For New School Directors

As a new member of your local school district board of directors, you join nearly 1,500 colleagues around the state who have stepped up to this important public service. Collectively, the districts you lead serve more than one million students, have a combined annual budget of $6 billion and employ nearly 100,000 people.

As a school board member, you are automatically a member of the Washington State School Directors’ Association. WSSDA is your organization. It exists to provide advocacy, programs and services to support school boards in their efforts to improve student learning.

WSSDA offers many resources to help you and your board be effective leaders. We invite you to take advantage of these resources and familiarize yourself with the roles and responsibilities of school board service.

Below are links to information to help you get started.

Offered each November at the WSSDA Annual Conference and several times throughout the year, Board Boot Camp is the perfect place to start your journey to becoming a school board member. Along with fellow new school directors, you’ll learn about the responsibilities of your new role and how to work effectively as a governance team.
The Washington School Board Standards provide a common framework for school board governance for local school boards and directors. They provide a shared understanding of what constitutes good governance and validate the importance of the school board’s role in ensuring student success. One set of standards addresses the school board’s leadership role in governing and includes responsible governance, expectations for student learning, conditions for student and staff success, accountability and community engagement. The other set addresses professional standards for individual school directors and includes values and ethical behavior, leadership, communication, growth and learning and accountability.
  • Learn about the budget cycle and the board’s responsibilities here Budgeting & Bargaining manual
  • Sign up for WSSDA’s OnBoard training to understand more deeply how school districts are funded, how to read budget and other financial reports from your district and how to ensure that your budget funds the values your district holds for its students.
WSSDA's regional meetings are designed to give school directors an opportunity for dialogue, networking and collaboration. The meetings are also a great way for WSSDA to deliver (and collect) timely information related to topics of concern in each region. On occasion, representatives of other groups such as the State Board of Education, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and even members of the Legislature may attend as guests.

What makes a great school board member?

WSSDA updates and information

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Staff contacts

Illustrations courtesy of the Oregon School Boards Association