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What’s on Your June Board Agenda?

organization planning May 22, 2020

As my year finishes as a board chair of a public charter school in North Carolina, I combed through my reflection journal from the last year. On July 27, 2017 I wrote, “You only have 12 meetings to make an impact, sustain the last chair’s work, or improve for the better.” When you think about it, 12 board meetings is a very short amount of time to create sustainable change without ruffling feathers. It has taken me this long to just begin to figure it out the Board Chair position, let alone how to improve our board. Unlike my predecessor, I was fortunate enough to be on the board one year prior to being elected Chair. He was elected Chair in his first meeting! Talk about walking into the fire. 

While preparing the agenda for the June meeting I drafted ten questions I would like the answer to:  

  1. If I read the last 11 months of board meeting minutes, would I be able to tell that the organization in a better place, healthier now than it was one year ago? 
  2. Did the super majority of students learn? How do I know? Will we have the preliminary EOG scores? 
  3. How can we effectively utilize the skills sets of the incoming board members?
  4. What can we do to strengthen the school’s safety plans and processes?
  5. What tangible data do we have to demonstrate we are closer to reaching the organization’s goals? 
  6. What end of the year communication should occur to the staff and families from the board?
  7. What are the key priorities the management team will be working to improve over the summer? 
  8. Did we invest in our people over the past year? Did we retain our best employees?
  9. What question during the year was I afraid to ask in open session? Do I have those answers yet?  
  10. What would we do if the school leader was offered a new job?  

Bonus Question: If I am re-elected as Chair, what areas need improvement to build a stronger, healthier governance structure?

Another school year has passed. Some of your board members and key staff will be leaving the organization with critical intellectual school property in their brain. One can only hope that this intellectual property has been written down, duplicated and instilled into members of the board and staff. If not, make that happen soon!

Best selling author Dan Coyle states, “Team's are not strong just because they have strong members. Team's are strong because they learn to to navigate through challenging times together.” If this statement is even half true, I can say with certainty that our board has grown tremendously this year. At the same time, the next twelve months will be critical in shaping the next five years. I know we are prepared because we have done the work on the front end. My call to action to you is to do some preparing on the front end for your organization by spending some time answering these questions for yourselves and as a board as a whole. 

  • How have we grown this year? 
  • What stories do we want to be told about us by the board five to ten years from now? 

These two questions alone might give you pause as you create the board meeting agendas for the 2018-2019 school year. You may rethink what is on your 2018-2019 board meeting agendas. Watch my Outcomes Based Calendar video and think more strategically in developing the next year’s meeting schedule. 

This blog was written by Dr. Thomas Miller, leadership coach and consultant for public charter principals and board members. To ensure charter school boards are effective and lead purposeful, action-oriented meetings, Dr. Miller and his team have created an online and on-demand professional development program for board members called BOARD LEADERSHIP ACADEMY. Join today and begin growing your board tomorrow! 

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