CASB Great Governing

A service of the Colorado Association of School Boards, Great Governing is dedicated to citizen leaders learning, growing and achieving for "the sake of the kids." For a conversation, contact Randy Black at CASB headquarters, 1200 Grant Street, Denver, Colorado 80203.

800-530-8430, 303-832-1000

Essentials for new members and new governing teams.



  • Designated mentor
  • Orientation/mentoring plan
  • Policy manual and bylaws (up to date, readily and easily useable)
  • Governance team’s strategic framework (vision, misison/purpose, goals, operating norms and core values)
  • Governance team’s goals/performance plans, progress assessments, leadership commitments/agreements/policies
  • Governance team’s meeting calendar and yearly agenda
  • Superintendent’s contract, progress plans and assessments, the official end-of-year evaluations
  • Student achievement goals, dashboards and progress reports
  • Unified Improvement Plans
  • Budget (clear, easily useable)
  • Financial audits (full reports and any related documents from auditor)
  • District’s strategic plan and related measureable, dashboards and feedback
  • Annual report
  • Negotiated contract(s), salary schedule, schedule/calendar
  • Curriculum system and guides
  • Crisis action plan
  • District map (sites, boundaries, contact info)
  • Activity pass
  • Key communication card (print and e-version contact info for all board members and administrators)
  • District directory of employees and volunteers
  • Reimbursement form (and procedure)
  • CASB’s Board Leadership Workbook
  • CASB calendar of learning opportunities
  • CASB acronym/ jargon list (in back of Leadership Workbook)


Startup commitments to confirm/declare:

  • Clear understanding of the board’s governance role as distinct from other leadership roles
  • Dedication to team impact
  • Focus on priorities
  • Commitment to ongoing respect
  • Desire to mature as a learner
  • Clear pursuit of learning, improvement
  • Accountability to shareholders

Essential steps as a new team:

  • Orientation, get-to-know team session
  • 1:1 mentoring for six months (new member with a veteran or retired board member) 
  • Team effectiveness session to affirm/adjust the governing team's strategic framework
  • Orientation session hosted by administration on “all things strategic”
  • Orientation coffee with president
  • Tours and introductions at district office and schools
  • Team commitment to “plain language,” the opposite of “eduspeak"