School Board Meeting Agendas: Save Time by Using Meeting Agenda Templates

  • Nengah Mustika
  • 03 Jan 2017

School board members are important individuals who play an important role when it comes to making decisions about preparing schoolchildren for life. Appointed or elected by local communities, they must share the beliefs and values of the people. In other words, school board members have the responsibility of representing the local voice for education. That’s why we can confidently claim that school boards are as important as the municipal government, the state’s legislature or any other institution, e.g., police department, fire department or the town hall committees. Keeping schedules and priorities organized is a must for a school board’s success. That’s why crafting a meeting template is a must today for every school board around the country. 

The Importance of Agenda Templates

Given a school board’s importance for a community, its members have to make vital decisions constantly. From setting achievement standards for education to ensuring that citizens get the most out of their own tax money, a school board must know how to set its priorities and tailor decision-making methods to the needs of the community. That’s why school board meetings are crucial when it comes to decisions concerning not just educators and pupils but everyone. 

Agenda CategoryForming an agenda is not an easy task. In any organization, both governmental and private sector, the board members need to think through which topics should be prioritized and how to tackle different issues. Moreover, school board meetings could be time-consuming and ineffective. That’s why a committee should have a simple and structured template.

A simple template might not ensure that the school board meeting will run efficiently, nor that all issues will be solved, but it offers a framework for decreasing the time spent and puts priorities in order. While there are different ways in which a meeting template may be crafted, having a simple one will pay off starting with the next board meeting. If an organization needs help with creating templates, special software solutions are available online, also. One company that offers such services is AgendaCloud. The image on the left shows an example of agenda meeting categories which are the derivatives of the agenda meeting templates (created using AgendaCloud board meeting software). Besides offering solutions for meeting templates for school boards and boards of county commissioners, their services can be used by non-profit organizations, local and state governments, cities, and towns.

How to Craft a Simple Template    

The template can be the starting point when preparing the final agenda of the school board committee, or it can simply be used when voting on both important and routine decisions at a regular meeting. Once the template has been crafted, a sample will be handed out to each of the members. This template will have several points, in order to guide members throughout the meeting.

When it comes to schools or institutions of education in general, a board meeting consists of matters of decision making, reports, and other matters of discussion. Also, for regular meetings, updates and announcements are frequent, and often times mandatory.

Having a structure for these meetings will save both time and energy, helping members to discuss topics and find solutions to problems. It also helps to have civilized discussions by maintaining order. 

A simple template takes into account the main parts of any educational board meeting, classifying and structuring them according to their nature and urgency. A template needs to be concise. The templates created with AgendaCould are used to automatically assemble structured agendas, as shown in the image below.

Firstly, the meeting opening needs to be taken into consideration. Like reports or any other type of structured document, a meeting template will start with an introduction. Here, points to the approval of previous minutes and matters arising are introduced to the members of the committee. This helps give some background and general context about the topics and issues that will be discussed.

After the introduction, matters of decision need to be presented. This is the most important part that needs to be handled by the board and should be prioritized in the template. These matters can be classified into major and routine matters. Since the major matters may have a long-term effect, they will appear in the template before the routine ones. Then, routine matters of decision can be brought up to a discussion.

The second part of a meeting must focus on reports and the discussions around them. Therefore, the second part of the meeting template will consist of these reports and discussions. In a clear order, members of the committee, who need to present reports, should be listed. When the meeting takes place, all members must conform to the template and let everyone present the report, according to his or her place on the list. After the reports have been presented and discussed, other matters can be brought up. This last part should have its own section in the template, in order to distinguish the new matters from the previous ones.

The next part, which needs to be in any simple template, concerns updates, and announcements. There is more volatility in this part of a simple template. However, if needed, this section may specify names of members who will give important announcements. Afterward, the meeting may end.

This is how a simple, standard meeting template could look. Of course, depending on the needs of each school board, the template can be personalized. As mentioned earlier in the article, online solutions for crafting personalized templates exist, one of them being AgendaCloud. Easy to use, the software can create customizable, personalized templates. 

Conclusion

Board meeting templates come in different shapes and sizes. They can be more general or for specific types of organizations and scopes. When it comes to crafting a simple template for an educational board meeting, classifying and prioritizing the parts of the meeting can help maintain order and save time; time that could be spent more wisely on each member’s individual activity. Create an introduction to the meeting on the template, classify and prioritize matters of discussion, list members who need to present reports, and lastly, present updates and announcements to the committee. The meeting will shorten, and participants will benefit more from it than they would have if there wasn’t any template. 

Sources used for inspiration:

https://www.nsba.org/about-us/frequently-asked-questions

https://www.nsba.org/about-us/what-school-boards-do

https://www.lucidmeetings.com/templates/formal-board-meeting

https://www.smartsheet.com/free-meeting-agenda-templates-word

http://nextviewventures.com/blog/free-startup-board-decks-template/