The Idaho School Boards Association advocates for Idaho students and public education with leadership and service for local school boards.

Championing Education Since 1942

Our Standards

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ISBA School Board Standards

  1. Governance Priorities
  2. Governance Protocols
  3. Governance Processes

Ongoing research confirms school boards play a vital role in a school systems success in improving student outcomes. The Idaho School Boards Association is committed to supporting improved school governance by empowering local school boards for student success. While there are many important aspects of school board service, the ISBA School Board Standards underscore the essential components for improving governance of school districts and charters. By giving special attention to these foundational elements, a school board can effectively lead and govern in a way that promotes continuous improvement in student outcomes.

History of Board Standards

Since 2012, the ISBA has developed comprehensive sets of school board standards with benchmarks and indicators for success. They were derived from school board standards in other states and nationally developed recommendations for school board effectiveness. In 2023, the ISBA Executive Board adopted a more focused set of standards based on available research and promising practices across the state and nation. The primary focus of these standards is to provide a solid basis for effective governance. As such, they establish a concrete starting place and are intended to represent a floor more than a ceiling of excellence in school governance. They are written to be inclusive of our state’s numerous charter schools as well as our long-established school districts. 

Why Are the Standards Important?

The school board standards illustrate the essentials of good governance. In this way, they are similar to the three R’s in education. While other activities by the board may be cherished at the local level, these standards of board Priorities, Protocols, and Processes are foundational for the success of a school system. They serve as a foundation for the board to ensure it maintains high levels of performance and accountability. With an emphasis on focus, transparency, community, and respect, the standards provide a foundation of values that effective boards want to model for their school systems, including students, staff, and families. 

What Do the ISBA Standards Mean to My Board?

The standards illustrate the essential roles the School Board and provide guidance for the development and improvement of a governance team. They encourage the board to monitor progress of student learning and district goals–providing effective oversight of the schools. A cornerstone of the standards is continuous improvement. They encourage a school board to model the learning and reflective practice they want to see throughout their school system. The standards encourage an ongoing effort to become more effective and efficient leaders as a collective body. They provide a basis for annual board self-assessment of the board’s ability to govern effectively.

DISCLAIMER: These materials are intended solely for ISBA member use and are not intended for nor authorized for any other purpose or use.  Such materials shall not be used by any agent or employee of the District/Charter for any other purpose, personal, private or proprietary.