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A Practical Guide to Effective School Board Meetings

A Practical Guide to Effective School Board Meetings

  • Rene S. Townsend - Consultant
  • James R. Brown - Glendale Unified School District, Retired - Superintendent, Leadership Associates consultant
  • Walter L. Buster - Clovis Unified School District, Retired - Superintendent, Leadership Associates consultant, California State University, Fresno, USA

Foreword by Michael Kirst

March 2014 | 200 pages | Corwin
Foreword by Michael Kirst

If board meetings are something you simply "get through" so you can get on with your "real" work, this book is a must.

As chair, you can turn board meetings into productive, result-getting events that help you focus on teaching and learning to achieve your school's goals with the support of this realistic, detailed, and entertaining book! The authors, having chaired over 1,000 board meetings between them, discuss:

- Creating clarity and building the team to increase effectiveness and support positive working relationships

- Developing general operating procedures

- Carrying out effective board meetings

- Critical aspects of the meeting itself, as well as tips on conducting closed sessions

- Post-meeting follow-up and how these activities affect and influence the culture of the district

Chairpeople, board members, leadership staff and community members will find this guide invaluable for creating effective and meaningful board meetings.

Michael W. Kirst
About the Authors
Part I. The Leadership Challenge
1. Focusing on Teaching and Learning
2. Building the Superintendent-Board Team
Part II. Pre-Meeting Planning
3. Planning the Calendar and Agenda
4. Preparing: Sweat the Small Stuff
5. Designing the Board Packet
6. Communicating the Agenda
Part III. Meeting Time
7. Conducting the Board Meeting
8. Meeting Behind Closed Doors
Part IV. Post-Meeting
9. Following Up
10. Recovering
11. Wrapping Up
Resource A: Board-Superintendent Protocols (Sample)
Resource B: Twelve-Month Calendar (Sample)
Resource C: Board Agenda Development Worksheet (Sample)
Resource D: Individual Agenda Item (Sample)
Resource E: Welcome to the Board Meeting (Sample)
Resource F: Request to Speak Cards (Samples)

"This practical guide supports the design and conduct of board meetings in ways that focus the management of the district on its teaching and learning mission. The authors identify collaborative strategies and workable solutions for dealing with difficult and challenging circumstances."

The School Administrator
February 2006

Rene S. Townsend

Rene Townsend, former superintendent for ten years, is executive director of the Urban Education Dialog (UED) and Public School Services (PSS), nonprofit organizations founded by Price Charities. PSS has a mission of reducing the price of goods and services to all public school districts; UED is a forum to confront challenges facing urban school districts and exchange best practices. With seven other superintendents, Townsend coauthored Eight at the Top; they are working on book two, offering more leadership insights for superintendents. Townsend received her bachelor of science from the University of Washington, her master's from San... More About Author

James R. Brown

James R. Brown was a superintendent for twenty-six years, preceded by various administrative positions and his first love, teaching history. While serving as superintendent, he chaired two major task forces, the California State Mathematics and the California High School Exit Exam. Jim is Deputy Executive Director of the Bay Area School Reform Collaborative (BASRC), and he serves on three community and education boards. Jim received his bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University, his masters from the University of Kansas, and did graduate work in Education Administration at the University of Riverside. He is the recipient of a number of... More About Author

Walter Lee Buster

Dr. Walter L. Buster is a professor of leadership at Fresno State University and a creator of the Central Valley Educational Leadership Forum. In addition to his service as a superintendent for nineteen years in three California districts, Walt was a teacher at the elementary and secondary levels, assistant principal, principal, and assistant superintendent. Recently Walt stepped forward to serve as interim superintendent of the Fresno Unified School District, calming the district in a time of political and financial turmoil. Walt’s other leadership activities include leading the Executive Leadership Academy and the Association of... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781412913294