MASB comes to you! We often get requests from ISDs/CASBAs to offer a CBA class on site. If you have questions regarding scheduling a CBA class, please contact Amy Rucker, Certification Manager and Instructional Designer:
Nonmembers will be charged an additional 30% for all classes and events. If you are employed by a member district and feel that you have been charged this fee in error, please contact Cindy Holmes, Registrar and Membership Coordinator:
Fundamentals of School Board Service - CBA 101 (6 units)
Whether you just won your election or have been serving your community for some time now, Fundamentals of School Board Service will provide you with both a broad overview of your role in school district governance and explore key aspects of school board work. Topics include school board responsibilities, school district structure, effective school board meetings, legal considerations and much more. This course is full of the “just-in-time” information and skills you will need to serve with confidence.
Governing Through Policy - CBA 102 (3 units)
This course is designed to teach the necessary skills and knowledge for establishing policy. You will learn how to identify common policy errors, develop procedures, oversee policy and use the Policymaker's Checklist.
Basic School Finance - CBA 103 (3 units)
The first portion of this course deals with the current State School Aid Act and its importance to and future impact on local boards of education. The second portion explores development and monitoring phases of a local district's budget and includes some of the pitfalls that board members might face. Please Note: It is strongly recommended that this course be taken before signing up for CBAs 215, 310 or 315 in order to have an understanding of school finance fundamentals and to maximize your learning experience.
Basic School Law - CBA 104 (3 units)
The school law course gives board members an overview of the school code governing Michigan school districts. Important issues like general liability, conflict of interest, administrators' contracts and current trends and controversies in school law are covered.
Curriculum and Instruction - CBA 105 (3 units)
The forces that drive changes in curriculum, instruction and assessment in schools are here in the form of global competition and an education gap never before seen in the United States. This introductory course will provide board members with an understanding of the changing world, components of an effective curriculum delivery system, and the board's role in curriculum, instruction and assessment in order to enable student achievement.
Community Relations - CBA 106 (3 units)
Learn the basics of building strong community support for schools and education. You will identify internal and external audiences, learn how to establish a key communicator network and develop strategies for communicating effectively.
Labor Relations - CBA 107 (3 units)
Board members will become acquainted with the nature and language of labor relations and public schools. The relationship of the Public Employment Relations Act to the Michigan Employment Relation Commission will be emphasized.
Navigating the Legislative Process - CBA 108 (3 units)
In this course, participants will get a detailed account of the legislative process, learn lobbying techniques and get an overview of current legislative issues. Upon completion, board members will be ready and able to take legislative advocacy into their own hands and embrace the role of citizen lobbyist.
Data-Informed Decisionmaking - CBA 109 (3 units)
Education leaders are inundated with new mandates, reporting requirements and unprecedented pressures to significantly elevate student achievement. In order to effectively measure school district success, data must drive how boards of education make decisions. Data can be found virtually everywhere, but accessing the right data, understanding how to use it and supporting their administration are big uncertainties facing board members. This introductory course will provide board members with clarification about the different types of data for the strategic, tactical, administrative and operational roles of boards and districts.
Capital Planning for Your District - CBA 213 (3 units)
School board members will acquire an understanding of their role in the various phases of building and renovating school facilities. You will gain a greater understanding of the election process including conducting community surveys and encouraging community engagement and learning more about facility review, the election cycle, investment needs and the construction phase.
Open Meetings Act - CBA 214 (3 units)
What are all the aspects of the Michigan Open Meetings Act? Is your board in full compliance? What are the latest Attorney General opinions and how do they affect your governance roles? This three-hour discussion/Q & A will explore these and other areas.
Advanced School Finance - CBA 215 (3 units)
Find out about the standards and benchmarks used in both the private and public sectors for fiscal soundness. Learn some of the financial and nonfinancial indicators of an economically sound school system and some of the different criteria national rating agencies use when establishing a district’s credit rating. Please Note: It is strongly recommended that attendees have already completed CBA 103 before signing up for this course in order to have an understanding of school finance fundamentals and to maximize your learning experience.
Parliamentary Procedure - CBA 223 (3 units)
Learn from an experienced parliamentarian the best way to conduct your board meetings and still comply with Michigan law—what to do and not to do in board meetings. If your board says it uses Robert’s Rules of Order as its parliamentary procedure, this is the course to actually learn how and get all of your questions answered.
