INCS Nonprofit Leadership Training Program

Welcome to the INCS Nonprofit Leadership Training Program.


In 2019, the Illinois legislature passed a law requiring all charter public school board members to participate in four hours of governance training in the first year of the law (2020) or in their first year as a board member.  After the first year of four hours of training are completed, board members are required to participate in two hours of training in each subsequent year. To find the language of the law, go to Public Act 101-0291.

Here at INCS, we are committed to supporting board members to meet this requirement with the highest quality training possible.  INCS is a certified trainer and stands ready to help the state’s over 600 charter board members to fulfill this requirement.

There are four primary ways that INCS can help board members to satisfy the training requirement:

  • Free trainings;
  • Online trainings for purchase;
  • 4-hour governance academy; and
  • A list of four INCS-approved board trainers with whom boards can contract for customized training.

This year we will also be offering some non-credit-earning convenings to better support Illinois charter school board members.


2021 Board Governance Academy

October 20 & 21 from 4 pm – 6 pm

The Board Governance Academy is the perfect opportunity for new board members to get four hours of high-quality training before the deadline of December 31. We are thrilled that Mary Bradley, formerly the head of the Innovation and Incubation Office at Chicago Public Schools, will be joining us on the second day when we will talk about specific governance rules and responsibilities in Illinois. We know there are a lot of new parent board members, and this would great for them. This live, interactive training will be led by the National Charter Schools Institute and occur over Zoom over two days. The topics will be:

  • Wednesday, Oct. 20: Governing for Greatness: Roles and Responsibilities
  • Thursday, Oct. 21: Governing for Greatness: Illinois specific board governance.


Free trainings (each will count towards one hour of training)

  • Succession Planning: Don’t Wait Until It is Too Late – Tuesday, November 9 @ 4 pm Succession is one of the most critical chapters in a charter organization’s life span. A strong and intentional approach to succession puts the organization on a positive trajectory; a poor approach can have the opposite effect, significantly weakening it. Participants will understand the key phases of the “arc” of succession and the risks associated with each phase and learn about practices to mitigate those risks. Moderated by Morty Ballen, founder and 20-year leader of Explore Schools, a network of 8 schools in Brooklyn serving 2,000 students.

RSVP to Natalia Blanco for either of these online trainings, which unfortunately will not be recorded.


Webinars and Online Modules

INCS is continuing to partner with Ed Board Partners to offer two new one-hour online trainings; board members can watch them live or at their own convenience and take a short quiz to satisfy the training requirement. The cost is $50 per board member. New board members who need to take four hours of training will cost $100.

Existing modules in the online library include:

  • Great Schools Need Great Boards: Gauging Board Effectiveness
  • Academic Oversight & Committee Operations: Staying Focused on the Board’s Bottomline
  • School Leaders Need Love Too: School Leader Evaluation and Support
  • Bringing a Race and Equity Lens to the Boardroom
  • Financial Accountability: Show me the money
  • New Board Member Onboarding: Getting off on the right foot

Reach out to Natalia Blanco to purchase the modules.


INCS-approved board trainers

INCS has identified four INCS Nonprofit Leadership Training Program-approved partners that schools & networks can contract with to provide customized trainings.

Please feel free to reach out to them directly. INCS staff will work with the trainers to obtain proof of training.


ISBE Board Training Approved Providers

ISBE also has a list of approved quality providers of board governance training.  The providers on this list offer the required trainings for Illinois district board of education members but are also approved to train charter board members. The list can be found at this link.

Please contact Allison Jack at INCS for specific questions about the training and contact Natalia Blanco for questions about certificates of completions for trainings.