LSG Frequently Asked Questions

  1.  What is Lone Star Governance?
  2.  What is the time commitment for Lone Star Governance?
  3.  What is the purpose?
  4.  Who should attend a Lone Star Governance workshop?
  5.  Do all school board members and superintendent need to participate in the two-day sessions?
  6.  Can other members of our leadership team attend the two-day workshop?
  7.  When and where are the next Lone Star Governance workshops scheduled?
  8.  What happens after the workshop?
  9.  What is the post-workshop feedback from those who have participated?
  10.  Where can I learn more about Lone Star Governance?

 

Questions from Board Members

  1. Ample time to review topics being discussed and possible actions is critical to a board member as it allows for understanding of the subject material. What would be the appropriate length of time for review and process to submitting questions?
  2. Would you recommend having the student outcome goals printed and placed in our district headquarters to serve as a reminder during board meetings of what truly should remain the focus for our District?
  3. What is the recommended number and frequency of board meetings, work sessions, and special board meetings?
  4. Is there a good rule of thumb for what is policy and what should be admin procedures?
  5. Now that we've completed the Lone Star Governance two-day workshop, what should we be doing regarding board evaluation?
  6. In grading each category of the LSG Integrity Instrument during a board self-evaluation, are boards limited to using only the number grades assigned to each performance level? For example, in the "Structure" category, "Approaches Focus" earns a "4" and "Meets Focus" earns a "12". One board member asked if we have achieved all the criteria in Approaches Focus and have achieved most, but not quite all of Meets Focus, can we give ourselves a score of more than 4, but less than 12?
  7. A Board Member asked what exactly constitutes "broad community ownership of the board's vision, student outcome goals, GPMs, Constraints, and CPMs."?
  8. Our governance team just earned a Lone Star Governance certificate. How long is it good for?
  9. Our board has adopted policies that include district goals, strategic outcomes, district objectives, student outcome goals, and expectations in the superintendent's contract. Does that meet the LSG recommendation?
  10. "Accountability 2: Meets Focus" reads, ''The board evaluates the superintendent exclusively on the results and progress toward the student outcome goals and constraints using data reported as scheduled by the monitoring calendar. If the board's practice is to conduct an annual evaluation of the Superintendent and we have not yet done so, does that mean a board cannot satisfy this requirement until it has completed such an annual evaluation?
  11. "Vision 1: Masters Focus" reads, "All board members have committed the vision and student outcome goals to memory and know the current status of each goal." Does the part requiring all trustees to know "the current status of each student outcome goal” mean that a board cannot satisfy this requirement until at least one school year has been completed after adopting student outcome goals at which point the board will know if it has met its annual targets for each student outcome goal?
  12. Do the minutes spent in closed session need to be counted in our total minutes at a school board meeting on the Board's Time Use Tracker?

 

What is Lone Star Governance?
Lone Star Governance (LSG) is an optional, first-of-its-kind training initiative. Founded on research, LSG is a continuous-improvement model for governing teams—boards in collaboration with their superintendents—who choose to focus intensely on only one primary objective: improving student outcomes. Governance teams express this intense focus through a tailored execution of the five aspects of the Texas Framework for School Board Development: vision, accountability, structure, unity, and advocacy. In addition to driving a focus on improving student outcomes, the LSG philosophy and practices provide a system for managing the vital, though secondary, legal and fiscal responsibilities of the board. 

What is the time commitment for Lone Star Governance?
Lone Star Governance workshops are two-day sessions scheduled with a Lone Star Governance Coach. After the two-day workshop, LSG Coaches will provide on-going support using the LSG Integrity Instrument as a guide to meet the needs of your local school system. 

What is the purpose?
Participants in Lone Star Governance will work with an LSG Coach to develop the mindset, the knowledge and the skills on how to work collaboratively together as a board and with the superintendent to develop: a vision of improving student outcomes; student outcome goals; methods to communicate local values, and effective local accountability by monitoring the progress towards achieving the student outcome goals. 

Who should attend a Lone Star Governance workshop?
All school boards and superintendents statewide are welcomed to attend LSG workshops. Lone Star Governance workshops are specifically designed for school board members and superintendents.

Do all school board members and superintendent need to participate in the two-day sessions?
Board members and superintendents are welcome to attend any LSG Workshop, but in order to earn a Lone Star Governance Certificate, all members of the board and the superintendent must attend the entirety of the LSG Workshop.

Can other members of our leadership team attend the two-day workshop?
Yes. Other members of the leadership team, at the discretion of the superintendent, may attend the LSG Workshop. 

When and where are the next Lone Star Governance workshops scheduled?
Districts interested in attending an upcoming LSG Workshop can contact the appropriate LSG Coach leading the workshop for information. If your school board is seeking specific dates for a LSG Workshop you can contact any of our LSG Coaches or you can email the TEA Governance Division at lsg@tea.texas.gov.

What happens after the workshop?
The data is very clear, the implementation after the LSG Workshop is what creates the environment for local school system to improve student outcomes. Following the two-day workshop, school boards and superintendents will be encouraged to engage with an LSG Coach for on-going support in implementing the mindset, knowledge, and skills gleaned during the LSG Workshop, evaluating their progress along the way.   

What is the post-workshop feedback from those who have participated?
Testimonials from superintendents and school board members who have recently participated in Lone Star Governance workshops can be found on the Lone Star Governance Website.

