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The Definitive Annual Calendar of Board Activities

What should your board be doing, and when should you be doing it?

Are we doing the right things as a board, right now?

They’re not just things that new board members wonder. These questions remain a constant among trustees and CEOs who are experienced with board governance, even when they’ve served on their current board for years.

Our sample annual board calendar is indeed one of our most popular downloadable resources. While we go in depth here, we encourage you to also download the calendar to share with your board members now. And refer back to it as you look to timely reminders to send to your board to keep them engaged throughout the year.

Wondering what BoardOnTrack could do for your organization?

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JULY –  SEPTEMBER


As you prepare for the upcoming school year, your focus should be on defining your board recruiting needs, CEO expectations, and fundraising groundwork.

The Governance Committee

The summer is the perfect time for your Governance Committee to give your board composition and structure a careful review — and get your recruiting plan in place.

Make sure you know who you have on the board, when people’s terms are ending, who you’ll need to recruit for this year, and that you’ve got a deep enough bench to handle succession planning.

Use your review to build out a three-year recruiting roadmap — or review the roadmap built for you in BoardOnTrack. {If needed, determine whether any trustees still  need to complete their profiles to ensure your BoardOnTrack recruiting roadmap is complete.}

Plus, ensure you’re prepared to recruit, train, and retain those stellar trustees by reviewing your individual and committee-level roles and responsibilities.


Finally, determine whether bylaws need to be revised to align with your recruiting or expansion plans. If so, you’ll need to get that scheduled on an upcoming full board meeting agenda.

The CEO Support & Evaluation Committee

Before the first day of school is also the time to begin laying the groundwork for your CEO evaluation process. This is led by your CEO Support & Evaluation Committee, if applicable.


  • Review the CEO’s short- and long-term succession plan for him/herself.
  • Finalize goals against which to measure CEO’s performance for the year
  • Review with BoardOnTrack recommended annual support and evaluation process


The Development or Fundraising Committee


While all of this is happening, your Development Committee should be gearing up by drafting an annual fund development plan and clarifying the full board’s role in fundraising for this year.

OCTOBER – DECEMBER


With the school year in full swing, each of your committees should be busy doing meaningful work.

The Governance Committee

Continuing on the great work your Governance Team did in the preceding months, they’ll share their three-year recruiting roadmap at a board meeting.

If you haven’t already finalized them, ask each officer and committee chair to complete a job description based on BoardOnTrack samples. These documents help clarify how the roles of the full board, committees, and CEO, differ but complement each other. The full board will approve your revised job descriptions.

If your roadmap will include a plan for expanding the board, make sure you’re ready to discuss this with the full governance team. Your expansion plan, nomination policy, and policy for adding non-voting members to committees will need to be approved by the full board before you can begin to implement them. BoardOnTrack members can find samples in the Resources library in the platform.

This is also a great time of year to evaluate your board meeting effectiveness. Great meetings are the top tactic for boosting board member engagement…and unproductive meetings are the most common way to tank engagement.  Consider:


  • How much time are you putting into strategic forward-looking work vs. reacting to what’s happening in the day-to-day?
  • How well-attended are your meetings?
  • How well organized are they?
  • Are you complying with open meeting law consistently?


The Finance Committee

Now’s the time for your Finance Committee to collaborate with the CEO and finance staff to develop scenarios and meaningful time frame for multi-year budget projections.

These scenarios should include staff and CEO pay scales, and any necessary research and revisions; projected number of of students and new staff slots; anticipated per pupil tuition; and any facilities plans.

Use those scenarios to create multi-year, multi-scenario budget projections. Review those projections with CEO and finance staff. And then present them to the full board.


The fall is also the time to complete annual audit and share your findings with the board.

The Development or Fundraising Committee

Your Development Committee kicks it into high gear now by creating a plan for the year, and sharing it with the full board for approval.

Include in your plan a statement of clear expectations for individual trustees. Determine what, if any, education you’ll need to provide trustees in order to meet those expectations.


Once you’ve got approval, waste no time in leaping into implementation. But first, make sure you’ve got a process in place to track individual trustee support of the development plan.

The CEO Support & Evaluation Committee

Continue to prep your CEO evaluation process. Set dates and reminders to prep for December and March CEO check-ins.

At a full board meeting, review and vote to approve the CEO’s goals and  short- and long-term succession plans.

At each monthly committee meeting, report on progress towards the CEO’s goals.


In December, conduct a check-in with your CEO to ensure you’re on track to meet the goals agreed upon at the start of the school year. In advance of your check-in, gather input from board, ask the CEO to complete a self-reflection, and ensure that staff satisfaction survey is completed, so that you can incorporate all of this in your check-in.

The Academic Oversight Committee

Your Academic Oversight committee gears up by providing a board training, in conjunction with the CEO, on what assessments the school uses and what each one assesses.

Complete the first committee check-in of the year. And, at your next full board meeting, update the board on any key learnings.


JANUARY – MARCH


The Governance Committee

Your Governance Committee will continue to implement your recruiting and/or board expansion plan; and continue to evaluate board meeting effectiveness on a regular basis.

This is also the time of year to conduct an individual trustee assessment. Use the results to inform nominations at your annual meeting. To do so:


  • Develop a plan in conjunction with Board chair to provide feedback to each trustees
  • Hold individual trustee meetings to give feedback on performance to date


The Finance Committee

In the new year, your Finance Committee will Review first draft of budget for next fiscal year, and then Present first draft of budget for next fiscal year to full board


Work with CEO and finance staff on revisions for first draft and Present final budget for next fiscal year to full board for approval

The Development or Fundraising Committee


Continue to implement plan, Track individual trustee support of the development plan, Conduct board education as needed

The Academic Oversight Committee

Provide a board training in conjunction with CEO on what assessments the organization uses and what each one assesses

Complete second committee check in of year on interim assessments using BoardOnTrack assessment check in question list


Update board on learning’s from second committee interim assessment check in

The CEO Support & Evaluation Committee

At each committee meeting, report on progress towards CEO goals.


In March, conduct another CEO check-in to review their progress towards the year’s goals. As you did for the December check-in,  gather input in advance from the board, ask the CEO to complete a self-reflection, and ensure that staff satisfaction survey is completed.

APRIL  – JUNE


The Governance Committee

As you edge towards summer, your Governance Committee really gears up again. In addition to continuing your year-round activities {recruiting, board expansion, and meeting efficacy}, your committee will:


  • Hold individual trustee assessment meetings
  • Make recommendations for additional terms based on individual trustee assessments
  • Conduct Orientation for New Trustees
  • Conduct annual meeting


The Academic Oversight Committee


Review end of the year state assessment data at a committee level. And share your review with the full board. Note that the timing of this varies a great deal by state, but where applicable, we recommend completing this in the spring.

The Development or Fundraising Committee


Continue to implement your fundraising plan, track individual trustee support of the plan, and provide board education as needed.

The CEO Support & Evaluation Committee

At each committee meeting, report on progress towards the CEO’s goals.

Conduct your end-of-year CEO evaluation, incorporating staff surveying into as needed.

If you haven’t already, download our sample annual board calendar. This can serve as a terrific resource to keep your board engaged and focused on what is happening now and upcoming.

 

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