achievements What you can do

15 15 References National School Boards Association website, NY State School Boards Association website, Monroe County School Boards Association reference materials and web site, Eadie, Doug, Five Habits of High-Impact School Boards, 2005 NSBA, The Key Work of School Boards Guidebook, 2000 J. M. Cronin, R. H. Goodman, W. G. Zimmerman Jr., “Finding the Best, Attracting and retaining outstanding school board members”, American School Board Journal, March 2004 V. P. Barabba and G. Zaltman, “The Inquiry Center,” Planning Review, 19, No 2 (March/April 1991), 5. D. Q. McInerny, Being Logical, A Guide to Good Thinking, 2004


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