Whether you are a new board member or an experienced one, AASB’s board development team and services are here for you. AASB knows how important becoming an effective board member is to creating and maintaining an educational system that succeeds in providing an excellent education for every Alaska child every day. In order to be successful, board members must learn about teamwork, policy, public meetings law, budgeting, curriculum and instruction, ethics, community engagement, strategic planning, collective bargaining, and many more skills to function effectively and efficiently.
AASB offers a variety of services to help support the effective functioning of your board team. We offer comprehensive policy support, a paperless, web-based meeting program, strategic planning facilitation, and facilitated superintendent evaluations. The following menus will allow you to explore what AASB has to offer school boards, charter school academic policy committees, and advisory school boards.
Custom Board Training
AASB staff is highly skilled and experienced in providing both onsite or virtual custom training for board members. These training workshops are developed specifically for each individual board and can be composed to meet your specific needs. Custom training with your board and superintendent provides a unique opportunity for the board to work together on skills, communication and relationships that otherwise are not possible.
Academies and Conferences
AASB Annual Conference
The AASB annual conference is the premier training event held each November in Anchorage for Alaska school boards. This multi-day conference provides a unique opportunity for board members and their superintendents from across the state to gather for both association business and to learn about good boardsmanship as well as some of the latest thoughts on education. The conference program features renowned speakers, education clinics, a banquet and boardsmanship awards evening, association business meetings, AASB board of director elections, and the adoption of the association’s resolutions. “Where We Stand.”
Held three times a year during fall, winter, and spring. Workshops are offered that will improve members’ knowledge of issues affecting schools in Alaska. The Fall Academy alternates it location between Anchorage and Fairbanks each year and has a rotating curriculum of boardsmanship topics such as school finance, board standards, school law, budgets, meeting conduct, teacher and administrator training, and retention and several other timely topics.
The Winter Academy, a two-day session held in Anchorage in mid-December focuses on issues like school law, equity, culturally responsive education, and policy to name a few topics. In conjunction with this academy, AASB offers the Executive Administrative Assistant Workshop tailored for district Administrative Assistants, covers a range of topics that include policy, managing personnel files, Robert’s Rules, and more!
President’s Leadership Academy
During the spring and in conjunction with AASB’s two legislative fly-ins in Juneau, two more single-day learning academies are held. At the first fly-in in early February, the President’s Leadership Academy focuses on board leadership skills.
In late March or early April, the Spring Academy covers a rotating list of subjects such as board and superintendent relations, community engagement, board self-evaluation, to name a few.
If we are to continue this great tradition of being able to provide a quality education, governed by locally elected officials, we must reestablish the public’s confidence in our ability to oversee that system. An immediate step is for local school boards to adopt standards for ourselves. It is not a matter of taking on one more task. It is a matter of standing in front of the electorate and taking responsibility for our actions. I’ve not met an Alaskan school board member who didn’t have the best interest of their students first. Let’s share that with our communities.
The Association of Alaska School Boards has created a framework for use in local districts. Each board Standard is directly tied to our purpose as board members–Student Achievement. I encourage you to read those standards again and relate them to the wonderful work occurring in your own district.
The board creates a shared vision to enhance student achievement.
The board provides a structure that supports the vision.
The board measures district performance toward accomplishing the vision, and reports the results to the public.
The board champions the vision.
The board and its individual members conduct the business of the district in a fair, respectful and responsible manner.
Take a closer look at Board Standards
Suggestions on how to begin the process of implementing board standards
New Board Members
Alaska School Board Handbook
The Alaska School Board handbook was developed with new board members in mind. It’s been designed to give you a handy reference that breaks down many of your responsibilities into more “bite-sized” pieces. Think of it as a board orientation system. It provides guidance on basic boardsmanship, built on Board Standards, to help new board members access information that will assist them in getting started on the right foot from the very beginning of their service.
Get a PDF copy of the Alaska School Board Handbook, A Guide to Effective Leadership Through Board Standards
Ready, Set, Govern!
Ready, Set, Govern is a day and a half pre-conference workshop held every November in conjunction with the AASB annual conference. This is a great opportunity for newly elected school board members to be introduced to their new role as a publicly elected member of a governing body. This workshop touches on a wide variety of topics including developing relationships with fellow board members and the superintendent, an introduction to meeting conduct and parliamentary procedure, understanding why board policy is so important, Alaska Board Standards, the Alaska Open Meetings Act, an introduction to school law and school finance, to name a few.
First-term Board Member Webinars
The First-term Board Member Webinar Series has been created to provide a free, online opportunity for board members in their first term of service to here from experienced board members or content experts on a range of topics. Ten one-hour webinars are hosted through the months of January through May and provide an opportunity to delve into more detail on subjects that were introduced in Ready, Set, Govern! at the annual conference. Each webinar is recorded and posted to this website for any member to access. Experts that help cohost the webinars include school attorneys, school business officials, experienced superintendents, and veteran board members.
