Saturday, November 19, 2011

School Board Convention

This past week, the Belmond-Klemme Community School District sent a total of 6 Board members, one Business Manager, and one Superintendent to the Iowas Association of School Boards (IASB) State Convention.  First, that represents a wonderful turnout for our community.  Only one member was not able to attend, and one did have to leave early.  With all of the things that these people have on their plates on a daily basis, I want to express how much I appreciate each of them taking making the time to join their colleagues in learning, conversing, and networking.

We heard a significant amount about the workings of a school board and what the expectations and responsibilities are of this governing body.  Also included were some basic explanations of how school finance works, which is really good as it is not a typically logical system.  In addition to board governance, there were some very good sessions and speakers.  Headliners Doug Reeves and Jamie Vollmer both drove home the fact that decisions that are made nearest the student have the most effective impact.  Outside of the home, that means simply that our teachers have the most impact and our government has the least.  At all levels, we tend to think about this in terms of positive impact, but we can also have negative impact on our students as well. 

We also heard from Governor Branstad, Lieutenant Governor Reynolds, and Director of Education Glass.  All three spoke to the Educational Blueprint of which we have heard a great deal.  Although all three gave speeches during the final general session, it was in an earlier session that Director Glass fielded questions.  It was also an opportunity for me to leave a comfort zone and ultimately laugh at myself.
Essentially, we saw yet again that we need to move forward instead of sit still, waiting for something to happen.  Again we have heard that it is imperative for our schools and communities to work together and build trust and relationships on behalf of our students.  Again we have been asked to step out of line, out of the box, onto the ledge, or into the unknown.  Again we saw the direction to abolish the current system and create a new one that is not an overhaul but a new structure.  Again we heard that this can't be done without the community (either local or as a state or a nation) leading the charge.  So what will the outcome be this time around?

A opportunity clearly worth the time, effort, and expense, the IASB Annual Convention gave us the venue to share, reflect, interact, and grow as a team.  Thanks to the Belmond-Klemme School Board team for the continued effort to support the students we serve.

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