ASBA Connect E-News


Schedule your summer board retreat now – Virtual or in-person trainings are offered

Kick off the summer by scheduling your board retreat! Now’s a great time to reflect on what has and hasn’t worked for your board and set some board goals for the 2021-22 school year.

ASBA provides individualized training and professional development opportunities throughout the year that enhance the work of Arizona governing boards and encourage continued learning and improvement.

Virtual or in-person trainings are offered when and where you need them.

Here are a few of the trainings we offer that would make a great summer retreat:

Board Retreat Facilitation

Your team develops the agenda and ASBA helps you execute a productive board retreat, allowing the board president and superintendent to participate as a member of the team.

Board Self-Evaluation Part 1 and Part 2

Using ASBA’s online self-evaluation tool, board teams review the evaluation results and identify areas of opportunity for improvement during the workshop.

Effective Board Meetings

This training helps your ream identify ways to have productive, efficient and informative board meetings. Agenda Setting, meeting norms and pacing are just a few of the topics covered in this training.

Open Meeting Law

ASBA General Counsel, Chris Thomas, can provide a general or specific review of Arizona’s Open Meeting Law. The workshop can be tailored to meet the district’s individual needs.

Strategic Planning Facilitation

In order for your entire leadership team to participate, ASBA will provide expert facilitators for your strategic planning meeting. This baseline session will give district leadership teams a starting point in their strategic planning process. Additional sessions would beneficial to assist the district leadership team with next steps, including identifying goals for the strategic plan.

All trainings are available on the ASBA website. Schedule a training now!

Save the Date for the 45th Annual ASBA Law Conference – IN PERSON!

The 2021 edition of the ASBA Law Conference will be held September 8-10 at the Camelback Inn in Scottsdale. This year’s conference promises to be a great one with the following highlights:

  • Two Full-Day Pre-Conferences on Wednesday, September 8: Educating Students in Poverty: A Day Long Look at The Legal, Financial and Practical Issues in Delivering Opportunities for All and Law School for School Leaders: A Day Long Look At The Legal Framework That Governs Public Education
  • Four Major Keynote Speakers: Francisco M. Negron, Jr., General Counsel of the National School Boards Association on Federal Courts Update, David Epstein on Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, Bruce Hennes on Crisis Communications and John Ratzenberger on Career and Technical Education and the Trades
  • A Full Legal and Legislative Update, plus 28 timely breakout sessions from the world of school law

Registration will open and rooms at the Camelback Inn will be available on Tuesday, July 6, 9 a.m.  More details will be found on the ASBA website as they become available.

June 3 Pop Up Webinar: Lessons from the Pandemic – Gearing Up for the 2021-22 School Year

ASBA is excited to introduce a new business partnership with Hennes Communications to provide crisis management and communications consulting services to public school districts throughout Arizona facing sudden challenges to their organizations’ reputations and operations.

Whether you are a small, rural district or a large, K-12 district with a full communications department, Hennes Communications is ready to work with on-site superintendents, communications professionals and school attorneys in a cooperative framework with one goal in mind: Helping you communicate your story effectively to protect your district’s reputation. We look forward to having Hennes participate in this year’s Law Conference (in person!) presenting to both the attorneys and the general audience.

Hennes Communications has an extensive track record of working closely with superintendents, communication professionals and legal counsel, balancing best crisis management practices and the need to protect the interests of a school or district with today’s media and stakeholder demands for speed and transparency.

Join us on Thursday, June 3, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

This one-hour webinar will explore how lessons learned from the past year and a half can be carried into the coming school year and many school years to come. Along with how to use the summer break wisely – because the best time to plan for a crisis is when there is no crisis.

Learning Objectives

  • Using the fundamental best practices of crisis communications for any crisis or issue.
  • Applying the communication lessons from a pandemic going forward.
  • How to manage outrage.
  • Evolving strategies for effective use of social media.

The webinar will be led by Thom Fladung, managing partner of Hennes Communications and a 33-year veteran of newspapers.

Register and receive the webinar recording directly to your email.

Meet ASBA’s Pima Co-County Director, Wendy Effing

Elected governing boards: Do the people of Arizona need them?

