Technology's Role in Supporting the School Board Member Experience

Lena Eisenstein
School boards serve the public in a unique capacity, as representatives and champions for their communities. For school boards to be successful, they need to evolve to utilize strategic tools and informed practices to perform their best work for the district. Technology is key to school boards performing efficiently, effectively, and successfully.

Utilizing the right technology, like meeting management software, school board members are supported and empowered and modern governance is promoted and well-practiced. Having a seamless, streamlined process for school board members to access and maintain pertinent information supports the work to be accomplished for the district and community.

Accessing Board Information

The ability for school board members to have access to the information they need, when they need it, creates opportunities. School boards then have the capability to make more strategic decisions related to the district through the continuous access to board materials. School board management software should streamline the board members' ability to share and retrieve pertinent school board information.

Meeting agendas, past meeting minutes, policy manuals, strategic plans, goal information, and orientation or training resources are all significant materials related to board functions; school board members should have the capability of gaining access to these documents from any device or location, securely. Utilizing the right technology school board administrators can easily upload, share, and access all of these vital materials.

Having simple and fast access to policy manuals regarding school board governance sets the board up for success by remaining aware of the laws and policies that can impact the actions taken by the board. School board management software meets the board's needs where they currently are, and works to push the board toward better governance practices and accomplishing their best work.

Using the Right Technology for Board Member Training

Regular school board member training and development keeps board members cognizant of issues in the ever-changing field of education, while developing skills to contribute to the progress and success of the school district.

Meeting management software allows for training materials to be easily accessible to school board members. School board administrators can load board education materials to the 'library' features through the software. This allows board members to review training documents at their convenience.

Board administrators can also add dates to the event calendar within the board management software for school board member orientation. School board management software equips school boards to promote good orientation practices and encourages the continuing education of board members.

Establishing and Tracking Goals

As school boards establish a vision for the school district and develop a strategic plan to accomplish goals toward achieving that vision, goal-tracking features through board management software can assist boards in efficiently establishing, tracking, and evaluating progress related toward district goals.

Through goal-tracking software, board members should have the ability to actively track goal progress with related dates to know when the goal began and when tasks or actions are completed. Goal-tracking through board management software not only provides this active tracking, but also may also feature dates for reports given regarding the goal or dates for completed action items.

The board can go into greater detail regarding the goal, like tasks that need to be accomplished (and who should complete them), reports, and linking related files or documents. Utilizing technology features through board management software, like goal-tracking and agenda creation capabilities, school boards can attach goals and supporting documents or files when creating the agenda. Using this function, goals can automatically be generated into agenda items and boards can easily select what pertinent information or documents should be linked to share. More than one goal can be linked to the agenda.

School Board Meeting Management

Utilizing meeting management technology through a school board management software, your school board can easily and quickly create an agenda based on a template that meets your board's specific needs.

School board management software supports all types of files and documents, and these documents can be attached to specific agenda items. Board clerks can upload an unlimited number of attachments to each agenda item. Meeting management technology can allow scheduling, distribution, and integrated annotation features. The annotation ability allows users to create and manage their own notes.

The creation of a meeting minutes document after the board meeting can be a difficult and lengthy process, especially if the amount of information that must be recorded into the official record is significant. Automated production of the school board's meeting minutes document, through a board management software, can be a timesaver that can also improve the accuracy of details and information.

The right school board management software can allow your board to utilize both automated and manual capabilities to produce meeting minutes and then easily present those minutes for approval at future meetings. This helps in efficiency and effectiveness in school board meeting minutes, which are used as an official and legal record of the board's activities and decisions.

If the school board records meetings through video or audio, the footage of meetings are also able to be attached to the dashboard or the meeting All of these documents and files can then be easily distributed to board members, the public, and other stakeholders.

Technology can seem complicated and difficult, but the right technology can encourage school boards to accomplish their best work. School board management software can support modern governance best practices. Technology is key to school boards performing efficiently, effectively, and successfully.
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Lena Eisenstein
Lena Eisenstein is a former Manager at Diligent. Her expertise in mission-driven organizations, including nonprofits, school boards and local governments, centers on how technology and modern governance best practices empower leaders at these organizations to serve their communities with efficiency and purpose.