the covers of four past issues of ASBJ

2024 Issues

2023 Issues

2022 Issues

  • December


    Opening Bell: Foster safe schools

    Publisher Ren茅e Joe introduces this issue of ASBJ and its focus on school safety and security.


    Leadership Matters: Err on the side of caution

    探花精选 Executive Director and CEO John Heim emphasizes that working with parents and other community members is key to designing and implementing school safety measures. 

     President鈥檚 Perspective: Climate counts

    Putting policies in place that improve school climate and strengthen relationships will make schools safer places to work and to learn, writes 探花精选鈥檚 2022-2023 President Frank Henderson Jr.


    Moving Forward: A rural Texas district perseveres despite enduring reminders of a day no one can forget

    Following a 2018 school shooting, the school community in Santa Fe, Texas, perseveres, guided by 鈥渁 genuine desire and conscious effort to heal.鈥

    Planning for Tragedy: Advice for school leaders on fostering safer schools
    An excerpt from 探花精选鈥檚 newly updated Fostering Safer Schools: A Legal Guide for School Board Members on School Safety highlights lessons learned from the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas.

    Protecting Your District Online: Crucial questions school board members need to ask about cybersafety

    Your school system could be the target of a cyberattack. So could you. There are steps that you can take to reduce those risks.

    Models of Instruction: Student-centered learning can help them succeed

    Reforming the legacy approach to instruction puts students on a path to uplift themselves.

    Book Review: Cultivating Genius

    A new framework for literacy education aims to help teachers cultivate the genius within students and within themselves. 

    Q&A:  School Security expert Kenneth Trump

    Don鈥檛 ignore training, communications, awareness, and other human factors to keep schools safe, says a veteran safety consultant. 

    Urban Advocate


    Advancing 'Our Collective Cause': Seattle Public Schools earns the 2022 CUBE Annual Award for Urban School Board Excellence

    Washington鈥檚 Seattle Public Schools is committed to advancing an equitable and anti-racist learning environment. The district鈥檚 efforts are recognized with the 2022 CUBE award.

    Enhancing School Safety by Embracing Education as Reparations

    For students to reach their full potential, urban education leaders must examine the impact of school funding structures on repairing trauma and environmental harm, writes CUBE Steering Committee Chair Micah Ali.


    Communications: Are the Kids OK?

    Schools must double down on efforts to communicate about safety actions implemented to protect students and staff.

    Research: Quality Education with Limited Resources

    Lack of access to resources and profession颅al training continues to challenge teachers in rural schools.

    Online Only

    On 1619 and Other School Culture Wars: A case for pluralism, and accuracy


    Stakeholder-Driven Strategic Planning to Build Community Consensus and Trust


  • October


    Intro: Where the magic happens
    Publisher Renée Joe previews this issue of ASBJ and its focus on education innovation.

    Leadership Matters: The flavors in the middle
    School boards, like ice cream vendors, understand that most customers have a taste for more than just binary choices of only this or only that, says 探花精选 Executive Director and CEO John Heim. He contends that many public school constituents find having a range of options quite appealing. 

    President's Perspective: Innovative school leaders
    Supporting a climate of innovation and creativity is vital to the health of public education, writes 探花精选’s 2022-2023 President Frank Henderson Jr.


    The Great Reset: Districts are using pandemic lessons to redesign and reinvent how schools operate
    School systems that look as they did 20 years ago fail to prepare students for the talent pipeline this economy needs.

    No More Status Quo: We need creative solutions to attract and retain teachers
    As the private sector increases employee flexibility and benefits, districts must work to keep up.

    Vying for Attention: Student cellphone use soared during the pandemic
    Clear expectations for smartphone access and use in school minimiz颅es distractions and fosters good digital citizenship.

    Elements of Success: Curriculum-focused professional learning strategies for school transformation
    “The Elements” offer a framework that reinforces the power of high-quality curriculum and skillful teaching.

    Place, Pace, and Voice: Innovative scheduling provides opportunities for Wyoming high school students
    A Magna Award-winning program allows teachers time for specialized, small group, and individual student support.

    Book Review: Failure to Disrupt: Why Technology Alone Can’t Transform Education
    Given the adjustments made to accommodate distance learning during the COVID-19 era, this book is especially critical and timely.

    Q&A: Jean Mendoza and Debbie Reese

    An encore interview with the authors of An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States for Young People, an adaptation of Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s award-winning history book. 

    Urban Advocate

    Rethink PE: Inequities in physical education hurt Black students
    Researchers advocate for physical education programs that are more “inclusive, supportive, and empathetic.”

    Ripe for Innovation: Education as Reparations
    We in education must shift our mindset to correcting a system that has failed Black children and parents, writes CUBE Steering Committee Chair Micah Ali.


    Communications: Mending Disconnects
    Lack of trust breeds disrespect, and these attitudes must be corrected for schools and communities to thrive.

    Research: Teacher Shortage
    The National Labor Management Partner颅ship (NLMP) guidebook highlights models that improve educational outcomes by increasing shared decision-making among all stakeholders.

