Smiling girl on the cover of April's ASBJ


From the Editor: When in April

ASBJ Editor-in-Chief Kathleen Vail offers an overview of this month’s issue.

Leadership Matters: Training for boards is critical
NSBA Executive Director and CEO John Heim discusses professional development for school boards as a vital resource for making school districts work for students.

President’s Perspective: What we do in 2022 and beyond
NSBA 2021-22 President Viola Garcia on moving forward and staying focused on what we can control.



Book Review
Breakthrough Leadership: Six Principles Guiding Schools Where INEQUITY Is Not an Option



Child Tax Credit

When school districts have alerted families to the expanded Child Tax Credit and how they can access free tax assis­tance, many families have taken action to claim this critical support that can help provide stability to the students in your schools.


2022 Magna Awards: Grand Prize Winners  

School districts large and small are removing barriers to academic success. The 2022 Magna Awards recognize three Grand Prize winners for innovation and creativity in educational equity.

2022 Magna Awards: Silver Award Winners

School districts large and small are removing barriers to academic success. The 2022 Magna Awards recognize 15 Silver Award winners for innovation and creativity in achieving educational equity.

Missing Students

Before the pandemic, an estimated 1 in 6 U.S. students was chronically absent from school. COVID-19 caused absenteeism rates to soar, particularly in communities with high numbers of the most vulnerable students. Districts are digging in to reengage with these students.

Staffing Shortage Woes

As the nation grapples with the “Great Resignation,” school systems face their own battle to hire and retain staff at all positions who are feeling stressed, exhausted, disrespected, and underpaid.

Five Lessons for Successful School Board Service

School board service is complex and demanding. Still, it remains a won­derful opportunity for individuals to provide their unique skills, talents, and experiences to the community.

Rural Career-Tech Challenge

Emphasizing real-life projects that benefit the community helps a career and technical education program in rural Virginia raise the bar for student engagement and learning.



Healthy Connections

In highly stressful times like these, burnout and work-life balance can challenge those charged with positively connecting school districts and their communities.

Connect, Communicate, and Collaborate

To build a strong partnership between schools and parents, the former needs a profound understanding of the wants, needs, and expectations of the latter.

From Asphalt to Awesome

Students from underserved neighborhoods have less access to green outdoor spaces and inviting schoolyards than their peers in affluent communities. This inequality impacts students’ physical and mental wellness and their academic success.

Be Your Own Wellness Champion

Members of the school law community need to take steps to prioritize their mental health and well-being so that they can continue to support and inspire their clients, colleagues, and loved ones.


Johns Hopkins School of Education researcher Bob Balfanz says school leaders need to be “proactive, not reactive” to help high school students find success during the pandemic.


Online Only

Effect of Start Time Changes on Enrollment

A School District Under Transformation