In response to board member requests, MSBA offers a variety of training for effective governance. Participate in research-based professional development workshops specifically designed for board members and superintendents. Reflect on your governance practices with the Board Self Evaluation. View online training modules independently or as a group.


You’ll need an MSBA login and password to access some of these member-only documents. For a password, email Eileen Woody, for assistance.

Board Roles and Responsibilities that Impact Student Achievement
Focus on maximizing student achievement through board governance. Topics include: board roles and responsibilities; governance versus administration; the six specific governing documents that address board responsibilities; and questions board members should ask to ensure students are learning.

School Board Role in the Comprehensive School Improvement Plan
Discuss the purpose of the district Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP), the district’s strategic plan and how the board can use it to ensure continuous improvement. An overview of the strategic planning process, how to engage stakeholders in the process and the importance of aligning other board and district documents are also discussed.

Performance-Based Superintendent Evaluation
Learn evidence-based practices for board evaluation of the superintendent aligned with the Missouri evaluation requirements. The session will help boards understand the evaluation process and use evidence to assess a level of performance and guide growth.

Effective Practices in Positive Board and Superintendent Relations
Learn how the board and superintendent develop a positive relationship to support student achievement and effective district performance. Differentiating leadership roles, providing clear expectations, implementing an effective superintendent evaluation process, communicating with one voice and using evidence to make decisions are addressed in the session.

Continuous Improvement 101
This session provides an overview of continuous improvement (CI) concepts and strategies. CI is not a specific program, but rather, a way of doing things. A school board that understands and applies CI concepts in their governance creates the culture for the rest of the district. Common aspects of CI approaches are discussed as well as strategies and tools to support district improvement.

Board Self Evaluation Facilitated Discussion of Results
This session focuses on the results of a board’s response to the MSBA Board Self-Evaluation in the context of research-based effective governance practices. Discussion includes identification of practices to strengthen as well as improve. The development of board goals can be included.

Retreat Planning and Facilitation
MSBA provides consultation to member districts in the planning and facilitation of school board retreats, whether the retreats are intended for strategic decision-making, goal setting, or other purposes.

Content can be selected from the list above or customized to meet specific board needs.

Continuous Improvement Support & Consultation
MSBA offers support to boards and district leaders in their continuous improvement efforts. MSBA can provide introductory workshops on continuous improvement, facilitate the identification of key performance measures and processes, share tools and documents to support continuous improvement and provide individualized consultation to help district leaders improve outcomes for students.

Learn and review essential governance information through online training. View independently or as an entire board with the superintendent.

These individual videos may be viewed by MSBA members at no cost. Log in with your MSBA member account credentials to access the document with links to the videos.

These training modules are divided into short video segments to allow flexibility in viewing; either in part over time or all at once. The following are available:

  • Sunshine Law
  • Nepotism and Conflict of Interest
  • The Basics of Student Achievement in Missouri
  • Superintendent Evaluation Video Series
  • School Personnel Video Series

The cost for each module is $75 for all 7 board members and the superintendent to have access for 90 days from the registration date. Additional participants may be added for $10 each.

Board Self Evaluation (revised 2015)
The school board’s commitment to its own growth and development is an important part of continuous district improvement. The revised MSBA Board Self Evaluation establishes a baseline measurement of the current governance leadership beliefs and practices of the school board that are correlated by research as supporting high student achievement. The BSE items are informed by the effective board practices supported by the Iowa Lighthouse Studies, the NSBA Key Work of School Boards, the Foundational Principles of Effective Governance and the Baldrige Education Criteria for Performance Excellence.

BSE Administration
The BSE is administered through an online survey. Instructions and the link to the survey are emailed to each board member. Individual board member responses are anonymous.

Scoring and Analysis
MSBA will compile the individual responses to produce frequency and average response scores for each item. Summary reports provide feedback on areas of board governance strengths, need for information and opportunities for improvement. Reports may be categorized by the Foundational Principles of Effective Governance or the Baldrige Education Criteria for Performance Excellence.

Participation Options
There are two ways boards may use the revised BSE.

Board Facilitates Own Discussion of Results
After each board member responds to the BSE, MSBA will summarize the results and email reports to each board member and the superintendent. Suggestions for discussion will be included. The cost for this option is $150.

MSBA Facilitated Discussion of Results
After each board member responds to the BSE, MSBA will summarize the results and email reports to each board member and the superintendent. MSBA will facilitate an in-district discussion of the results with the board and superintendent and provide print copies of the reports and related materials. The discussion may lead to the development of board goals to address areas for improvement. The discussion lasts 2 to 2 ½ hours. The cost for this option is $450 plus mileage reimbursement (not to exceed $100).


Abbreviated Sample


The following resources were developed to help board members fulfill their roles and responsibilities. The resources are free, but some are available to MSBA member districts only.

Common Educational Abbreviations and Acronyms
Foundational Principles of Effective Governance
Suggestions for New Board Member Orientation
New Board Member Orientation Year At-A-Glance*

*Requires login.

High-performing districts understand the importance of providing quality professional development for staff, teachers and administrators. Professional development is also essential for the members of the school board. The most effective professional development engages teams to learn together, focus on the needs of students, and problem-solve in order to support student achievement and district improvement. A whole board book study on effective governance practices or a topic important to the district provides quality professional development at minimal cost.


Two free book study guides are available for use by MSBA members. Login with your MSBA member account credentials to access the guides. Request an account here if you do not have one.


Book Study Guide for Use with Any Book
Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis Book Study Guide


Leadership Development Department
Phone: 800-221-6722, ext. 329

Logistics & Cost

On Location: Each workshop typically lasts at least 2 hours. The cost is $300 for up to two hours plus mileage reimbursement (not to exceed $100). The cost for additional time is $150 per hour.

Online: Each module is $75 for all 7 board members and the superintendent to have access for 90 days from the registration date. Additional participants may be addedfor $10 each.