Business Official Focused Programming


Whether you’re new or seasoned in managing district operations, the following sessions were designed to deepen your knowledge and skills essential to optimizing business operations for your school district.

  • Find creative ways to increase district efficiencies and reduce costs.
  • Build confidence to effectively communicate and negotiate in high-stakes situations
  • Discover valuable products and services for your schools and your office.
  • Develop skills to budget effectively despite unknown variables.


Saturday, April 7

10:30 AM - 11:45 AM
BoardDocs Cybersecurity Update -The Level of Risk for Your District
During this session we will discuss the results from the 2017 School District Cybersecurity Survey administered to school boards and administrators. Learn where your districts stands on the risk level in regards to security and hear best practices from your peers.

12:45 PM - 1:15 PM
Study Hall: Putting 45 Years of Saving School Districts' Money on Their Employee Benefits Programs to Work for You
NSBA has partnered with Keenan (A nationally recognized pharmacy benefits consulting firm) to offer school districts a unique pharmacy benefits program that puts an extra layer of protection over other pharmacy benefit options, by driving financial savings and enhanced clinical benefits for your members. By the close of this study hall, you will understand how this program is different than anything offered by your PBM or health plan. We help put money back in your classrooms.

1:30 – 2:45 PM
Interest Based Bargaining:  A More Productive Way to Negotiate with the Teachers' Association
Haysville (KS) Unified School District #261 (enr 5,500) has used Interest Based Bargaining in negotiations between the school board and the teachers' association for the past 16 years.  This bargaining method has allowed the district to move away from traditional negotiations methods that created anger and mistrust.  IBB has allowed the negotiations process to improve to the extent that everyone involved works to look for mutually beneficial solutions to issues of concern.

3:45 PM - 5:00 PM
Cybersecurity for Board Members: What You Need to Know Before It's Too Late Hosted by NSBA's Technology Leadership Network
There are decisions at the board table that directly impact how effectively a district can navigate cybersecurity threats. This panel looks at some of the most common threats and the positive actions board members and administrators can implement to minimize future damage.

Pharmacy Clinical Management
School Districts who self-fund their pharmacy benefits are wasting 30%-50% of their pharmacy benefits costs because of inefficient prescribing practices by physicians who treat their covered members. The NSBA/Keenan Pharmacy Clinical Management Program works directly with physicians and members to help ensure the best possible drug therapies are chosen, based on both their clinical effectiveness and cost efficiency. Please attend this workshop to hear more about how your school can retain and not waste those assets, so you can put them back into your school's budget.

Casting the Right Vote for Technology
Participants will be given advice on how to be more strategic, think beyond mandates and create a broader vision for how technology is used in their district; how to pick devices that work for their district; how to know their technology plan has good outcomes; and how to manage expectations of their technology purchases. You will also learn how the Tennessee School Boards Association created a Digital Resources Library to assist their districts.

Team of 8 Empowering a Community Through Partnerships and Planning
The traditional approach to improving a district relied heavily on the district itself. However, good leaders understand that committed stakeholders within a community must unite to truly improve a school district. Understanding the Board and Superintendent's roles in spurring community engagement/empowerment, leading the charge regarding future and strategic planning and how to leverage public and private partnerships to advance the district's mission and goals is critical to a district's success.

Building a Sustainable Technology Integration Initiative
Technology integration has become an essential tool for student learning in public schools. But, are these technology integration initiatives sustainable?  Learn how the Rush-Henrietta (NY) Central School District (enr. 5,600) has accomplished this by focusing on five critical elements: (1) curriculum integration, (2) evolving technology, (3) technical support, (4) professional development, and (5) financing.  Attendees will leave this session with a comprehensive framework for planning and evaluating their technology integration initiative.


Sunday, April 8

8:30 – 9:45 AM
Sheltering Your Students - A Guide to the Funding, Design and Construction of FEMA Safe Rooms on K-12 Campuses
Learn about the funding, design and construction of FEMA Safe Rooms on a K12 campus.  Follow along as we explain how Conway (AR) Public Schools (enr. 10,198) took measures to ensure every student in their district is safe from harm in the event of a tornado.  This involved constructing eight FEMA Safe Rooms throughout the district.

1:30 – 2:45 PM
Facility and Infrastructure Planning for the Future: A Ten-Year Plan Approach
In 2005, the Lincoln Public Schools Board of Education adopted a 10-Year Facilities Plan to serve as a guide for district facility and infrastructure needs.  Transparent and consistent information to the community contributed substantially to successful bond issues in 2006 and 2014. This session will include an overview of the plan components, development methods, and continuous planning approach.  The Planning Committee is responsible for reviewing the plan, keeping it up to date, and staying up to speed on the progress of the work.

3:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Study Hall: The Pharmacy Industry - A Comprehensive Look at How PBMs and Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Operate and Impact Your Spending on Pharmacy Benefits
This Study Hall will provide an all-inclusive view into the complex world of pharmacy benefits, including how pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) contract with pharmaceutical manufacturers to benefit themselves and not necessarily your school district (the one paying the bills).  By the end of this Study Hall you will have a better understanding about how what you don't know about your PBM contract is costing you money…funds that could be put back in your classrooms.

3:45 – 5:00 PM
Aligning Promises and Expectations in Capital (Construction) Project Planning - The Board's Accountability for Budget Development
This session is a panel discussion to explore the components of a complete capital planning/construction budget.  Three experts in K-12 construction will discuss the key component of a complete project and explain the need for each line item.  Capital Improvement Budgets are complex and require planning and forethought to include potential costs. Renovations, curricular improvements and new construction will be discussed in detail.

Paying too much in Unemployment?  Give reasonable assurance.
Unemployment can be costly and siphon away funding towards former and current employees rather than going to the classroom.  In this session, you will learn about Reasonable Assurance and how it can reduce what your school district pays in unemployment during your summer, spring, and winter breaks.  You will understand how reasonable assurance saves you money and how to use it to your advantage!  Sample letters, language, and successful tips will be shared in this session to give you practical knowledge.

Plugging into the Matrix: Where are you in the Digital Leap?
Hosted by NSBA's Technology Leadership Network 
Explore the many aspects of digital transformation, including leadership & vision, infrastructure, and business management, that are fundamental requirements for the school system to create next-generation learning environments that foster equitable, effective use of technology.


Monday, April 9

8:30 – 9:45 AM
Adversaries to Allies: Transforming Divisive Union Negotiations to Trusting Partnerships
A new superintendent walks into a split-board who are debating the trust and transparency of the district's teacher union's negotiation practices.  With legal advice abound, policies and systems were revised to expand voice and inclusivity.  Hear how Creighton (AZ) School District (enr. 6,700) an urban district now systematically creates budgets vetted by multiple stakeholders to drive innovation and reach healthy consensus. Be ready to share your stories to prepare for your own transformation.

Creative Financing that Increases Resources
North Kansas City Schools (enr. 19,801) financed $25 million in capital expenditures and reduced their environmental impact, all without an increase in the operating budget. Learn how they conducted one of the largest energy savings projects in their region. Hear how they also replaced an aging bus fleet, stabilizing the district budget with compressed natural gas buses. Use creative financing to reduce environmental impact while increasing district resources!

Running a Technology Learning Initiative with a Shoestring Budget
Provo City School District is among the very lowest funded districts in the country. Even with this challenge, the district has successfully implemented the 'innovative Learning Initiative' based on meaningful goals and strategies. With relatively little actual research showing the effectiveness for improved student achievement from infusing technology into daily learning, this district will show how it has accomplished improved student academic performance on a very sparse budget.


10:00 – 11:15 AM
Risky Business: The All-School Athletic Deal
High schools using one major brand provider for all of its athletic uniform and equipment needs has become more and more prevalent. However, there are potential issues to being locked in with one brand. They include the quality of the service received by the school, whether the projected monetary savings are met and potential legal issues of public school employees receiving free merchandise through an all-school deal.

The Wheels on the Bus: Strategically Planning to Build Community Support
Learn how the Marion County (KY) Public Schools (enr. 3278) Board of Education strategically plans to build continued capacity with its school community. This Kentucky Distinguished-Progressing district, located 65 miles south of Louisville, has successfully implemented a strategic plan resulting in a tax referendum for new buildings, an annual community planning summit that draws a capacity crowd, and Six Big Dreams that address the whole child - from its Learning Begins at Birth campaign all the way to graduating college and career ready.

Building Community Partnerships - Create a Community That Supports Your Public Schools
In today's context of mixed messaging coming from Federal and State government with regard to how to fund public education, school districts are exploring creative ways to access resources to supplement local and state dollars. At the same time, districts are looking for means to cultivate relationships with municipal, nonprofit, and business entities who want to support their work. Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD has found that nurturing partnerships with local organizations and businesses is paying off. Come see what is working with them.

Under Attack: Practical Approaches to Address Cybersecurity
Hosted by NSBA's Technology Leadership Network
While "Dark Overlord" sounds like science fiction, this international criminal hacking group is all too real. Scammers are putting the personal data of students and employees at risk along with turning virtual breeches into real-world threats and costing unprepared districts thousands in ransom to retrieve their data. Learn what steps your district can take to safeguard its systems and information.

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