Succession Planning - CBA 224 (3 units)
When your superintendent leaves, will your board face a leadership vacuum or will you have a succession plan in place? This highly interactive course will provide board members with the tools to plan and prepare for a change in superintendents and specifically address three different situations: the unexpected emergency, the transitional situation and the anticipation of a change.
Exercising Political Judgment - CBA 226 (3 units)
What options exist for making difficult decisions when there is no easy answer? What strategies are effective for navigating today's political environment? What political skills are needed to cope with the conflicting requirements of multiple constituencies? Explore these questions in a highly interactive session.
Ethical Challenges - CBA 227 (3 units)
This course will explore the ethical conduct required of board members who serve local communities through an interactive session using case studies and small group discussions. The class will review the MASB booklet, A Code of Ethical Relationships (provided), and discuss the implications the code has for board members and superintendents.
Reporting and Monitoring Organizational Performance - CBA 229 (3 units)
What kinds and types of Superintendent/staff reports are most valuable for boards to receive in order to fulfill the board's monitoring role? Has your board determined and communicated what it needs? During this course you will have the opportunity to learn how to evaluate the quality of staff reports, how to use them to measure and evaluate organizational performance and how to improve and increase accountability and communication with staff.
Communicating Effectively in Difficult Times - CBA 232 (3 units)
Learn practical, research-based ways to communicate effectively with parents, community groups, the media and others in times of stress or controversy. This course will help you address the real questions, often unspoken, on the minds of people in your school community so that the message received by the listener was the one you intended to send. You will have a chance to develop and test your responses to the difficult questions you face in your own district.
Using Persuasive Skills to Reach Consensus - CBA 234 (3 units)
Consensus building uses collaboration to problem solve and make decisions. In this course you will have the opportunity to learn about how you as a board member can improve the decision making process of your board. As a board member you have the responsibility to be a leader for your constituents when decisions are made. This course will help participants reach consensus and make decisions that will be supported by all board members and the stakeholders in your district. The process of building consensus before voting can bring far greater success than just voting. Learn the persuasive skills necessary to influence voting in a positive way.
Experience-Based Interviewing - CBA 242 (3 units)
Experience-based interviewing is a research proven method of employee selection that helps predict which candidates will be high performers. It is now being offered as an option to boards engaged in MASB superintendent searches. Participants in CBA 242 will learn the principles of experience-based interviewing and practice question writing, interviewing skills and scoring procedures.
Advanced Community Relations - CBA 246 (3 units)
Understanding the trends affecting school and communities is key in establishing positive relationships. Learn how new approaches and media options will help you connect with and engage your target audiences while building trust. Discover how to listen to your audiences and how that input can benefit board decisionmaking.
Teambuilding - CBA 248 (3 units)
Teambuilding focuses on boards working together effectively to achieve common goals. Topics include characteristics of effective board teams, group dynamics, identifying individual board behavior styles of each member, and learning how to use this awareness to build teamwork, communication skills for team members and handling conflict.
District Strategic Planning and Goal Setting - CBA 251 (3 units)
One of the major responsibilities of a board of education is setting strategic direction and developing goals for their district. This interactive course describes a process that includes an analysis of the district environment, community and staff input, and essential district data that’s at the core of a successful, functional strategic plan. Learn the board's role in goal-setting, the best approach for planning, how to identify key issues, trends and forces impacting school districts, how to develop goals and key indicators to assess progress, and why they are essential for accountability.
Media Relations - CBA 252 (3 units)
Learn the how-to’s and what-to’s of media relations in this course. Understand the basics of working with the media and methods to help school board members get their message out.
Board Operating Procedures - CBA 253 (3 units)
Ever wondered about those "unwritten" rules that govern board service in your district? How are these rules created? Who knows about them? This course will help change those "unwritten" rules into a set of team operating procedures for your district. Learn the steps to develop procedures, the difference between procedures and policies, and the benefits of having written procedures for board operations.
Culturally Competent Leaders - CBA 255 (3 units)
As Michigan becomes more culturally and ethnically diverse, attention must be paid to the critical gap that exists in the education of students from racial and ethnic minority groups.
