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Suggested resources




There are many resources available to help you prepare for school board service. Below are a few suggestions. In addition, we encourage you to learn more about the New York State School Boards Association.

School board-specific publications

NYSSBA offers a variety of publications that provide valuable information to assist in your role as a school board member. Some are free for NYSSBA members; others are available for purchase.

  • Running for the School Board
    A downloadable PDF brochure produced by the New York State School Boards Association that provides an overview of the process of running for school board.

  • Frequently Asked Questions
    A compilation of frequenly asked questions for individuals interested in serving on their local board of education.

  • New School Board Member Handbook -- A Guide to Surviving Your First Year
    Offers new school board members the basics of school board service in an easy-to-follow Q & A format.

  • Becoming a Better Board Member, 3rd edition
    The National School Boards Association’s best-selling guide to school board service has been expanded and revised to incorporate the Key Work of School Boards concepts and to reflect new governance realities.

  • Robert’s Rules in Plain English
    A guide to parliamentary procedure to facilitate and organize your meetings.

  • The Key Work of School Boards: A Guidebook
    Newly revised, this National School Boards Association publication identifies the core skills effective school boards need to ensure their students succeed.

  • Email Usage Handbook
    Provides answers to recurring questions and some practical considerations regarding the use of email by school board members and other school officials.

  • Essential Evaluation Guide for Boards and Superintendents
    Provides board self-evaluation and superintendent evaluation tools to assess the effectiveness of the board and superintendent for optimal practices to help drive school improvement and student achievement.

  • Telling Your Story: A Communications Guide for School Boards
    Telling Your Story is a 28-page communications guide for school board members. In seven easy-to-read chapters, complete with discussion points, the book focuses on how school boards can better communicate and engage with various constituencies, set the record straight about their work, build a network of supporters, work with the district's communications department, and develop an elevator speech. The book was written by Nora Carr, communications columnist for American School Board Journal, and Glenn Cook, ASBJ's former publisher and executive editor.

Professional/Personal development books

The following professional and personal development books will help you to develop as a leader, manager, team member, public speaker, and thinker:

  • The Perfect Board, Calvin K. Clemons

  • Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni

  • The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, Stephen R. Covey

  • The Ideal Team Player, Patrick Lencioni

  • The Six Thinking Hats, Edward DeBono

  • Death By Meeting, Patrick Lencioni

  • Start With Why, Simon Sinek

  • Talk Like TED, Carmine Gallo

  • Leaders Eat Last, Simon Sinek

  • Go Put Your Strengths to Work, Marcus Buckingham

  • Blink, Malcom Gladwell

  • Good to Great, Jim Collins

  • Mastering The Rockefeller Habits, Verne Harnish

Suggested resources




Below are some resources available to help you prepare for school board service.

In addition, we encourage you to learn more about the New York State School Boards Association.

Some of the resources below are free for NYSSBA members; others are available for purchase.