The Board of Directors is the policy making body for the School District. To effectively meet the District’s challenges, the School Board and Superintendent must function together as a leadership team. To ensure accord among team members, effective group agreements must be in place. The following are the group agreements for the Board and Superintendent. The Board and Superintendent Working Agreements were adopted by the Corvallis School Board on September 14, 2017.
Board Job Description and Relationship with the Superintendent
- Operate as representatives and make decisions in the best interest of the whole District
- Working with the Superintendent, set the long-term direction of the District through the mission, vision, goals, and priorities.
- Focus on policymaking and planning.
- Assist in gaining acceptance and support in the community.
- Understand that as an individual, a Board member has no authority. It is when acting through a majority that the Board has influence.
- Be accountable for the financial stewardship of the District, including aligning resources with goals and priorities, setting expectations, and monitoring progress.
- Make an effort to foster unity, harmony and open communications within the board.
- Insist on all relevant facts and data before making a decision.
- Supervise the hiring, performance evaluation, and other personnel management processes related to the Superintendent.
- Work with the Superintendent as a team, recognizing that the Superintendent is the Board’s advisor.
- Respect the Superintendent’s responsibility to manage the day-to-day operations of the District and to direct employees in District and school matters.
Role of Board Leadership
- Manage the Board’s processes; convene meetings; develop the Board agenda with the Superintendent, seeking Board member input; and execute documents, as appropriate.
- Serve as the authorized spokesperson for the Board with regard to Board policy, process, and decisions. The Chair may delegate this responsibility to other Board members and/or the Superintendent.
- Communicate with individual Board members any concerns shared by other board members regarding issues agreed to in the working agreements or group operating norms.
- Assist the Superintendent in communicating important information to the full Board. Keep Board members apprised of information exchanged with the Superintendent.
- Set priorities for Board professional development annually.
- The Vice Chair will perform these duties when the Chair is not available.
Role of the Superintendent
- Work toward becoming a team with board members.
- Work with the board to establish a clear vision for the District through preparation of annual goals for the board’s consideration.
- Provide data to board members so that data-driven decisions can be made.
- Communicate with board members promptly and effectively by informing the board of all critical information including relevant trends, anticipated adverse media coverage, or critical external or internal change.
Board Requests Regarding Staff Presentations
- To facilitate adequate Board preparation for meetings, staff reports and presentations should be distributed as part of the Board packet prior to the meeting. Avoid sending additional reports to the Board after packets have been disseminated.
- Develop a system to provide updates regarding the work of District committees.
- Limit staff reports to introductory and additional remarks; avoid restatement of written reports or PowerPoint presentations.
- Keep staff presentations succinct.
- Utilize the practice of avoiding surprise items at board meetings.
- When the Board receives communication from the community, the chair will respond or will delegate that responsibility to another Board member. A “footnote” statement will be added to the bottom of the board chair’s email. The footnote will state, “The Board Chair responds to emails sent to the full board. School board members only deliberate when gathered as a quorum as outlined in the Public Meeting Law. To assure that board conversations and deliberations do not occur on email, the Board Chair will respond on behalf of the Board. All Board members receive communications that come from the community and the response given by the Board Chair.”
All Board members will be included in responses made by the Board chair.
Following the communication from the Board chair, other Board members may also respond if they wish.
- When a single Board member receives a communication from a member of the public, s/he may respond to that patron as an individual. The Board member may elect to forward the email and his/her response to the Board Chair or full Board if he/she wishes.
- Responses to community communications should occur within 36-72 hours of receipt of the communication. The chair will delegate if s/he is unable to meet this timeframe.
- When a concern or problem arises, communicate one-on-one with the Board member. If the issue is not resolved, communicate with the Board chair and finally with the Superintendent if necessary.