As part of the Board’s ongoing effort to help the community understand the role of the Board of Education, Board President, David Francis has asked members of the board to present information on various aspects of the board’s operations. This piece covers the essential role and responsibilities of the board and its members.
What is a school board?
The Board of Education is a corporate body that is responsible for overseeing both the education of students and the operation of the school district, although it does not directly run the school. The Board can act only as a whole and during public meetings. Its first commitment is to provide the best education possible while considering the needs of every child the district serves.
What does the board do?
In essence, we are the district’s board of directors and are responsible for setting policy, overseeing resource allocation for the district, and evaluating the superintendent based on mutually agreed-upon goals and the vision of the district.
The board’s primary duties include:
• selecting and evaluating the district superintendent. The superintendent serves as the chief executive officer of the school board, recommends actions for board approval, and implements the board’s decisions
• reviewing and promulgating the policies, consistent with state and federal law, that govern the affairs of the district
• overseeing school buildings, grounds, and equipment
• the annual adoption of the district’s budget, which is submitted for voter approval in May
What doesn’t the board do?
The board does not implement the district’s goals and policies—that is the job of our professional educators, as directed by the superintendent.
What does a board member do?
Members of the HF-L Board of Education are volunteers, from a variety of professional backgrounds, who give their time to help govern and set the direction of the school district. In order to prepare themselves to effectively carry out the responsibilities of the board, members must spend time away from work and family to attend to the needs and learning required to govern the educational opportunities of thousands of children. Board members typically devote up to 10 hours per week to attending board meetings, workshops, committee meetings, and school events; preparing for meetings by reading board information packets and reference materials; interacting with community members; and engaging in development and advocacy opportunities.
What doesn’t a board member do?
Board members don’t get involved in the day-to-day operation of the district, but we do receive regular progress reports so we can evaluate the district’s progress toward our established goals. Because the board can act only as a whole, a single board member cannot bind the school board to a particular action. When an individual reaches out to a board member with questions or problems, the board member can listen and ask questions, but generally must direct that person to the district’s problem-solving protocol or to the superintendent for resolution of the issue.
Below are some links to other helpful documents which also currently appear under the “want to get involved” tab in the Board of Education section of the HF-L website.