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Series 2000


Board Operational Goals

2000
School Board Legal Status 2100
School Board Access to Personnel Records 2110.1
Board Member School Visits 2111.1
School District Officer and Employee Code of Ethics 2160
Board Member Conflict of Interest 2170
Annual Budget Vote & School Board Elections
2200
Board-Superintendent Relationship 2240
Board Committees 2250
Citizens’ Advisory Committees 2260
Shared Decision-Making and School-Based Planning 2265
School Attorney 2270
Litigation Procedures 2270.1
Board of Education Membership
2300
Board of Education Meetings
2350
Appointed Board Officers
2410
Formulation, Adoption and Amendment of Policies 2410
New Board Member Orientation 2510
Board Member Training Program 2520
Membership in School Boards Associations 2530
Board-Staff Communications 2700

                                                                                                                            2000

 

                                    BOARD OPERATIONAL GOALS

 

The Board of Education, as a legally constituted body of elected representatives, bears the responsibility of setting policy for the school district.  The Board acts in accordance with authority and responsibility vested in it by federal and state laws, rules, and regulations on behalf of the district's citizens.

 

In order to ensure that its educational programs provide all students with a high-quality education, the Board hereby establishes as its goals:

 

  1. to work closely with the community to ensure that Board actions and performance take into consideration the concerns and aspirations of the community;
  2. to identify the educational and technological needs of the community and industry, and to transform such needs into programs aimed at stimulating students and preparing them for future careers;
  3. to employ a Superintendent of Schools capable of ensuring that the district maintains its position as an outstanding school system, and that school personnel carry out the policies of the Board with energy and dedication;
  4. to provide leadership in order that goals and objectives of the district, as set forth by the Board, can be effectively carried out. Board action should be confined to policy-making, planning and appraisal with the Board delegating authority to the Superintendent for the implementation of policies; and
  5. to evaluate the Board's performance in relation to these goals, and to establish and clarify policies based upon the results of such evaluation.

 

Adoption date: December 16, 1997

 

                                                                                                                         2110.1

 

SCHOOL BOARD ACCESS TO PERSONNEL RECORDS

 

In accordance with the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, members of the Board of Education may review employee personnel records only for the purpose of aiding the members to fulfill their legal responsibilities in making decisions in such employee personnel matters as appointments, assignments, promotions, demotions, remuneration, discipline or dismissal, or to aid in the development and implementation of personnel policies, or such other uses as are necessary to enable the Board to carry out legal responsibilities. 

 

Board members may review employee personnel records provided:

 

  1. the Superintendent of Schools is requested in advance to present the personnel records at a regularly scheduled open meeting of the Board;
  2. the records are reviewed during an executive session;
  3. the personnel records are returned in their entirety to the Superintendent at the conclusion of the Executive Session; and
  4. no reproduction of the record is made and no written notes are taken of the contents of employee personnel records.

 

The information contained in such records shall only be used by the Board for the purpose of aiding Board members in decisions regarding personnel employment matters, such as appointments, assignments, promotions, demotions, remuneration, discipline or dismissal; development and implementation of personnel policies; or such other uses as are necessary to enable the Board to carry out its legal responsibilities.

 

Cross-ref:  9160, Personnel Records

 

Ref:     Education Law §§1604; 1604--a; 1701; 1708; 1709; 1710

            8 NYCRR, Part 84

            Gustin v. Joiner, 95 Misc. 2d 277 (1978), aff'd 68 AD2d 880 (1978)

            Matter of Bruno, 4 EDR 14 (1964)

 

Adoption date: December 16, 1997

 

 

                                                                                                                         2111.1

 

                                 BOARD MEMBER SCHOOL VISITS

 

Unless specifically authorized to act on behalf of the Board of Education, an individual Board member has no right to make an official visit to the schools for the purposes of inspecting the schools, gathering information, or giving directions to any employee of the schools.  The individual Board member’s rights are no greater or different from those of any other individual.  As such, individual Board members shall provide advance notice of a school visit to the Building Principal and shall notify the Principal upon entering the building.  Concerns or opinions related to the education program in individual school buildings shall be directed to the Superintendent of Schools.

 

Cross-ref:        1240, Visitors to the Schools

                        2250, Board Committees

 

Ref:     Matter of Bruno, 4 EDR 14 (1964)

 

Adoption date: December 16, 1997

 

 

 

                                                                                                                            2160

 

SCHOOL DISTRICT OFFICER AND EMPLOYEE CODE OF ETHICS

View the Revised Policy 2160  

                                                                                                                            2170

 

                         BOARD MEMBER CONFLICT OF INTEREST

 

The members of the Board of Education shall avoid acting in circumstances where their personal interest conflicts with that of the public whose interest they have been elected to represent.  The actions of the Board shall be governed by the applicable provisions of the General Municipal Law, any other applicable law and the code of ethics established pursuant to Board Policy 2160.

 

Cross-ref:        9120.1, Conflict of Interest

 

Ref:     Education Law §§2103; 2502(7); 2590-c; 2590-g; 2590-j(4); 3016

            General Municipal Law §§800 et seq.

            Local Finance Law §60.10

 

Adoption date: December 16, 1997

 

 

                                                                                                                            2240

 

                        BOARD-SUPERINTENDENT RELATIONSHIP

 

The Board of Education believes that the development and adoption of policies is the most important function of a School Board, and the execution of the policies is the function of the Superintendent of Schools.

