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Purposeful Planning - Board Training (Lake Superior State University)
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Purposeful Planning - Board Training (Lake Superior State University)

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Purposeful Planning - Board Training (Lake Superior State University)

Purposeful Planning - Board Training (Lake Superior State University)

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  • 1. WIN FOR KIDS THROUGH PURPOSEFUL PLANNING & STAY THE COURSE BY EVALUATING THE PATH LAKE SUPERIOR STATE UNIVERSITY CHARTER SCHOOLS OFFICE ANNUAL ACADEMY BOARD RETREAT JASON SARSFIELD JOE URBAN JULIE HOPPER JUNE 29, 2014
  • 2. WWW.CHARTERINSTITUTE.ORG
  • 3. WWW.CHARTERINSTITUTE.ORG Win for kids through purposeful planning • This module will explore the “big picture” questions related to governance. • We begin with the proposition that charter governance presents a paradox – appointed board members may be insulated from the hurly burly of politics, but the appointment process contains its own challenges. • We examine the need for collaboration. • We will end with some tabletop exercises designed to stimulate thought on collaboration and strategic planning.
  • 4. The charter governance paradox • THE OPPORTUNITY: “charter school governance offers an exciting opportunity to build a public school leadership team around shared values rather than around the unpredictable results of school board elections.” Dr. Chenzi Grignano, Director of the Charter Schools Project at Duquesne University. From Creating an Effective Charter School Governing Board Guidebook. • This perspective has pros and cons. On the upside, the selection of charter school directors by appointment means that political issues in the selection process may be minimized. On the down side, directors are not “battle tested” prior to being seated and there is no opportunity to assess their vision, consensus-building, or other skills necessary for a successful school. • THE CHALLENGE: effectively communicating to all stakeholders a shared vision for the charter school that begins with the board. • Boards tend to be recruited to fill seats during the charter application process. They come into the process “ready to serve” but are not always armed with the vision of the school. • There is often a difference between “founding” and “continuing” boards. • Once the charter is granted, it is granted to the BOARD. • Many times, the initial school leader is already chosen by the time the board is seated. 4
  • 5. WWW.CHARTERINSTITUTE.ORG Shared accountability – a guarded trust • The Board necessarily relies upon the operational team to discharge its functions. • Boards have a tendency to get embroiled in micromanagement when staff cannot function (nature abhors a vacuum). • Sometimes, the ops team will want board members to become embroiled. . . • Mary Delagardelle, in “The Lighthouse Inquiry” outlines five roles of the board:  Set clear expectations for outcomes of district improvement work;  Hold the board and staff accountable for meeting the expectations;  Create conditions for success;  Build the collective will to succeed;  Learn together as a board team.  I would add “grow together with administration and ops team.”
  • 6. WWW.CHARTERINSTITUTE.ORG The school leadership team • The school leader ideally implements the vision of the Board. • Balance is everything  Boards that are too “hands off” guarantee themselves a rude wake- up call  Boards that are too “hands on” will micromanage and create a political free-for all. • Opportunity for collaboration begins with the first meeting with the development team (for a new school) or with the existing board and school leader (for an established school); this opportunity continues as new board members or team leaders are onboarded.
  • 7. WWW.CHARTERINSTITUTE.ORG Goals of board/leadership collaboration Collaboration is necessary to ensure that the two most important functions of the Academy as a public institution are being realized: Are the kids learning? Is the money safe?
  • 8. A charter contract with clear performance goals Effective and well-considered policies and guidelines Strategic planning process Tools to aid collaboration 8
  • 9. WWW.CHARTERINSTITUTE.ORG Moving from good to great – an assessment framework • Jim Collins’ watershed work, Good to Great, sets forth the four prerequisites for a great organization:  Disciplined People  Disciplined Thought  Disciplined Action  Building Greatness to Last • This framework is an excellent starting point for an examination of the collaborative effort needed to effectively create a space where kids learn and the public money is safe.
  • 10. WWW.CHARTERINSTITUTE.ORG Tabletop exercises • The Jim Collins framework is best implemented through the use of his Diagnostic Tool. • In the limited time we have, let’s make our own use of this framework to stimulate some discussion. • Tabletop Exercise: “Disciplined Thought”:  confront the brutal facts: discuss a time when the Academy had an existential crisis.  How did the Board and Leadership develop the will to prevail while, at the same time, confronting the reality of the situation? • Tabletop Exercise: “Disciplined Action”:  Does the Academy have a framework of responsibilities in which its agents may act? • how does that look for the Board? • how does that look for the School Leader? • How does that look for the ops team?
  • 11. WWW.CHARTERINSTITUTE.ORG Using the tabletop exercises to stimulate a strategic plan • One way to think about strategic planning is in the context of building an organization that can sustain greatness  What does greatness look like for the Academy?  How will you know that you have the ingredients: • Disciplined people? • Disciplined thought? • Disciplined action? • Building greatness to last? • Our next module will focus on the planning and evaluation process.
  • 12. WWW.CHARTERINSTITUTE.ORG Planning and evaluation • “How do we plan?” and “How do we evaluate?” both presuppose a context – an objective – toward which the planning is geared and in relation to which evaluation must occur. • A great place to start in identifying the context is the Academy’s charter contract.
  • 13. Sample educational goals from an ISSU charter 13
  • 14. WWW.CHARTERINSTITUTE.ORG Evaluation – a tabletop exercise How can the evaluation methods and instruments we have discussed inform a robust dialogue that encourages collaboration between the Board and leadership to foster disciplined thought and disciplined action?
  • 15. THANK YOU! NATIONAL CHARTER SCHOOLS INSTITUTE | 711 WEST PICKARD STREET | MOUNT PLEASANT, MICHIGAN 48858 VIEW THIS SLIDE DECK ONLINE AT WWW.CHARTERINSTITUTE.ORG

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