The District Governance Program is designed to focus on continuous improvement and to help school committees and superintendents develop new strategies for teamwork and collaboration that will enhance student achievement. The program helps build a better understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the school committee and those of the superintendent.
Participating school district cohorts, consisting of school committee members and the superintendent, are coached by a highly skilled and trained team of MASC consultants. There are five two-hour workshops available in the program; districts can avail themselves of all five workshops or choose only those that are relevant to their needs at a particular time. In either case, the curriculum is tailored to meet the specific goals and challenges of each district.
Building an effective governance team is not unlike building a schoolhouse. And, like any building, regular maintenance is necessary to stay in good condition and running smoothly. In the District Governance Program, participating committees can be coached through the process of “constructing” their governance “schoolhouse.” This can be particularly beneficial when a new superintendent or new members come on board. Or, districts can choose the particular workshop where “maintenance” or an “upgrade” is needed.
The Five Basic Workshops are:
- Building the Foundation: (Operating Protocols) This workshop is designed to help the school committee and superintendent work together collaboratively as a high-functioning governance team. It’s a great workshop for when a new superintendent or new committee members come on board or as a periodic tune-up.
- Raising the Frame: (Vision & Goals) This workshop covers alignment between the districts mission, vision and long-range planning. It provides the opportunity to discuss the districts academic needs and to ensure that the superintendent and school committee have a shared vision of goals and direction for the district.
- Installing the Infrastructure: (Monitoring Progress) This workshop helps ensure the tools are in place to monitor progress toward achieving district goals. It covers aligning SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals in the superintendent evaluation to district goals and demonstrates the use of data to monitor progress.
- Setting the Walls: (Effective Meetings) This workshop is designed to help committees “work smarter, not harder” at meeting-time, making sure time is spent effectively and focuses on student achievement and the districts goals. Committees will learn about specific tools that can be adopted to ensure smooth and effective meetings focused on student progress.
- Laying the Roof: (Sustaining Progress) The final workshop provides committees with the tools to sustain effective governance practices into the future, through changes on the governance team, and to ensure continued focus on improvement in student achievement.
(Additional workshops on Collective Bargaining for Student Achievement, Budget and Finance and Superintendent Evaluation are extensions of the District Governance Program.)