August 2022 ASBJ Cover


From the Editor: Save money, save the planet
Editor Kathleen Vail previews this issue of the ASBJ, highlighting a focus on sustainability.

Leadership Matters: Environment is essential to the learning process
NSBA Executive Director and CEO John Heim reflects on the inequities that form as school buildings age. 

President’s Perspective: Partners in education
NSBA’s 2022-2023 President Frank Henderson Jr. speaks to the necessity for transparency and bidirectional engagement between school boards, district parents, and the community.


Playground Power: Initiative brings green spaces to urban schoolyards
Investing in schoolyards may improve academic outcomes like test scores while decreasing poor behavior, all while providing more recreation outlets for underserved students.

Let the Sun Shine In: Solar power saves money on soaring fuel costs
Solar panels are replacing insufficient, antiquated energy systems and offering Wi-Fi solutions for communities.

10 Tips for Eco-Friendly Facilities: Update your plans with new practices and technologies
Sustainable buildings do more than work to combat climate change. They also can improve the health and well-being of the community and save money. 

Shrinking Your Carbon Footprint: Local solutions can mitigate climate change
Large infrastructure changes can be costly and daunting, but luckily there are ways to reduce your footprint incrementally.  

The Case of the Profane Cheerleader: The lessons of Mahanoy and student speech
Steps districts take now can help them adequately respond to future instances of disruptive off-campus online speech.

Why I Serve: School board members tell their stories
The desire to serve students and their communities stands out as the common goal.

NSBA’s 2021 Year in Review
An unyielding commitment to excellent and equitable education for every public school student, prioritizing local control, remaining nonpartisan, and recognizing the importance of parental and community involvement underscore NSBA’s 2021 State of the Association.

Newsmaker: Supporting mental health and students with disabilities
Students with disabilities and those with mental health challenges need extra support as communities recover from the pandemic.

Book Review: Districts That Succeed
A review of Karin Chenoweth’s book, Districts That Succeed, examines its message to divorce income and race as sole determinants of academic success.

Q&A: School facilities advocate
Outdated or otherwise inadequate school buildings foster poor learning outcomes. Learn how the National Council on School Facilities is working to improve conditions for the education taking place within those buildings.

Urban Advocate

Beacons of Urban Excellence: Successful school characteristics help every student succeed
Some schools are serving as beacons for others grappling with the challenges of urban education. Takeaways from their success show an emphasis on leadership, culture, curriculum, and instruction.

Leveraging Innovations to Reimagine Education
Taking advantage of unique—yet challenging—opportunities is essential to achieving the goal of educational equity, urges Micah Ali, chair of the CUBE Steering Committee and president of California’s Compton Unified School District.


Communications: The Pulse of the Community
Sound communication requires two-way input from parents and schools alike. One superintendent prioritized communication in his approach, adding staff and leveraging social media to both reach and solicit feedback from families. 

Research: Prioritize Play
The pandemic required that schools make creative interventions to meet students’ academic needs. Research shows that students also could holistically benefit from investment in their physical activity levels.

Equity: Equity-Based Board Practices
From data-based decision-making to aligning goals and budgets, these recommendations can help school boards make their communities more equitable. 

Online Only

Best Practices in COVID and Post-COVID Education

How to Keep Your Superintendent