This course will help school board members with concrete strategies to connect cultural competence to the mission of schools, to provide high-quality education for all students and close achievement gaps. Participants will acquire new skills, tools and perspectives aimed at meeting challenges associated with multicultural issues.
School District Safety and Security - CBA 257 (3 units)
As a school board member you are responsible for many things. One often overlooked area that is becoming more and more important for your school's image and survival, is your school’s safety and security measures. Upon completion of this class, board members will better understand their roles and responsibilities before, during and after any critical incident occurring within their district.
Conflict Resolution—Techniques for School Boards - CBA 258 (3 units)
Conflict is a natural and necessary part of communication and interaction. At the board level it is even more challenging to learn to deal with conflict in a constructive and productive way within the public arena. Learn to recognize conflict and come to understand your own style and learn to identify conflict resolution styles of others. Participants will explore two specific areas of conflicts: (a) conflict among board members (and the public) and (b) conflict between the board and superintendent.
Creating Trust: Key Ingredient in School Improvement - CBA 259 (3 units)
Strong bonds of trust among members of the school community are essential for districts interested in improving. Research shows that schools reporting strong trust links across the organization were three times more likely to report improvements in math and reading scores. Building trusting ties among school boards, parents, administrators, teachers and students will be the focus of this session. Roadblocks to building and maintaining trust in schools will be addressed as well as specific strategies to develop trust between and among groups.
Public Speaking - CBA 260 (3 units)
This course focuses on effective oral communication for school leaders. Learn to speak with confidence and to use persuasive communication techniques to express leadership. Discover how your background and life experiences can help you relate to your audience and establish your credibility. Practice and receive feedback in a safe and comfortable environment.
Advocacy for Public Education - CBA 261 (3 units)
Hone your skills as an advocate for public education in a nuts-and-bolts session on three critical skills: writing letters to the editor; crafting key messages and sound bites; and participating in editorial boards and public forums.
Spokesperson Training (limited to 16) - CBA 262 (3 units)
A reporter is looking for you…what are you going to say when the camera turns on, or a microphone is stuck in your face? Preparing for successful media interviews and learning how to state your message effectively will be covered. Find out how to avoid common mistakes and reporters’ traps. Develop usable sound bites on key issues in public education.
Focusing on Feedback - CBA 263 (3 units)
As a result of taking this course, board members will have a better understanding of and appreciation for the important part of communication we term "feedback.” The course focuses on both formal and informal feedback. It discusses ways to gain feedback, what feedback is appropriate, how to determine the validity of feedback and how to use feedback to better reflect community views.
Shaping Public Opinion - CBA 264 (3 units)
Explore the process of opinion formation, and learn how you and other school leaders can influence public confidence in public schools. This “advocacy skills” course takes you to the heart of perception, trust and credibility issues, giving you tools to build community involvement and lasting support for your school programs and reforms.
Leadership Styles - CBA 268 (3 units)
Research shows that people fall into four distinct personality types, each with different strengths and needs. By learning the characteristics of each, board members will be able to enhance their ability to work as an effective leadership team, and develop techniques to improve communication and reduce conflict.
Board Self-Evaluation for Continuous Improvement - CBA 274 (3 units)
This course offers board members practical experience in understanding the process of board self-assessment, and how it can be used to improve the board’s functions and relationships. Learn about the various assessment tools, the benefits of board self-assessment, when to conduct a board self-assessment and the mistakes to avoid when doing self-assessments.
Board/Superintendent Relations - CBA 276 (3 units)
Learn practical strategies on how to develop or improve board/superintendent relations. Included in this session will be tips for communication, how to “agree to disagree” appropriately, and strategies to help develop the type of trust that is necessary for a board and superintendent to operate together in a very positive manner.
Dealing With Difficult People - CBA 278 (3 units)
Dealing with difficult people is a time and energy drain we’d all like to avoid. However, as a school board member, you often must deal with difficult people as part of your day-to-day responsibilities. Learn some effective strategies and practical ideas on how to communicate with and handle even the most difficult person.
Advanced School Law - CBA 290 (3 units)
The Advanced School Law course offers board members the opportunity to review specific laws and legal issues relating to school districts. The Revised School Code will be discussed in detail along with other school law topics such as tenure, student records, constitutional rights of students and church and state.
