You have only an hour? We have professional development for your board.

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. PSBA recommends 60-75 minutes for this presentation.

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. PSBA recommends 45-60 minutes for this presentation.

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. This presentation will also provide an introduction to the 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 or download the full toolkit in, Resources. PSBA recommends 60-75 minutes for this presentation.

Board Workshops and Retreats

Want professional development that engages your board in discussion and critical thinking? We have workshops for that! Combine 2 workshops for a board retreat.

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. PSBA recommends a minimum of two hours for this workshop.

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 has various modules that can be facilitated based on the professional development needs of your Team of 10. PSBA recommends a minimum of two hours for this workshop.

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. PSBA recommends a minimum of three hours for this  workshop.

As elected leaders, the media and community will scrutinize school director’s communication from public comments and conversations overheard by the public to emails and social media posts. This workshop explains best practices for navigating both digital and traditional channels of  communication, offering learning through scenario-based facilitated discussions. PSBA recommends a minimum of 90 minutes for this workshop.

The Principles for Governance and Leadership, under Lead Responsibly, encourage school directors to prepare for, attend and actively participate in board meetings. The focus of this workshop is to help directors put their best foot forward when stepping into the “sunshine” at a public meeting. Common topics covered include agenda development, expectations of director conduct, sunshine act requirements, public comment period, and proper use of parliamentary procedure. A fast-paced, dynamic workshop led by an experienced facilitator, this training offers boards the opportunity to take a step back, reflect and discuss how they publicly present themselves to the school community at board meetings. PSBA recommends a minimum of two hours for this workshop.

Equity and Inclusion Board Workshops and Retreats

This workshop sets the foundation for understanding equity in educational systems by focusing on the following questions: What is equity? How is it different from equality? PSBA’s trainer will comprehensively define equity and address the problems with an approach focused only on equality. Going further, this workshop will provide context to systemic inequities in educational systems like systemic discrimination, inequitable funding, and a lack of cultural diversity and inclusion. Participating in this foundational training is the first step to moving district leadership toward effective and impactful equity practice. PSBA recommends a minimum of two hours for this training and encourages districts to combine this workshop with the next for a board retreat.

This workshop focuses on exploring demographic shifts, achievement, and opportunity gaps, as well as equity focused policy and practice. Building on the “What is Equity?” workshop, this training digs deeper into the ways equity intersects with PA public educational systems impacting students, professional and support staff, administration, and school boards. It builds a common language around equity and inclusion terms among district leadership. PSBA recommends a minimum of two  hours for this training and encourages districts to combine this workshop with the previous for a board retreat.

This workshop explores the impact of culturally responsive leadership from educational leaders. District leaders must strive to understand how their perceptions and actions impact the students and staff in their districts. Inequitable treatment — both unintentional and intentional — can inhibit or advance students’ opportunities to learn. The effective implementation 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. This internal work requires an in-depth  examination of the following topics: privilege, intersectionality, bias, inclusion, cultural proficiency  and culturally responsive leadership. This workshop can be customized to focus more deeply on one or more of these topics as well as touch more generally on all of them. PSBA recommends a  minimum of two hours for this training.

Workshops for Developing an Equity Strategy

These workshops support school entities who have done the foundational work of understanding equity and the barriers to equity. These district leaders are ready to embed equity into their educational system by developing an equity strategy that fits the specific needs and context of their district. These workshops support district leaders in moving understanding into policy and action.

This workshop supports districts in using the PSBA equity toolkit — a set of frameworks that demonstrates how districts can practice equity and incorporate it systemically. The toolkit serves as resource for district leaders intended to guide them in the following:

  • Acknowledge and understand their district’s current place along the equity system continuum.
  • Analyze district policies, programs and practices with an equity lens.
  • Identify action steps necessary to build a foundation for equity in their schools.

Download the full equity toolkit in “Resources” section of PSBA recommends a minimum of two hours for this training and this workshop can be combined with another workshop for a board retreat.

To embed equity effectively into district systems, school boards must consider developing and adopting an educational equity policy with clear metrics and accountability. This workshop will actively move school boards and district leaders to identify a process for developing an equity policy to fit their local context and unique district needs. PSBA recommends a minimum of two hours for this training and this workshop can be combined with another workshop for a board retreat.

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

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.

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.

Presentations provide PSBA members with an introduction to key topics of school board governance. Presentations are formatted to offer a brief learning opportunity, scheduled at the board’s convenience, such as before or after a board meeting. Until 2021, presentations are offered digitally via the Zoom platform Board workshops and retreats provide extended time for a deeper study of specific governance topics and incorporating board reflection with a PSBA facilitator and trainer. These learning opportunities are planned to best fit the unique challenges, relevant interests and professional growth goals of your leadership team. Until 2021, PSBA workshops and retreats are offered digitally via the Zoom platform. Extended training partnerships provide ongoing support for member entities who want to engage in purposeful professional development over 6-12 months. Each partnership includes training needs addressed in a customized manner by a team of PSBA experts. PSBA presentations, workshops, and partnerships can be planned as an on-site training or as a digital training. Current state guidelines, federal guidance, and PSBA’s internal policy for staff may restrict PSBA travel which would necessitate a digital facilitation of the presentation or workshop. Conversely, if a digital platform supports a board’s own schedules and access, it can be chosen as the preferred method at any time. 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. 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
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