The list below provides a syllabus for the topics covered each year as well as a link to pages containing more detailed information.
Additional information and resources for new board members can be found at the links below:
Board Member Recruitment
Maintaining well-functioning, engaged school boards takes work and dedication. It also means you will need board members with a passion and commitment to the work. If this were your own business would you leave that up to chance? Probably not! Boards can take a proactive role in recruiting citizens to run for the school board. AASB can help with guidance and materials that can assist your board with enlisting individuals to consider becoming a candidate.
What to Look For in a School Board Candidate – pdf
School Board Candidate Guide – AASB webpage resource
Sample Letter to Candidates – word document
Recruiting New Board Members – article by Timi Tullis, pdf
Memo to Superintendents 2022 – pdf
Letter from AASB BOD President 2022 – pdf
Board Standards – pdf
Carl Rose Boardsmanship Awards Program
Whether you’re a rookie or a veteran board member, being a leader in public education governance is one arena in which continuing education and professional development are critical. AASB’s Carl Rose Boardsmanship Awards Program is for those who want to participate and record and later be acknowledged for the work you do as a board member.
The AASB Board of Directors honored Carl Rose in 2013 by naming the organization’s leadership training program for school members after him upon his retirement. Rose was the executive director of AASB from 1987 until 2013. During those 26 years, he participated in every major education debate and reform in K-12 education and reshaped AASB into a full-service statewide non-profit organization whose motto is “Advocates for Alaska’s Youth.
Carl Rose passed away in April 2015 after a long battle with cancer. Carl was honored by the Alaska Legislature in 2002 for his work and commitment to education and to school boards. Former Anchorage school board member and past state Senator Bette Davis had this to say about Carl,
“Carl embodies all of the characteristics necessary to be at the forefront of education: He has integrity. He is generous. He gives of himself, his time and money. Carl embodies the core values and principles that make it possible for him to be an effective voice on behalf of Alaska’s children.”
Click here for more details.
Carl Rose Governance Award
The Carl Rose Governance Award is presented to an outstanding school board member each year at the AASB Annual Conference. These individuals are recognized for the commitment, dedication, and accomplishments as a locally elected school board member. Board members can be nominated by their board and superintendent for consideration and selection by the AASB Awards Committee. This award is presented at the annual conference awards banquet and is the culminating event of the evening.
Click here for more information on the award and how to nominate a deserving board member.
Outstanding School Board
The Outstanding School Board Award is designed to reflect the board’s involvement in Board Standards. In order to be eligible, a school board must be a member board in good standing of AASB and have formally adopted Board Standards. Boards nominated for this award will be adjudicated The school board should self-nominate for this award.
Click here for more information on the award and how to nominate a deserving board.
Charter School Support
Customized APC Training
Academic Policy Committees (APC) and their principal experience a similar relationship between the governing body (the APC) and their administrator. The AASB Board Development Team has the knowledge and experience to help charter schools navigate and grow in their understanding of effective charter school governance and administration. Charter schools in Alaska are a part of the public education system and thus must recognize their responsibility to operate in a publicly transparent way within the policies and regulations of the district they are a part of.
Please click here, Charter School Training, to explore more fully what AASB has to offer.
Charter School Academy
Every other year, usually in early October, AASB hosts a statewide learning academy for charter school APCs and principals in Anchorage. This two-day event provides an opportunity for charter school governing boards and their principles to learn about effective board practices and the latest developments in public charter schools. APCs and principals get the chance to meet their peers from across the state, compare notes, here from experts, create relationships and networks, and to learn from each other. This is the only statewide, dedicated conference for charter school leaders in Alaska.
Please click here, Charter School Academy, to explore more fully what AASB has to offer.
Advisory School Board Training
Locally elected advisory school boards fill a critical role as the connection between local communities and their schools. In Regional Education Attendance Area (REAA) districts, these boards are required by statute. Their sole purpose is to advise the school and the regional school board about the operations and educational programs of that school. Advisory School Boards ( or sometimes known as Community School Councils, Advisory Site Councils) are locally elected boards governed by board policy (Article 8, series 8000). AASB offers extensive training opportunities for these boards to help them understand their role and be effective voices for their communities and schools.
For more information on this training, click here.
AASB offers a wide variety of training and information via webinars. Most webinars are provided without charge and are a benefit of your district’s membership in our association. Some specific webinars or web training events may require registration and a fee. AASB maintains an archive of recorded webinars that are publicly available to view usually within 24 to 48 hours of the original event. Following is a list of some of the common webinar topics or series that AASB hosts.
- First-term Board Member Series (Every January through May, 10 webinars)
- School Law – various timely topics
- Curriculum and Instruction
- Trauma-engaged practices
- Social-Emotional Learning
- Cultural Responsiveness
- Charter School topics
- AASB model policy updates
- AASB Resolutions Process
- School Climate and Connectedness
- Community Engagement
- Board and Superintendent Relations
- Early Childhood Education
BoardBook Premier – Paperless Meetings
BoardBook Premier is the latest version of a web-based agenda-preparation tool and paperless meeting program that is accessed through your Web browser. This unique application, developed by the Texas School Boards Association streamlines the compiling, distributing, and publishing of agenda packets to the Board and public. Not only does BoardBook reduce the cost and frustration associated with meeting preparation, but it also generates an online searchable archive of meeting agendas, documents, and minutes.
