A Dozen Things Catholic School Board/Council Members Should Do in 2015

  1. Set high standards
    Recruit a diverse, visionary and hardworking board membership
    Expect productive committees that set goals that advance the operational vitality of the school and reach them
    Review and adhere to your governing documents or bylaws
    Have well-run meetings with set agendas and conclude with assigned action items
    Take educated risks to raise the teaching/learning standards to achieve excellence
  2. Start your meetings right!
    Pray before and after each meeting – we have much for which we are grateful
    Take time to reflect on the lives of your fellow board members
    Attend mass and notice the students who are in your respective school/s – acknowledge them as members of the parish community
    Attend mass together as a board at least once a year
    Attend a school liturgy
    Participate in faith-in-action projects with your students
  3. Take a field trip
    Visit another Catholic school that is doing something that your school is not, for example, blended learning, implementing the Year of Faith, extending the school day, an effective middle school program
    Share what you have learned with others on your board
    Conduct a Competitive Analysis – determine what you do well and what needs improvement to be competitive
  4. Model the effective use of technology
    Use social media to communicate great things about your school
    Use social media to learn about education
    Post questions and ask for feedback
    Support school communications
    Set policies aligned with 21st Century Learning
    Ask your administrator to share ways the school “properly manages online ethics without restricting the creativity and information flow of the shared learning environment”
  5. Ask your administrators to explore new instructional models for possible implementation
    Consider fiscal implications for adopting such a model
    Consider the impact on enrollment
  6. Monitor your school’s improvement/strategic plan
    Ask for data to monitor goals
    Post the plan on the web
    Post the progress of your school as you work toward the goals
    Post support for the progress being made
    Post a summary of board meeting actions
  7. Consider supporting new programs to encourage vocations
    Form a partnership with a seminary or a novitiate
    Ask students to pray for vocations on a regular basis
    Ask that career fairs include positions that support our Church’s ministries
    Establish a vocation wall of fame
  8. Plan your budget based on technology with much less emphasis on textbooks
    Read about new funding models for technology
    Consider a Bring Your Own Device (Technology) policy
    Seek partnerships to support these initiatives
    Support partnerships for funding
  9. Acknowledge and affirm excellence in your school
    Ask for samples of student work
    Invite students to attend your meeting to tell you what they are learning in classes
    Invite teachers to attend your meeting to tell you what and how they are teaching
    Showcase the school community’s digital fluency
  10. Involve yourself in student recruitment
    Call a parent and ask them to consider your school
    Write a letter to the editor supporting your school
    Go to online sources and rate your school (www.greatschools.org)
    Serve as a school ambassador
  11. Communicate with your stakeholders
    Survey current and past parents, parishioners, business persons, faculty, students, etc.
    Interview teachers and community members to find out what they are excited about and what they are concerned about
  12. Continue your own education
    Build time into your meeting to learn new things, for example, elements of a digital classroom, learn the importance of Christian Education from Vatican II, or take a look at National Standards for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools
    Integrate faith formation including intellectual Catholic tradition as part of your continuing education program
    Better understand and appreciate the evangelizing value of the school

This list has been adapted and modified from Ten Things School Board Members Should Do in 2013 by Vander Ark and was originally posted on ncea.org.

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