School Board roles and responsibilities, from the Kansas Association of School Boards.
Setting a Vision. “As a school board member, you will have a central role in defining your district’s vision, but yours should not be the only viewpoint considered. Teachers, administrators, community members and students are more likely to support the board’s vision if they feel they have played a part in developing it.”
Hiring the district’s Superintendent. (And working with and evaluating the Superintendent.)
Continuously Developing the Organization. “The board must create an environment in the school system that encourages innovation and supports staff members in a process of continuous improvement of education.”
Setting **General** Policy. “The board and individual board members should refrain from becoming involved in the day-to-day operation of the schools.”
Ensuring Accountability. “Effective boards engage in continuous assessment of all conditions affecting education.”
Fostering Student Achievement. “Our students must be prepared to compete on a global economic field and this means we must continue to improve student achievement. Boards of education need to work within the framework of a continuous improvement model to make sure our schools are preparing every student to succeed.”
Advocating. “School boards serve as the leading advocate on behalf of students and their schools in the community. Both individually and collectively, school board members need to remain informed of issues at the local, state and national levels.” Read more here: https://www.kasb.org/297400_2
Based on the size and growth of our district, we’ve identified additional roles and responsibilities that come with being a Blue Valley School Board member:
Thinking Ahead: Our School Board determines when new schools are needed, plans Bonds to fund them, and oversees building projects. Without forward-thinking Board members, our school buildings would be outdated, overcrowded, not as conducive to learning and community, and potentially even unsafe (think secure building entries, universal locks on classroom doors, and parking lot expansion to accommodate increasing numbers of student drivers).
Representing Blue Valley Professionally: School Board members are the face of the Blue Valley School District to the community, to area business organizations, to businesses and entities that may consider locating to our area because of our quality schools, etc. Board members represent the district at the state and national level in meetings and panels. School Board members attend school, civic, and professional events on behalf of the district. These individuals represent Blue Valley professionally at ALL times - even when they’re not serving in an official capacity. (Current Board member Jim McMullen made headlines when he posted bigoted tweets using his school board title in his Twitter account. McMullen was removed as BOE vice president by a Board vote as a result, and news coverage of his tweets cast Blue Valley Schools in a negative light.)
Knowing and Understanding our large, diverse School District: School Board members should have experience with service to our BV schools before they run for office. They may have served at the school level in volunteer roles like room parent, field day chair, and PTO Board. They have often served on district committees and related community advisory roles. Members with school-age children should be educating their kids in Blue Valley Schools. Strong community connections outside the district - service in area civic organizations, connections to other parents and patrons through kids’ activities, etc., helps them have a finger on the pulse of our area.
Next week, we’ll cover what the Blue Valley School Board canNOT do - by law. We’ll also talk about what the School Board *shouldn’t* do. Stay tuned!