Board Member Professional Development
Improving training access and quality
by Naomi Eason, Assistant Executive Director, Member Services

upporting trustee professional development and training is one of CSBA’s key strategic priorities. The CSBA Board of Directors is strengthening training programs by redesigning course content, developing a structured learning program, increasing accessibility and re-envisioning targeted marketing. The following is a summary of key areas we have worked on over the past year and will continue to build upon.

Expanding training infrastructure to increase accessibility:
  • In order to open more opportunities for CSBA members from small districts — defined as those with an average daily attendance of 2,500 or fewer — a Smalls Professional Learning Network has been created with funding from the California Collaborative on Educational Excellence. This network allows small district representatives from 15 local educational agencies from across the state to come together and obtain professional development while providing input on topics related to funding, the California School Dashboard, community engagement, Local Control and Accountability Plans and more — from the small-district perspective.
  • In order to support more small-district members, CSBA obtained funding from the Bechtel Foundation and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation to provide this group with scholarship opportunities to attend this year’s CSBA Leadership Institute: The Science of Leading Students to STEM Success.
  • Online learning: Based on stakeholder input from CSBA and California County Boards of Education members, CSBA is working to build an Online Learning Platform. This platform will allow for on-demand learning when members need information the most, on topics they have prioritized for inclusion. Content will include CSBA-created materials as well as content from CSBA business partners who possess expertise in high-priority training content and understand the board member perspective, roles and responsibilities.
Masters in Governance and Governance Consulting Services:
  • CSBA has created a County Office of Education MIG working group to provide input on the development of MIG courses for COE members. CSBA will pilot a COE MIG training in the 2018–19 year. Feedback will be collected and a finalized rollout schedule will be developed based on the election cycle and potential number of participants.
  • In an effort to reach more of our members through in-person training, MIG regional events have been increased across the state. This addresses membership feedback requesting more access to attend training with fewer barriers, including distance and travel.
  • CSBA believes hard-working graduates should be recognized. Beginning in the April edition of California School News, MIG graduates are recognized monthly as cohorts, and bi-annually in the spring and winter editions of California Schools magazine.
  • CSBA is investing in hiring and training more MIG and Governance Consulting Services staff in order to offer even more trainings across the state. GCS staff facilitate workshops that can help your team work through common governance issues such as setting vision, dealing with leadership transition, evaluations and much more. Since every district’s needs are unique, the training for each governance team is different.
Improved tools and resources:
  • Based on user feedback, CSBA has updated the Board Self-Evaluation Tool by streamlining and reducing the number of questions on the survey, enhancing the reporting feature and improving the back-end technology. We will be reaching out to members to pilot the new tool later this spring and provide feedback before the tool is rolled out to the entire membership.
  • One of the most important activities members engage in is evaluating the superintendent. To that end, CSBA is developing a Superintendent Evaluation Tool. This tool will allow for local customization in order to address superintendent goals related to the district strategic plan and LCAP. It will also align with the CSBA Superintendent Governance Standards. CSBA will be looking for volunteers to pilot this tool in order to provide feedback before it is available to all members.
  • CSBA has just finished producing an online Candidate packet that provides an overview of the duties and responsibilities of the school board member, based on member requests to support the Candidate Orientations they host at the local level. This tool can be used to support these forums by providing a high-level overview of the important governance role board members fulfill through their service. This resource can be accessed on the CSBA website by visiting
On the horizon:
  • CSBA is developing a MIG Alumni Association for MIG graduates. Membership benefits will be developed with graduates in mind who have completed the 40-hour course of study.