The Master Board Program, governance team training for the School Board and Superintendent, is designed to strengthen the leadership team’s ability to work effectively, efficiently, and collectively as a governance body while maintaining a focus on student achievement and factors contributing to the success of schools. Opportunities are provided for the team to discuss and improve or enhance those important interpersonal issues which are essential to team functioning.
This leadership curriculum is designed to offer meaningful learning sessions concentrating on student achievement through the five components of the FSBA Governance Model. Some of the skills, knowledge, processes, and concepts that are addressed in the leadership curriculum include: supporting student achievement, self- assessment, consensus building, establishing trust, conflict resolution, leadership and communication styles, team development, core beliefs, roles and responsibilities, productive meetings, systems thinking, district culture, problem solving, and strategic planning.
The program features a skills-based curriculum which requires twenty-two (22) hours of training. Ten (10) hours are prescribed curriculum at a Master Board Forum; the remaining twelve (12) hours, completed in three (3) onsite sessions of four (4) hours each.
All school district leadership teams are eligible to participate—teams who currently hold the Master Board distinction, teams who previously earned the Master Board distinction but lost it due to a change on the leadership team, and teams who have never earned the Master Board distinction.
Should a team currently hold the Master Board distinction and add only one new member to their leadership team, they may go through the reinstatement program. This program is a seven (7) hour condensed Master Board Forum, held onsite at the convenience of the district.
To earn the Master Board Distinction, a majority of the board members and the superintendent must be present at the following sessions:
|10||Master Board Forum|
|4||Onsite Training Module|
|4||Onsite Training Module|
|4||Onsite Training Module|
|22||TOTAL POINTS/TRAINING HOURS NEEDED|
Great effort is put into ensuring that all training sessions are scheduled at mutually convenient times and locations.
SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES OF SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS TO FULFILL THEIR ROLES OF VISION, STRUCTURE, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND ADVOCACY
- Keeping students as the focus of the work of schools.
- Determining what students need in order to achieve their highest potential.
- Alerting the “stakeholders” to needed change.
- Adopting a shared vision, based on community beliefs, to set directions for every aspect of local education.
- Demonstrating a strong commitment to the shared vision and mission by using them to guide decision making.
- Communicating the vision to others.
- Encouraging openness to unique and creative solutions.
- Identifying direction and purpose.
- Promoting interest and commitment and building confidence in the system.
- Employing the superintendent, if appointed, and supporting him/her.
- Establishing a district management system that enables all people to contribute meaningfully to achieve the vision.
- Communicating clear expectations to the superintendent.
- Developing direct processes to use information and to make informed and effective decisions.
- Making decisions that advance student learning when reviewing and adopting policies and allocating resources.
- Setting high instructional standards based on the best available information of the knowledge and skills students will need in the future.
- Ensuring that long and short term plans are developed and annually revised through a process involving extensive participation information gathering, research, and reflection.
- Encouraging an environment conducive to innovative approaches to teaching and learning and being supportive of continuous renewal of education.
- Establishing policy for hiring personnel, including job descriptions.
- Overseeing the development and adoption of policies and supporting them upon adoption.
- Determining a direction for designing and adopting curriculum.
- Identifying, adopting, and defending budget priorities.
- Overseeing facilities issues
- Providing direction for accepting collective bargaining agreements.
- Setting benchmarks and discussing progress toward student achievement goals.
- Establishing mechanisms for feedback from parents, administrators, teachers, and the community regarding student achievement goals.
- Monitoring student achievement.
- Receiving regular reports on students’ progress and needs based on a variety of assessments that measure the quality and equity of the district’s education system.
- Using student achievement data and all other available information as a basis for making programmatic modifications.
- Keeping the community and parents informed of the status of the district’s programs and students’ progress.
- Evaluating both the superintendent and board performance – including a review of the board’s effectiveness in aligning district priorities with the district’s vision.
- Monitoring, reviewing, and revising policies.
- Providing appropriate staff and board training opportunities.
- Overseeing and adjusting district finances.
- Representing the views of constituents.
- Ensuring that all functions of schools, as institutions of teaching and learning, operate harmoniously.
