"But if it is believed that these elementary schools will be better managed by...any other general authority of the government, than by the parents within each ward [district], it is a belief against all experience." --Thomas Jefferson

Monday, November 15, 2010

Initial Meeting

Last Monday, I met with the Superintendent and the Board President. It was mostly a get-to-know-you meeting and then an overview of some of the responsibilities of a school board member.

Some of these are:
Twice monthly work sessions (4pm) and board meetings (6pm)

Tuesday morning tour and meetings: These are rotated among board members so there are only 2 or 3 board members present. Awards are given to a high performing team at the school, and then information is presented to the board members by the district officials. Minutes are taken at that meeting and passed around to the rest of the board members. In general, each board member will visit a school and participate in these meetings once each month.

Committee Meetings: There are about 18 committees and each board member will be on 3 or 4 of these. These assignments are made by the board president, but individual board members can express preferences for certain committees. I'm still trying to figure out what all of them are.  See the list of committees here.

Training session for new board members: The Utah School Boards Association hosts a training session (that will take place this year on Dec. 4).

Participation in a closed session of board meeting (Dec. 14): The board sometimes has closed sessions to discuss private matters, such as compensation, complaints, student issues, liabilities, etc. The new board members will be invited to attend this closed session to learn about the proceedings, but not take an active part, I assume.

Additional trainings and retreats were mentioned.

There was discussion about unity, keeping confidences, and the board's Code of Conduct. I was told that the most important thing I could do between now and January was to review and understand the Code of Conduct. I would appreciate your comments about this. Read the Code here.

Board members also receive some benefits. These are:
Internet Service, if requested
Laptop, if requested
Retirement benefits, if requested
Health Insurance, if requested
Compensation of $500/month that must be accepted. I will donate this amount.

In short, it was a nice meeting. Everyone was very positive and welcoming. That is very much appreciated.

1 comment:

  1. Highland parent (child in public school)November 16, 2010 at 12:45 PM

    Wendy, thanks SO much for your commitment to openness and accountability to the parents and families who elected you.

    The "code of conduct" explains a lot! Well-meaning, perhaps, but in application it would appear that board members are expected to be a rubber stamp for, and represent, the district administration, rather than represent the voters who elected them. Upside-down and backwards!