On-site Training

The following introduction-level presentations provide PSBA members with training to best fit each school entity’s unique challenges, relevant interests and professional growth goals. Presentations are formatted to offer a brief learning opportunity, scheduled at the board’s convenience, such as before or after a board meeting.

Customized workshops and retreats provide extended time for a deeper study of specific governance topics and incorporating board reflection with a PSBA facilitator and training specialist. Extended training partnerships provide ongoing support for member entities, which would include training needs being addressed in a customized manner by a team of experts.

To best customize the facilitation and materials, PSBA staff will set up a planning call with board leadership and the superintendent at least three days before the scheduled workshop.


Introductory sessions are ideal for boards exploring professional development options. One hour is suggested but can be adapted.

Get a brief overview of the school board governance loop, the School Code’s main powers and responsibilities, and the importance of the Team of 10. The session will briefly highlight the roles of policy and the difference between governance and management. For a more in-depth and customized program on roles and responsibilities, see Customized Workshops.

Review an outline of the law, timeline and best practices for the annual superintendent evaluation process. Key resources will be provided as takeaways for the board to use in future meetings and discussions.

What is equity and why it is important for district practice? In this presentation explore these questions and related topics, including achievement and opportunity gaps, equity principles, and the equity-focused services and programs PSBA offers.

Learn how to use PSBA’s equity toolkit – a set of frameworks that help districts practice equity and incorporate it in their education practice. The toolkit includes the equity lens approach, equity systems continuum and equity action plan. To preview the toolkit, click here.

This presentation provides the full board with its board self-assessment results. The BSA process begins with a simple digital survey sent to each member of the board. PSBA staff compile the results, creating a BSA report for the board to review and a presentation of the strengths and the challenges that surfaced. The presentation ends with recommendations for how to address challenges and a board action plan for further professional development. For a longer facilitated discussion with additional content and activities based on your board’s BSA results, please see the BSA Workshop option.

Customized Workshops and Board Retreats

These options are recommended for boards that have a defined professional development challenge, need or interest. A total of three hours or a combination of two workshops is recommended for a board retreat.

Could your board benefit from open dialogue around specific challenges? This workshop follows the board self-assessment (BSA) process that begins with a digital survey sent to each member of the board. Like the BSA presentation, PSBA staff compile the results, creating a BSA report for the board to review. During this workshop, experienced staff will facilitate discussion on the strengths and challenges of your board, providing additional training customized from the BSA survey. Priority will be given to strategic planning for board professional development to become a stronger governance body. A board action plan will be sent after the workshop that summarizes the results and discussion as well as proposing the best next steps. This workshop provides a great opening to a board retreat and pairs well with our other workshops or presentations.

Do you have several newly elected or appointed members? Does your board struggle to focus on the major governance tasks within the limited time of your public board meetings? Is there tension between the board and district administration because of miscommunication or misunderstandings? This fast-paced, dynamic workshop covers the many ethical and governance responsibilities of the board. It incorporates facilitated discussions on the challenges of community engagement, board deliberation and governance vs. management responsibilities.

Does your board lack a clear understanding of the strategic plan for the district? Does the board have a collective sense of purpose aligned with the district’s initiatives? This introductory workshop guides the district leadership team to collectively review and analyze components of the district’s comprehensive or strategic plan and guiding statements of mission, vision, core values and district goals. Board members will better understand what makes a clear, compelling goal statement and how board goals support but differ from district goals. The workshop ends with an outline of the process the Team of 10 can use to collectively set board goals for their governance and leadership. Suggested next training: Setting Board Goals

This workshop facilitates a process for the Team of 10 to identify priorities and challenges, discuss realistic solutions and set collective goals for the board. An experienced facilitator will guide discussions, ensuring everyone can contribute. Once goals are drafted, reviewed and revised, the board will begin drafting objectives or strategies for how to accomplish those goals. If the Introduction to Board Goals workshop was not a pre-requisite, PSBA trainers will send out materials for review in advance of the training to prepare school directors to align their board goals to the district’s mission, vision and values.

Collective governance is challenging — even more so in an environment where individuals view their role from different lenses. But effective boards must embrace healthy conflict, set common expectations, and learn how to communicate clearly to govern effectively. How can boards adjust when new members or new leadership seem to change the existing dynamic? This workshop is built on the premise that diversity is a strength, and the most effective school directors understand how to build rapport with their colleagues, advocate for their positions effectively and find common ground to act.

This workshop sets the foundation for understanding and incorporating equity in district practice by focusing on the following questions: What is equity? and Why is equity important? This workshop also will provide common language regarding equity terms and provide context to systemic inequities existing in national, state and local school practices. This is the first workshop in the equity and inclusion training series.

This workshop explores how education stakeholders see and treat students and how such treatment can inhibit or advance students’ opportunities to learn. The successful incorporation of equity-focused policies and practices requires a deeper understanding and discussion on the internal perceptions and beliefs of school leaders regarding students and their families. The internal work of school leaders requires an in-depth examination of the following topics: privilege, intersectionality, bias, inclusion, cultural proficiency and culturally responsive leadership. This is the second workshop in the equity and inclusion training series.

The state of Pennsylvania requires school boards to evaluate the superintendent annually and post the determination publicly. However, the process for evaluation is not strictly mandated, but rather left up to local governance to determine. This workshop will provide boards with an overview of the legal requirements of superintendent evaluation, suggested tools used by districts across the state, and an overview of critical questions to consider when evaluating the superintendent. Facilitated discussion will guide the board to discuss strengths and challenges from previous evaluation practice.

How does your board welcome new members to the team? Is it effective? This full-board retreat is designed to help newly elected school directors get up-to-speed with school board service and examine how your board practices collective governance. Time will be spent setting expectations, explaining core governance documents, and ensuring that new school directors understand the local policies and procedures of the board. Led by an experienced facilitator, the entire board comes together to welcome new teammates and to provide the insights needed for them to start contributing right away.

Training Partnerships

For school boards who are seeking a longer commitment to development and training, we recommend a training partnership. Choosing to partner with PSBA provides district leadership teams with a PSBA staff member who coordinates with internal experts and provides one point of contact for ongoing support and communication. Partnerships allow for streamlined resources and ongoing conversation to inform each training with deepening context. To discuss a training partnership, email edandtraining@psba.org.

Designed to support a school entity that must hire a new superintendent and rebuild a Team of 10, the training in this sequence is sequential to the superintendent search process, providing focused support for school directors who may be in their first years of service and/or are participating in their first superintendent transition. This partnership draws on PSBA’s years of expertise in supporting school boards in transition and helping them leverage change for more effective governance practices and procedures.

Is your district leadership team embarking on a comprehensive or strategic planning cycle? This training sequence builds understanding around the board’s role in serving on comprehensive planning committees, setting governance goals, and working effectively as a Team of 10 to align mission, vision, goals, objectives and superintendent evaluation. The training in this partnership supports boards building stronger community engagement and advocacy as well as a stronger governance team.

This partnership guides district leaders to a deeper understanding of equity in education. Each member of the team will receive resources on components of equity and how they impact student achievement, school safety and community engagement. In choosing specific workshops, district leadership will customize training to support unique challenges and priorities specific to the district and community.

For a full overview of PSBA's education and training opportunities for the year, check out the Year of Learning catalog.

PSBA currently has additional workshops under development. If you have a live training need that would not be addressed by these current offerings, please email edandtraining@psba.org.

Contact PSBA to schedule a workshop
If you are interested in scheduling a workshop, please fill out this form and a PSBA staff person will contact you shortly.