The Bibb County Board of Education attended school board governance training Tuesday, receiving information that ranged from meeting procedures to school board communication.
The training is mandated by the Georgia Department of Education, said Zenda Bowie, director of field services for the Georgia School Boards Association, who made the presentation.
All school board members must earn nine credit hours of school board training each year, and new school board members must get 15 credit hours, Bowie said.
It is extremely important because you shouldnt have meetings that just happen, Bowie said about board training. Board members are leaders in the community, and their meetings need to be professional and appropriate.
The presentation placed a heavy focus on parliamentary procedures, with topics ranging from public participation to the board chairmans role. When a topic is being debated, board members should make their comments to the board chairman instead of one another. It steadies the meeting and keeps the debate healthy, Bowie told board members.
There should be healthy debate. There should be pros and cons, Bowie said. But, especially if its a controversial issue, its easy to get off track.
Bowie also discussed board member communication outside of board meetings. She advised them how to appropriately discuss matters with students, parents, school system employees and the media. She also discussed communication between the school board and the superintendent, and Bowie offered tips for being an effective school board.
The session was relevant as we move in the direction of being more collaborative as a board, board member Wanda West said.
The board could use the refresher course ... its always important to train or retrain.
Information about the role of the board chairman was helpful, particularly when it comes to facilitating meetings during heavy debates, board President Susan Sipe said.
Our board is being much more collaborative, and sometimes we get very passionate on issues, she said, adding Bowie offered helpful tips on ways to handle those situations.
To contact Jenna Mink, call 744-4331.