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What We Teach

AASB knows there are many reasons school board members should take advantage of training. Providing school board leaders with quality training is a key tenet of the Alabama Association of School Boards' mission statement. In 1986, the association founded what has become an award-winning "school for school board members" that offers coursework throughout the year in face-to-face sessions and 24 hours a day through School Board U leadership development portal.

AASB's training year begins July 1 and ends June 30 (view upcoming events). All year long, expert trainers – at the request of school boards looking for customized sessions – take training on the road. The training can be for an individual school board, clusters of school boards or for large audiences at conferences and an annual convention. AASB also hosts workshops in regions of the state and offers training during meetings in each of its nine districts. The goal is to provide high-level, research-based training in an economical and convenient way.  


The AASB School Board Member Academy awards credit hours to board members who attend training events. Board members, upon entry into AASB's eMEMBERSHIP database, are automatically enrolled in the academy. The academy teaches eight core courses.

Academy Core Courses

  • Roles and Responsibilities Orientation
    Note: The state requires public officials to take ethics at least once. AASB's session on ethics, which is part of the Roles and Responsibilities Orientation, meets this requirement.
  • Effective Boards and Relationships Orientation
  • Leadership for Policy and Planning
  • Leadership for Financial Accountability
  • Leadership for Creating Positive Climate and Culture
  • Leadership for Academic Achievement
  • Leadership for Developing Highly Effective Staff
  • Leadership for Community Engagement

Interactive, Whole Board Training

Become an even more effective board with AASB's interactive, whole board training program. Research is clear that the most effective training occurs when all members of a school board learn and interact as a team. AASB's standard and customized training sessions allow the whole board to come together and focus on a particular area of need. In these sessions, members can discuss their system's specific situation, ask questions and develop plans for improving performance. Some sessions are free with AASB membership. Reasonable fees are charged for the others. There may be a fee for mileage. Discounts are available when boards contract for multiple sessions. At least two of the six state-required school board member continuing education hours must be earned as a whole board. Download the brochure, request whole board training, or call Leadership Development at 334-277-9700 to learn more.

Training Topics and Types

  • Basic Conflict Resolution
  • Better Boardmanship
  • Bids, Buildings & Blueprints
  • Boardmanship 101
  • Boardmanship 201
  • Board's Role in Budgeting
  • Board's Role in Personnel Hearings
  • Board Self-evaluation
  • Board Self-evaluation + Goal Setting
  • Board-Superintendent Relations
  • Charter School Law
  • Communicate in Style
  • Community Engagement
  • Communicating in a Crisis
  • Custom Conflict Resolution
  • Data 101: Understanding Data
  • Data 201: Using Data to Drive Decisions
  • Data 301: Exploring Your ACT Gaps
  • Effective Board Meetings
  • Ethics & Nepotism
  • Facilitated Goal Setting
  • Fair Labor Standards Act
  • Financial Questions Boards Should Be Asking
  • Introduction to School Finance
  • Legal Considerations in Personnel
  • Media & Public Relations
  • Monitor Your Financial Health
  • Open Meetings & Public Records
  • Improving Schools: Focusing on What Matters Most
  • Parliamentary Procedure
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Social Media Pitfalls, Potholes & Pointers
  • Special Education
  • Strategic Planning
  • Students First Act & Teacher Accountability Act
  • Students' Rights
  • Superintendent & CSFO Evaluation
  • Superintendent Search
  • Title IX
  • Working with Your Board Attorney 
Other training options include:

Face-to-Face Training

Each year, in addition to the core academy courses taught, AASB hosts statewide events that keep members up-to-date on timely public education topics. Learning alongside colleagues from across the state has distinct advantages. There are opportunities to network, share ideas, ask questions, mentor and be mentored and build lasting connections with school board members from urban, rural, large and small school systems. Attendees have the pleasure of meeting and interacting with nationally renowned speakers.

AASB staff members are also on hand to directly answer questions or offer guidance.

Workshops are often offered prior to or shortly after AASB's spring and fall conferences, and each training year AASB hosts a “hot topic” regional workshop in the northern and southern ends of the state. These workshops go deep on key education topics and are designed for school board members who want to go beyond the basics. Members can also participate in webinars – seminars presented online and via telephone.

There is training specifically designed for whole school boards. And neighboring school boards, or other small groups, are encouraged to invite AASB to present workshops for them. Credit hours are granted for most of these events. | Learn More

Statewide Training

Small Group Training

Online Courses & Other Resources

  • School Board U - This self-paced, online leadership development portal gives school board members access to board training materials and resources to improve school board effectiveness. 

  • Webinars - AASB Power Lunch Webinars are a conference call you can make from your desk coupled with an online presentation you can view from your computer. No travel involved!  
  • Resource Library - This free Public Resource Library includes AASB's Boardmanship Basics booklets, AASB's bylaws and resolutions, research, presentations, and more. To serve members' need for information, AASB also produces news and information and publishes free publications. (Many library resources require a pdf reader.)

For training forms, go here.

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