School board events today and tomorrow

Tonight (Monday, May 18th) the school board meets with Illinois Assocation of School Boards (IASB) representative Dr. Patrick Rice, the Field Service Director for our area (“Illini region”). Even though the entire meeting is essentially dedicated to an OMA-blessed executive session, you can read the one-page brochure from IASB:$file/StartingRightbrochure.pdf


For anyone who has been reading for a little while, you know will I fully support the IASB’s efforts and I consider this a “good thing.” Based on that brochure, I can see that the “2.5 – 3 hour” meeting will summarize the  main areas of the IASB’s “Foundational Principles of Effective Governance.” I am altogether excited because five of the seven board members are new and they have stated a desire to change the way the school board operates, and given that the topic of tonight’s meeting is “Starting Right”, I am quite confident that this “board retreat” will further transform the board into a successful agent of the people.

My hope and request for the board tonight is that they ask a lot of questions as they wrap their heads around these concepts. “Question everything.” 🙂


Tomorrow (Tuesday, May 19th) the school board will be available for a “meet & greet” at the Mellon Building (703 South New Street, Champaign) from 7:00 – 8:30 pm. The event is sponsored by the PTA Council – the following is from an email blurb sent out last week:

Please join Champaign PTA Council for an informal “Meet & Greet” to introduce yourself to the new members of the Champaign Unit 4 Board of Education, K-12 principals in Unit 4, and the PTA presidents at each school. The public is invited and encouraged to attend. Refreshments will be provided.

Please RSVP on the Facebook event page:

e-mail me at or call/text 217-637-0968 by 6pm on Monday, May 18th.


This is a great opportunity for community members and organizations to network with key players in the educational system in one place!


We look forward to seeing you!

Cathy S. McArthur, President

Champaign PTA Council


6 Responses to “School board events today and tomorrow”

  1. Vav Says:

    I appreciate and share the excitement about what you read from IASB. Their programs and their literature is good information and a good direction. My second hand understanding of what happens by IASB and their events is quite another thing…
    I understand that many readers here and our new school board members have a platform for openness and transparency. My understanding is that is not what is preached by IASB. Their training and meetings have a focus toward making the board “look good” and making the relationship among the district and the board “look good” and making the district “look good.” Transparency, open debate, frank & honest discussions, and other characteristics that I’ve heard desired by readers of this blog are secondary to looking good.
    My understanding comes from prior board members, some of whom have been off the board for a while. Maybe things have changed….

    • charlesdschultz Says:


      Knowing your special relationship with a certain previous board member, and having heard some similar disturbing things from the same individual in the past, I understand your comment. I can neither confirm nor deny (*grin*) if the IASB is still pushing the “look good” concept, but after talking to Dr. Patrick Rice and Cathy Talbert, it is my understanding that the IASB has slowly been absorbing John Carver’s “Policy Governance” into their own policies over the past few years; actually, it sounds like it has been a complete rewrite, and the IASB is slowly spoon-feeding it to districts as a method of adoption.

      Having said that, I have a similar confusion in that if the IASB has been training board members all along, why is there a perceived disconnect between what the IASB preaches and what board members do?

      Do you have any plans to attend the “Meet & Greet” tomorrow? You can always ask them there. *grin*

    • charlesdschultz Says:

      Good Q&A in today’s Chambanamom’s “Dad to Know” (and check out the amazing cakes *grin*):

      Q: What are your major goals for your board tenure?

      A: I don’t think of them as my goals so much as the Board’s goals. The first two come straight from the Illinois Association of School Boards Foundational Principles of Effective Governance and go hand in hand. As a Board, we need to first clarify the district’s purpose and direction. Second, in order to do that, as a Board we need to connect with the community. After establishing purpose and direction, we can begin to look at our facility and staffing needs to meet those goals.

  2. Kathy R. Says:

    Thanks, Charles, for helping to publicize this event. Unfortunately it conflicts with a school event for my son, so I will be unable to attend. I look forward to more such events in the future.

  3. pattsi Says:

    I guess I am surprised that the new board is already deferring any comments to be made to be done so by the board president. That is already putting a governor on the board members.

  4. charlesdschultz Says:

    Check out the new format of the special board meeting tonight – almost reminiscient of a “round table”. 🙂 [hat tip to chambanamoms for the instagram pic]

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