Become An ESB Coach | Effective School Boards

Certification as a national ESB Coach last three years and requires a deep understanding of the Effective School Boards framework, the ability to demonstrate that understanding in practice, and the ability to support governance teams through its implementation. These competencies are revealed through demonstrations of learning regarding:

  • Governance Knowledge (GK 1-12)
  • Governance Skill (GS 1-10)
  • Governance Mindset (GM 1-4)
  • Coaching Knowledge (CK 1-7)
  • Coaching Skill (CS 1-7)
  • Coaching Mindset (CM 1-6)


Unless there is a demonstration of learning (DoL) defined in the competency, each competency type relies on a default DoL. The default DoL for knowledge competencies is a one page writing. The default DoL for skills competencies is an in-person demonstration or video artifact. The default DoL for mindset competencies is coach observation with rubric. Alternative DoLs can be determined by a Senior Coach.

Governance Knowledge
  1. Distinguish between inputs, outputs, and outcomes
  2. Distinguish between adult outcomes and student outcomes
  3. Distinguish between customer service and owner service
  4. Distinguish between low and high quality goals
  5. Distinguish between board work and superintendent work
  6. Distinguish between low and high quality monitoring reports
  7. Summarize similarities and differences between the policy governance principles and ESB
  8. Summarize observations of at least 20 school board meetings from at least 5 different school boards and in at least 5 different states
  9. Summarize observations of at least 2 ESB workshops that are led by at least 2 different ESB coaches
  10. Summarize the similarities and differences of the accountability systems for school systems for five different states
  11. Summarize the similarities and differences of the statutory frameworks for school boards for five different states
  12. Individually summarize learnings from each of the following five ESB recommended readings:
    1. Great On Their Behalf: Chapters 1, 7, 8, 9 and 10
    2. Four Disciplines of Execution
    3. Boards That Make A Difference
    4. A Framework for School Governance
    5. School District Leadership That Works


Governance Skills
  1. Communicate the difference between inputs, outputs, outcomes, and why it matters
  2. Communicate the difference between adult outcomes and student outcomes, and why it matters
  3. Conduct a time use evaluation for at least 3 school board meetings from at least 3 different school boards and in at least 3 different states
  4. Conduct an agenda evaluation for at least 3 school board meetings from at least 3 different school boards and in at least 3 different states
  5. Conduct a committee diet sample (at least 3 committees) for at least 3 different school boards and in at least 3 different states
  6. Create a draft implementation timeline
  7. Create a draft set of goals, guardrails, interim goals, and interim guardrails
  8. Conduct a policy diet sample (at least 10 policies) for at least 3 different school boards and in at least 3 different states
  9. Conduct a quarterly self evaluation sample (at least Clarify Priorities 1 & 2, and Monitor Progress sections) for at least 3 different school boards and in at least 3 different states
  10. Individually summarize learnings from each of the following four ESB recommended readings:
    1. Great On Their Behalf: Chapters 2, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17
    2. Policy Governance Consistency Framework
    3. The Relationship Between School Board Governance Behaviors & Student Achievement
    4. Eight Characteristics of Effective School Boards


Governance Mindset
  1. Communicate why school systems exist
  2. Communicate why school boards exist
  3. Communicate the intention behind, “student outcomes don’t change until adult behaviors change”
  4. Individually summarize learnings from each of the following five ESB recommended readings:
    1. Great On Their Behalf: Introduction and Chapters 3, 4, 5, 6
    2. Leadership & Self-Deception
    3. Immunity To Change
    4. School Governance Matters
    5. Is Discord Detrimental


Coaching Knowledge
  1. Distinguish between feedback and criticism
  2. Distinguish between project management and performance management
  3. Distinguish between diagnostic, formative, interim, and summative assessment
  4. Distinguish between norm-referenced and criterion-referenced assessment scoring
  5. Distinguish between proficiency, growth, and comparison goal types
  6. Distinguish between static and cohort goal types
  7. Distinguish between low and high quality interim goals/interim guardrails


Coaching Skills
  1. Facilitate at least 2 conversations on Governance Knowledge 1-12 without a script
  2. Facilitate at least 2 conversations on Governance Skills 1-9 without a script
  3. Demonstrate the use of SCP & ICP
  4. Demonstrate the use of Blooms & ICAP
  5. Complete a Knowledge & Skills workshop
  6. Create a 1-3 page coaching recommendations memo for a board chair and superintendent based on observations than span at least 3 months
  7. Participate, under the guidance of a certified ESB Coach, in the support of at least three school boards


Coaching Mindset
  1. Complete at least 5 ESB mindset practices within 14 days
  2. Complete a Mindset workshop
  3. Communicate the intention behind, “I as Genesis”
  4. Communicate the intention behind, “Integrity as Access”
  5. Facilitate at least 2 conversations on Governance Mindset 1-3 and Coaching Mindset 1-4 without a script
  6. Facilitate at least 1 ESB 2-day workshop
    1. Integrity: Being your word
    2. Knowledge/Skill: Being accurate about the material
    3. Skill/Mindset: Being a safe and firm guide to support participant self-reflection


Certification Maintenance Requirements

Maintenance of ESB Coach certification requires earning 10 points per year. If a coach does not earn at least 10 points per year, their certification will lapse and they will need to complete the full certification process again from the beginning. Where pre-approval or determination of effectiveness is required, a Senior ESB Coach is able to provide.

Coaches earn points in any of the following ways:

  • Effectively lead a pre-approved ESB 2-day workshop for at least 16 participants (10pts)
  • Effectively coach a board as demonstrated by at least one board you are lead coach for being at 80+ points on their quarterly eval (25pts)
  • Effectively lead a pre-approved 3hr continuing education unit (CEU) for at least 8 coaches (5pts)
  • Complete a pre-approved 3hr CEU/professional development session for coaches (3pts)
  • Develop pre-approved curriculum -- whether written or video -- for coaches to use (5pts)


Certification Renewal Requirements

Renewal of ESB Coach certification requires earning at least 50 points during the term of certification and at least 30 days prior to the expiration of their existing certification. If this has not been completed, then certification lapses and the coach will need to complete the full certification process again from the beginning.

Certification Revocation

Revocation of ESB Coach certification may happen at any time and is a decision of the majority of currently certified Senior ESB Coaches. Prior to revocation, a progressive approach to addressing unacceptable behavior is preferable. Initial certification may also be withheld if, at the time that certification ordinarily would have been conveyed, the individual is determined by a majority of the Senior ESB Coaches to be out of compliance with any of the following revocation criteria. Revocation may be warranted for circumstances that include, but are not limited to:

  • Deficiencies identified in evaluations or other communications by a Senior ESB Coach.
  • Neglect of duties or responsibilities, or the conduct of other business that is deemed incompatible with ESB certification.
  • Incompetence or inefficiency in the performance of expected duties;
  • Failure to comply with laws or with ESB's policies.
  • Drunkenness or excessive use of alcoholic beverages; illegal use of drugs, hallucinogens, or other controlled substances; the possession, use, or being under the influence of alcohol, alcoholic beverages, drugs or controlled substances -- any of the aforementioned behaviors -- while on school property, acting within the scope of a certified coach's duties, or attending any school or school system-sponsored activity.
  • Conviction of a felony or any crime involving moral turpitude.
  • Failure to meet the ESB's standards of professional conduct.
  • Immorality, which is conduct the majority of Senior ESB Coaches determine is not in conformity with the accepted moral standards of the community of ESB Coaches.