    Equity: More Hope Than Fear
    Research shows that students with disabilities have more assets than defi颅cits, more potential than challenges.

    School Law: The Value of Legal Compliance
    As school leaders consider how to use the law to support their educational mission, they should keep in mind the discretion they have within the law.

  • August


    From the Editor: Save money, save the planet
    Editor Kathleen Vail previews this issue of the ASBJ, highlighting a focus on sustainability.

    Leadership Matters: Environment is essential to the learning process
    探花精选 Executive Director and CEO John Heim reflects on the inequities that form as school buildings age. 

    President鈥檚 Perspective: Partners in education
    探花精选鈥檚 2022-2023 President Frank Henderson Jr. speaks to the necessity for transparency and bidirectional engagement between school boards, district parents, and the community.


    Playground Power: Initiative brings green spaces to urban schoolyards
    Investing in schoolyards may improve academic outcomes like test scores while decreasing poor behavior, all while providing more recreation outlets for underserved students.

    Let the Sun Shine In: Solar power saves money on soaring fuel costs
    Solar panels are replacing insufficient, antiquated energy systems and offering Wi-Fi solutions for communities.

    10 Tips for Eco-Friendly Facilities: Update your plans with new practices and technologies
    Sustainable buildings do more than work to combat climate change. They also can improve the health and well-being of the community and save money. 

    Shrinking Your Carbon Footprint: Local solutions can mitigate climate change
    Large infrastructure changes can be costly and daunting, but luckily there are ways to reduce your footprint incrementally.  

    The Case of the Profane Cheerleader: The lessons of Mahanoy and student speech
    Steps districts take now can help them adequately respond to future instances of disruptive off-campus online speech.

    Why I Serve: School board members tell their stories
    The desire to serve students and their communities stands out as the common goal.

    An unyielding commitment to excellent and equitable education for every public school student, prioritizing local control, remaining nonpartisan, and recognizing the importance of parental and community involvement underscore 探花精选鈥檚 2021 State of the Association.

    Newsmaker: Supporting mental health and students with disabilities
    Students with disabilities and those with mental health challenges need extra support as communities recover from the pandemic.

    Book Review: Districts That Succeed
    A review of Karin Chenoweth鈥檚 book, Districts That Succeed, examines its message to divorce income and race as sole determinants of academic success.

    Q&A: School facilities advocate
    Outdated or otherwise inadequate school buildings foster poor learning outcomes. Learn how the National Council on School Facilities is working to improve conditions for the education taking place within those buildings.

    Urban Advocate

    Beacons of Urban Excellence: Successful school characteristics help every student succeed
    Some schools are serving as beacons for others grappling with the challenges of urban education. Takeaways from their success show an emphasis on leadership, culture, curriculum, and instruction.

    Leveraging Innovations to Reimagine Education
    Taking advantage of unique鈥攜et challenging鈥攐pportunities is essential to achieving the goal of educational equity, urges Micah Ali, chair of the CUBE Steering Committee and president of California鈥檚 Compton Unified School District.


    Communications: The Pulse of the Community
    Sound communication requires two-way input from parents and schools alike. One superintendent prioritized communication in his approach, adding staff and leveraging social media to both reach and solicit feedback from families. 

    Research: Prioritize Play
    The pandemic required that schools make creative interventions to meet students鈥 academic needs. Research shows that students also could holistically benefit from investment in their physical activity levels.

    Equity: Equity-Based Board Practices
    From data-based decision-making to aligning goals and budgets, these recommendations can help school boards make their communities more equitable. 

  • June


    ASBJ Editor-in-Chief Kathleen Vail provides an overview of this month's issue. 

    探花精选 Executive Director and CEO John Heim emphasizes 探花精选’s focus on the common challenges shared by all school boards.

    探花精选 2022-23 President Frank Henderson sees strength in unifying around issues that directly impact children’s education.


    In communities like Anadarko, Oklahoma, the lack of broadband infrastructure has only exacerbated long-standing issues faced by Native American students in rural communities.

    Oklahoma students open up about their mental-wellness challenges

    A roundup of federal broadband funding targeting the homework gap.

    Accurately determining connectivity needs, tracking progress, ensuring mobile connectivity options, and accessing funding sources are among high priorities cited by schools and districts working to close education's digital divide.

    A 2022 Magna Award Silver Prize winner excels with a program that puts special needs students center stage.

    As violence against Asian Americans grows, the need for schools to provide an accurate, representative, and inclusive account of the Asian American community becomes more important than ever.

    By learning to “identify, express, and harness our feelings, even the most challenging ones, we can use those emotions to help us create positive, satisfying lives,” says Marc Brackett's best-selling book, Permission to Feel.

    ABC’s “Shark Tank investor and 探花精选 Annual Conference keynote speaker Daymond John recalls the importance of a high school 'co-op'  program and teachers who showed patience and support.


    The heightened politicization of education has been unfortunate for everyone, says Marques Ivey, a County Court judge who previously served as a local school board member and as a National PTA leader. 

