Roles of the Board and Superintendent
|School Board – Governs (Guides/Directs)||Superintendent – Manages (Administers/Operates)|
|Decides What||Decides How|
|Requests Information||Seeks and Provides Information|
|Considers Issues||Provides Recommendations|
|Create, Review, Adopt Policy||Recommend, Implement Policy|
|Approves & Reviews Plans||Implements Plans|
|Monitors Progress||Reports Progress|
|Contracts with Personnel||Supervises & Evaluates Personnel|
|Approves & Reviews Budget||Formulates Budget|
|Represents Public Interests||Acts in Public Interest|
What our roles do not encompass:
|The role of the School Board is not to:||The role of the Superintendent is not to:|
|Carry out policies or micro-manage or develop budgets||Make policies|
|Direct any staff other than the superintendent||Direct the Board|
|Create surprises||Create surprises|
|Abdicate Board responsibility||Assume Board responsibilities|
|Press narrow personal agenda||Press narrow personal agenda|
|As individuals, make promises that would appear binding upon the Board and/or District||Discourage open discussion and feedback|
Board Operating Protocols
Board Meetings: We will strive to hold efficient and equitable meetings and review agenda items prior to Board meetings.
Executive Sessions – will be held when specific needs arise as allowed by law.
- Request any additional information from the board president, superintendent or the business manager prior to the meeting
- Ask the Board President or superintendent to place an item on the agenda instead of bringing it up unexpectedly at the meeting.
- Not bring surprises to a meeting.
Regarding Executive Sessions - We will:
- Be extremely sensitive to the legal ramifications of their meetings and comments
- Respect the confidentiality of all privileged information, including that discussed in executive session.
Communications between the Board and staff – The following communication procedures are established:
- Staff Communication to the Board
- All communications or reports to the Board or individual Board members from principals, supervisors, teachers, or other staff members shall be submitted through the superintendent.
- This will not deny any staff member’s right to appeal to the board regarding administrative decisions.
- Board Communications to Staff
- All official communications, policies, and directives of staff interest and concern will be communicated through the superintendent.
- The superintendent will employ all such media as are appropriate to keep staff fully informed of the board’s priorities, concerns and actions.
- Visits to the School
- Make arrangements for visitations through the principal
- Official visits by board members will be carried on only under board authorization and with the full knowledge of staff, including the superintendent and principal
- Social Interaction
- Staff and board members share a keen interest in the schools and in education. When they meet at social affairs and other functions, informal discussion on such matters as educational trends, issues, and innovations can be anticipated.
- Discussions of personalities or staff grievances are not appropriate.
Between Board members and community (complaints or concerns)
In order to respond effectively to community members who share a concern or complaint with us, we agree to:
*Remembering that receiving information from an individual or a group is not the same as having total knowledge of the topic or issue. There are usually two sides to every concern.
*Utilize the following to ensure the person speaking feels valued and heard:
- Listening openly to what the other person is saying
- Asking questions for clarification
- Seek a solution to the problem and/or what they want you to do with the information
- What options the person has available to them within the district policies or processes
- Redirect to appropriate place in the system
- If appropriate, explain the district complaint policy and how to access it
- Call the Superintendent to give him/her a heads-up about the constituent issue so that the superintendent is able to understand the total picture
- Describe our response to the constituent so that the superintendent hears directly from us, and does not get caught in the middle
The superintendent will deal with the issue as necessary and when appropriate determine how best to inform the total Board.
Working with district staff about our own children
In order to work effectively with the district staff about our own children, we agree to:
- Remember we are parents (grandparents) first
- Follow the same process that we expect all parents to follow;
- Meet with the teacher first, then follow the chain of command
- Be clear that we are speaking to the teacher as a parent
- Understand that sometimes our spouse or significant other may be the right person to handle the situation
- Inform the superintendent of the situation regardless of the resolution
- Base our decisions on the available facts and NOT independent judgment
- Not yield to individuals or special interest groups
- Keep in mind the interests of all the district’s students
- Not abuse our official position
- Not use district facilities, resources, or position for the purpose of advancing the interest of themselves or any other individual(s).
- Make every attempt to attend all board functions including committee meetings
- Serve on committees as a silent observer or active participant as defined by the Board
- Accept responsibility for all Board decisions regardless of how we voted
- Take no private actions that will compromise the Board or administration
- Endeavor to hear all members’ opinions and listen objectively
- Encourage debate and differing points of view
- Conduct discussions with care and respect
The Board’s Authority
- That only the Board as a whole has authority
- That individual Board members do not have authority
- That the Board president is the spokesperson for the board
- That an individual board member will not take unilateral action
- Individual directors do not give direction. Direction is given by the board as a whole.
- Exercise oversight responsibilities through policy, planning, advocacy and public relations
- Avoid attempts to micro-manage the schools
- Delegate the management of the schools to the superintendent
- Set clear goals for the superintendent
Board – Superintendent Relationship
- Surprises to the Board or the superintendent will be the exception, not the rule
Board Professional Development
The Board will:
- Conduct an annual self-evaluation
- Address itself to any individual problems, such as poor meeting attendance or leaks of confidential information
- Model life-long learning
- Participate in opportunities that provide professional growth
- Encourage members to take advantage of opportunities to inform themselves about current educational issues by individual study and participation in programs providing needed information
- Encourage members to disseminate information to other members
Board and Superintendent Roles in Negotiations
- Define the philosophical and financial parameters for negotiations
- Trust our negotiating team to do the best job that they can
- Remind staff that there is a process in place, that the staff and district each have an identified negotiating team and any questions or issues need to go through the defined negotiation process
- Once the contract is adopted, we all stand behind the final contracts
- Change to adopt and stand behind the final contracts