School Board Leadership Services

School boards as leadership role models

by Thomas J. Gentzel, Executive Director NSBA

Perhaps there is simply too much to do, with more work than time to do it. Maybe we are a country overloaded with priorities: not sure what should be at the top of our collective to-do list, so we shift continuously from one topic to another. There certainly is no shortage of problems to address. Who can expect us to deal with all of them?

2018-2021 NSBA Strategic Plan

The many challenges facing public education in America today require that state school boards associations and their national organization speak as one voice.  NSBA exists primarily to be the premier advocate for public education in America and to support and assist our member state associations. This focus on advocacy and member service has been the driving force behind NSBA’s work, and it is producing remarkable results.

Checklist for Superintendent Evaluation

Use this checklist to ensure that your board covers all the bases when evaluating its superintendent.

Summary of Roles and Responsibilities in Community Leadership

It's important to clearly understand your board's role in terms of community leadership. Below you will find a summary of your role as a school board as well as the role of the superintendent when it comes to community leadership and communication.

Ensuring Policy Leadership Checklist

The extent to which boards govern through policy varies greatly. Boards that most effectively govern will:

  1. Refuse to consider issues that have already been settled in policy.
  2. React quickly and decisively when policy is not followed.

Accountability Questions the School Board Should Ask

AccountabilityMake sure your board is asking the following questions about itself as well as its superintendent and staff in order to make sure you have implemented a clear strategy for effective accountability.

Vision Sample Goals and Strategies

Below is a list of sample goals school boards may use to set a vision for their districts. You'll also find corresponding strategies you can use to implement to your goals. Use these examples as well as your own strategies and goals to develop a clear vision for your district.

Board and Superintendent Relationships

Key Work Circle RelationshipsTo develop a productive partnership, the board and superintendent must draw on, and respect, the backgrounds and abilities of everyone involved.

Community Leadership

Key Work Circle Community Leadership Effective boards recognize public schooling’s impact on the community, and understand how strong connections mean everyone is invested in successful schools.


Key Work Circle Policy Policy permeates and dominates all aspects of school operations. It also presents the most powerful lever for the exercise of leadership.


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