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Governance Consulting Services


The work of school board members is best accomplished when they work as a Board-Superintendent leadership team. Through trainings and services, the goal of the WASB is to develop board member’s ability to lead their districts’ efforts to implement change that will lead to improved student achievement.

The WASB’s customized leadership services can address a wide range of governance issues. See below for more information.

Does your board need help:
Understanding the board’s legal and/or financial roles and responsibilities?

The WASB introductory legal training provides an overview of key areas of Wisconsin law, including open meetings, public records, conflicts of interest, liability and risk management, and a board’s power and duties. Training on financial roles and responsibilities includes an overview of key areas of school district budgeting for school board members, including relevant statutes, the budgeting process, effective and efficient resource utilization, and community participation in budgeting.

Visit the Basic Legal and Governance Resources for School Board Members page for an introductory compilation of resources.

Creating a vision and using it to direct your priorities and goals?

Effective school boards commit to a vision of high expectations for student achievement and quality instruction and define clear goals toward that vision. The WASB can assist in moving a vision from paper into practice.

Operating effectively and efficiently as a board?

Effective and efficient school board meetings are productive, conducive to good decision making, and are focused on the board’s goals and priorities. The WASB school board meeting self-evaluation tool allows board members to evaluate their meetings as often as they would like. The tool can be used on its own or in conjunction with the Annual Board Development Tool. If needed, WASB consultants are available to facilitate discussions and improvements in operating effectively and efficiently as a board.

Creating board agendas focused on student achievement and high expectations?

The WASB’s experienced consultants can review your board’s agenda’s to ensure that the board is focused on what matters most.

Developing visionary board policies that support and lead the school district?

Policymaking is one of the school board’s most important functions. Through policy, the board sets the educational goals for the district and provides directives for administrators and other staff to follow while working toward achieving the goals. Policymaking is a continuous process whereby existing policies are reviewed regularly to see if they are effective and up to date and new policies are developed as they are needed.

The WASB’s experienced policy services team can provide members with a range of policy consulting services tailored to meet that district’s particular needs, interests or requirements.

Developing a strategic plan?

To ensure that the board’s vision becomes reality, the board should develop a strategic plan and establish policies for implementation. The WASB uses Stakeholder-Driven Strategic Planning, based on the research of Robert W. Ewy and the Baldridge Foundation. This planning process involves key community and school district participants and is designed to gather input from individual community stakeholders.

Since the process is tailored to the planning needs of the school district and balanced with current resource availability (staff, budget, and local resources), it is designed to take place in a reasonable time period. The cost is calculated on a time-needed basis and is dependent on the scope and goals of the school district for their Stakeholder-Driven Strategic Planning effort. As a result of the planning process, a number of documents or deliverables will be produced to help guide the school district. These documents will be used by the Strategic Planning Committee to analyze the school district performance and to aid in the development of the strategic plan.

Develop Your District’s Vision For the Future (Wisconsin School News, August 2016)

Aligning your budget with your priorities?

Effective boards align and sustain resources, such as professional development, to meet district goals. The WASB can help your board ensure its vision is implemented and supported through the district budget process.

Dealing with conflict, building trust and modeling professional, respectful behavior for the district?

Conflict occurs naturally and can present an opportunity for growth, understanding, and change.  When ignored or mismanaged, conflict can be a destructive force that wastes time, energy and money while damaging the kind of working relationships necessary for getting things done.  The WASB can help board members become more comfortable with conflict, manage conflict constructively and work together with fellow board members, administrators, teachers, parents, students and the public for win-win resolutions.

Developing an effective board/superintendent leadership team?

The board and superintendent have essential leadership roles. The school board governs the district, which is administered by the superintendent. Developing a productive partnership requires the board and superintendent to draw on, and respect, the backgrounds and abilities of everyone involved. The WASB can work with the board/superintendent leadership team to foster a positive, productive working relationship.

Building a relationship with a new superintendent?

The WASB transition services can assist the district with developing press releases and making introductions to the staff and community to help establish strong relationships from the start. The consultants offer transition services that will help the right hire and the board quickly begin their journey together. Additionally, we offer assistance in clarifying expectations and enhancing communication between you and your new superintendent from day one.

Developing an effective district administration evaluation system?

Leadership assessment is an integral part of any school district progress assessment. An environment of continuous improvement requires a developmental approach to evaluation. Evaluation of the district administrator/superintendent has not been established under the Wisconsin Educator Effectiveness Model. However, school districts need to be ready and informed, by setting a tone for executive leadership evaluation. The WASB Consultants can assist your school district in developing a Superintendent Evaluation system which complies with Wisconsin Statutes, incorporates your job description, and builds on the concepts of continuous improvement.

Effectively communicating with internal and/or external stakeholders to develop strong partnerships?

Effective boards recognize public schooling’s impact on the community, and understand how strong connections mean everyone is invested in successful schools. The WASB consultants can conduct a communications review for the district and advise on ways to strengthen communication efforts.

For more information, contact Barry Forbes, WASB Associate Executive Director and Staff Counsel: bforbes@wasb.org or 608-512-1707.

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