ASBA Connect E-News


Ask the Policy Team – A benefit of ASBA membership

By Steve Highlen, ASBA Sr. Policy Consultant

Question:  In light of recent events, what can board members do to protect students, teachers and their school districts?

Answer:  In a statement yesterday by Houston Mayor, Sylvester Turner, he asked this question. “How many more children must lose their lives from senseless gun violence?”  This is a question born from not only Tuesday’s tragedy at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, but from the 30 plus shootings in public schools, colleges and universities that have occurred thus far this year. This is a question that reaches back to senseless shootings at Junipero Serra High School in San Diego, California (2002); Virginia Tech. Blacksburg, Virginia (2007); Millard South High School Omaha Nebraska (2011); Sandy Hook Elementary School (2012); Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and Parkland, Florida (2018).  This is a question that reaches back to hundreds of shooting and firearm incidents that have taken place in U.S. schools over the past 30 years.  

Mayor Turner’s question sends a clear and distinct message, ‘We must be engaged in advocacy efforts, community discussions, and decision making based on our collective responsibility to maintain safety in our schools.”  The Arizona School Boards Association strongly urges governing school boards to continue to foster efforts to ensure campus safety by engaging staff members, parents, student, community leaders, local and state agencies and elected officials in meaningful discussions leading to the implementation of policies that focuses on local practices. 

To that end, enhance the following board and administration efforts: 1) establish ongoing board sessions to review current policies and practices that support campus/student safety, 2) evaluate current efforts that support individual academic, social, and emotional needs of students, 3) engage district stakeholders in ongoing related conversations, 4) maintain an emergency management plan that is inclusive of a training component, 5) work closely with local first responders, and 6) advocate for policies at the local, state, and federal level that support safe schools.  

ASBA’s leadership, policy, legislative and training staff stand ready to assist and support this collective effort.

steven highlen

Get to know high school graduates awarded ASBA scholarships this year

Each year, the Arizona School Boards Association awards scholarships to help graduating high school seniors in member districts better afford the training they seek at higher education institutions to help them meet their career goals.

Here’s what students have to say about how these scholarships will help them as they pursue their dreams… full article here.

Show Low USD superintendent position available plus other administrative positions available across Arizona

ASBA offers a wide range of search services, from comprehensive searches to fill a current or future superintendent position, to assisting governing boards seek an interim superintendent when necessary. View all district openings right now.

Nominations open for Education Law Awards

ASBA is excited to present two Education Law Awards. The prestigious John R. McDonald and Dean Pickett Award and the Rising Star Award. Nominations are now open and close July 5, 2022.

John R. McDonald and Dean Pickett Award

The John R. McDonald and Dean Pickett Award recognizes an attorney each year who is considered a leader in public education for unique outstanding contributions to Arizona district schools and in alignment with ASBA’s mission of cultivating excellence in locally governed school districts. Attorneys eligible for nomination have practiced law and have at least 10 years of education law experience.

NEW! Rising Star Award

The Rising Star Award was developed to recognize and honor emerging attorneys with five years or less in the legal profession that have shown a commitment to their profession, public education and the clients and communities they serve.

Nomination Guidelines

Nominations will be accepted from individuals within or representing ASBA member districts including, but not limited to board members, superintendents, administrators and attorneys working with public schools. Please note the nominator must be a member of ASBA in good standing.

Nominators and selected recipients will be notified no later than August 1, 2022.

Both awards will be presented on the final day of the ASBA Law Conference, which is held September 7-9 at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn in Scottsdale. The recipient, nominee and their guests will be invited.

A video honoring the recipients will be produced by ASBA staff. It will be shown during the award presentation and share via ASBA communication platforms.

Nominate now

Develop Customer Service Standards for Your Schools and District Departments

Does Your School District Have Customer Service Standards?

Get an early start and book this professional development for classified staff when they come back from summer break!

Hear from Susan Lindsey, Technology Director at Safford USD on the importance of customer service and benefits of this professional development opportunity.

ASBA provides customer service professional development that focuses on creating a welcoming environment and customer service standards using a customer-focus approach for classified school front office staff. This training is offered as a 3-hour or 2-hour format.

Measure Your District’s Customer Service Standards with New Secret Shopper Service

The ASBA Secret Shopper service measures the customer service process in the school and district department setting by using a third-party individual who reports back on their experiences in a detailed and objective

way. The purpose of this service is to define areas with a potential to improve by giving feedback on how the school and district department is perceived from a customer’s perspective. Organizations that use this type of service in the right way can increase customer satisfaction and improve the overall experience.

ASBA’s package includes in-person visits, phone call recordings and emails to each school and district departments. This is a great new service ASBA can now offer districts that want to measure customer service around the schools and identify what areas or information needs improvement district-wide.

