School Board Member Opportunities and Expectations
This is a summary of the treatment that all board members are entitled to expect as members of the school board. These are limited to the board’s legal operating authority and should not be interpreted to extend an individual’s authority as a board member. The school board recognizes that good governance operations depend on each board member being able to expect the following in a manner consistent with board policy:
On joining the school board
- A thorough orientation to the board, including the board’s governing process — the work the board chooses to do and how the board chooses to do the work.
- A thorough orientation to the district’s operations, finance, and structures.
- Access to the district’s school board policy manual, the board’s regular meeting minutes for the past year, material explaining the board’s roles and responsibilities, and other information that might facilitate a better understanding of district operations.
Before a meeting
- Notification of board meetings and receipt of meeting agendas at the same time that other board members receive theirs and consistent with board policy.
- An opportunity to propose the addition of pertinent items to the agenda.
- The timely receipt of information before each meeting that will enable the board member to make informed decisions.
During a meeting
- Board meetings that start on time, stay on task and end at a reasonable time.
- Unless restricted by board policy, the opportunity to question the appropriateness of any item on the agenda, to request the removal of an item from a consent agenda for independent consideration, and to propose changes before the agenda is approved.
- The opportunity to make and second motions regarding agenda items and to move to defer action on any agenda item or to enter into closed session as allowed by law.
- An opportunity to request the justification, alternatives, and consequences for items presented for a decision and to participate in full and free discussion before voting.
- The opportunity to express opinions during a board meeting without interruption and ridicule, as well as civil and respectful treatment by all other school board members and staff members.
- The opportunity to speak candidly during a legally called closed session without concern for being repeated or confidentialities being breached after the meeting.
- The opportunity to remind other board members of policy and legal responsibilities, including those imposed by the Open Meetings Act, without fear of reprisal. This includes the ability to suggest that the board or an officer, whichever is appropriate according to board policy, consult with the board attorney about the legality of a current or planned action or procedure.
- The opportunity to request that a roll call vote be taken and, when a voice vote is taken, the opportunity to request that the minutes reflect an individual’s vote.
- The opportunity to suggest the correction of any inaccuracies in the minutes before their approval while recognizing that minutes are not a meeting transcript.
- The opportunity to participate in the process of selecting officers when the board reorganizes at an open meeting.
- The opportunity to participate in all policy making functions, including suggesting changes to board processes.
- Similar opportunities afforded other members of the board including the opportunity to have expenses reimbursed pursuant to board policy for attending non-district meetings and educational opportunities.
- A professional relationship with the superintendent in which both parties respect each other.
- The receipt of timely, accurate responses from the superintendent to reasonable inquiries.
- The opportunity to express personal opinions and viewpoints provided no attempt is made to undermine board action, misrepresent the majority board opinion, or otherwise violate board policy or this “School Board Member Opportunities and Expectations.”
- The opportunity to participate in regular board self-evaluations.
- Access to relevant data pertaining to district and board performance.
The items listed are not generally legally enforceable. Instead, they are items that will enable an individual to fulfill their duties and responsibilities as a school board member.