Master Board Courses
Boards interested in pursuing Master Board status should plan to begin with Understanding School Boards in a Democracy, Improving Communication and Building Our Team as the first three courses. These modules set a framework for reference throughout the rest of the program and include basic knowledge and skills essential for all high-performing boards. The sequence of courses will be developed in consultation with each board.
Understanding School Boards in a Democracy
This unit serves as the foundational course in NCSBA's Master Board program and explores the purpose of the board of education as well as the skills that are needed for boards to solve public problems.
What skills are needed to master communication with your fellow board members? Improving Communication is recommended as the second unit and explores difficulties in and barriers to effective communication, as well as examining the essential conditions for effective communication. This course is extremely interactive!
Building Our Team
Building Our Team is recommended as the third unit and will enlighten your board on how to translate current team strengths into a more dynamic board. Participants will identify their style as team players and the full board will analyze its total team profile, identifying better ways of communicating, determining factors that influence their trust in others, and developing a plan to increase trust. Skills acquired through this unit are foundational to subsequent courses.
Working Through Conflict
Board members will develop strategies to work with conflict-examining their own conflict-handling style and recognizing the style of others. In this course, boards will work on skills and strategies for conflict situations, recognize effective and less effective results of conflict and have the opportunity to develop board guidelines for conflict situations.
Improving Board/Superintendent Relations
This course seeks to clarify board/superintendent roles and responsibilities in terms of behaviors, governance vs. management, and the key works of boards. Participants will identify ways to prevent, intervene and/or redirect problem situations between the board and superintendent.
Solving Problems and Making Decisions
Identify and practice steps in collaborative problem solving during this course. Building on skills developed in previous master board courses, your board will analyze the various methods of decision making, practice consensus building and understand the reasons for poor decisions. (Prerequisites: Understanding School Boards in a Democracy, Improving Communication and Working Through Conflict)
Connecting with the Community
How should your board structure community involvement, obtain input, explain actions, facilitate information flow and connect with the internal community (teachers and other staff). Connecting with the Community will allow you to focus on these items and so much more! Your board will receive guidance in how to approach public participation in board meetings and understand the importance of policies that support communication. You will gain insight about the importance of public engagement today.
Is there anything you would want to change about your board meetings? Take this course and examine issues surrounding the development and content of the board meeting agenda. You also will have the opportunity to critique board meeting situations that relate to lessons about effective meetings.
Planning the Evaluation of the Superintendent
Gain a better understanding of why you need to effectively evaluate the superintendent. Your board will focus on prerequisite understandings and guiding principles about evaluating your superintendent for the evaluation process, as well as work on steps in developing your evaluation plan.
Evaluating Your Board
Evaluating Your Board allows participants to review their individual performance as a member of the board, as well as the board as a whole. By the end of the course, board members will understand personal and board strengths and develop improvement goals individually and for the operation of the board.