School Board Governance Game

 

A board game for a school board!

 

Used as a professional development and diagnostic tool for school board members, individual players move forward by producing an answer which matches the majority view of all the other players. A set of questions test player knowledge on governance practice, education learning priorities, typical board scenarios, legal responsibilities and strategic vision. The short game length is approximately 45 minutes in duration and concludes with a question, "What single issue is the most important for the Board to discuss going forward?"...effectively setting the tone for future professional development topics.

The game reveals the nature of Board dynamics, knowledge and goals. Is your governance team on the same board?  Are there topics which you've not discussed as a group, and should? What areas are you united in, and what areas do you lack knowledge.  Use the School Board Governance Game as a tool to setting you on the right path to effective performance and boardroom practice so that your school is well governed and join with staff to improve student achievement and well-being.​

 

It can be played with a facilitator or standalone. Players can decide to play as themselves or answer questions with a randomly generated board member persona.

The learning mechanisms

 

The question list is the key to promoting essential, difficult or infrequent discussion topics with a view to opening the door to future conversations.  The body part token pieces and wooden man can introduce professional development on personality profiling and team roles.  Management vs Governance cards open up awareness and discussion on the boundaries between the two. The number of playing spaces, arranged in lines of 12 spaces, open the topic of annual work schedules and strategic planning, while allowing for a shorter game or play to occur over several sessions.  The final question makes evident to all of a "to do” topic for exploration. The concluding Team Performance assessment brings an awareness of the lines of division, perceptions or unity which exist within the group. The mechanism of voting reinforces the school boards only mechanism for expressing its governance choices.

Origination

 

The game originates from the experiences of Philip Bradley over the past six years in New Zealand, as a Board member at Epsom Girls Grammar School and his weekly interactions with secondary school principals in Auckland through provision of graphic and community engagement services, in addition to his consistent, in-person interaction with US school boards, superintendents and principals in Texas, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. 

A    S C H O O L    B O A R D . . .

Many minds, one heart.  Many ears, one voice.