Board of directors

THE BOARD-SUPERINTENDENT RELATIONSHIP


Policy No. 1620

The successful operation of schools requires a close, effective working relationship between the board and the superintendent. The relationship must be one of trust, good will and candor. As the legally designated governing body, the board retains final authority within the district. The board exercises those powers that are expressly required by law and those implied by law. The superintendent is the board's professional advisor to whom the board delegates executive responsibility, and such powers as may be required to manage the district in a manner consistent with board policy and state and federal law.

The superintendent, as executive officer of the board, shall be responsible for the administration of the schools under applicable laws and policies of the district. The board shall delineate the duties of the superintendent and shall use them as the basis for evaluating the superintendent’s performance. Unless specifically limited, the superintendent may delegate to other staff the exercise of any powers and the discharge of any duties imposed by district policy or a vote of the board. The delegation of power or duty shall not relieve the superintendent of responsibility for the actions taken under such a delegation.

In order to perform their responsibilities, board members must be familiar with the operations within the schools. The superintendent shall establish communication procedures which can enhance the board member's understanding of student programs and school operations.

School Board Operating Principles and Staff Communications

It is believed that together the board can accomplish more than they can alone. Teaming enhances effectiveness-the board’s and that of the schools. The Board and Superintendent agree to work together as a team and to facilitate teamwork whenever possible throughout the district.

 

The success of our students is directly related to the successful communication between the board and the superintendent and the staff and the community. The Blaine School District Board of Directors publicly commits collectively and individually to the following operating principles:

 

1. Do not spring surprises on other board members or the superintendent. Surprises to the board or the superintendent will be the exception, not the rule at a board meeting. Board members will ask the board president or the superintendent to place an item on the agenda in advance of the meeting instead of bringing it up unexpectedly.

 

2. Communication between staff and the board is encouraged. However, board requests that will likely require considerable time or have political implications are to be directed to the superintendent. All personnel complaints and criticisms received by the board or its individual members will be directed to the superintendent.

 

3. Follow the chain of command. The last stop, not the first, will be the board. The board agrees to follow the chain of command and insist that others do so, too. While the board is eager to listen to its constituents and staff, each inquiry is to be referred to the person who can properly and expeditiously address the issue.

 

4. Own your own issues. The board will not be a ball carrier for others, but rather, will encourage others to present their own issues, problems, or proposals when discussing issues.

 

5. Practice the governance role. The board will emphasize planning, policy-making, and communication rather than becoming involved in the management of the schools.

 

6. Annually conduct a self-assessment/evaluation. The board will address its behavior by yearly self evaluation and by addressing itself to any individual problems, such as poor meeting attendance or leaks of confidential information.

 

7. Clearly stated goals. The board will set clear goals for themselves and the superintendent. The board and superintendent will set clear goals for Blaine School District.

 

8. Utilize CEO input. The superintendent is the chief executive officer and should make recommendations, proposals or suggestions on most matters that come before the board.

 

9. The board acts only as a body. Individual board members do not have authority. Only the board as a whole has authority. It is agreed that an individual board member will not take unilateral action. The board president will communicate the position(s) of the board on controversial issues. When board members serve on various school committees, their role shall be defined by the board as silent observer or active participant.

 

10. Debate the issues, not one another. Conduct at a board meeting is very important. While the board encourages debate and differing points of view, it will secure with care and respect to avoid an escalation of negative impressions or incidents.

 

11. Avoid marathon board meetings. To be efficient and effective, points are to be made in as few words as possible; speeches will be minimal. Board members with questions or needing more information should call the chair or superintendent before the meeting.

 

12. Practice efficient decision making. Board meetings are for decision making, action and votes, not endless discussion. It is agreed to move the question when discussion is repetitive.

 

13. Speak to agenda issues. The directors agree to speak to the issues on the agenda and attend to our fellow board members, not play to the audience. Facts and information needed from the administration will be referred to the superintendent.

 

14. Executive/closed sessions will be held only for appropriate subjects. Board members will be extremely sensitive to the legal ramifications of executive sessions and limit comment only to the appropriate subjects.

 

15. Children’s interests come first. The board will represent the needs and interests of all the children in our district.

 

Adoption Date: January 29, 2007

 

Blaine School District 503

 

Revisions adopted January 29, 2007