School Board & Superintendent Roles and Responsibilities
Established July 2013
1. Board Role and Responsibilities
- School Board Defined
- School board members, although locally elected, are really state officials, co-partners with the legislature. They are designated by school law to administer the school system in each district.
- Constitutional recognition of the public schools is as a legislative function in which a school district is described as a “unit of local government.”
- Effective school boards concentrate their time and energy on determining what it is the schools should accomplish and enacting policies to carry out these goals.
- Primary Responsibilities
- Planning - The Hood River County School District Board of Directors will engage in strategic planning. This is a basic responsibility to the public electorate.
- Setting policy - The central responsibility of a board, both in theory and in law, is to be the policy-forming body. Policy means actions of the Board that set written goals and objectives for the schools and parameters for actions.
- Evaluating results - The Board must evaluate the results of planning. Evaluation “completes the loop ” and, in fact, leads inevitably to more planning. Evaluation occurs all the time, both formally and informally. As a group, the Board is not an administrative body; neither should it be a “ rubber stamp ” for professional educators.
- Hire/Evaluate the Superintendent -- The selection of a competent chief executive, who understands his/her role is to carry out public policies established by the Board, is one of the Board's most important functions.
- Listen to and represent the community in its entirety.
- Additional Duties
- Establishes rules and regulations governing the operation of the schools
- Enacts rules and regulations governing student and employee behavior
- Adopts the budget and levy taxes
- Monitors district compliance with state and federal regulations
- Sanctions the construction, equipping, furnishing and maintenance of district facilities and other capital resources
- Determines the compensation of employees
- Adopts instructional materials and prescribe courses of study
- Confirms operable student transportation systems
- Sanctions the provision of food services for students
- Acquires and manages real estate for school purposes
- Does other things necessary to carry out the duties and responsibilities assigned to school boards by the state
2. Collective Authority of the Board
- A single board member has no authority to make decisions or take any actions.
- The Board’s authority comes from the power of the majority.
- The majority of the board can take action on any agenda item (properly identified as an “action item” prior to taking action).
- The Board, by majority vote, hires the superintendent; the other licensed staff members (including administrators) are recommended to the school board by the superintendent and must be approved or denied through formal Board action.
- Any licensed staff, other than the superintendent, comes to the board for dismissal as a recommendation from the superintendent. The Board takes action and then the collective bargaining agreement and state laws are followed regarding appeals, etc.
- Discipline of any employee, including appeals (other than that of the superintendent), will be handled by the superintendent according to state law, district policy and the collective bargaining agreement.
- Handles complaints concerning the superintendent in accordance with district policy and contract agreements with relevant employee groups.
- Handles appeals about administrative action regarding student disciplinary issues.
3. Individual Board Members
- No authority. Same as any other citizen.
- Should let school know when visiting if s/he is there as a board member, parent or community member. If visiting as a board member, a courtesy call to the superintendent prior to the visit is appropriate.
- Will call the Superintendent with ideas, solutions, concerns that he or she would like considered for Board discussion or action.
- Email between board members is subject to public meeting laws and public records requests. The Board will not conduct deliberations over email.
4. Authority of the Board Chair
- Singularly speaks, or will assign one other board member to speak, on behalf of the Board to the media with regard to Board policy and decisions.
- Ensures that new Board members are oriented to Board processes.
- Ensures the Board follows its own “Operating Agreements.”
- Works together with the Superintendent and Vice-Chair to develop efficient agendas with input from other Board members and the Superintendent and encourages the knowledgeable participation, thoughtful discussion and effective decision-making on the part of the Board as a whole.
- Facilitates the Board meetings in a collaborative, focused and timely manner.
5. Role of the Superintendent
- Is the Chief Executive of the school district.
- Runs the daily operations of the school district.
- Carries out policies established by the Board.
- Ensures staff and program are aligned to carry out the established mission of the district.
- Ensures staff and program are aligned to maximize student achievement and social development.
- Provides recommendations to the Board regarding all licensed and classified hires/terminations.
- With other administrators, handles all staff complaints and complaints regarding staff (with the exception of complaints against the superintendent).
- School Board Defined