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Is your Wisconsin school board using our Annual Board Development Tool? (pssst, it's free!)

While much of our work is spent developing tools for school districts to assess the community, their staff, students and parents, one tool that is in use across the state of Wisconsin is our Annual Board Development Tool.

There’s some even better news about this particular product: We collaborated with the Wisconsin Association of School Boards to offer it free of charge to our state’s school boards.

The Annual Board Development Tool is a great place to start in planning your board's overall vision.

The tool is based on the National School Board Association’s Key Works framework, and it’s designed to help school boards identify their areas of strength and alignment, as well as where further dialogue and discussion is needed.

The tool, which is available annually, is a way to assess the views of each school board member. Based on our experience, the results themselves are quite variable from district to district. But what we have found out that this is a great tool for new board members individually as well as boards that have a number of newly elected members at one time.

The question series is organized around the following areas:

· Board operations

· Data-driven decision making

· Budgeting

· Planning

· District operations

· Policy

· Community engagement

· Vision

· Culture

Access to the tool is provided through a packet distributed by the WASB each fall at its regional meetings, and all participants anonymously take the survey online. School boards that take the survey annually are able to see emerging trends in their collective leadership, areas of strength and areas where additional attention may be needed.

“We are finding that a growing number of school boards across the state are taking advantage of this tool each year,” says Bill Foster, founder and owner of School Perceptions. “It’s helpful to really assess how comfortable each school board member is with all the different areas.”

Once all members complete the survey, the data is then available online or an additional report can be purchased that includes an itemized state comparison, longitudinal comparison and an itemized index to the Key Work of School Boards. Those districts that purchase a report are able to review it with a consultant from WASB and come up with an action plan to drive planning.

Want to know more about this tool and others in use by school districts across the state? Give us a call at 262.644.4300 or email us at


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