Where can I learn more about Lone Star Governance?
All support materials used in Lone Star Governance are available on the Texas Education Agency website. Subscribe to the LSG monthly newsletter for up-to-date information in Lone Star Governance. 

 

Questions from Board Members

Ample time to review topics being discussed and possible actions is critical to a board member as it allows for understanding of the subject material. What would be the appropriate length of time for review and process to submitting questions?  
LSG recommends that the school board receives the final version of the materials for topics to be discussed and possible action at least seven calendar days in advance of the meeting at which the materials are scheduled to be considered. Ideally, school board members will submit any questions at least three calendar days in advance of the meeting and the superintendent will update the materials to include written answers to the questions at least one calendar day in advance. Please see the "Structure" section of the LSG Integrity Instrument.  

Would you recommend having the student outcome goals printed and placed in our district headquarters to serve as a reminder during board meetings of what truly should remain the focus for our District?  
LSG recommends that school boards display the status and targets of all student outcome goals and GPMs permanently and publicly in the room in which the school board most frequently holds regularly scheduled school board meetings. The targets and status should be regularly updated. Please see the "Advocacy" section of the LSG Integrity Instrument.  

What is the recommended number and frequency of board meetings, work sessions, and special board meetings?
LSG recommends that the number of board-authorized public meetings in the last quarter not exceed an average of three per month and not exceed an average time of more than two hours. Please see the "structure" section of the LSG Integrity Instrument.  

Is there a good rule of thumb for what is policy and what should be admin procedures?
LSG recommends that the board limit its adoption of local policies regarding school system operations to matters that are either required by law or an appropriate exercise of the board's oversight authority as defined by the board's adopted student outcome goals or constraints. If a school board has adopted student outcome goals and constraints or the legislature has passed a law, then LSG recommends that the board adopt a policy. Otherwise, allow the issue to be managed through administrative procedures/regulations. Please see the "structure" section of the LSG Integrity Instrument.   

Now that we've completed the Lone Star Governance two-day workshop, what should we be doing regarding board evaluation?
LSG recommends that a school board complete and vote to approve a self-evaluation every three months using the LSG Integrity Instrument. The LSG Integrity Instrument is found in the LSG Manual.   

In grading each category of the LSG Integrity Instrument during a board self-evaluation, are boards limited to using only the number grades assigned to each performance level? For example, in the "Structure" category, "Approaches Focus" earns a "4" and "Meets Focus" earns a "12". One board member asked if we have achieved all the criteria in Approaches Focus and have achieved most, but not quite all of Meets Focus, can we give ourselves a score of more than 4, but less than 12?  
No. Each column in the LSG Integrity Instrument is all or nothing. This is described on each page of the framework where it says, "if all of the following conditions are true."   

A Board Member asked what exactly constitutes "broad community ownership of the board's vision, student outcome goals, GPMs, Constraints, and CPMs."?
Unless the board has adopted another means of determination, a resolution adopted or vote passed by a majority of the board will meet the standard of evidence. Please see the "Evaluation Notes" section of the LSG Integrity Instrument. 

Our governance team just earned a Lone Star Governance certificate. How long is it good for?
LSG Certificates expire after 24 months. For school boards that self-evaluate using the LSG Integrity Instrument and earn an LSG-Coach-confirmed score of 60 or higher, the LSG certificate may be automatically reissued. Otherwise, the governing team will need to attend the LSG workshop to earn a new LSG certificate.   

Our board has adopted policies that include district goals, strategic outcomes, district objectives, student outcome goals, and expectations in the superintendent's contract. Does that meet the LSG recommendation?
No. LSG recommends that the board adopt three to five student outcome goals. Each student outcome goal has one to three Goal Progress Measures. Please see the "Vision 1" and "Vision 2" sections of the LSG Integrity Instrument. 

"Accountability 2: Meets Focus" reads, ''The board evaluates the superintendent exclusively on the results and progress toward the student outcome goals and constraints using data reported as scheduled by the monitoring calendar. If the board's practice is to conduct an annual evaluation of the Superintendent and we have not yet done so, does that mean a board cannot satisfy this requirement until it has completed such an annual evaluation?
No. In this instance, the LSG instrument offers the presumption of effective board behaviors until evidence demonstrates otherwise. If the board does not conduct a superintendent evaluation within 12 months or the board does conduct an evaluation but evaluates the superintendent on more than the board-adopted student outcome goals and constraints, then it remains at Approaches Focus. If neither of those conditions are true, the board may proceed to Meets Focus. Please see the "Sample Superintendent Evaluation Template" in the LSG manual.   

"Vision 1: Masters Focus" reads, "All board members have committed the vision and student outcome goals to memory and know the current status of each goal." Does the part requiring all trustees to know "the current status of each student outcome goal” mean that a board cannot satisfy this requirement until at least one school year has been completed after adopting student outcome goals at which point the board will know if it has met its annual targets for each student outcome goal?
No. As long as board members know what is knowable, that qualifies for Masters Focus. The intent is for board members to be as informed as possible on the current status and progress of the student outcome goals.  

Do the minutes spent in closed session need to be counted in our total minutes at a school board meeting on the Board's Time Use Tracker?
The Board's Time Use Tracker is designed to track the minutes school boards choose to spend their time on in Board authorized public meetings. The time used in closed session is not public, therefore, do not count in the Board's Time Use Tracker. Also, minutes spent in public hearings, forums, comments, and training required by law are not counted in the Board's Time Use Tracker because the board does not have a choice in these minutes.