PSBA offers customized workshops for member school districts. Our staff coordinates with district and board leadership to identify training needs, match the best workshop to those needs, and customize the workshop facilitation to address the unique board culture and district challenges.
Board Foundational Series
If your board has undergone a significant transition and/or has not engaged in professional development in a over a year, we suggest you start with our Board Foundational Series. These workshops can be combined into a full-day board retreat or provided separately in a morning or evening session.
Overview of Roles and Responsibilities
(Suggested 3+ hours)
Do you have several newly elected or appointed board directors? Does your board struggle to work together and focus on the major governance tasks within the limited time of your public board meetings? This dynamic workshop covers the many ethical and governance responsibilities of the board. It incorporates facilitated discussions on the challenges of board deliberation and community engagement. Topics include: overview of school governance, collective board authority, overview of school board responsibilities, collaboration of the “Team of Ten,” and responsible advocacy (including social media).
Board Self-Assessment (BSA) Workshop
(Suggested 2 hours)
Do you want to understand your board’s strengths and areas of growth? Could your board benefit from open dialogue around specific challenges? The board self-assessment process begins with a simple digital survey sent to each board director (completion:10-15 minutes). PSBA staff will compile the results, creating a BSA report for the board to review. During the workshop, experienced staff will facilitate a discussion among your school leadership team. A Board Action Plan will be sent after the workshop to propose the best next steps for board development and action.
Introduction to Strategic Alignment
(Suggested 2+ hours)
Does your board lack direction in how its decisions connect to the district’s mission, strategic plan, core values, and goals? Does the board have a collective sense of purpose aligned with the district’s initiatives? This introductory workshop guides district leadership team to collectively review and analyze components of the district’s Comprehensive Plan and guiding documents of mission, vision, core values, and district goals. Board directors 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 Ten can use to collectively set board goals for their governance and leadership. Suggested next training: Setting Board Goals and Objectives.
Specialized Learning Workshops
If your board has recently participated in our foundational learning series or if your board is facing more specific challenges that require professional development, we suggest choosing a Specialized Learning Workshop. Like the Board Foundational Series, these workshops can be paired with each other or any of the Foundational workshops to create a board retreat or can be offered singularly for a morning or evening session. To best customize the facilitation and materials, PSBA staff will set up a planning call with board leadership and the Superintendent at least 3 days before the scheduled workshop.
Setting Board Goals and Objectives
(Suggested 3 hours)
This workshop facilitates a process for the Team of Ten to identify priorities and challenges, discuss realistic solutions, and set collective goals for the board. An experienced facilitator will guide board directors through discussions, ensuring everyone has opportunity to contribute. Once goals are drafted, reviewed, and revised, the board will begin drafting objectives or strategies for how they will accomplish those goals. If the Introduction to Strategic Alignment workshop was not a pre-requisite training, 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.
Building a Better Board Culture
(Suggested 2-3 hours)
Collective governance is challenging—even more so in a politically-charged or divided environment. But effective boards must embrace healthy conflict and learn how to disagree without division. How can boards adjust when new directors or new leadership seem to change the existing dynamic? How can board unify when individual perspectives feel polarizing? 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.
Effective Superintendent Evaluation (under development, Spring 2019)
(Suggested 2-3 hours)
The state of Pennsylvania requires school boards to evaluate the Superintendent of Schools 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. Boards will complete this workshop with a stronger understanding of the process, tools, and requirements from effective Superintendent Evaluation.
PSBA currently has additional workshops under development. If you have a live training need that would not be addressed by these current offerings, please contact Brianna Crowley, education and training manager, 717-506-2450, x-3271.