Des Moines- More than 1,150 school board members and administrators from across the state will gather next week for the 66th Annual Convention of the Iowa Association of School Boards at Hy-Vee Hall. This year's schedule will include programs of interest to districts of all sizes, as well as nationally-renowned keynote speakers Doug Reeves and Jamie Vollmer. The governor's Education Reform Plan will be prominent on the agenda, as well. Nearly 25 percent of Iowa school board members are new to the job this fall. The challenges are many and the learning curve is steep, but the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of Iowa students has never been greater. The IASB Convention offers information, ideas and strategies that those who attend can take back and use immediately at their board tables.
Members of the media are welcome to attend pre-convention events on Wednesday, Nov. 16 and convention events on Thursday, Nov. 17. Events of interest include:
- Delegate Assembly - Representatives from every school board in Iowa will gather Wednesday at 1 p.m. to vote on this year's legislative priorities for the upcoming session, and the assembly will select presidents-elect for 2011 and 2012-13.
- School Finance Boot Camp - On Wednesday, more than 250 Iowa school board members and education leaders will attend three levels of in-depth finance training session about school budgets in the current financial environment.
- Presentations from Gov. Terry Branstad, Director of the Iowa Dept. of Education Jason Glass and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds - At the Closing General Session, 3:30-4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Iowa leaders will discuss the importance of giving all Iowa students a world-class education, no matter where they live, so all students are prepared to thrive in an increasingly demanding, global workforce.
- Nationally recognized keynote speakers - Noted author, researcher and speaker Doug Reeves will talk during the Opening General Session (8:15-9:30 a.m. Thursday) about "School Boards Matter: How Policy Influences Leadership, Teaching and Student Achievement." He will also conduct an education session from 10-10:45 a.m. to follow up on his key messages. Luncheon keynote speaker Jamie Vollmer will talk about how he works to increase student success by raising public support for America's schools, and will follow up with an interactive workshop at 1:30 p.m.
- Education sessions - Experts from near and far will offer 26 education sessions on topics dealing with finance, communication, legislative advocacy, technology, sharing superintendents, the governor's blueprint for education reform, collective bargaining and much more. For a complete schedule of the day, visit www.ia-sb.org/convention.
- Networking sessions - 33 tables of networking opportunities are offered throughout the day on a variety of topics as far-ranging as student dress codes, technology in education governance, using growth data to improve student achievement, the law as it relates to extracurricular activities - and much more.
- Awards to deserving boards who are making a difference for students - They include the annual Boards Making a Difference Award, which goes to Washington and Cardinal; and the Better Boardsmanship Award, which goes to 81 individuals, plus seven school districts in which the majority of their board members have dedicated time and work to board training and advocacy efforts: Decorah, Johnston, East Mills, Forest City, Le Mars, North Scott and Ruthven-Ayrshire.
For a full schedule and other information about the day, please visit www.ia-sb.org/convention.
Any reporters who need assistance during the convention may ask available staff or call/text Marti Kline, IASB communications director, at (515) 556-2382 (cell phone), or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
IASB is a private, nonprofit organization representing Iowa's 351 school districts, 10 area education agencies and 15 community colleges.