Education & Government
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Jill Holtz
Content Strategy Manager

How technology can support decision-making best practices for public boards

August 18, 2023
0 min read
How technology can support decision-making best practices for public boards

As a public board member, your responsibilities include overseeing and guiding various aspects of the district, from strategic planning to finances, operations, organization and student achievement.

Decision-making is integral to every school board member’s job. Technology has a key role to play in supporting your public board's decision-making, from the delivery of the right information so board members can make those decisions, to how outcomes and actions are communicated to your school district stakeholders.

In our previous article, “A guide to decision-making best practices for public boards,” we explored challenges that school boards face when it comes to decision-making and sharing a short-simple formula for data-driven decisions. This was captured by the 3 Cs: Clarify, Consider, Choose.

Now we turn our attention to how technology can support best practices for public board decision-making.

Using technology for data-driven decision-making

In order to ensure public boards make the best decisions, members must begin with the best information possible. Your board management software can help here by delivering access to key data as board members prepare for meetings.

Clarify: Clear agenda creation with appropriate supporting documents can help clarify the problem that needs to be solved. This also helps ensure that everyone is clear on what the board is voting on, which ultimately leads to better decision-making.

Consider: Your board software can store data and clarifying documents that illustrate student impact and can help guide decisions.

Choose: Providing data, via your board software, that indicates the impact on students — whether it be financial, educational, or simply an opportunity — is best practice. This means board decisions are more likely to reflect a focus on improving student outcomes.

Other ways technology supports best practices for public boards for decision-making

Before and after meetings, technology can help set the board up for best decision-making opportunities.

Agenda preparation

When the board agenda is prepared, the inclusion of good data for board members to review before the meeting also fosters essential preparation for high-level decisions.

Public notice

Technology makes it easier to meet legal deadlines and keep the public informed and engaged through:

  • A published meeting agenda
  • Forms for Requests to Speak
  • Easily searchable meeting minutes
  • Opportunities to attend and/or watch meetings.
The right information at the right time

Reports, presentations and data from district staff, committees or external experts can be shared through your board software. Having reports available early means that board members have the opportunity to digest the information and be well prepared for better discussions.


Once discussions and deliberations are complete, board members vote publicly on each agenda item. This is a board member’s essential responsibility, while keeping the public informed of these votes creates community trust.

Policy adoption

In addition to making decisions on specific issues, school boards also manage policies that govern district operations. Technology can help here by offering board-ready approvals for policy adoption, management, and easy publication of approved policies to your policy manual and public website. This enhances trust and engagement.

Record keeping

Detailed minutes or records of each board meeting can be maintained and stored for future access to document the discussions, decisions and actions taken.

Making informed decisions through technology

The decision-making process may differ based on individual school board dynamics. However, a constant requirement is access to reliable information and easily searchable data, enabling board members to be better prepared to make informed choices for their community's students.

Your students rely on you, and you can rely on us to support your efforts. Learn more about Diligent Community and how it can help support your school board decision-making.


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