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Founded in 1963, the VSBA is a private, nonprofit membership association dedicated to serving Vermont’s elected school boards. We provide our members with services, support and counsel as they lead their districts, navigate relationships and promote public education across Vermont.

 

Position Available Within the VSBA

The VSBA is currently taking applications for the VSBA Director of Policy Services & Legislative Affairs.  If you are interested in applying for the position, please read more information here

The VT AOE's District Quality Standards, which include governance standards for school boards, go into effect on July 1, 2025. The standards are general principles of good governance and provide boards guidance on their essential work. The first step in ensuring compliance with these standards is to find out where your board currently is. To help you with this, the VSBA has created a self-evaluation tool for boards to see where the gaps are between your current practices and the new governance standards. 

Joint Training for Chairs and Superintendents

In 2013, the legislature adopted 16 V.S.A. § 561(b) requring at least eight hours of joint training for the superintendent and board chair annually. In 2023, the VSBA and the VSA adapted their annual fall conference to fulfill the requirements of the law if the superintendent and board chair attended the conference together. This will be an option again at the 2024 Annual VSBA/VSA Conference at which all eight hours of training can be obtained. (See below under Save the Date for information about the annual conference.) New this year is a self-guided opportunity, Leadership Expedition. Similar to a self-paced course, the chair and superintendent may select what, when, and how they learn together. In addition to providing more flexibility, this self-guided option offers differentiated learning to meet the needs of governance teams with varying degrees of knowledge and experience. Please let us know if you have any questions about this resource by contacting Debbie Singiser at dsingiser@vtvsba.org.

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Becoming an Effective Board Member:
A Guide to Roles & Responsibilities

Effective and high-functioning boards can have a positive impact on student achievement. A key characteristic of an effective board is meeting its responsibilities by understanding its roles. In school board governance in VT we organize our work into six different pillars: 1) Establish a Vision & Engage the Community, 2) Establish Policy, 3) Board/Superintendent Partnership, 4) Effective & Ethical Operations, 5) Monitoring Progress & Performance, 6) Budget & Financial Oversight. What are the school board’s roles and responsibilities in each of these? Knowing our focus is on governance, what does that look like for each of these pillars and how can we ensure we maintain that focus without migrating into operations and management? What are some tools that can help?

The VSBA offers a two-session series for newly elected school board members each spring. The focus is on the six pillars of the essential work of school boards, including: creating a vision and engaging the community; establishing policy; creating a board/superintendent partnership; budgeting and providing financial oversight; monitoring progress and performance; and ensuring effective and ethical operations.

 

The two sessions will be conducted virtually in 2024 with no cost to attend. The first webinar has happened on May 9.  The video to that webinar can be found to the right. The registration for the second webinar  on May 15 from 5:30-7:30pm can be found below. 

New Board MemberAcademy

Session I
Session II

Orientation: Building the Board Team Webinar

Recorded March 6, 2024

  • Herb Ogden -Taconic and Green Board Chair

  • Dick Dale - Taconic and Green Board Vice Chair

  • Kelly Young - Windham Southeast School District Board Chair

  • Ursula Stanley - Member of Washington Central Unified Union School District Board Member

“Every time a new trustee joins the board, it’s a new board.” 

How newly elected or appointed trustees are brought onto the governance team will in many ways determine how that board will function from that point on. It’s hard to overemphasize the importance of welcoming and onboarding a new member to the governance team, and yet, not every district does it well. 

 

With Town Meeting behind us and newly elected trustees in front of us ready to take their seat at the board table, they need to feel welcome and part of the team AND to learn their job in school board governance. 

 

Everyone has a part to play in the process: the new member, the superintendent, the chair/president, and other board members. 

Handouts:

  1. Presentation

  2. Missouri SBA New Board Member Orientation, Year at-a-Glance

Legislative Advocacy Webinar

Recorded February 12, 2024

Senator Martine Gulick (Vice Chair of the Senate Education Committee) and Representative Peter Conlon (Chair of the House Education Committee) spoke to the work in their respective education committees and gave us a preview of what’s to come before adjournment. They were joined by VSBA and VSA staff members who are representing their respective organizations’ memberships when engaging with the General Assembly on issues affecting education. VSBA has over 50 resolutions covering a range of issues, including governance, local control, and the role of the state in education; education finance; instruction; labor relations; and health and wellness. For more information, visit https://www.vtvsba.org/public-policy

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