How Can School Boards Best Manage Their Effectiveness?

Lena Eisenstein

Managing school board effectiveness allows the board to strategically accomplish goals through organization, education, and collaboration. Research has shown that effective school boards lead to high-achieving schools and students.

These successful school boards have a focus on accomplishing work with the ultimate goal being to improve student achievement for the district. School board effectiveness can be managed and improved through practices that focus on collaboration, organization, leveraging the right tools, and board education. Board effectiveness can be optimized, which can positively impact local public education.

Board Education and Training

As elected representatives and advocates for the community, it is imperative to board effectiveness for school board members to be aware of the work that is required of them. It may sound basic, but individuals join school boards without being completely aware of governance processes, the responsibilities of board members, and local policies and regulations.

School board member responsibilities can be burdensome, as they work to better local public education. However, the work accomplished by the school board is vital to the success of the district and its students.

Through proper board member training (initial and ongoing), the school board can cultivate a culture within district leadership that values education and promotes continuous learning. There are tools available that boards can utilize to efficiently, effectively, and successfully fulfill their school board member responsibilities while supporting board member education.

Leveraging the right technology, board members can maintain vital documents and materials related to board responsibilities and effectiveness. Policies, procedures, board training materials can all be easily maintained and accessed through board management software.

Collaborative Leadership Improves Board Effectiveness

Effective school districts with high student achievement had boards that were focused on a cultivating and fostering a positive relationship between the board and superintendent. Districts with lower student performance had administrators that were micromanaged by boards, poor communication or conflict between board members and the administrator, and confusion between board and administrator roles or responsibilities.

Collaborative leadership, however, can make a great difference in the success of local public education. When board members and district administrators successfully collaborate, students benefit.

The board and administrators play significant parts in the performance of the local school district. Building trust and respect between board members and the superintendent is crucial to accomplishing work toward meeting district goals related to student achievement and supporting school board effectiveness.

Utilizing board management software, proper board training, clear communication, and knowledge of best practices (responsibilities, policies, regulations, etc.) can support district administrators and board members in fostering a leadership culture rooted in respect, trust, and transparency.

Modern Governance for Modern Boards

Modern governance in school boards empowers leaders and fuels good governance in the modern age. It is through this practice that leaders are supported, enriched, and transformed ' greatly impacting districts, schools, and students.

School board effectiveness is supported by this practice of governance that engages and equips board members to be successful beyond the boardroom. Effective boards recognize that education is an ever-changing landscape that requires embracing opportunities and implementing changes through technology that can lead to more strategic decision making.

The right technology can support modern governance by providing a streamlined platform for school board members to leverage. Technology can equip school board members to be more organized, efficient, and effective. Leveraging the right board management software, school boards are better equipped to carry out the mission and vision of the district.

Meeting agendas, past meeting minutes, policy manuals, strategic plans, goal information, and orientation or training resources are all significant materials related to supporting effective boards. School board members should have the capability of gaining access to these documents from any device or location, securely. Leveraging the right technology school board members can easily upload, share, and access all of these vital materials.

The practice of having quick and simplified access to policies related to school board governance sets the board up for success in modern governance practices. School board effectiveness can be managed and improved when boards employ practices that support modern governance practices.

Technology That Supports Effectiveness

School board effectiveness is positively linked to lower dropout rates, a higher percentage of students matriculating to college, and higher test performance than those districts with less effectively governed boards.

Leveraging the right technology, a school board management software like Community by Diligent, supports board effectiveness through the ability to securely maintain and access pertinent board information from any location or device. Community allows school boards and other district leaders to easily access these materials from any device with internet access, anytime and anywhere. This level of accessibility supports the board and district leadership in better managing effectiveness, which can lead to greater student achievement.

Meeting agendas, past meeting minutes, budgets, and strategic plans are all vital to board performance and decision making. Utilizing a tool like Community, boards can be supported in their effectiveness and efficiency to perform their best work for local public education. School board members can be empowered in their roles through seamless, streamlined access to important materials and documents to make more strategic and timely decisions towards accomplishing district goals.

Technology can be a valuable tool that can support school leaders in local public education in performing their best work and encourage board effectiveness. The right technology is key to school boards, and their districts, performing efficiently, effectively, and successfully.

Managing school board effectiveness is vital to the success of the district and its students. School boards are responsible for ensuring that the proper practices are being implemented to encourage and improve board effectiveness and achievement. While some practices may seem simplistic, those are the very areas that school board members and district leaders are often failing in managing effectiveness.

Boards need to recognize the importance of and put into action the practices that are essential to the function, effectiveness, and success of the school board. When managing school board effectiveness is made a priority, the positive leadership of the district and students leads to greater achievement and success.

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Lena Eisenstein
Lena Eisenstein is a former Manager at Diligent. Her expertise in mission-driven organizations, including nonprofits, school boards and local governments, centers on how technology and modern governance best practices empower leaders at these organizations to serve their communities with efficiency and purpose.