Juggling board materials in Google Docs while trying to keep stakeholders informed of board initiatives, River Valley Community School District needed a more efficient way to manage their meetings, align actions with their strategic plan, and improve communication. They found the solution in Simbli.
River Valley Community School District is located in Correctionville, IA. The district is home to approximately 425 students in two schools: one elementary and one Jr/Sr high school. The River Valley Board of Education is the governing body of the school system.
Increase transparency and simplify the sharing of board materials by providing a single source of access for board members, the community, and other stakeholders.
While Simbli’s Meetings module helps the board work more efficiently and increase transparency, the board will soon rely on the platform’s Planning module to better align their work to the district’s strategic plan.
Managing Meetings Across the District
The River Valley Community School District has only been using Simbli for about eight months, but they’ve already seen great progress and potential. Ken Slater, Superintendent for River Valley, says the platform not only helps them to be more transparent, but it’s easy to use and provides them with the tools they need to more clearly direct the board on actions they need to take.
Already, River Valley has expanded its use of Simbli to manage building-level team meetings, district-level team meetings, school improvement meetings, and a variety of others–in addition to their board meetings. These were all previously managed in Google Docs, which made it difficult to keep track of versions, search for particular discussion item, and share the latest updates with the community.
With Simbli, board members, district and school staff, and community members can quickly search past board discussions using keywords, making it easy to find exactly what they need at their own convenience.
“It just made sense to use Simbli for our other meetings, too,” said Slater. “Why have a bunch of meetings set up in Google Docs when the information can be tied together?’
Aligning Plans with Board Work
Slater says the reason he chose Simbli over other solutions is that it was made for superintendents and boards rather than for business, and he’s eager to dive into other modules so the board can better align their work.
The district uses Simbli for a variety of plan types, including their “Return to Learn” plan. Through Simbli’s Planning module, River Valley is able to highlight their back-to-school plan to their board, district staff and community, as well as gather feedback.
The board is preparing to take their strategic planning a step further by using Simbli to shape their plan and then align meeting agendas so they can ensure they’re focusing on the highest priority needs of the district. Slater believes that if the board and district can consistently use the goal scorecard in Simbli, they can show how the actions they’re taking are supporting overall district goals.
“I really look forward to using the Planning module during our upcoming board retreat,” he said. “Our goals for the year help build the strategic plan, and that will push our meetings.”
A Solution Built to Stand the Test of Time
Simbli has been a welcome addition at River Valley, and Slater says it’s become an important tool for their staff.
“Simbli is a solution that will stand the test of time,” he said. “I don’t think our board would ever want to go back, and I’m more than satisfied that they’re getting the information they need. I look forward to growing more into it because I know there are more uses for Simbli than I’ve been able to tap into.”