Civility—A Tool for Conflict Management - CBA 294 (3 units)
Problems confront school district leaders on a regular basis. How you deal with disagreements, conflicting interests and problems defines your commitment to civility. Board members need to model how they want their organization to operate and how all members of the school community should react to one another. This class will offer insights on ways to deal with conflict at all levels in a civilized manner, which can lead to more effective boardsmanship and improved student achievement.
Advanced Leadership, Part 1 - CBA 295 (3 units)
This is a two-part, activity-based program designed to enhance board members' understanding and practice of the principles of effective governance. Issues are addressed at the level of sophistication to meet the needs of more veteran board members.
The following topics will be addressed:
- leadership styles
- differences between management and leadership
- five exemplary leadership practices
- leadership practices assessment
Advanced Leadership, Part 2 - CBA 296 (3 units)
Part 2 addresses issues at the level of sophistication to meet the needs of more veteran board members.
Topics to be discussed include:
- developing strategic alignment
- Covey's quadrants
- principles of effective decisionmaking
- leadership resources
Participants leave with tips, techniques and tools to immediately apply in their districts. This is a course that would be equally valuable to superintendents. Come as a team!
Effective Board Meetings - CBA 297 (3 units)
Have you ever thought to yourself that some of your board meetings could run much more effectively? A chronic complaint of many board members is that meetings are often unproductive, uninspiring and overly time-consuming. This course will introduce you to practical strategies and techniques that will lead to effective and productive meetings. Learn about ways to work with the superintendent, maintain order during public comments, facilitate difficult discussions, plan and prepare for board meetings, work with the media and many other helpful tips.
Understanding Assessments - CBA 302 (3 units)
Successful school districts know and understand that assessment is not the same thing as accountability. Unfortunately, due to years of outside pressure and accountability reform, assessment has turned into a negative term that creates anxiety for teachers, administrators and school district leaders across the country. This course will help school board members gain a deeper understanding of the “why” behind assessment administration, the types of assessment practices that help inform and drive instructional practices, and how data can be used to set direction for entire school systems all while employing a balanced approach to assessment practices.
Overseeing the Superintendency - CBA 303 (3 units)
How exactly does a board go about overseeing the superintendent and how is this responsibility reflected in the regular work of the board? This course will provide participants with a clear understanding of their responsibilities related to oversight and management of the superintendent, as well as best practices and trends that impact school district governance.
Current Trends in K-12 Technology - CBA 309 (3 units)
Technology has had a profound impact on Michigan schools in the past 20 years. Districts have been working very hard to integrate technology to improve instructional delivery systems, communications, resource management and day-to-day operations. While these new frontiers are exciting, they also place new demands on school boards in the areas of funding, policy and the way we communicate with stakeholders. This three-section course is designed to help you understand new trends and evaluate your own district's use of technology.
- See first-hand some of the newest classroom technologies, such as interactive projection systems, student response systems, slates and tablets, and participate in a discussion about the impact to board-level decisions and policies.
- Hear more about online assessments and how they'll impact your district.
- Learn about essential website components and styles to ensure your district is meeting the needs of your community.
Budget Anatomy and Shortfalls - CBA 310 (3 units)
This course will help board members better understand the budget development process and budgeting during tough economic times. Specifics will be addressed including utilizing program budgeting in allocating available resources, staff and board member involvement in the budget development process, options for reducing costs and securing additional revenues. Learn the process it takes to build a district's educational spending plan from developing priorities and goals to meeting contractual obligation and compliance issues. Participants will learn about financial reporting requirements, grants and categorical programs and discuss budget forecasting and the breakdown of a typical school budget. Please Note: It is strongly recommended that attendees have already completed CBA 103 before signing up for this course in order to have an understanding of school finance fundamentals and to maximize your learning experience.
Anatomy of an Audit Report - CBA 315 (3 units)
The financial position of a school district is disclosed annually in a year-end financial report prepared by an independent auditor. The major purpose of this process is to determine if the financial statements submitted for audit have been prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. Learn how to interpret key components of your district’s audit report in order to deepen your understanding of this important financial document that is presented to the public. As the public, legislature and media call for greater accountability and transparency of district finances, this course will help you be responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars. Please Note: It is strongly recommended that attendees have already completed CBA 103 before signing up for this course in order to have an understanding of school finance fundamentals and to maximize your learning experience.
