Even good-to-great governing teams can fade from excellence in the “intersection of democracy and humanity.” Juggling the relational, neighborly, passionate, and political aspects of school board governance can be tough. This tool is designed to strengthen the effectiveness of individual board members and the team as a whole by suggesting some common ways well-intentioned folks can derail, diffuse, distract, and/or destroy both strategic and moral commitments to excellence. Highlight the “D’s” listed below that are in the greatest need of discussion, mentoring, and/or strengthening by your board, and/or add your own. Online versions available.
Designed to help boards identify the governing team's level of performance, this tool is full of next-step "fuel" for local thinking and doing. Onine appraisal options available.
360-degree evaluations can be great exercises in healthy assessments . . . or not. The following is an approach effectively used by one of our Colorado school boards. Keys to the effort: Direct and constant contact between the board and the superintendent, board norm of strategic focus, facilitated appraisal conversations, low reliance on anonymity, and a culture of accountable leadership. Designed for evaluating superintendents, this model can also be used in appraising board/team performance.
Here’s a glimpse of the process and tools used by the Canon City School District’s governance team for evaluating and developing the superintendent.
For a collection of local work, with an emphasis on varied tools, go here. Canon City and Littleton examples include glimpses at crucial aligned process of strategic roles, wildly important focus, ongoing appraisal, and continuous improvement. For guidance with mature practices, see the downloadble "Evaluating the superintendent - Insights & tips," listed just below.
In a successful governing environment, school board members and their “one employee” are all focused, accountable, and continuously learning/improving together within an aligned and prioritized strategic framework. In this context, intentional boards support, develop and healthily challenge the superintendent in two to four work/executive sessions a year. The following worksheet is designed to be used in those sessions, not as a stand-alone assessment tool, but to kick-start a discussion about the elements of effective leadership and how the board and its “one employee” might advance excellence together.
Among the many constants throughout the network of good-to-great governing teams is ongoing, active appraising of the progress/performance of both the board and the “one employee.” The principles and practices for both leadership functions are interrelated, often transferable. Here’s a list of insights specifically designed for appraising the “one employee,” but useful for appraising both.
Based on the content and style of Colorado’s “model evaluations” for teachers and principals, this tweakable tool is designed for use two to four times during a year of constant superintendent AND board development. Big encouragement: Revise to reflect your local governing team’s standards. Ratings: Distinguished Command (DC), Strong Command (SC); Moderate Command (MC); Limited Command (LC). Survey Monkey options available.
Designed to be belended into constant disciplines of strategic focus and appraising, this Survey Monkey tool is effectively used in quarterly and annual appraisal points. Compilation and distant coaching included. Big encouragement: Tweak to reflect your local expectations.
All great group/team efforts have habits and standards. Here’s wisdom from around the country about the ongoing work
of providing effective governing. The BIG: Local efforts to discuss, develop, own, and continuously improve. This
worksheet is designed to prompt local thinking, framing and/or performance appraising.
An aligned agenda is about wildly important focus of time, energy and content. A form of strategic, maximizing work, the aligned agenda declares roles, boundaries, intentions and promises for both members and constituents. It is both paper and behavior.
Designed for a session devoted to welcoming new members to the work of highly effective governance.
Strengths. Weaknesses. Opportunities. Threats. A simple way to appraise, identify, discover, think. A foundation for developing many strategic efforts. While some versions focus “strengths and weaknesses” internally and “opportunities and threats” externally, this tool is designed for blended use. Start with solo jotting, listing and sketching. Move to a mix of small and large group conversations. Use online assets such as SurveyMonkey to help sort and prioritize.
Here are some of the assets used or distributed during effectiveness sessions at the Big Convening in Colorado Springs (worksheets need a guided conversation):
CASB’s strengthening tools are designed to be used as resources within facilitated workshops and continuous improvement conversations. To understand and maximize each tool, please contact Randy Black, firstname.lastname@example.org, 800-530-8430, 303-832-1000.