Board Policy and Support

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.  Please explore below the great services your association has to offer your board!

Board Policy

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.

Policy Online

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!

Screen shot of Policy Online web page.
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
Photo of two school board members working.

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.

Policy Library

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.

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.

Strategic Planning

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.

How often should a Strategic Plan be updated?

Without a current plan, its easy to get lost along the way to your destination. AASB encourages every school district to have a strategic plan that sets the direction for the next 3-5 years.

The Plan should focus on the district’s priorities and action plans in the areas of student learning and achievement, based on input from stakeholders. Strategic Plans also provide clear guidance for superintendents and staff, help keep the focus on outcomes, and are useful for evaluating the superintendent based on goals laid out in the plan.

Who develops a school district’s Strategic Plan?

The Board should direct the superintendent to come to the board with options on updating the plan. Often this involves bringing in a facilitator who can help streamline the process. AASB offers this service, and we suggest the district invite key partners, Tribal leaders, business partners, parents, high school students, both classified and certified staff, as well as representation from the board.

We at AASB feel that, ultimately, Strategic Plans and the strategic planning process are an essential form of accountability and public involvement. The plan should be something developed by the community, for the community. The planning process allows all stakeholders to discuss their vision for the education of their children and the best methods for achieving that vision. All stakeholders, then, can determine how their work fits into the plan and how they can support schools and students in their efforts to achieve their goals.

How do we get started?

To begin, the board should ask the superintendent to take these steps:

  1. Investigate and present to the board options for the development of a plan.
  2. Once the board determines the pathway they want, the superintendent can contract with a facilitator.
  3. Secure a date, time, and location for the planning process to occur.
  4. Invite the desired members of the community to participate.
During their time together the group will:
  1. Review and update the current mission, vision, beliefs, and aspirations of the district.
  2. Conduct a “SWOT” looking at the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats to the district.
  3. Develop objectives and strategies to focus on for the next 3-5 years.
  4. Align activities with each of the strategies.
  5. Share the final product with the community. On an annual basis share updates with the board and, in turn, the community.

After the plan is in place and rolled out, we suggest you align action items on your agenda to the plan, so that the work you’re doing stays consistent with goals. Following these steps will help to ensure that your district has a productive and rewarding journey to its ultimate destination, student success!

More Information

To discuss the development or review of your Strategic Plan, email Timi Tullis or call 907-463-1660.

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.

Year Round Process graphic

For additional information please visit our Publications & Resources page.