School board members – school directors – are the elected "governors" of the school district, serving four-year terms. Information on eligibility and elections is in the School Board Elections & Board Member Qualifications policy.
The school board’s governance responsibilities fall in four major areas:
- Vision – focuses the work on student achievement through a comprehensive strategic planning process
- Structure – provides prudent financial planning and oversight; diligent and innovative policymaking
- Accountability – sets specific goals and a process for evaluation, reporting and recommendations for improvements
- Advocacy – champions public education in the local community and before state and federal policy makers
There is a definite line between governing the district and managing its daily activities. Boards are ultimately responsible. However, they employ a professional staff of administrators, led by a superintendent, to manage day-to-day functions.
As the governors of the district, school boards work with their administrators to make decisions and set policy regarding a number of matters, including:
- bond and levy elections,
- budget adoption,
- curriculum adoption,
- fiscal planning and oversight,
- employee relations, and
The board has chosen to use a process known as policy governance. This system ensures that the board focuses on accountability and the larger issues facing the district. The Board Job Description in the Board Policies provides a good outline of the board’s role in this system.
Cooperation is the key to successful school board governance. Each board member works with the other members of the board and in partnership with the superintendent, who carries out the board’s vision and direction. Decision-making authority is vested in the school board as a whole. Individual proposals are adopted only when a majority of the board approves them.