State Grants Available For School Board Leadership Training

Special to the Devils Lake Journal
North Dakota Department of Public Instruction

State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler is inviting North Dakota school boards to take part in leadership training that is designed to help them improve the academic outcomes of their students.

The Department of Public Instruction is offering competitive grants that would pay half the cost of the Be Legendary School Board Leadership Institute training, Baesler said. The sessions last two days and are conducted within the school district.

The institute helps school board members set student outcome goals, establish a process to monitor and measure progress toward those goals, and develop teamwork and advocacy skills that result in better student academic outcomes.

Board members will be asked to select goals that align to North Dakota’s PK-12 Education Strategic Vision Framework goals that include:

Raise the percentage of North Dakota high schools whose students are graduating “Choice Ready,”;

Double the percentage of third-grade students who are proficient readers by the 2025-26 school year;

Reduce the achievement gaps for low-income students, Native American students and students with disabilities by 25 percent each year for the next five years; and

Raise the percentage of students who are engaged in their learning.

School boards that successfully complete the training will be recognized at the annual Governor’s Summit on Innovative Education. During the most recent summit in Dickinson last June, members of the Dickinson, Carrington, Rugby, and Nedrose boards were honored. Since then, the school boards in Ellendale and Sargent Central have completed the training, and Belcourt has begun it.

Leadership training for a single school board costs $4,350 when the 50 percent state grant contribution is included. For members of two boards, the expense per board drops to $3,125; for three, the cost declines to $2,583. Baesler said it is helpful for two or three boards to participate together, which allows members to compare perspectives.

The NDDPI has partnered with Elliott & McMahon LLC, an education consultancy, to offer the training. NDDPI has set aside $500,000 in federal COVID-19 recovery aid for the Be Legendary School Board Leadership Institute and ongoing school board coaching.

School boards may fill out grant applications on the NDDPI’s website. They are due by 9 p.m. Central time on Thursday, Sept. 15.