Getting the Most Out of the Individual Trustee Appraisal

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Getting the Most Out of the Individual Trustee Appraisal

What’s Inside

Quick Context Setting.................................................................................... 3

BoardOnTrack Assessments Full Board Assessment vs. Personal Appraisal............. 3

Action Steps to Get the Data........................................................................... 4

Action Steps to Use the Data........................................................................... 5

Additional Tips............................................................................................... 6

Additional Resources....................................................................................... 8

Sample Individual Trustee Performance Expectations............................................. 8

Sample Board Member Agreement....................................................................... 9

Quick Context Setting

BoardOnTrack Assessments
Full Board Assessment vs. Personal Appraisal

Most boards think they are pretty good, but they have no idea compared to what. The BoardOnTrack Membership is grounded in a Capability Maturity Model that defines excellence in charter school governance and articulates a path for reaching it. The BoardOnTrack Assessments clarify, in a data-driven way, your board’s strengths and areas to improve and provide a numerical ranking on the Capability Maturity Model. It is recommended best practice for your board to get an annual, 3rd party assessment of your strengths and areas to improve, and the BoardOnTrack Assessments are designed to do just that.

The first 10 assessments measure how effective you are as a team. Specifically they measure how effective you are in these key areas:

  1. Board Meetings
  2. Board Structure
  3. Board Composition
  4. Board Recruitment
  5. Board Goals & Accountability
  6. Finance
  7. Development
  8. Academic Oversight
  9. CEO Support & Evaluation
  10. BoardSavvy CEO

And then, tucked away at the bottom of the assessments you will notice one stand-alone assessment. This is the Personal Appraisal. Instead of measuring how you are doing as a team, this assessment is designed for individual trustees to reflect on their own personal performance.

Action Steps to Get the Data

Generating the Data

We recommend that the full board take all eleven assessments (ten that rate the full board and one personal appraisal) annually.

The ideal time to do this is in the spring so that the full board data can be used to inform goal setting for the next school year, and the individual appraisal can be used as an important data point for succession planning, trustee nominations, committee chair appointments, and other strategic decisions that are made annually about your governance team.

Key Components of the Report

The individual trustee appraisal is designed to highlight the essential things successful trustees do and how individual contributors to advance the work of the full board.

The highest performing or Level 5 on the Capability Maturity Model trustee answers “yes” to the following:

Invidual_level_5.png

Note: this assessment mirrors our recommended Individual Trustee Performance Expectations that can be found in the appendix of this guide.

Action Steps to Use the Data

The BoardOnTrack mantra is Knowledge + Action = Results. So, generating the data is great, but is only as good as the actions you take with that data. Our recommended action steps include the following:

  1. Request All Trustees to Take the Assessment
    We recommend that all trustees be required to take this assessment each year. Even if someone is fairly new to the board, they should take this assessment as a baseline so that they can see how their performance compares to their peers, and to make sure they fully understand what is expected of them.
  2. Personal Reflection On Data
    Once the assessment is complete, individual trustees should be requested to reflect on their results. Questions they will want to consider:
  • Overall what is your rating? Has it gone up or down since last year?
  • What would you like your rating to be for next year, and what will you do to improve it?
  • Check the toggle options of Board, Individuals and Me at the top of the assessment and ask yourself, how does your rating compare to the rest of the board? Are you above or below the board average?
  • Jot down concrete examples to support your answers to these questions. Be prepared to share those, and any concerns or aspirations with the Board Chair and Chair of the Governance Committee when you meet them for your annual one-on-one check-in.
  • Look at the engagement section of your Governance Scorecard. How does your engagement score compare to the rest of the board? Are you satisfied with your participation or are there areas where you would like to improve?
  1. Governance Committee Reviews Data
    The governance committee should also review the assessment results.

    Getting the Most Out of the Individual Trustee Appraisal

    Note: Only people designated with the permission Board Assessment Coordinator or Board Administrator, and the individual themselves can see how all of the trustees individually answered this assessment.

