Training for New School Board Members

By Robert L. Zorn

School board elections soon will take place in many communities across the nation. With the average board member serving either one or two four-year terms, periodic turnover is inevitable, as is the need for training for those are joining your board.

But who should conduct the training? When and where should it be held? Why is it necessary? What should the focus be? And how do you ensure that new board members are getting the training they need to help your district accomplish its mission?

The “why” question is easy to answer. Think of board members as lifesavers or safeguards for the school district. Lifesavers need training. Today’s school operations are so complex that it’s difficult—if not impossible—for new board members to walk in cold and be up to speed.

Training helps pave the way, set the stage, and speed up the learning curve to good boardmanship.

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