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Surviving year 1


The reality of school board service may differ from your expectations. But don't be overwhelmed! NYSSBA offers a handbook entitled "A Guide to Surviving Your First Year" for new school board members. We recommend that you develop an entry year plan, in conjunction with your superintendent and board president. Your entry plan should address the following items:

  • Learning the basics of school law and finance
  • Responding to parental complaints
  • Following protocol for visiting schools
  • Becoming involved with board committees
  • Becoming a board officer and spokesperson
  • Selecting a mentor
  • Avoiding conflicts of interest

Finally, you'll want to learn about important issues facing your school district. These include: the school budget process, property tax cap, state aid, school funding transparency, Every Student Succeeds Act, teacher and principal evaluations, and the recent U.S. Supreme Court Janus decision.


Surviving year 1




The reality of school board service may differ from your expectations. But don't be overwhelmed! NYSSBA offers a handbook for new school board members. We recommend that you develop an entry year plan that includes the following items:

  • Learning basic school law and finance
  • Responding to complaints


  • Following protocol for visiting schools


  • Serving on board committees


  • Becoming a board officer


  • Selecting a mentor


  • Avoiding conflicts of interest


Learning new skills

Serving on a school board can be an extremely rewarding experience. In the video below, see what two school board members learned during their time in office.

Learning new skills

Serving on a school board can be an extremely rewarding experience. In the video below, see what two school board members learned during their time in office.

Learning new skills

Serving on a school board can be an extremely rewarding experience. In the video below, see what two school board members learned during their time in office.