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

Tips for maximizing the seasons of board development...

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PRE-CANDIDACY SEASON

  • Encourage key volunteers/leaders in your system and community – “Have you ever considered being a board member…?”
  • Invite "interested leaders" to three board meetings in a row, each with an early greeting time just prior to the official meeting
  • Host a "learn about the board education" conversation with local members describing the function and challenges.
  • Invite “interested leaders” to a process similar to a series of sessions, specifically designed to envision and equip potential members for the challenges facing the district and the teamWORK needed for great governing
  • News release/coverage of the election cycle, qualities of excellent boards…
  • Begin using CASB assets for the cycle (GreatGoverning blog, Leadership Workbook, letter to editor, news release concepts, online resources, critical issues sheet, special session at fall regionals…)

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CANDIDACY SEASON

  • Encourage/host a local candidates night, coffee, breakfast…
  • Join together with area boards to host a regional candidates night featuring a wisdom panel of veterans, presentations by CASB staffers and open discussion
  • Provide candidates with documents from your work to be a highly-effective governance team
  • Specifically invite candidates to all governance meetings or major opportunities with constituents
  • Have “focus sessions,” hosted by a board member and a key administrator, to help candidates develop depth with the team’s top priorities (increasing student achievement, financial stability, staff support and development, community engagement, governance effectiveness…)
  • Add candidates to your “announcement of meetings”
  • Deliver a candidate’s version of each board packet
  • Veteran-candidate “buddy” process of coffees, phone calls or pre/post meeting chats
  • Invest in each candidate to attend the CASB regional and fall conference (cover registration, ride together, debrief, discuss at next regular meeting…)
  • Send candidates copies of CASB communications

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JUST-ELECTED SEASON

  • Celebrate the “swearing in moment” with special reception, stories and mementos involving veterans and retirees
  • Have a new team discussion of hopes and priorities within a month of the election
  • Veteran-rookie mentoring process for first three months
  • Clarify the new team’s framework of excellence by the end of January [mission, goals, roles, core values/norms…]
  • Whole team travel and participation in the CASB convention (road-trip stories, pre-convention track for new members, team “attack” plan for the convention, what-are-we-discovering team coffees every day, learning discussion at first meeting upon return…)
  • Develop a quarterly “learning community” with area teams or area new members
  • Use CASB's Leadership WORKbook, website resources and GreatGoverning blog as constant support s for advancing your individual and team effectiveness
  • Contact your CASB staff – confidential counsel, research and direct services are as close as 800-530-8430, 303-832-1000, 303-832-1086 (fax)

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CONSTANT MODELING

  • Clarify, declare and “live well” the governing team’s mission, roles, goals, operating norms, and values
  • Work to be supportive and healthily challenging of each member of the governance team (elected and paid members) and the team in general
  • Align the agenda (the map of the team’s time and energy) to the mission, roles, goals and values
  • Emphasize listening and learning, constantly
  • "Majoring in the majors, not the minors” a key habit
  • Develop an ongoing strategy to encourage and develop the “next generation” of governance
  • Ensure the development of members and the team is a planned and ongoing investment by all