21st Century Skills to Succeed in a Global Society - CBA 320 (3 units)
What skills do our students need to know to be globally competitive? How do students deal with massive amounts of information? This course will take you on an enlightening journey into the world of today's student. Learn how classrooms must become global communication centers and how curriculum must have a perspective based on a global network of people. During this course you will learn that "the real revolution" is not technology; it's the fantastic management of information and relationships.
Leadership: Overcoming Obstacles - CBA 325 (3 units)
Difficult times put added stress and pressure on school board members and the leadership team. How do you deal with the changing times? How do we improve communication, trust and professionalism on our boards? This course will be a chance to talk about those topics. Focus areas include board procedures, role of the board president, better school board meetings, trust cycle, role of the board in district leadership, and using board evaluation and superintendent evaluations for leadership improvement.
Ethics in Action - CBA 327 (3 units)
Do you and your fellow board members always act in an ethical manner? The major no-no's are pretty clear, but there are many times when there is a fine line between good intentions and unethical behavior. Join your colleagues from around the state in an analysis of real life scenarios that explore that fine line and provide a deeper understanding of ethical board conduct.
Legal Issues In Interscholastic Athletics - CBA 330 (3 units)
This course will acquaint school board members with the various legal issues a school district must carefully handle in order to operate its athletics program with minimal risk of liability. Among the subjects that will be covered: discipline of school athletes, eligibility rules, personnel issues, drug testing, Title IX and religious issues.
Dealing With Board Member Turnover - CBA 335 (3 units)
With the number of changes on school boards, this class will focus on helping boards identify potential reasons for high board turnover, develop necessary tools for improved communication for retention as well as help develop communication plans, orientation, and processes for success when dealing with board member turnover.
Data Foundations - CBA 341 (3 units)
This foundation-building course will help school boards use data effectively in their governance role. Data is not a trend, it’s a necessity, and boards must be able to use data to learn what decisions and actions are needed after considering data, how to determine the effectiveness of their work and the progress being made to impact achievement. School funding, state and federal mandates and community support all demand high levels of accountability using data. Participants will also learn how data can be organized and presented in a clear format that the public and other stakeholders can understand.
Teacher Effectiveness and Student Achievement - CBA 343 (3 units)
Teacher quality is a national issue with virtually every state discussing how to evaluate teachers and determine their impact on student achievement. No matter the discussions, we all agree that students must have access to highly effective teachers. This course is all about teacher quality and participants will learn the difference between teacher qualifications and teacher effectiveness, what growth data says about teacher effectiveness, how boards can use data to determine equitable access to effective teachers, and how boards can align their decisions to improve teacher quality and access. This course also addresses how to engage your stakeholders in the teacher quality discussion.
High School and Beyond - CBA 344 (3 units)
With the crucial conversations about students graduating high school being college and career ready, this course takes board members on a data journey to help achieve their goals of preparing all students for the real world. This course covers the “must-know” topics of preparing high school graduates for the 21st century and the data that can be used to determine readiness for postsecondary education and good jobs. There’s a vast array of data to navigate through and this course will highlight what data is needed to serve as early indicators that students are on track for graduation or in danger of dropping out. Postsecondary data will also be highlighted that can shed light on PreK-12 quality, policies and practices that boards can develop to assure all students graduate qualified for success.
Data Dashboards - CBA 345 (3 units)
Data dashboards are all the buzz—in businesses and schools—to help present and monitor data that allows for effective tracking and analysis of student achievement and other data. Data dashboards can help to inform school boards about the value of data in governance, policy, budgeting and achievement. Learn information on how districts can create a data dashboard for school boards. This course will also cover tips on how to use key data to monitor student achievement and assistance to boards in the use of key data for directing policy level decisions will also be covered. Participants will explore sample dashboards to help boards understand the data and arrive at strategies for monitoring progress and improving district performance.
Generational Diversity for School Board Members - CBA 350 (3 units)
With four generations currently in the workforce, it's sure to bring challenges and opportunities when dealing with different work ethics, values and needs. Many of the challenges of generational differences are the result of the influences people experienced growing up. This course will help you understand these generational differences and how they impact the board team relationship. It's also important for board members to understand how generational differences impact the way they communicate with parents and community members. Attendees will leave with specific strategies for interacting with four different generations.
