WSSDA OnBoard

Building skilled leaders and effective boards

OnBoard is an interactive learning experience designed for both individual school directors and board-superintendent teams. As a comprehensive learning system, OnBoard’s aim is to help school directors provide visionary leadership and perform effective governance and strategic advocacy.

COVID-19 made us cancel our spring training series, but we’re close to launching a series of online training opportunities. These learning experiences will enable school directors to fulfill their role in fiscal responsibility and oversight. We recommend taking them in order.

Finance 100 Series Virtual Workshops

Each training is about three hours, requires pre-registration, and costs $140. Several of the trainings will also be available at WSSDA’s Annual Conference in November and are included in the conference registration cost.

1. Foundations of State Funding

We’ll untangle the complexity of state funding, which is the primary financial support for Washington’s K-12 schools. We’ll explore the primary categories of general apportionment funding, expand your knowledge about funding of the six Basic Education programs and gain an overview of the four Basic Education categorical programs. The knowledge you gain will be immediately applicable to your work in guiding, approving, and reviewing district budgets.

This is an excellent companion to Foundations of Local and Federal Funding.

Dates and Times
  • Tuesday October 6, 3:00 – 6:15 p.m.
  • Thursday October 15, 5:00 – 8:15 p.m.

2. Foundations of Local and Federal Funding

We will expand your knowledge of local and federal funding for school districts; review the different types of levies and bonds and the state’s approach for determining levy limitations; introduce you to Local Effort Assistance and familiarize you with aspects of federal funding provided through the Every Student Success Act (ESSA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). This knowledge will help you plan for levies and bonds and guide the development and adoption of the district budget.

This is an excellent companion to Foundations of State Funding.

Dates and Times
  • Tuesday October 20, 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.
  • Thursday October 22, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

3. Deciphering District Budgets

This OnBoard Learning Experience will introduce the structure and basic terminology used in the district budget. You will become familiar with the five funds used in district accounting and learn about the system used to code district revenue and expenditures. Making sense of “Section A” of a district budget and unlocking the basics of the budget coding system will allow you to decipher many types of information. The knowledge you gain will help you ask key questions when the board is involved in developing and monitoring the district budget.

This is a prerequisite for Tackling Financial Soundness and Vision-Aligned Budgeting.

Dates and Times

4. Tackling Financial Soundness

This OnBoard Learning Experience will emphasize the significance of key budget drivers and introduce the Financial Health Indicators developed by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). You will examine the concepts underlying each Indicator, identify how district profile scores are determined, and navigate the OSPI website to access your own district’s profile.  This information will help you provide board-appropriate guidance for Financial Soundness when developing and monitoring the district budget. 

Deciphering District Budgets is a prerequisite for this training.

Dates and Times

5. Vision-Aligned Budgeting

This Learning Experience focuses on the significant connection between the allocation of resources and progress toward the district’s vision. You will explore three board commitments that research shows to be essential in the development of budget guidelines that are aligned with the board’s vision for the district. These guidelines, along with financial soundness guidelines, are central to developing, monitoring and when necessary, adjusting the district budget. You will also review legally required budget status reports and customized district budget supplements that specifically support the board’s responsibility for monthly monitoring of the district budget. All this information will help you provide board-appropriate guidance in budget development, ask key questions during monthly budget monitoring, and maintain the district’s vision through the budget.

Deciphering District Budgets and Tackling Financial Soundness are prerequisites for this training.

Dates and Times

“I loved the detailed exploration of everything. I truly was dazed and confused about the subject before this course. This training was well designed!”

Workshop Attendee

Staff Contacts