7 Ways BoardOnTrack helps you plan a great board retreat
Planning a board retreat can be daunting. And board retreat help comes in many forms.
While board retreat facilitation can be a huge help to ensuring your charter school’s annual board retreat is effective, there are much more scalable ways to ensure that your board’s retreat is not only an effective event but sets you on the path for a wildly successful year.
Done right, your board retreat will help you better engage the collective skills and talents of your board members.
And that will make your board a strategic partner to your CEO, and a vital asset to your charter school as a whole.
But planning, leading, and following up on a board retreat can be a lot to take on without the right help. Especially on top of your already busy schedule.
BoardOnTrack makes preparing for a board retreat simple.
If you’re a BoardOnTrack member, you already have access to all of the tools and expertise you need.
Here are seven ways that BoardOnTrack’s friendly experts and online governance tools can help you run a strategic, results-driven board retreat.
1) Assess your board and each board member with our in-depth board assessment tools
BoardOnTrack’s built-in board assessment tool provides a data-driven way of understanding your board’s strengths and weaknesses. We look at your board as a whole, and each board member.
You then use your retreat to set the right goals, plan the right professional development, and focus on the right conversations to strengthen your board-CEO partnership.
Your board assessment results report shows you, using data instead of assumptions, where you are on the charter school board’s path to excellence. And what to focus on to move up that path.
We quantify your governance capabilities in each of the ten strategic areas critical to board governance.
That includes the way your board meetings are run, your board structure, the skills and expertise your board has or needs. Even key capabilities like financial and academic oversight.
If you’re a BoardOnTrack member, that data allows your Governance Coach to help your board craft a retreat that focuses on the right results. (It’s also central to the personalized coaching sessions that we provide our members every 90 days.)
It’s a way to hold a mirror up to your board. Given everything that you could possibly do as a great board, you see where you really are as a board. And what exactly you need to do to ensure your governance capabilities evolve alongside your charter school’s needs.
Plus, each board member gets to see what they could be doing differently, to be an even more engaged board member.
Your board assessment gets the board and CEO aligned on the board’s development priorities.
Both the board and the CEO weigh in on BoardOnTrack’s survey-based board assessment tool.
You see where you’re aligned, and where you aren’t. And you know what you need to discuss together at your board retreat, to strengthen your board-CEO partnership.
2) Create a strategic board recruiting plan with your three-year board recruiting roadmap
To make the board is set up for success to lead the organization, your retreat should address your board recruiting needs.
A strategic recruiting plan will take into account the skills your board will need to contribute to your charter school’s top priorities. For instance, if you’re going to launch a major fundraising initiative, you might need to increase the fundraising skills in your board or committee members.
If your board has made a commitment to DEI, you’ll want to be clear about what it means for your board’s demographics to represent the community you serve.
If you’re using BoardOnTrack, you’ll have a three-year recruiting roadmap to refer to during this conversation. You’ll easily see what skills or demographics gaps your board has today, as well as how those will change over the next three years as people rotate off the board.
3) Evaluate your CEO with the only evidence-based CEO assessment tool built for charter school leaders
A proper CEO evaluation is vital in setting both CEO and board goals, supporting the board-CEO partnership, and engaging in a year-round CEO support and evaluation process.
Completing an annual CEO Evaluation can also be a useful tool for thinking at your retreat about your board structure and recruiting needs.
For example: BoardOnTrack’s CEO Evaluation tool can reveal areas where the board admits it doesn’t have enough visibility or the right knowledge and experience to accurately or adequately answer the questions.
Structure the board for the year ahead to ensure you maintain the visibility you need to provide proper oversight and support of your CEO.
4) Manage board goals and accountability with your board goals dashboard
Your board should leave your retreat with clear board goals. And a way to hold yourselves accountable to meeting those goals.
Use our simple but powerful goals dashboard to deﬁne your board’s goals, assign tasks, and keep your team on track to deliver
Our board goals dashboard is built to help charter school boards do exactly that. You can structure your dashboard by committee, which we highly recommend. Or, by the method that fits you best.
Within each goal, you can assign tasks to specific members of your governance team, set deadlines, and then track your progress over time,
We recommend that boards fire up their board goals dashboard at every meeting, to ensure you keep your board on track to meet the priorities you’ve set for yourselves.
5) Get access to free board development resources and training
We’re on a mission to help every charter school board deliver exceptional results for the kids counting on their schools.
However, BoardOnTrack members have access to even more extensive resources, live training, and personalized coaching.
There’s a resources hub inside of the BoardOnTrack platform that includes an extensive and ever-growing collection of charter school governance advice, templates, and on-demand training sessions. Including sessions that meet some state training requirements.
6) Receive personalized coaching and expert facilitation
Your BoardOnTrack membership includes our online governance platform and customized coaching. And you can even engage our team for expert facilitation.
Our team has conversations with our members around planning their retreat. We can review your draft agenda, provide suggestions, even weigh in on whether or not it feels like a doable to kind of achieve everything that you’ve set out in your agenda.
We sometimes facilitate sessions at your retreat, especially when your board would like education that fits within one of our key areas of strategic governance areas.
If you’re not yet a BoardOnTrack member, you’re still welcome to reach out to us to schedule a governance consultation with us. We can talk through your board development priorities, your board retreat plans, and how BoardOnTrack membership might help.
7) Work efficiently with board meeting management software built for charter schools’ unique needs.
Run effective, transparent, remote board meetings — and retreats — with our online board meeting management tool. Create your agenda, track RSVPs, post necessary details for open meeting law compliance
Plan your entire annual board meeting calendar and set all of those meetings up in BoardOnTrack so that board members can plan accordingly and you can maximize participation
BoardOnTrack is built to even make open meeting law compliance simple, for your retreat as well as your regular board meetings and committee meetings. You can even customize your account to fit your state’s specific requirements, such as the number of days before or after a board meeting that certain information should be made available to the public.
How can we help your charter school run an effective board retreat this year?
Orr, join the next live tour of BoardOnTrack to see how our online governance tools and expert team could help your board.
Sam Falk was the Chief Customer and Product Officer at BoardOnTrack and is based in Concord, Massachusetts.