Social Media - CBA 351 (3 units)
Social media isn't technology of the future, but of the present. As intimidating as social media may be for school district leaders, it has its purpose in the public education arena. This course explores the multiple issues involved when considering the use of social media by a board of education in its work with the overall governance of a school district. This new, exciting course will:
- Acquaint board of education members with the multiple forms of social media.
- Help boards understand how the use of social media impacts their work.
- Make board members aware of the many issues involved with social media technology.
- Provide discussion on how social media might be used by a district in fulfilling its vision, mission and learning objectives.
- Provide a context for the personal and professional growth and development of board members.
Customer Service, If Not Now, When? - CBA 358 (3 units)
Participants will share what customer service looks like in their home district. Hear from others what has and hasn't worked for them when creating and achieving a customer service culture. Learn how to determine who your customers really are and how best to serve them. Class attendees will leave with at least three new ways to provide better service. Learn what customer service in education really looks like by:
- Working through small group discussions to share what superior customer service looks like in different districts.
- Brainstorming with others how to improve customer service in your home district.
- Discussing all of the education choices families have and how customer service can give your school district a competitive advance and retain and attract students.
ISDs/RESAs/RESDs/ESAs: What Can They Do for My District? - CBA 360 (3 units)
Intermediate School Districts, also known as Educational Service Agencies, are key, but sometimes invisible partners with local districts. This course will provide information about the role of the ISD, funding sources and services provided. Learn how your ISD supports the work of your local school district and how to take advantage of the valuable time and money saving programs they offer. ISDs can help you focus more on what matters most-the students. Participants will explore ways ISDs help with consolidation of services and support local districts.
NEW! Grassroots Advocacy - CBA 361 (3 units)
This course will equip participants to become strong public education advocates by collaborating with their communities. Participants will not only learn the tools to engage in the legislative process, but how to develop their grassroots advocacy skills.
Collaborative Conversations for Effective Decisionmaking - CBA 365 (3 units)
Board members are entrusted to make important decisions on behalf of their students. Effective decisionmaking requires deliberation. But, have you ever wondered what does that really mean, or how do we know if we are effective? Do your board discussions resemble more of a debate than deliberation? This highly interactive session will provide you and your governance team members with practical tools for effective decisionmaking.
Managing a Construction Project - CBA 370 (3 units)
Now that the bond campaign has passed, the next step is to organize and manage the construction project. This class will provide board members with practical tips on how to interact with administrators and staff, architect, general contractor or construction manager, and citizen stakeholders. There will be a specific focus on project scope, project oversight, financial accountability, and common mistakes. Participants will be able to apply practical tips learned to either a proposed or current construction project. Participants also will share successful or unsuccessful experiences from a construction project.
Board Leadership: A Case Study Approach - CBA 375 (3 units)
While the complex problems that school leaders face can't always be resolved, they must still be carefully anticipated and managed, so the primary mission of educating children remains at the forefront. An engaging case study will allow you to observe how others have navigated through challenges, planned solutions for complex and real life problems and utilized the expertise and experience of one another. This case study experience serves as not only an effective strategy to sharpen your problem solving skills and enhance your judgment, but intended to provide school leaders skill sets on how to anticipate problems before they arise and work through them as a team.
Effective Committee Structure - CBA 380 (3 units)
What's the most effective and efficient committee structure? This new course will clarify the objectives of the school board committee structure as a way to strengthen the board's role as policy maker and provide the opportunity for board members to formulate, review, analyze and deliberate policy recommendations prior to consideration by the full board. This course will explore the advantages and disadvantages of the committee of a whole, silo committee and model committee structures. Learn how to effectively use committees to:
- Divide the work of governing into manageable chunks.
- Ensure more thorough and thoughtful preparation.
- Establish standing committees that can serve as a vehicle for continuously fine-tuning and upgrading the board's involvement in key governing areas like planning and external relations.
Focus on Student Achievement - CBA 381 (3 units)
This CBA course explores the role of a local school board in advancing student achievement. Assuring that students receive a top-notch education through effective board of education processes can lead to measurable results. Boards of education need to know that student achievement is done by building an educational context in which students study, prepare themselves for the future and dream, and, out of which they find success for life’s next steps. This context is accomplished as the board cares for its multiple strategic and visioning tasks.