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Board and Superintendent Protocols

Background

The Board and Superintendent are committed to the most effective and efficient working relationship possible for the governance team.  The protocols guide the Board and Superintendent work, so everyone can devote their full energy to focusing on our students.

Purpose

The Board of Trustees is the educational policy-making body for the District, doing its work in meetings of the board in public. To effectively meet the District’s challenges, the Board and Superintendent must function together as a leadership team. To ensure the collective effectiveness of the team, operating procedures, or protocols, must be in place. Below are general protocols and those that are specific for the Board and for the Superintendent.

The Board and Superintendent will:

  1. Keep learning and achievement for each and every student as the primary focus.
  2. Value, support, and advocate for public education.
  3. Operate openly with trust and integrity.
  4. Govern in a dignified and professional manner, treating everyone with civility, dignity, and respect, while honoring the right to disagree with each other.
  5. Recognize and respect difference of perspective and style on the Board and among staff, students, parents, and the community.
  6. Uphold the legal requirement for confidentiality on all matters arising from Board Meeting Closed Sessions; and keep all conversations taking place in Closed Sessions and other areas restricted by the Brown Act absolutely confidential.
  7. Discuss public matters in publicly noticed Board meetings.
  8. Focus on policymaking, planning, and evaluation for student success.
  9. Ensure opportunities for the diverse range of views in the community to inform Board deliberations, and evaluate the District’s performance.
  10. Set and monitor measurable outcomes for annual goals.
  11. Communicate the common vision and annual, measurable goals.
  12. Honor the value that Board decisions are best developed with people closest to an issue or situation wherever possible.
  13. Understand the distinction between Board and staff roles, and respect the role of the Board as the representative of the community.
  14. Identify and focus on Board meeting objectives.

  

Board Members will:

  1. Govern within Board-adopted policies and administrative regulations.
  2. Understand authority rests with the Board as a whole and not with individuals. Recognize decisions are made only at properly scheduled meetings.
  3. As an individual Board member, not make or appear to make a decision that appropriately should be made by the entire Board.
  4. Support decisions of the majority after honoring the right of individual members to express opposing viewpoints and to vote their convictions.
  5. Attend regularly scheduled Board meetings unless a situation occurs that makes attendance impossible; cooperate in scheduling special meetings and/or work sessions for planning and training purposes.
  6. Acknowledge individual requests for reports and projects will be directed only to the Superintendent.
  7. Participate in establishing annual expectations and goals for the Superintendent.
  8. Objectively evaluate the Superintendent’s performance and provide appropriate feedback.
  9. Evaluate its own effectiveness in conjunction with the Superintendent’s evaluation; review its protocols annually.
  10. Take collective responsibility for the Board’s performance.
  11. Communicate directly with the Superintendent as appropriate whenever a staff member, student, parent, or community member raises a question or concern and direct people to communicate to the appropriate person closest to the situation.
  12. Contact the Superintendent whenever contacted by the media regarding an incident, event, or agenda item.
  13. Communicate directly with the Superintendent prior to Board meetings to address questions and/or concerns about agenda items;
  14. End Board meetings at 10:00 p.m.; an extension of the meeting will require a  2/3 vote of the Board.
  15. Communicate one-on-one with the Superintendent when an individual concern arises so issues do not fester.
  16. Cast a vote on all matters except when a conflict of interest arises.
  17. Recognize the individual role of constituents and special interest groups, while understanding the importance of using one’s best judgment to represent all members of the community.
  18. As time permits, visit school sites and attend school functions, but avoid interrupting instruction or interrupting employees at work.
  19. Represent the District, when possible, by attending community functions.
  20. Participate in professional development and commit the time and energy necessary to be an informed and effective leader.

The Superintendent will:

  1. Work toward creating a team with the Board dedicated to students. Treat all Board members professionally.
  2. Respect and acknowledge the Board’s role in setting policy and overseeing the performance of the Superintendent.
  3. Work with the Board to establish a clear vision for the school District.
  4. Recognize that the Board/Superintendent governance relationship requires support by the District’s management team.
  5. Accept leadership responsibility and be the spokesperson regarding implementation of the vision, goals, and policies of the District.
  6. Prepare preliminary goals annually for the Board’s consideration.
  7. Provide data and analysis of success indicators, milestones and student performance to Board members to inform decisions and assess progress on annual goals.
  8. Make personnel recommendations and changes in consultation with the Board.
  9. Communicate with all Board members promptly, effectively and to the extent possible, equally.
  10. Inform the Board prior to critical information becoming public; apprise all Board members in a timely manner of any major incident or when they may be called on to answer or explain.
  11. Distribute the Board agenda in a timely fashion with enough time for Board study, and clarify information prior to scheduled meetings.
  12. Avoid bringing a matter to a public meeting that is a surprise to a Board member or cabinet member.
  13. Respond to requests for additional information through a Board up-date, special report, Board agenda items, or a Board workshop.
  14. Present major decisions initially as a discussion item, then place it on the next Board agenda for action.
  15. Communicate with individual Board members to determine if concerns exist prior to a problem developing.
  16. Provide a written self-assessment prior to the Board’s evaluation of the Superintendent’s job performance.
  17. Keep the Board informed regarding issues and/or situations that concern parents, students, staff, or community as appropriate.


Adopted: September 11, 2007

Reviewed: December 20, 2007 and January 15, 2008

Readopted: January 29, 2008

Updated: February 12, 2013