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Facilitated Board Training for School Improvement
Local school boards play an integral role in ensuring student achievement within a school district. However, local board members may not always feel they have a well-defined role in how to successfully engage and support low performing schools. Similarly, board members are expected to drive academic change but often do not receive formal training on how to best accomplish this work. Per HB 18-1355, the Colorado Department of Education is expected to offer local board training to support the academic outcomes of local education agencies.
The facilitated board training for school improvement pilot program was created through a partnership between the Colorado Association of School Boards (CASB), the Colorado Association of School Executives (CASE), and the Colorado Department of Education (CDE). The pilot program combines effective governance practices along with best practices associated with school turnaround work. The core of the training is based on the Center on School Turnaround’s modules for School Boards Driving Turnaround, with customizations made for Colorado’s context.
The primary objectives of the program include: 1) increased understanding of effective governance practices and board member roles and responsibilities, 2) increased board member understanding and support of district improvement efforts, and 3) a developed action plan for improving academic outcomes. The pilot’s theory is that participation in the training will lead to improved student academic performance over time as measured by Colorado’s educational accountability system.
The pilot program is designed to take place over the course of a year. This time frame may be adjusted depending on the specific needs of the participating board and superintendent. The program is built upon a variety of professional development opportunities, including a self-assessment, the exploration of case studies, independent readings, group activities, and development of an action plan to lead change across the district and/or differentiated for specific schools. Training related to effective governance and board member responsibilities is also offered.
Overall, the pilot will largely rely on individual work outside of board meetings including readings and reflection. Facilitated discussion will occur once a month for approximately thirty minutes during the pilot program, this may be done during board meetings. The total estimated time to participate would be about twelve hours throughout the year. For those boards that receive additional governance training, it is anticipated that an additional two to six hours of focused training will occur during the early phase of pilot participation. These additional trainings can take place during scheduled board work sessions and/or be scheduled during other times.
Program Contact Information
Dan Jorgensen, PhD
Accountability Support Manager, School Improvement and Planning
(303) 866-6763 | Jorgensen_D@cde.state.co.us