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School Board Members Network, Work on Advanced Certification at Annual Conference

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Those who attended last weekend’s Missouri School Boards’ Association (MSBA) annual conference will be bringing increased skills and knowledge home to their districts. Session topics ranged from playground safety to homeless students to negotiating superintendent contracts.

For each session, attendees had the opportunity to earn a credit toward advanced board member certification. According to Missouri statute, new school board members must complete 16 hours of orientation and training during their first year in office, which qualifies them to be Certified Board Members. Then if they wish, certified board members can attend additional training — such as that offered at the MSBA conference — to earn Advanced or Master Certification.

When earning their certification, members learn about a topics such as board operations, school law and finance, student achievement and working with the media.  Such training can be important for those elected to serve on local school boards, because most do not have a background in education administration. In the Kansas City metropolitan area, for example, there are school board members who are stay-at-home moms, attorneys, retirees, entrepreneurs and real estate agents. District residents elect these community members to serve without pay on boards overseeing the education of thousands of students and million-dollar budgets.

The MSBA conference took place Thursday, Sept. 29-Sunday, Oct. 2 at Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach, Mo.

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About jwmartinez

JoLynne is a journalist and educator. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Park University and is certified to teach high school journalism and English. Former employment includes work for Cable News Network and the University of Missouri-Kansas City in addition to freelancing for clients such as the Kansas City Star and The Pitch.

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