AASB Membership: What’s in it for you? A Lot!

Timi Tullis, AASB Associate Executive Director

During difficult budget times some may question the value of their membership with AASB.  If your board ever gets to that point, here are some great reasons as to why it is vitally important to remain a member of our statewide organization!  

1. First and foremost, BOARD TRAINING!  Board training is a vital part of your ongoing professional development as a board member.  For boards that annually hold a board self-assessment and develop a board improvement plan, or goals for the year to come, see much more focused outcomes to their work.  Here is a list of some of what we could offer your board. For a full list contact myself Timi Tullis, Tiffany Jackson or Jenni Lefing.

  • Board/Superintendent Relations 
  • How to run Effective Meetings/ Parliamentary Procedure 
  • Superintendent Evaluation 
  • Board Self Evaluations (with a resulting board improvement plan) 
  • Strategic Planning
  • Board’s Quasi-Judicial Role 
  • Data for School Boards 
  • Roles & Responsibilities of Governance
  • Onboarding New Members

Each time we work with your board members receive points toward their Boardsmanship Awards.

2. POLICY SERVICES are one of the major services that AASB can be of support to your board. Each time there are new laws passed we work with legal counsel to review and update or create a new policy to match the new laws.  Our staff is here to help boards draft and maintain policies as well as assist with options to get and keep updated policies online.  

3. Each November AASB holds its ANNUAL CONFERENCE  The conference has pre-sessions for both new members as well as experienced members.  The conference is an opportunity for boards, superintendents, and youth to interface with others around the state share in the same responsibilities.  During the conference members have the opportunity to attend sessions focused on board standards and listen to keynotes that engage the audience in topics of interest to districts.  Lastly, the fall conference is when the resolutions process is brought before the membership and voted on to determine the focus for the organization for the year to come.

4. BOARDSMANSHIP ACADEMIES are held in the fall, winter and spring to help board members gain a deeper understanding of issues that will aid them in doing their jobs better.  Policy and Law, Negotiations, Budgeting, Special Education, and Personnel are just a few of the issues that are addressed in these Academies.

5. Opportunities for youth are at the forefront of the work that AASB does.  During the annual conference, the YOUTH LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE has been held for almost 30 years.  Youth that attend gain a better sense of themselves as leaders, as well as a better understanding of what school board members do to improve schools in their district. At the first Fly-In held in Juneau each year AASB offers the YOUTH ADVOCACY INSTITUTE where youth have an opportunity to come and learn about the legislative process, and with their board members conduct visits to the Capital for interaction with their Senators and Representatives.

6.  Each year AASB awards 10-12 scholarships to graduating seniors from member districts.  The JUNE NELSON MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP awards are currently valued at $1500 for the students that win, and can be used for any needs associated with the cost of postsecondary schooling.

7.  PUBLICATIONS that members receive from AASB are sent to keep board members updated on educational trends and state regulations, as well as articles on how to become better board members.  The following is a list of publications that are produced by AASB.

  • The Session newsletter, (weekly legislative bulletin)
  • Lobbying Handbook 
  • Commentary (monthly newsletter) 
  • The AASB website provides a portal to information about school governance, the association, family engagement, trauma engaged work, social emotional tools.  It also has links to former webinars and so much more.  
  • Facebook and Instagram sites
  • Teacher Salary and Benefit Survey
  • Administrative Salary and Benefit Survey 
  • Classified Salary and Benefit Survey 
  • Webinars for first time board members

8. Members of AASB benefit from REPRESENTATION WHEN LOBBYING with both the State Legislature and U.S. Congress.  AASB also works closely with the State Board of Education & Early Development as well as State and Federal Agencies. You can also benefit from the work AASB does as a liaison with other educational organizations (i.e. ACSA, PTA, NEA, etc.)

9. As a member of AASB your ADVISORY BOARDS (in REAA’s) or the ACADEMIC POLICY COMMITTEES (that oversee Charter schools) also have access to our material and trainings.  Principals at any of these schools rely on AASB to assist in educating their board members and helping to ensure their meetings are conducted according to the Open Meeting Act. 

10. AASB’s Alaska Initiative for Community Engagement (AK ICE) has supported districts on CONDITIONS FOR LEARNING for over 20 years. Resources are made available for member districts to help fund COMMUNITY AND FAMILY ENGAGEMENT efforts, as well as tools to help with Social Emotional efforts and Trauma Engaged work for educators in the state. Staff at AASB offer training opportunities to districts and communities to come up with a plan on how to engage members of the community to help with student achievement.  This team also works on SCHOOL CLIMATE AND CONNECTEDNESS and supports districts as they review this data.  

As budgets get tight it is always good to question the value of services, and indeed membership to AASB continues to be worth the investment.