Please click the logo to visit the BoardBook home page and further explore what BoardBook has to offer.
Or if you prefer, click this link to view a short video about the product:
For more information regarding pricing and subscribing please contact Lon Garrison at 907-463-1666.
Facilitated Superintendent Evaluation
The superintendent’s annual evaluation is one of the most important functions a board can do to maintain a productive and effective relationship with their single employee and team member. AASB has worked hard, with the assistance of other state associations across the country and the Alaska Superintendents Association (ASA) to develop an evaluation process that is performance-based, linked to the district strategic plan and the board’s annual priorities, and most importantly student achievement.
AASB staff can provide a fully facilitated superintendent evaluation which includes developing a customized performance-based evaluation tool, scheduling each step of the evaluation process and finally, facilitating the summative evaluation meeting. AASB can also assist with contract review and renewal. This is offered as a package price or it is possible to select individual elements of the process for specific fees. Contact Lon Garrison (907-463-1666) to discuss your needs.
AASB believes that the evaluation should be a year-round process that provides an excellent opportunity to develop clear communication and well as fostering a trusting relationship that is necessary for school districts to be successful in improving student success.
For additional information please visit our Publications & Resources page.
Board policy is an essential governance and management tool to operate your district in a legal, fair, consistent manner that is focused on student achievement. AASB is here to support your policymaking, and to help improve it. Consultation, workshops, research, samples, policy reference manual, and custom policy development are some aspects of the service.
Comprehensive Policy Assistance for School Boards
School policy is an essential management tool. Establishing and maintaining clearly written policies serves as an effective guide to board members and superintendents facing the decision-making process. School policy serves as a guide to staff, students, parents, and the local community concerning your school district’s philosophy, goals, and expectations. Policy is the most valuable management tool educational leaders can have.
AASB offers complete online publication and support for your district policy manual. The manual is easily accessible from your website for the public, staff, administration, and the Board. The published policy manual is easily searchable, contains a sequential revision history and anyone can export and download PDF files of each policy, administrative regulation, or exhibit.
Your district office will have administrative access that provides additional features such as multiple district searches of policies for all other districts using the AASB Policy Online Service including access to AASB’s model policy manual. In addition, keeping your policy manual up to date with recent policy amendments or new policy additions is easier than ever!
Policy Reference Manual
AASB’s copyrighted Policy Reference Manual contains over 400 policies along with administrative rules and exhibits organized in an easy-to-read format and numerical finder index. Policies are cross-referenced to all pertinent policies, cite relevant legal authority, and contain explanatory notes describing options or limitations in that policy area.
Annual Policy Updates
Once a year, subscribers receive updates reflecting new and changing laws, and educational trends to supplement the AASB Policy Reference Manual. AASB provides legally vetted and expertly reviewed policy updates for boards to consider and adopt. This service prevents each district from having to legally vet each of their policies saving you thousands of dollars per year. In addition, AASB strives to stay abreast of the latest trends in educational policy through its network of other state association policy experts.
Custom Policy Development and Audits
AASB staff will work with the board and administration to develop custom policy reviews, audits, or development depending on your needs. For those districts subscribed to AASB’s Policy Online Service a complete or partial audit can easily be accomplished and recommendations forwarded to the board to bring the policy manual up to date. Custom policy development services include on-site workshops on the process and stages of policy development, as well as custom revision of the entire policy manual or just sections. Today, much of this work can be done remotely.
You’re just a telephone call or email away from getting the sample policies you need to develop your own policy statements. AASB has a library of Alaskan school district policy manuals, as well as access to a nationwide policy network of NSBA and other state association policy experts on the Internet. We routinely conduct Quick Surveys by e-mail on topics of your choice, to find what your colleagues on Alaskan school boards are doing in a variety of policy areas. For rates and details on how AASB’s comprehensive policy services can help your district, contact Lon Garrison at AASB.
Most Alaskans travel! Each time we get on a plane, in a boat, or on a snow machine, we set out on an adventure. To make the most of these adventures we need a plan. Where are we going? How will we get to our desired location? How long will it take us? Where will we stay? What will we do when we get there? All of these factors require attention so that our journey results in a satisfying and successful experience.
The questions school districts must ask themselves are similar: What are the priorities of our district? What is important to our community/communities? How do we get there? Capturing the answers to these questions in a Strategic Plan that supports all stakeholders involved will serve as your district’s roadmap to successful outcomes.
Visit the AASB Strategic Planning Process page to learn more.
To discuss the development or review of your Strategic Plan, email Timi Tullis or call 907-463-1660.