- Assessing progress toward the achievement of the district’s long and short term goals and aligning board decisions with the vision.
- Ensuring that policies and allocation of resources effectively support the district’s vision.
- Monitoring the collective bargaining process.
- Evaluating the superintendent’s effectiveness and leadership skills, if appointed.
- Encouraging curricular and assessment innovation.
- Seeking others who can help expand educational opportunities and meet the needs of the whole child.
- Advocating for children and families and establishing strong relationships with parents and other mentors who assist students.
- Promoting the schools’ instructional programs and other activities.
- Leading celebrations for achievements of students, employees, and others in education.
- Promoting school board service as a meaningful way to make long term contributions to society.
- Communicating effectively to constituents by being informed about the school district, legislative and state policy issues, and local concerns in education.
- Providing information to legislators about local educational needs.
- Staying informed by reaching out for the community’s input and concerns.
- Seeking to influence decision makers in the community.
Q: What is the focus of the Master Board (MB) Program?
A: The program is designed to concentrate on developing leadership skills and enhancing a leadership team’s ability to work effectively as a governance team to positively impact student achievement.
Q: For whom is the Master Board Program designed?
A: The leadership team (i.e. school board and superintendent) of each Florida school district is the “targeted audience” for the Master Board Program.
Q: Can any leadership team in Florida participate in the Master Board Program?
A: YES. The program is designed for:
- a leadership team that has never participated or completed the program;
- a leadership team that previously held the Master Board distinction and needs to reinstate its eligibility for the Master Board distinction; and,
- a leadership team that currently holds the Master Board distinction, but desires to engage in continued professional development activities.
Q: Are leadership teams required to participate in the Master Board Program?
A: NO. Program participation is voluntary.
Q: How many hours of training are required in the Master Board Program?
A: A total of 22 hours of leadership training delivered by an FSBA facilitator is required in the Master Board Program.
Q: Are there any time constraints for completing the Master Board Program?
A: YES. A maximum of 12 months is allotted for completing the Master Board Program.
Q: Who delivers Master Board training sessions?
A: Facilitators who are current or former Florida school board members conduct and facilitate the Master Board training sessions. FSBA has developed a special training program for these facilitators to complete before officially conducting any training sessions.
Q: How is the leadership team recognized for completing the Master Board Program?
A: The leadership team receives a Master Board Plaque that lists the names of the leadership team members who have completed at least 75% of the Master Board curriculum. Each team member also receives a Master Board Lapel Pin.
Q: Are all board members in the school district required to participate in the Master Board Program if a majority of the members commits to program participation?
A: NO. A board member may choose not to participate in the Master Board Program. A board member who does not attend or attends less than 75% of the required Master Board training is ineligible to have his/her name inscribed on the Master Board Plaque or to be awarded a Master Board Lapel Pin.
Q: Can training in the Master Board Program be used for points in the Certified Board Member Program?
A: NO. The training cannot be used to satisfy two (2) programmatic requirements, consequently, no points can be granted for the Certified Board Member Program.
Q: How does a leadership team become involved in the Master Board Program?
A: The FSBA Office generates a memorandum (November or December of even-numbered years) to invite leadership teams to apply for participation in the Master Board Program. The first step is for the leadership team to file a “letter of intent to participate” with the FSBA Office. The “letter of intent to participate” requires a majority of the school board members and the superintendent to make a commitment for attending all training sessions. The signature of each leadership team member who agrees to participate in the Master Board Program must be affixed to the “letter of intent to participate.”
Q: What is the cost of the Master Board Program?
A: The fee for the Master Board Program is $4,200.00 for FSBA member districts. When a leadership team files a “letter of intent” to participate in the Master Board Program, the $4,200.00 fee or $4,200.00 purchase order must accompany the “letter of intent.” Expenditures for travel, lodging, and meals must be paid by the team when attending the Master Board Forum.
Q: How long does a leadership team hold the distinction of Master Board?
A: This distinction remains in effect for the period of time in which school board members with their names on the Master Board Plaque continue to serve as school board members.
Q: Does the FSBA Office advise the community when the team completes the Master Board Program?
A: YES. Press releases are sent to newspapers that are in circulation within the community.