Should I Apply?

Would I make a good School Board School participant?

School Board School participants are very different, with different backgrounds, skills sets, and experiences, but what they have in common is that they:

–Believe in the ability of every one of the district’s children
–Are knowledgeable about the community
–Have demonstrated a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusiveness
–Are eager to learn
–Have a track record of positively impacting the community

Additionally, you should be excited to join an organization that is new and is learning as we build this program. We want people who are flexible, entrepreneurial, and are comfortable with emergence.

Are there any hard and fast requirements? 

At School Board School, we invest a lot in our participants and expect that they, in turn, will invest in their own learning. To that end, participants must agree to attend all of the sessions and field trips, and to arrive on time and prepared. Additionally, participants sign a media waiver so that we can share all the good stuff we’re doing with the world. That means you need to be okay with your participation in this program being public knowledge. We don’t want anyone’s boss or family to be surprised when they see a picture of you on a school tour during your long “lunch!”

If I want campaign help, should I apply to School Board School? 

There are lots of great organizations that can help you campaign but School Board School is not one of them. School Board School is not involved in political activity. Once participants decide they want to run for school board, they will connect with organizations that specialize in campaign work.


“I feel a great deal more confident in my ability to be a strong school board leader, and have also identified additional pathways for impacting systemic change and more specifically addressing equity so that it's less of a buzz word, and more so, a measure for accountability that's revered with the same institutionalized fervor as state report cards.”

Tim’m West


How much of a time commitment is School Board School?

Participants need 5-10 hours a week to devote to the program. Some weeks, that is time on your own reading and preparing for group sessions or meetings. But often, that time is with the group. It’s important for participants to have flexible daytime schedules in order to attend board meetings and school tours. For those of you considering serving on the board, you’ll need a flexible daytime schedule and at least 10 hours a week (AT LEAST!) to devote to the work, so now’s a good time to start considering these variables.

Is the program open to anyone, regardless of political party affiliation?

School Board School is non-partisan but participants must align with the vision and values of Cincinnati Public Schools, including those outlined in the below policies and resolutions, so that you are working in concert with the people in the district and can move toward better outcomes for kids faster.

CPS’ vision, mission, and goals  
Equity Policy
Resolution re: Diversity, Equity, Inclusiveness, and Excellence in Education (pg 3-4)
Resolution affirming CPS' commitment to all students regardless of immigration status
Resolution committing to the safety of all students and staff (pg 2-3)

What if I don’t live in Cincinnati?

For the 2019–2020 class, our curriculum will continue to focus on Cincinnati Public Schools. However, we will accept up to five participants from outside the district who want to learn about the role of a school board member and apply what they learn to their own district. We are in the process of growing and expanding School Board School, and hope to start branching out to other communities locally and nationally in 2020. If you are interested in bringing School Board School to your community, please get in touch with