ASBA Connect E-News


Summer…what happens now for a school board member?

Written by Ann O’Brien, ASBA President

As a kid, I counted down the final school days before summer break. Growing up in Arizona summer meant endless sleepovers, long days in the pool, bike rides, softball games and monsoon storms. Oh, to be a kid again! Summer as a school board member looks a little different than those of my childhood. School district summers are filled with budgets, goals, plans and hopefully, a retreat.

June is filled with preparations for the upcoming school fiscal year which starts on July 1. Per policy CBI, the Superintendent’s evaluation is to be completed by May 15. Making June the perfect time to draft and finalize the superintendent’s next year’s goals. Aligning the goals of the superintendent and the board with the strategic plan allows everyone in the district to work towards academic achievement for all its students.

Per Policy DBF, July is for finalizing the budget for your district’s upcoming year, which is a little difficult since the Arizona Legislature has not approved their budget yet. Unfortunately, this is not something new in our state so many of our school business officials are able to adjust and adapt to Arizona’s budget process. Per Arizona State Statute school districts must approve and submit their budgets by July 15 every year.

Finally, summertime is an excellent opportunity to host a board retreat to study and discuss major issues or work on team building. Working together implementing policy to ensure your district’s students achieve academic success is the priority. While the work of governing board members is not to agree on every issue…it is imperative that we are able to work together even when we disagree. It is also a great time to schedule a governing board evaluation. Per Policy BAA, this should be done annually prior to October 15.

While Arizona’s governing boards do not go on summer break, please remember to take time to refresh and rejuvenate especially after the year we all have had. Arizona’s students are depending on each of you to work in their best interest. Thank you for all you do. Happy Summer!

Summer is the perfect time to work on your Policy Handbook with ASBA

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.

Five more reasons to contact ASBA:

  1. The policy handbook language is consistent with policy language.
  2. Districts can customize the policy handbook to address local conditions.
  3. ASBA will provide subscribing districts with updates as state and federal statutes and regulations are made.
  4. The policy handbook serves as a staff training document.
  5. The policy handbook documents are cross-referenced with policy documents or manual.

Preview how the employee handbook is organized. Contact ASBA to start your process.

Start planning your ASBA events for 2021-22 with new calendar

View all the upcoming ASBA events for the 2021-22 school year. The new Calendar of Events schedule can be viewed on the district website. Please note there are a several dates still not confirmed and will be added as soon as possible.

Arrive early and attend the Pre-Conferences at the 45th Annual ASBA Law Conference

The 2021 edition of the ASBA Law Conference will be held in person on September 8-10 at the Camelback Inn in Scottsdale. Arrive early and attend a pre-conference! You have a choice from 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
  • 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
  • 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.

Kick off the summer by scheduling your board retreat

Schedule your board retreat now. 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!

AZEdNews Covers State Budget: Watch it live now: Legislators introduce budget bills today & start approval process

Arizona Senate President Karen Fann is introducing the budget bills now during a Senate floor session this morning. Watch it live now. Arizona Capitol Television: Senate Floor Session 6/22/21 begins 10…read more

Which counties will be electing County Directors?

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.

Meet ASBA’s Apache County Director, Judy James

Salome ESD superintendent position available

Salome ESD is looking for a new superintendent. Additional administrator positions are still being posted on the ASBA website.

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