What role do you play in adopting policies this summer? View new FAQs

As policy advisories are issued to subscribing districts this summer in response to changes in the law, board members play a critical role in adopting them into your District Policy Manual to become an official part of district policy.

District policies that are consistent with state and federal laws and regulations are the foundation of governing board and district operations. They are the bedrock upon which excellence in locally governed school districts is built. Reviewing and adopting policy is one of the chief responsibilities of the governing board.

When school boards come together to share the cost of necessary services like these through an association like ours, more precious dollars can be put towards supporting student success.

That’s why ASBA – the professional association for Arizona’s school district governing boards– has been the provider of policy services to Arizona’s school districts for more than 40 years, and we will continue to support all your policy needs.

Here is a list of frequently asked questions that summarize the exclusive benefits of being a policy subscriber.

 Why does ASBA offer Policy Services?

 Who may consult with the ASBA Policy Services team?

 What is included in ASBA’s Policy Services subscription?

What is included in the ASBA model policy manual – and why?

What separates ASBA from other policy services providers?

How can I learn more about district policy?

Click here to view answers to the above questions and learn more about our top-notch policy service benefits.

ASBA reveals Law Conference keynote lineup plus pre-conference topics

Registration opens July 5

ASBA is thrilled to announce an impressive and engaging keynote lineup that will not disappoint at this year’s ASBA Law Conference plus two pre-conferences to choose from.

The Law Conference is the largest gathering of school board members, district leaders and attorneys specializing in school law across the state. This year the conference runs September 7-9, 2022, at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn in Scottsdale.

Registration will open Tuesday, July 5 and closes Friday, August. 26. Look for more details about this event on the ASBA website as the date gets closer.

There is a plethora of options that provide school board members with the knowledge about how boards work, a general understanding of the issues in education, knowledge about student achievement and knowledge about how to best advocate for students beyond the board table.

Keynote line up for 2022 includes:

A Promise to Keep

Judge Glenda Hatchett was a presiding judge and the department head of one of the largest juvenile court systems in the country. Today she is most widely recognized for her television court series “Judge Hatchett” (2000-2008) and most currently “The Verdict.” Nationally recognized as an authority on juvenile and social issues and outspoken advocate for children everywhere, Judge Hatchett speaks passionately on how we can empower this and future generations. 

Elevating Equity and Justice: Ten U.S. Supreme Court Cases Every Teacher Should Know

Robert (Bob) Kim is a leading expert in education law and policy in the United States. A former civil rights attorney and author/ co-author of numerous books on educational law, Mr. Kim will take us on a journey through ten U.S. Supreme Court opinions involving public schools. Why these ten? Because they delve into some of the most important topics and situations educators face every day.

THE BAD KIDS: A Real Life Look at How One School Made a Difference

Principal Vonda Viland and directors Keith Fulton and Lou Pepe will join us to discuss their Sundance Award-winning film “The Bad Kids” and how one school tackled head-on one of America’s most serious education problems: generational poverty. This documentary, set at a remote Mojave Desert high school, features extraordinary educators who believe that love, empathy and life skills, more than academics, are what gives “at-risk” students command of their own futures. This coming-of-age story watches education combat the crippling effects of poverty on the lives of these so-called “bad kids.” Law Conference attendees will have the opportunity to watch the full documentary.

View the film trailer now!

Choose from two all-day pre-conferences: 

Supporting Students with Disabilities 

Featuring keynote speaker Rebecca Cokley. Ms. Cokley is an American disability rights activist and public speaker who is currently the first U.S. Disability Rights Program Officer for the Ford Foundation. Prior to joining Ford, Cokley was the founding director of the Disability Justice Initiative at the Center for American Progress. Her activism and work within the disability community are largely shaped by her experience as a person with dwarfism. 

Public Access and Participation: From Parents to Public Meetings 

Increased attention to school district policy and practices have led to calls for greater access to everything from educational materials to district decision-making. From the Parents Bill of Rights to call to the public, we will be covering the most pressing topics around these issues facing governing boards today. 

ASBA Events and Webinars

Upcoming ASBA Events

Summer Leadership Institute, June 9-11

Law Conference, September 7-9 (registration opens July 5)

View all ASBA events on the ASBA website.

Upcoming ASBA Webinars

Look for webinars for 2022-23 next month.

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 these webinars.  We encourage advance registration.


Video: Gov. signs bill for 9/11 instruction & Legislators discuss prohibiting sexually explicit materials in schools

Legislators approve elective credits for student activities & prevent school COVID vaccination requirement

Video: See dual-language students use what they’ve learned on field trip

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