School board members are responsible for the safety of their students and staff while in school. We hear from our state school boards association members that school safety and security is a top concern of their school board members. ASBJ’s December issue focuses on school safety from the view of school leaders.

Our cover story this month, “Moving Forward,” was written by our contributing editor Glenn Cook. Cook revisits the Santa Fe, Texas, school district that was the site of a mass school shooting in 2018 that left 10 dead and 13 injured. He wrote about the district’s journey to recovery in his December 2018 ASBJ article, “After It All Falls Apart.”

Cook set out to discover how the May school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, affected Santa Fe. The two rural districts are similar in size and separated by just 300 miles. In terms of mass casualty events on K-12 campuses, the shootings at Uvalde and Santa Fe rank as the second and fifth largest in U.S. history, respectively.

NSBA’s Council of School Attorneys and the Center for Safe Schools recently updated the publication “Fostering Safer Schools: A Legal Guide for School Board Members on School Safety.” It is an online resource that can help school boards and school leaders identify processes and questions to navigate the challenges surrounding these difficult conversations and policymaking. Francisco Negrón, NSBA’s chief legal officer, pulls out key points of the guide in “Planning for Tragedy.” The guide features a new section on lessons learned from Uvalde.

Virginia school board member Philip Reitinger writes a set of questions for school IT staff, superintendents, and school boards to consider when looking at school security cyberthreats in his article, “Protecting Your District Online.”

This is our final issue of 2022. It is special for another reason: It is our first digital-only issue. The same articles, columns, and other content, all delivered to your inbox. The first issue of 2023 —featuring the latest on school board governance—will be back in print.

Until next time. . .

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2020 State of the Association

Full of challenge and change, 2020 was like no other year. NSBA's State of the Association provides a snapshot of the association's advocacy and member services work as well as our ongoing transformation.