California law requires that charter school boards hold at least one board meeting per year and school bylaws often specify a specific month and time for boards to hold an annual “organizational meeting.” This meeting, as the name suggests, is an organizational opportunity for board members to vote for a board president and other officers, and it is often a time when new board members are seated. Importantly, the organizational meeting is also the opportunity to release the regular board meeting dates for the coming year and to establish committee membership.
Once the new board is seated, members may have questions. New board members, for instance, may request more information on their roles and responsibilities and existing board members may seek training for new leadership positions. CSDC makes it easy to customize the board member training that works for your school by offering three levels of training for board members.
As an introductory step to board training, board members may wish to access CSDC's Online Governance Academy, a series of on-demand learning modules designed to provide California charter school governing board members with the information they need to effectively oversee their schools.
Online Governance Academy is an exclusive benefit of CSDC School Membership.
After registering to obtain access, board members can watch short presentations on a variety of topics including:
- Module 1: Board Member Basics (15 minutes)
- Module 2: Speaking the Language (10 minutes)
- Module 3: Laws, Lobbying, and the Legislature (9 minutes)
- Module 4: Governance versus Management (9 minutes)
- Module 5: Human Resources (5 minutes)
There are also self-paced modules relating to the Ralph M. Brown Act, the California open meetings act:
- Module 1: A Focus on Agendas (21 minutes)
- Module 2: A Focus on Closed Session Meetings of the Board (38 minutes)
- Module 3: Board Location and Teleconferencing (8 minutes)
- Module 4: A Focus on the Rights of the Public (21 minutes)
- Module 5: Who Must Comply and What Triggers It (14 minutes)
Charter school authorizers throughout the state have been requesting proof of board member training. A proof of completion for Governance 101 may be requested upon completion of a final test for both courses.
CSDC offers two in-person opportunities to take a deeper dive into charter school governance. Covering a broader range of topics and providing a forum for collaboration and discussion, the annual Leadership Intensive and the CSDC Conference are two opportunities to go beyond basic training and to explore the nuances and best practices of holding a charter school board position. This method of training also comes with a Governance Training Certification which may be used during charter renewal as proof of board member training.
For registration and more information on these trainings, click here.
Charter school boards may decide that customized coaching – either in-person or virtual – is the best way to train their governance team. CSDC offers training in a wide variety of areas from roles and responsibilities to school finance to Brown Act training. Schools interested in this custom coaching may indicate an interest by filling out this form. CSDC staff will then offer a proposal outlining costs, incorporating the issues, and proposing a meeting timetable.
CSDC aims to make governance training accessible to all charter school board members and offers a wide range of presentation formats as well as pricing to fit every budget.
Please contact CSDC’s Governance and Policy Specialist, Caitlin O’Halloran, at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.