School Board Fast Start Program

I attended the Pennsylvania School Boards Association‘s (PSBA) Ready, Set, Govern program this weekend in Mars, PA.  The program is intended as an orientation for new school board members and new superintendents.  The program was a tw0-day, four part program and I thought it was very well done.

The first day’s morning program focused on a general background and organization of school boards in Pennsylvania.  My big take-away from this was that the board functions as a unit — policies, decisions, and actions are by the board as a whole and not individual board members.  I knew this, but it’s helpful to be ever vigilant against acting as an individual board member.  That doesn’t mean that there’s no room for leadership, rather that it is our actions as an entire board which matter, not my individual actions.

The afternoon focused on budget.  This is by far the school district’s biggest challenge. This too, was very helpful, particularly with respect to budget time lines (unlike other bodies we must pass our budget by June 30!).

The second day focused on legal matters (Sunshine Law, School Code, etc.) and the board’s role in promoting student performance.  Again both were well done with knowledgeable presenters and I came away with many tidbits of knowledge.  The whole weekend was very helpful and I know that I’ll attend PSBA training sessions in the future.