    Current high school curricula lag behind the technological advances of the newest industrial revolution and its need for workers prepared to work with higher levels of automation, intelligent systems, and big data.

    Equity reform requires innovation as well as a back-to-basics understanding of what humans need to become the best versions of themselves.

  • April


    From the Editor: When in April

    ASBJ Editor-in-Chief Kathleen Vail offers an overview of this month’s issue.

    Leadership Matters: Training for boards is critical
    探花精选 Executive Director and CEO John Heim discusses professional development for school boards as a vital resource for making school districts work for students.

    President’s Perspective: What we do in 2022 and beyond
    探花精选 2021-22 President Viola Garcia on moving forward and staying focused on what we can control.


    Book Review
    Breakthrough Leadership: Six Principles Guiding Schools Where INEQUITY Is Not an Option


    Child Tax Credit

    When school districts have alerted families to the expanded Child Tax Credit and how they can access free tax assis颅tance, many families have taken action to claim this critical support that can help provide stability to the students in your schools.


    2022 Magna Awards: Grand Prize Winners  

    School districts large and small are removing barriers to academic success. The 2022 Magna Awards recognize three Grand Prize winners for innovation and creativity in educational equity.

    2022 Magna Awards: Silver Award Winners

    School districts large and small are removing barriers to academic success. The 2022 Magna Awards recognize 15 Silver Award winners for innovation and creativity in achieving educational equity.

    Missing Students

    Before the pandemic, an estimated 1 in 6 U.S. students was chronically absent from school. COVID-19 caused absenteeism rates to soar, particularly in communities with high numbers of the most vulnerable students. Districts are digging in to reengage with these students.

    Staffing Shortage Woes

    As the nation grapples with the “Great Resignation,” school systems face their own battle to hire and retain staff at all positions who are feeling stressed, exhausted, disrespected, and underpaid.

    Five Lessons for Successful School Board Service

    School board service is complex and demanding. Still, it remains a won颅derful opportunity for individuals to provide their unique skills, talents, and experiences to the community.

    Rural Career-Tech Challenge

    Emphasizing real-life projects that benefit the community helps a career and technical education program in rural Virginia raise the bar for student engagement and learning.


    Healthy Connections

    In highly stressful times like these, burnout and work-life balance can challenge those charged with positively connecting school districts and their communities.

    Connect, Communicate, and Collaborate

    To build a strong partnership between schools and parents, the former needs a profound understanding of the wants, needs, and expectations of the latter.

    From Asphalt to Awesome

    Students from underserved neighborhoods have less access to green outdoor spaces and inviting schoolyards than their peers in affluent communities. This inequality impacts students’ physical and mental wellness and their academic success.

    Be Your Own Wellness Champion

    Members of the school law community need to take steps to prioritize their mental health and well-being so that they can continue to support and inspire their clients, colleagues, and loved ones.


    Johns Hopkins School of Education researcher Bob Balfanz says school leaders need to be “proactive, not reactive” to help high school students find success during the pandemic.

    Online Only

    Effect of Start Time Changes on Enrollment

    A School District Under Transformation

  • February


    ASBJ insights from Editor-in-Chief Kathleen Vail.

    探花精选 Executive Director and CEO John Heim discusses moving forward and better meeting the needs of federation members. 

    探花精选 2021-22 President Viola Garcia emphasizes the importance of effective, fair, sound governance.


    Giving students opportunities to share their perspectives and make their voices heard is essential as dis颅tricts continue to navigate a pandemic that has increasing颅ly put youth at risk鈥攅specially those in high-need communities.

    With the steady rise in the popularity of podcasts, more districts and schools are using the audio format to reach parents and other community mem颅bers, as well as guide students in creating their own programs.

    By ensuring the best balance of community voices, school boards can strengthen their ability to do the urgent work ahead.

    Robert Rader, executive director of the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education and a board governance veteran, shares tips on effective board leadership.

    Seeing the value in criticism is a necessary challenge for school leaders that helps in finding equitable resolutions.

    Shining a spotlight on some of the can鈥檛 miss events and offerings at the 探花精选 2022 Annual Conference.


    Boards advised to look for ways 鈥渢o hear from the majority of your constituents.鈥

    A sizeable number of states failed to provide guidelines on how to serve students with disabil颅ities for the 2021-22 school year.

    The ongoing pandemic offers an opportunity to take stock of your institution鈥檚 equity work.

    2021 National Teacher of the Year Q&A Juliana Urtubey advocates embracing the full diversity of your students and families.

    Urban Advocate

    Urban districts adopt tutoring, small group instruction, and other strategies to accelerate learning and tackle unfinished learning caused by the pandemic.

    Ali of Compton Unified School District, California, Holman of Omaha Public Schools, Nebraska, and Jones of Lancaster Independent School District, Texas, named to 2021-22 CUBE Steering Committee.


2021 Issues

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2019 Issues

Around 探花精选

Six students conduct a science experiment with potatoes and electrodes.

2024 Magna Awards: Silver Award Winners

The 2024 Magna Awards program recognizes 15 exemplary district programs in three enrollment categories as Silver Award winners.