ASBA Connect E-News


New superintendent evaluation tool pilots this summer

ASBA is partnering with the Arizona School Administrators to develop a comprehensive, standardized, evidence-based and flexible evaluation tool for school boards to utilize when administering the statutorily required yearly performance evaluation of the superintendent. 

The goal is to create a tool that is easily administered and effective. ASA and ASBA have formed a diverse work group of superintendents and school board members from across Arizona, including urban, suburban, rural and remote districts as well as elementary, union high school, unified, CTED and transportation districts to participate in development of the evaluation tool.  

The work group is currently meeting with the goal of having a pilot evaluation tool ready for districts who want to participate in a pilot program beginning in July 2021. The pilot program will be open to all Arizona school districts who want to participate and will include trainings for boards who participate. 

ASBA and ASA are excited to collaborate on this project and are confident the end product will be a welcome addition to any superintendent evaluation process. Find more information on the ASBA website.

Executive Order doesn’t automatically terminate mask mandates

Click to view video of Chris Kotterman, ASBA Director of Governmental Relations on ABC news

On Monday afternoon, April 19, Governor Ducey released an Executive Order to remove the requirement that all school districts and charter schools adopt policies mandating the use of face masks.

We don’t read this Executive Order to automatically terminate existing mask mandates, but they are no longer required to be in place. We recommend consulting your district’s legal counsel with any questions. 

ASBA released the following statement in response:

“On behalf of Arizona’s locally elected school boards, ASBA is profoundly disappointed that Governor Ducey chose to terminate the requirement for universal masking in K-12 public schools.  Instead of focusing on completing the last five weeks of school as smoothly as possible, school districts will now be forced to deal with controversy over masking, which as far as we are aware, the CDC still recommends. Far from making schools safer, we fear this will add to the concerns some parents already have regarding in-person learning.”

Click here to read ASBA’s summary of EO 2021-10

View video of Chris Kotterman, ASBA Director of Governmental Relations on ABC news

Why should your district have an up-to-date employee handbook?

ASBA offers a model employee handbook to cover district employees’ terms and conditions of employment. The purpose of an employee handbook is to advise employees of important aspects of the district’s unique culture and organizational mission. It serves to communicate conditions of employment, conduct and behavior. It outlines organizational expectations along with aspects of compliance with federal and state laws and regulations. The handbook provides employees with guidance regarding specific questions that may arise as a member of the staff. This helps defend against employment claims presented to the district, aid in organization and consistency in the workforce and provide for a common need to be informed and be a productive member of the team.

Preview how the employee handbook is organized.

Meet ASBA’s Maricopa Graham County Director, Troy Thygerson

New superintendents announced for Bowie and Baboquivari districts

Congratulations to Dr. Christopher Bonn who was selected as superintendent for Baboquivari USD and Daniel Erickson as superintendent for Bowie USD. Both start July 2021. Both districts selected ASBA to conduct the superintendent searches. Other superintendents newly selected and previously announced by ASBA include Dr. Steven Bebee, Buckeye UHSD and Kyle Patterson, St. Johns USD.

Along with the search services, each district also receives ASBA’s public relations plan. Bringing in a new superintendent can be overwhelming. ASBA is providing a new service that is included in our superintendent search package! ASBA provides templates for your media release, introduction to your community, social media graphics and more! When you choose ASBA, we give you the resources to help introduce your new superintendent to the community. If you missed the webinar on “How to Introduce New District and School Leadership to the Community,” view it now and download the presentation.

April #Wed Webinar: Building More Inclusive and Effective Student, Family and Staff Surveys

Join the discussion on April 28, 4 p.m. to learn more about the strategies to create surveys that increase engagement with all stakeholder groups in your community. 

April 28, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Building More Inclusive and Effective Student, Family and Staff Surveys

AZEdNews Highlights: Why school equity plans help students & the community

For several years, schools in Arizona and nationwide have been analyzing student achievement, discipline data and demographics to develop equity plans to increase student and family engagement, reduce discipline disparities and close the achievement gap.…read more

New superintendent searches for Casa Grande UHSD and Wilson ESD

ASBA is excited to conduct superintendent searches for our member districts. Currently we have openings available for Casa Grande UHSD and Wilson ESD. We also post district openings on our webpage. Check for search opening, announcements, articles, and other resources by following  Twitter and LinkedIn accounts especially created for search services.

 More information on these two positions will be available on ASBA website under Executive Search. For questions or additional information, please contact Katie Link at

Upcoming ASBA Events

April 28, 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm: Wednesday Webinars: Building More Inclusive and Effective Student, Family and Staff Surveys

May 12, 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm: Wednesday Webinars: Focus on Communications: Protocols for Social Media Engagement and Online (and Offline) Conversations

Plus more! You can find all Wednesday webinars on the ASBA webpage, Can’t view the webinar live? No problem. Go ahead and register and you will receive the recording automatically by email so you can view it later. There is no cost to register for this webinar.  We encourage advance registration.

Reserve your spot! Virtual Summer Leadership Institute, June 11

Registration is now open! This summer conference encourages school boards and super­intendents to get away together to help expand their learning on diverse topics and current educational issues.

Even though we won’t be in Flagstaff, this event is still a great way to work as a board team with your superintendent in leadership areas.

SPECIAL GENERAL SESSION with Neil Staker on “Collaborate: How to Work More Effectively with Others.”

Special invite for ASAP members! An administrative assistant track is created especially for superintendent and board administrative professionals.  Walk away with strategies that help you work with a fractured board and overcome trials and tribulations of the Public Records retention and request process.

You will also have an opportunity to collaborate with your own counties in the County Conversations!

Registration fee for the Summer Leadership Institute is $100/person for members and $200/person for non-members.

Part Two: New Board Member Orientation, June 10

Register now. ASBA will cover topics such as policy, conflict of interest, board and superintendent evaluations and working in a team. This virtual event also includes a panel of veteran board members sharing their perspectives and stories of school board service. Individual board members will also have the opportunity to share their most difficult and inspiring issues so far in their service on the board.

Agenda sessions include:

Facilitated Conversation: What is the Most Surprising, Inspiring, and Difficult Thing You Have Learned So Far?

Teamwork: Essential Components

Communication is Key!

Conflict or Not?

Funny, Uplifting and Illuminating Stories from School Board Veterans

What Does It Take to be Board President?

Top 5 Advocacy Issues for 2021

Board Policy: The Who, What, Why, Where and How

Evaluations: The Board and Superintendent

You Asked For It! Q and A with ASBA Staff

Registration fee is $100/person member registration fee includes access to online materials. Non-member registration fee is $200/person.

new board member

Many school districts still require masks, after Gov. rescinds mandate

Some schools plan outdoor proms & in-person graduations

How strengthening connections helped stabilize enrollment

Sign Up for ASBA Connect E-News