What will you learn?

To build effective school board members, School Board School will develop participants’ understanding of the role of a board member, their knowledge of critical issues in education, their leadership skills, and deepen their understanding of their own values and why they want to serve their community in this role. The program will also build camaraderie within the group so participants are a support for each other both in the decision making process of when to run, on their campaigns, and while in office.


Woven throughout every session will be points of reflection where participants will have the space to consider and articulate their values, how those values and their skills/experiences intersect with the work that needs to be done in our school system, and make connections between the decisions they will make as board members and the impact of those decisions on our students and community. Ongoing, participants will be asked to learn, engage, think, and process as we challenge ourselves to address the systemic issues that board members must address.


Each session will begin with our theory of action: 

When we better train our board members before their first day in office, and actively recruit diverse community members to serve on the board, we will have better results for children in Cincinnati Public Schools.

 We believe that the most effective School Board members are grounded in their values and mission and know the most important issues affecting students in their community. They understand their role, support their administration, build coalitions, get effective and meaningful policies passed, and make decisions that change student outcomes.


Scope & Sequence:


  • Session: Welcome to School Board School
  • Field Trip: Superintendent’s Beginning of Year Address
  • Session: Why Do You Want to Run?


  • Session: How the Board Gets Its Work Done
  • Session: Leading in a Public Body


  • Field Trip: Board Business Meeting
  • Panel: How School Boards Make and Influence Policy
  • Field Trip: Board Business Meeting
  • Field Trip: Board Policy Committee Meeting + Debrief


  • Panel: Introduction to Big Issues in Education
  • Field Trip: Student Achievement Committee Meeting + Debrief
  • Field Trip: School Visits


  • Session: District Finances and Budget
  • Field Trip: Finance Committee Meeting + Debrief


  • Panel: What Does Being on the School Board Mean For Your Personal and Professional Life?
  • Session: Articulating Your Personal Vision For Change + How You’ll Get There


  • Session: Participant Presentations + Celebration