School Board & Superintendent Roles and Responsibilities
Each year, the Board reviews and recommits to its working agreements in an effort to continuously improve and monitor its desire to serve as a model for positive and constructive public dialogue. The Board reviewed, revised, and recommitted these agreements during their July 12, 2018 Board Work Session for the 2018-2019 school year.
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/revising 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
- Enact rules and regulations governing the operation of the schools
- Enact rules and regulations governing student and employee behavior
- Adopt the budget and levy taxes
- Confirm district compliance with state and federal regulations
- Confirm the construction, equipping, furnishing and maintenance of district facilities and other capital resources
- Determine the compensation of employees
- Adopt instructional materials and prescribe courses of study
- Confirm operable student transportation systems
- Confirm the provision of food services for students
- Acquire and manage real estate for school purposes
- Do other things necessary to carry out the duties and responsibilities assigned to school boards by the State of Oregon
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
- The Board handles complaints concerning the superintendent in accordance with district policy and contract agreements with relevant employee groups
- The Board handles appeals about administrative action regarding student disciplinary issues
3. Individual Board Members
- No singular authority. Same as any other citizen.
- When visiting, should let the school know 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.
- "Reply All's" that include a quorum of Board Members is never appropriate.
4. Authority of the Board Chair
- Singularly speaks - or will assign one other Board Member or Superintendent to speak - on behalf of the Board to the media with regard to Board policy and decisions.
- Makes certain that new board members are oriented to Board processes.
- Makes certain 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.
- Makes certain staff and programs are aligned to carry out the established mission/vision of the district.
- Makes certain staff and programs 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