Board Education


A School's Capacity to Evolve and Grow Starts with its Leadership

The VAIS BoardWORKS program takes an innovative approach to building knowledge and trust between the Head of School and Board members. The components of this comprehensive leadership development program build on one another to create and sustain a high-functioning Board that is well equipped to collaborate effectively with the Head of School. Like gears working together to create forward momentum, the Board and Head of School will gain the skills through BoardWORKS to set and achieve strategic goals for the future. All programs include the use of the 20/20 Board Evaluation instrument.

I was just reviewing the results of our board survey and there was a lot of pride and gratitude for how well the meetings ran this year!  Thank you for your help in ensuring this reality.  There is still work to be done (always), but we've come a long long way.
A Head of School whose Board went through the "Working in Sync" BoardWORKS program

Possible topics covered:

  • Accreditation: background and the Board's role
  • Best Practices for the Head/Board Partnership
  • Board Composition (job descriptions, diversity on the Board, cultivating new members)
  • Policies (conflict of interest, confidentiality, whistle blower, etc.)
  • Board Committees: structure and composition, setting goals, reporting
  • Consent Agendas
  • Board member responsibilities
  • Evaluating boards, meetings, and the Head of School
  • Transitions in leadership

Please contact Betsy Johnson, VAIS Executive Director, to discuss your school's program needs. 


Description: Understanding the fundamentals of the Board/Head partnership
Duration: One-hour
Location: On-site or online
Fee: $350 for VAIS members + travel expenses; $700 for non-members + travel expenses

Description: Coordination & strategic direction to help individual board members work together for the Board's success

Duration: Two hours
Location: On-site
Fee: $850 for VAIS members + travel expenses; $1700 for non-members + travel expenses

Description: Aligning mission and strategic planning with the the Board's and Committee's goals
Duration: Three hours
Location: On-site
Fee: $1500 for VAIS members + travel expenses; $3000 for non-members + travel expenses   


Description: A school’s long-term success will be driven by a dynamic strategic plan and the strong partnership between a visionary Board of Directors and the Head of School. The planning process itself lends great insight and value into the strength of the partnership and clarity of mission. The program guides the Board through the process of collecting and analyzing data and formulating its strategic and financial plans. 
Duration: Seven hours, including a three-hour interactive, customized session delivered on-site by a trained facilitator; up to two hours of phone/video consultation for the Strategic Planning Committee; and
a two-hour, on-site facilitated follow-up session. 
Location: On-site and online
Fee: $4500 + travel expenses, for VAIS members only.   


An effective and regular evaluation process is critical for measuring a board’s functioning and alignment with best practices in independent school governance. The 20/20 Board Evaluation Survey is a simple online tool that yields surprisingly powerful results that will identify opportunities for improvement.

  • Additional questions specific to the school can be added. The first four questions can be added at no additional cost. 
  • Raw data will be shared with the school. 
  • The Executive Director is available to review with the Board as a whole or the Board's Executive or Governance Committee for an additional fee.

Fees: (For VAIS members only.)
$75: First time administering or raw data only. (Included with BoardWORKS programs, as noted.)
$150: Raw Data and Summary and Trend Report (if the survey is administered for two years or more)

For more information, please contact Laura Godwin, Director of Member Services.

Trustee time and talent are precious commodities to be cultivated with efficient and effective education. TrusteeLAB is designed to guide Boards and their Heads of School to achieve greater insight, alignment, and productivity. Featuring well-respected experts in independent school governance and leadership, the pre-recorded webinars can be used to educate Board members on current, relevant topics and to stimulate forward-thinking goal-setting.  Each webinar includes a case study with guiding questions to move you from understanding to action.

TrusteeLAB Topics

  • Cultivating Board Members: Time, Talent, and Treasure
  • Moving Your Board from Operational to Generative Functioning
  • Strategic Planning: The Ultimate Test of the Head and Board Partnership
  • Transitions in Leadership-Heads of School

Fee: Complimentary for VAIS members, $600 for non-members

For more information, please contact Laura Godwin, Director of Member Services.