BoardBuzz was pleased to hear that at least one school board has decided to lift the restriction on members attending their state conference. The School Board for Thornton Fractional Township High Schools voted to give their members the option to attend the Illinois Association of School Boards Annual Conference in November.
In a recent article in Times of Northwest Indiana, Board Member Donald Swibes said that “the benefits that board members derive from meeting with educational colleagues make it worth the cost,” adding “We all need to hear what is going on.”
It seems that when budgets are tight, professional development is one of the first items to be cut, which BoardBuzz thinks is unfortunate and short-sighted. Getting ideas and strategies from your colleagues both within your own state and from across the country can often reap huge benefits for your district — benefits that in many cases will offset the cost of attendance.
The National School Boards Association (NSBA) has put together a list of tips for getting real value out of the conference experience, as well as a sample editorial article that you can customize to educate your community on this subject. And, we hope you will make plans to attend the NSBA Annual Conference in San Francisco, April 9-11, 2011.