Board of Education Protocol for Meetings
Our Board of Education meetings are held in public, as required by New York State. The Board often receives information by way of a presentation from school or community personnel, arranged in advance of the meeting and given for the purpose of making members informed about a program, a budget, or a proposal that is pertinent to their mission.
The business of a meeting follows a standard agenda, including:
- Routine Approvals—these include the meeting agenda, the minutes of the previous meeting, and a financial report from the Business Office.
- Public to Be Heard—an opportunity for any audience member to stand and address the board on any topic.
- Receiving Reports—a series of reports from the Superintendent, Business Official, and Board committees. This is also an opportunity for individual board members to report to the rest of the board on any topic.
- New Business—these resolutions often include personnel matters, approval of contracts, approval of large financial decisions, and/or approval of new or updated policies.
- Public to Be Heard (second opportunity)
- Optional Executive Session—there are particular conditions that compel a board to meet privately, without a public audience. These include matters of litigation and items that require discussion about a particular person.
To prepare for meetings, board members receive access to the upcoming agenda beginning the Friday before a meeting (this is a few days before the public sees the agenda on Monday, at http://boarddocs.cnyric.org/ny/sscs/Board.nsf/Public
). Board members have a secure login that allows them also to see backup information related to many of the items. In addition, our Superintendent writes a weekly memo, delivered each weekend, to keep members informed about issues in our schools and community. The BOE is well informed on all agenda items before each meeting so they can make an informed decision when the resolution is voted on and discussed at the meeting.
If board members have questions about any items on the agenda, they contact the District Office to get answers. If email is used for these questions, our board’s protocol is to include all members in the email, so that all members get the benefit of both question and answer.
Members of the board respect the same “chain of command” we ask all community members to follow. For financial questions, the Business Official is consulted. For school-based questions, the board members first contact the Superintendent. For questions related to the Board itself, members first contact the Board President. If a board member is actually acting in his/her capacity as a parent or a member of the community, they make that clear to the teacher, principal, or other school personnel they call in that capacity.
Before each meeting and whenever else necessary, the Board President meets with the Superintendent to review the agenda and/or to discuss items for board review. The purpose of these meetings is to ensure that the board has all the information it needs to make decisions. It is less routine, but not unusual, for individual board members also to meet with the Superintendent to discuss issues.
Finally, the Board of Education oversees several subcommittees (with three members serving on each) to work with issues between meetings and to participate in more in-depth discussions with key school and community members. The Board also maintains membership in several professional organizations, including the Four County School Boards Association and the New York State School Boards Association, for access to trainings related to being a public school board member.
Superintendent Evaluation Instrument 2017-18
Board of Education Subcommittees:
Special Education (CSE) Committee (Mary Church, Peter Jennings, Ralph Malvik)- meets before first BOE meeting of each month
Policy Committee (Brenda Eastman, Ralph Malvik, Melissa Laverack)- meets before second BOE meeting of each month
Buildings and Grounds Committee (Brenda Eastman, Peter Jennings, Melissa Laverack)- meets second or third Monday of most months
Audit Committee (Jodie Vanselow, Ralph Malvik, Kathreen Lavarnway)-- meets summer and early fall, as needed
Negotiations Committee (Melissa Laverack, Brenda Eastman, Peter Jennings)-- meets when contracts are being negotiated, as needed