    We recommend reviewing the data in the following way:
  • First, create a blank worksheet of the questions. Think about each trustee and try to complete the worksheet with how you would rate their performance on each of these items.
  • Next, log in to BoardOnTrack and see how they rated themselves.
  • Ask yourself if you think they were accurate in their rating. Do they need a pat on the back, or have they inflated their responses?
  • Jot down concrete examples to support your answers to these questions.
  • Compare your assessment with the others on your committee.
  1. Solicit Board Chair & CEO Input
    Typically, the Board Chair and CEO are actively engaged in the work of the governance committee. If this is the case with your board, their input will have been part of the step above. If not, we recommend that they are asked to complete step #3 as well and share their input with the governance committee.
  2. Schedule One-on-One Meetings with Each Trustee
    The Board Chair and Chair of the Governance Committee should meet in person with each trustee to review their results and either pat them on the back or work on an improvement plan for the year ahead. Don’t be shy about having difficult conversations where needed.

                                         Additional Tips 

 


 

Additional Resources

Sample Individual Trustee Performance Expectations

General Responsibilities:

Each trustee is responsible for actively participating in the work of the THB Charter School (THB) Board of Trustees and the life of the organization. Each trustee is expected to affirm and strive to fulfill the performance expectations outlined below. These expectations are to be clearly articulated prior to nominating any candidate as a board member. The THB Board will nominate the candidate only after s/he has agreed to fulfill these expectations. In addition to the responsibilities below, individual trustees are expected to help each other fulfill the tasks outlined in the collective Job Description of the Board of Trustees.

Specific Responsibilities:

  1. Believe in and be an active advocate and ambassador for the values, mission, and vision of THB.
  2. Work with fellow board members to fulfill the obligations of board membership.
  3. Behave in ways that clearly contribute to the effective operations of the Board of Trustees:
  • Focus on the good of the organization and the group, not on a personal agenda
  • Support board decisions once they are made
  • Participate in an honest appraisal of one's own performance and that of the board
  • Build awareness of and vigilance towards governance matters rather than management.
  1. Regularly attend board and committee meetings in accordance with the attendance policy. Prepare for these meetings by reviewing materials and bringing the materials to meetings. If unable to attend, notify the board or committee chair.
  2. Be prepared to contribute approximately 8-10 hours per month toward board service which includes:
  • Attending a month board meeting (2 hours)
  • Participating on a board committee (2 hours)
  • Reading materials, preparing for meetings (1 hour)
  • Attending events at the school, assisting with fundraising and other ambassador tasks as needed (1-2 hours)
  1. Keep informed about the organization and its issues by reviewing materials, participating in discussions, and asking strategic questions.
  2. Actively participate in one or more fundraising event(s) annually.
  3. Use personal and professional contacts and expertise for the benefit of THB.
  4. Serve as a committee or task force chair or member.
  5. Give an annual financial contribution and support capital campaigns at a level that is personally meaningful.
  6. Inform the Board of Trustees of THB of any potential conflicts of interest, whether real or perceived, and abide by the decision of the board related to the situation. 

Sample Board Member Agreement[1]

THB Charter School Board of Trustees 

I,                                                           understand that as a member of the Board of Trustees of the THB Charter School I have a legal and moral responsibility to ensure that the organization does the best work possible in pursuit of its goals. I believe in the purpose and the mission of the organization, and I will act responsibly and prudently as its steward.  

I have read, understand and am willing to comply with the Board of Trustees Job Description and the Individual Performance Expectations that outline my responsibilities to the Board. 

If I ever find myself in a situation where I am unable to fulfill these expectations I will resign from
the Board. 

In turn, the organization will be responsible to me in several ways:

  1. I will be sent, without request, monthly financial statements and an update of organizational activities that allow me to meet the "prudent person" section of the law.
  2. The organization will help me perform my duties by keeping me informed about issues in the industry and field in which we are working, and by offering me opportunities for professional development as a board member.
  3. Board members and the CEO will respond in a straightforward fashion to questions I have that are necessary to carry out my board and committee-related responsibilities to this organization.
  4. Board members and the CEO will work in good faith with me towards achievement of our goals.
  5. If the organization does not fulfill its commitments to me, I can call on the Board Chair and CEO to discuss these responsibilities.  

                                                                                                           

Member, Board of Directors                           Date 

                                                                                                           

Chair, Board of Directors                                Date

                                                                                                           

CEO                                                                Date

 

 

 

[1] Adapted from Board Cafe, Vol. 5, No. 3, March 28, 2001