• 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).