Written by Steven Chapman, ASBA Immediate Past-President

School boards or governing boards as they are referred to in the state constitution are the elected leaders of a public school district with the constitutional powers over budgets ranging from millions to hundreds of millions, hiring and retaining staff members including the superintendent who reports directly to them and ensuring students are receiving the education they deserve through locally elected oversight. Governing boards are a vital position to ensure our community and constituents have a voice when it comes to leading their community schools. Governing board members are not volunteers. I would also argue that being advocates to the public, and more importantly to the legislature and governor, are also a critical responsibility of elected governing board members.

This year we continue to see direct assaults on our public education system. The legislature is slowly eroding the power and responsibility of governing boards over their community school district. Currently, we are seeing the majority party in the legislature attack our authority over prescribing curriculum needs for our communities, our ability to recruit and retain teachers during a time where we are already facing a teaching shortage, and we have even seen a direct attempt on governing boards themselves that failed.

There are roughly 1,200 governing board members in Arizona made up of different genders, ethnicities, education backgrounds and political affiliations. Despite our demographic makeup as elected officials we should all agree that governing boards are the best advocates for their districts and are the experts for what our community schools need, not the state legislature or governor. Local control is a fundamental pillar of ASBA and regardless of our individual political opinions across the state, should be a priority for all of us. It is incumbent upon us governing board members to take a stand on public education issues, to educate and engage our constituents and take our message directly to the legislators who seek to take apart our public schools and our elected governing board members.

Join HNAIC on June 10 for “Preparing for the Mental Health Needs of Our Communities” 

Join the ASBA Hispanic-Native American Indian Caucus on June 10 from 4:30-6 p.m. on Zoom to discuss increased representation by Hispanic and Native American leaders on the ASBA Board of Directors and participate in a learning session on “Preparing for the Mental Health Needs of Our Communities.” This year’s winners of the HNAIC Panfilo H. Contreras Honorary Scholarship will also be celebrated. 

All HNAIC members will receive the link to attend. If you are not an HNAIC member and would like to receive the link to attend, please register for this meeting here.

There is no cost to attend the meeting and all ASBA members are welcome. 

More about the learning session: 

Devin Del Palacio, HNAIC treasurer and a member of the Tolleson UHSD Governing Board, will lead that conversation with Chad Castruita, founder and CEO of Care Solace. Chad will discuss patterns in mental health care needs of school communities. Chad will share the mental health care trends that Care Solace is seeing as they serve 300 school districts serving 15 million students, staff members and their families. He will also discuss how Care Solace is helping provide equitable access to care.  

Care Solace is a mental health care coordination company with a mission to help people in need quickly connect to quality mental health care. In 2012, Chad personally faced mental health and substance use issues and his life experience led him on this journey to make it easier and less painful than ever for families seeking services. In 2016, he researched how families get connected to resources and the barriers and obstacles they encounter. By 2017, Chad officially launched the Care Solace service to calm the chaos of mental health care. Chad holds an MBA from the University of Southern California and now lives with his wife and two young daughters in San Diego.

IT’S TODAY! May 26 #Wed Webinar: Is Your District Ready For an Equity Policy?

Join ASBA Board Support Specialists and district governing board members Nikkie Whaley and Julie Bacon as we discuss what an Equity Policy is (and isn’t) and best practice for those looking to adopt an equity policy in their district. Register for webinar, Wednesday, May 26, 4 – 5 p.m.

AZEdNews Covers: AZ Legislators discuss budget bills

Instead of funding universal pre-K and a program to help high performing students attend community college for free, the budget prioritizes other things and “puts our hard earned dollars to other options,” Rep. Lieberman said.……read more

ASBA will be visiting every county in person this fall

Please put a hold on your calendar and plan to join us and your other board colleagues from throughout your county starting September 21 – November 4. More details and a link to register will come out in early August. We’re planning another Power Town Hall, so your participation is critical. Let’s make sure our county’s voice is heard. Members in nine counties also will be electing their County Director, who will serve a two-year term on the ASBA Board of Directors.

View all dates and additional information on the ASBA website.

Upcoming ASBA Events

May 26, 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm: Wednesday Webinars: Is Your District Ready For an Equity Policy?

June 2, 2:00 – 3:300 pm: Webinar: ESSER III Safe Return to Instruction Requirements

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.

AZEDNews Featured Articles

Education leaders share insight during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Push back on mask policies leads to safety concerns

Opposition to equity plans leads to recall threats, legislation

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