Board training - workshops

Customized board and leadership team training, facilitation, consultation and advice

A school board member holds the most important elected position in the country. Let OSBA help you do your best in service to the students of your district.

OSBA offers school board members the best and most up-to-date training in...

Educational Equity:  What is the difference between equality and equity? This may seem an inconsequential question, but the answer is vital to closing the achievement gap for students in our schools. OSBA, in cooperation with the Center for Equitable and Effective Leadership at Lewis and Clark College, now offers four separate workshops designed to help boards expand their understanding of educational equity issues and support collaborative planning around their solutions.

Roles and responsibilities: Who does what and why? What are the usual pitfalls, and how can you and your board avoid them? This workshop is a guided discussion of the roles played by board members and the district administration.  Covering such things as school board research, best practices, and protocols, this presentation uses district policies to shape understanding of these critical roles and their impact on student achievement. 

Public meetings: This session is an overview of public meetings, minutes and executive sessions. Among the issues covered are:

  •  The letter of the law or the court of public opinion – how to stay out of hot water, even if it might be legal
  • Hot topics and recent developments
  • How to handle e-mail and electronic meetings

Ethics: This workshop covers what board members need to know about Oregon's ethics laws, covering selected case studies, the “but for” test, and the consequences for failure to comply.

Data-driven decision-making: Understanding student performance results can help close achievement gaps. The Direct Access to Achievement (DATA) model focuses on developing a culture throughout the educational system using assessment data to improvement student achievement. The Oregon DATA Project (Direct Access to Achievement), an Oregon Department of Education and Education Enterprise Steering Committee initiative, and National School Boards Association’s Key Work of School Boards provides the basis for this workshop.

School finance and budgeting: We begin with an overview of the role of the board and budget committee in setting goals and guidelines for the budget process, and a step by step review of the annual budget process. The boards role in ongoing fiscal oversight throughout the year, as well as questions to ask and steps required to make changes throughout the year are also covered.

Budget committee training: The budget committee is a key part of a district’s decision-making process in setting local budget priorities. OSBA has developed training which covers the committee’s roles and responsibilities, the process and the timeline. Training can be set up for board members and budget committee members in your district to fit your schedule.

Community engagement: How to work with parents, the public, and partner organizations to build understanding and active involvement in education, thereby increasing resources for academic achievement, reducing dropout, and improving student behavior.

Policy 101: The Legislature gave boards the authority to lead their districts by setting policies. Learn what policy is and the role administrative regulations play in the implementation of policy. The course includes common mistakes, steps for reviewing policy, best practices and problems that can result from holes in your policies.

Superintendent evaluation: Superintendent Evaluation is one of those board responsibilities that can make board members squirm and superintendents cringe. A clear plan, well understood expectations and effective communications will make this very important board responsibility go smoothly. This course walks you through an easy to understand process to guide your board on its way. Included is an overview of the OSBA Superintendent Evaluation workbook along with the public meeting and records pitfalls to avoid.

Board self evaluation:  Board self-evaluation provides more than just accountability and communication. It provides an opportunity for building the best possible leadership for the district and community. Commitment to quality, excellence, continuous learning, and local control of the educational system is demonstrated when boards lead by example. This course walks you through an easy to understand process using the new Board Self-Evaluation Workbook.

Effective meetings: State law requires that “Any duty imposed upon the district school board as a body must be performed at a regular or special meeting…” But conducting and participating in efficient and effective meetings requires more than knowledge of parliamentary procedure. This workshop will foster a discussion of how the board’s work can best be performed.  

Trust and school climate: Research demonstrates that districts with high trust levels enjoy higher test scores and higher graduation rates. Discover the 18 elements of trust that affect relationships among board members and between the board and the superintendent, staff, and community. Discuss real-world scenarios, learn how to solve or avoid problems, and establish practical protocols to build and monitor trust in the district.

Conflict management: We each have our own way of looking at situations and we bring our own values, needs, and points of view to the process. This workshop will help you to look at conflict objectively, analyze the causes and talk about the good as well as damaging results of conflict within a group. Discussion and analysis help to make conflict less threatening, and possibly even a positive contributor to your group's success.

Dealing with people you can't stand:  Acquire new skills for dealing with angry, irate and just plain difficult individuals whether they are board members, staff members or members of your community. This interactive workshop demonstrates useful strategies for dealing with difficult behaviors. You will participate in a simple hand on group dynamics assessment tool that will give you insight into why we behave the way we do, particularly in stressful situations.

Leading – even when you're not in charge: Knowing how to lead is fundamental to getting things done. Wherever we go in life we can’t accomplish all of our goals by ourselves. In school board work collaboration is key but it is difficult to achieve. We will look at leadership styles and tools for leading laterally when working with a team. You will practice hands-on techniques for working with your school board to achieve positive change. 

Charter schools: Charter schools are one of the innovative educational endeavors used to meet the wide range of needs for a variety of learners. Our goal is to help districts and charter schools with the legal framework, policies and leadership skills that ensure beneficial relationships among districts, charters and communities.

21st Century skills for a global society: The pace of change is not slowing down. Is the district preparing students for their future or the adults’ past? This workshop will guide the board’s understanding of the legal and ethical impacts of the use of new technology and what it will take to prepare students to succeed in a global society.

Advanced governance: Among the topics covered in this workshop are the board’s role in policy, community engagement, superintendent evaluation, strategic planning, and district climate.

Strategic planning:  Do you have a common understanding of what success looks like in your district? Are your resources aligned for maximum impact? High performing districts need more than feel-good statements to be hung on the wall.  Goals must be used as a lens for all decisions, and everyone needs to pull in the same direction. This workshop is a community engagement activity to guide the district through a goal-setting process and prepare for goal-using in all aspects of district decision-making.Let us help you design and facilitate a school board or leadership team training retreat. Custom design your topics and time with OSBA.

Do you need a facilitator or focus group leader for a community based committee or board meeting, for one meeting or a series of meetings? Let OSBA provide an objective outside facilitator to guide the process from planning to completion.

This training is available to you in your home district. Board specific training provides for....

  • Focus on particular issues
  • Choice of program
  • Scheduling to meet the needs of your board members and administrators
  • Team building

Board development online courses

Price information

For more details and a workshop plan for your district contact OSBA board development staff. A minimum charge per in-district half-day workshop is $475* or a full-day workshop is $650*.

*Plus mileage and actual travel expenses.