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Eight Tips When Reviewing Your Bylaws

Recently I was leading a governance strategic retreat, which is one of my favorite professional training services I offer, and I asked a question to the board about how many board members does your bylaws allow.

A member replied, “nine”.

I counted the members in front of me, looked at the board and said, “Well there are 10 of you here, so I hope not. When was the last time you reviewed the bylaws?”

We pulled the bylaws and identified that seven was the max! They had been out of compliance for years based on their own bylaws.

This is just one of the many common mistakes I see in governance bylaws...many were written so long ago they are out of touch with the school's current structure. 

Here are some other common mistakes you might find in your bylaws.

  • Bylaws having policies embedded: The bylaws should be structure in which the board operates. This includes number of members, terms, term limits, definition of quorum, and officers responsibilities....
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Eight Roles of a Charter School Board Member

board governance Nov 07, 2019
 

No other singular variable is more important for the health and vitality of a school
then the way it is governed. Every failure of a charter school can be traced back, in some form or fashion, to the board that governs the school. 

Whether the board is comprised of parents, educators, community volunteers, or other individuals, proper delineation of roles is essential.

Board members who do not have a clearly definable role may, on their own, create a personal role that may not fit the best interest of the board.

This confusion over roles can create resentment amongst members; encourage mediocrity, lead to frustration, loss of trust, and poor governance. To help board members focus on long- term planning and resist the tendency to micromanage, charter school boards should develop clear governing roles and responsibilities for all charter school board members and review them annually.

Take 10 minutes to watch the linked video and download a copy of the critical roles that I...

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Leading Through Change

Leading through change is what separates the good from the great. Right now, thousands of school leaders across the nation are saying, “I cannot wait until next year. Next year will be different.”

My question to them is, “How do you know?”

When leading through change, it is all right for leaders to be uncertain about their process to get there, but it is not all right for leaders to be unclear about their overall vision. It is in time of change when people need their leaders the most. When people lack hope, the leader needs to provide hope. When people lack answers, the leader needs to have a vision and clearly communicate that vision.

A time of uncertainty is the hardest time to lead. Most people tend to freeze when the future is uncertain; unfortunately, this is when many leaders decide to take a step back rather than being at the forefront. When I was a principal, in times of change or adversity, I did not want to have to answer everyone’s questions...

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27 Things Extraordinary Boards Do

  1. Adopt long term goals: If you do not have a destination, you will never get lost.
  2. Focus on the critical data: If it does not inform the board on the long term goals, it doesn’t belong on a board meeting agenda.
  3. Develop a strategic calendar: Your board calendar is your best tool for oversight.
  4. Prepare for meetings: Board members should read all reports provided (sent 7 days in advance)  
  5. Ask great questions: Good questions inform, great questions transform.
  6. Plan ahead: Organization’s should respond, not react.
  7. Follow focused agendas: Follow the Pareto Principle: 80% of the organization’s issues come from 20% of the problems. Identify and focus your time and skills here.  
  8. Understand their role: If you feel like you are overwhelmed, you are probably micromanaging.
  9. Utilize subcommittees: Subcommittees made of critical friends dive deeper.
  10. Speak with one voice: Whether the vote is 5-4 or 9-0, it has been decided.
  11. Purposely...
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