Day Three provided more great opportunities for personal growth as a new board member. Once again, I had a smorgasbord of breakout sessions to choose from in the morning, and CSBA had another incredible speaker in store for us at our afternoon general session.

My first breakout session of the day was titled Governing for Student Achievement and was was incredibly informational. If you’re not afraid of some heavy reading, you may want to check out two of the publications referenced in the session: Governing to Achieve and Defining Governance: Engaging the Community.

In short, the session outlined the three primary roles of all board members:

  1. Representative: We represent our constituents, listening to them and bringing their voices to the table.
  2. Instrumental: We are elected and have legal responsibilities to keep the district legally compliant to ed code and state law
  3. Fiduciary: We are chosen by the community to protect the district and treat its assets better than we treat our own

Some of my takeaways from this morning’s session about interest-based bargaining include:

  • Everyone takes ownership over the issues trying to be solved.
  • Key principles of the approach:
    • Mutual respect and professionalism
    • Strong and straightforward communication
    • Honesty and integrity
    • Collaborative problem solving

My second morning session was titled Best Practices for LCFF Community Engagement. If you’ve never heard of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) or Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP), the California State PTA has a good primer that can be found here.

In essence, the gist of the session was this: There is no such thing as too much community involvement. Parents and community members are a valued and integral piece in the LCAP process, and their engagement is critical to a plan’s success.


The keynote for the day was Amanda Ripley, who is an investigative journalist for Time, The Atlantic and other magazines. She is the author of The Smartest Kids in the World—and How They Got That Way. Check out the full presentation below:

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