Energizing the Disengaged Board Member

Type: Article
Topics: Board Relations, School Administrator Magazine

September 01, 2023


You are the superintendent and a member of your board of education strikes you as disengaged from his duties. What do you do?

You are the chairperson of your district’s board of education and you think one of the members is disengaged. What do you do?

You serve as a member of your school board and one of your colleagues is disengaged. What do you do?

Signs of Withdrawal

School districts are best served when boards of education are high-functioning and highly effective. This does not mean they are “rubber stamp” boards. It means board members are interested in and dedicated to ensuring all students have every opportunity to be successful. The members take an active role in learning all they can about the organization. This takes time, energy and effort — to study board meeting packets, to participate in work sessions, to review data and to take an active role in deliberations during informal and formal board meetings.

What happens if and when a board member appears to disengage? The disengagement may show up in one of many forms. The board member may begin missing meetings. The board member may show up for meetings but is not prepared to deal with the matters at hand. The board member may attend meetings and events but not actively participate in the current matters.

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