 

The Board holds the Superintendent responsible for the administration of its policies, the execution of Board decisions, the operation of the internal machinery designed to serve the educational programs and for keeping the Board informed about district operations and problems.

 

Adoption date: December 16, 1997

Revision date: September 21, 1999

 

                                                                                                                            2250

 

                                            BOARD COMMITTEES

 

The Board of Education may, from time to time, establish committees whose membership will consist of members of the Board.  The president of the Board and the Superintendent of Schools shall serve as an ex-officio members of all committees to which they are not appointed.  The duties of Board committees shall be outlined at the time of appointment.  Board committees shall undertake studies and make reports as charged by the Board, but shall not act on behalf of the Board.  The Board committee shall be considered dissolved when the final report is made and acted upon by the Board.

 

The Board may establish standing or ad hoc committees and reserves the right to terminate any committees at any time.

 

Any official policy-level action shall be in the sole discretion of the Board. The Board is in no way obligated to follow committee recommendations.  The Board has the right to accept, reject, or modify all or any part of a committee recommendation.

 

Cross-ref:        2111.1, Board Members School Visits

                        2260, Citizens Advisory Committees

 

Adoption date: December 16, 1997

 

                                                                                                                            2260

 

                               CITIZENS ADVISORY COMMITTEES

 

The Board of Education recognizes that it can beneficially utilize the talents, resources, and interests available among district residents to assist in developing the programs needed for the maintenance of a quality educational program in the schools of the district.  To that end, the Board shall, at its discretion and in accordance with state law and regulation, appoint Citizens Advisory Committees of representative residents of the district to meet with the Board to provide advice and reaction about, and review of important matters before the Board which may have special significance for or impact on the community.

 

Each citizens committee organized by the Board shall be appointed and discharged by official Board resolutions.  Resolutions appointing such committees shall state specifically the scope of the work of the committee.

 

Appointments to Citizens Advisory Committees shall be on the basis of interest, experience, expertise, and concern.  No one shall be appointed as a representative of a specific group or area, unless it is the express purpose of the Board to have all areas of the community represented, in which case the Board will, in its discretion, appoint representative members of every such group or area.  The Board shall make every effort to form a committee that is representative of the entire community.

 

Committees shall report all suggestions and recommendations to the Board and Superintendent of Schools prior to public release.  Final reports shall be delivered to the Board at a meeting scheduled by the Board to receive the report.

 

The Board may accept, reject, or return committee recommendations for further study.  Any action stemming from committee reports is the responsibility of the Board.  Publicity, or the release of information, concerning committee findings shall be the responsibility and the prerogative of the Board.  Advisory committees shall be discontinued upon completion of their assignment(s).

 

Ref:     Education Law §§4402; 4601

            8 NYCRR §135.3(2)

 

Cross-ref:        2250, Board Committees

                        4315.1, AIDS Instruction

                        4321, Programs for Students with Disabilities

                        6110, Budget Planning

                        7800, Closing of Facilities

 

Adoption date: December 16, 1997

 

2265

 

SHARED DECISION-MAKING AND SCHOOL-BASED

PLANNING

 

The Board of Education encourages the participation of the community in improving education in our schools.  In accordance with the regulations of the Commissioner, the Board has adopted a plan for the effective participation of parents, teachers, administrators and the Board in shared decision-making at the building level.  This plan specifies:

 

  1. the educational issues which will be subject to decision sharing and cooperative planning at the school level;
  2. the manner and extent of the expected involvement of all parties;
  3. the means and standards by which all parties will evaluate improvement in student achievement;
  4. the means by which all parties will be held accountable for the decisions made;
  5. the process whereby disputes will be resolved at the local level; and
  6. the manner in which all state and federal requirements for the involvement of parents in planning and decision-making will be coordinated with and met by the overall plan.

 

A copy of the Plan for Participation by Teachers and Parents in School-Based Planning and Shared Decision-Making shall be available at each school and at the central district office; individual copies of the plan will be provided upon request.

 

Every two years, the Board shall review the plan to determine its effectiveness and to recertify or amend the plan, as needed.  Any amendment or recertification of the plan will be developed and adopted in accordance with section 100.11 of the Regulations of the Commissioner.

 

The amended or recertified plan together with a statement of the plan's success in achieving its objectives, shall be submitted to the Commissioner of Education for approval no later than February 1st of each year in which biennial review takes place.  The first such review shall have been submitted to the Commissioner no later than February 1, 1996.

 

Ref:     8 NYCRR §100.11

 

Adoption date: December 16, 1997

 

                                                                                                                            2270

 

                                              SCHOOL ATTORNEY

 

The Board of Education will appoint a School Attorney for the district  at the annual reorganizational meeting.  The Attorney must be admitted to the bar of New York State.  The Attorney will be the legal advisor to the Board.  In that capacity, the Attorney’s duties will be:

 

  1. to advise the Board with respect to all legal matters relating to the district, including, but not limited to, interpretation of the Education Law of the State of New York, and all other statutes, rules or regulations affecting the district;
  2. to be easily accessible to the Board and the Superintendent of Schools (and, at the discretion of the Superintendent, to his/her administrative staff), with respect to legal matters issuing out of the day-to-day administration of the district;
  3. to review and to represent the district in the preparation of any and all contracts which the district may be obliged to execute (other than purchase orders usually issued for the purchase of goods, equipment and services);
  4. to advise and assist in matters of litigation pursuant to the retainer agreement;
  5. to review the legality of all rules or regulations to be adopted by the Board;
  6. to review and advise with respect to any process served upon the district;
  7. to recommend the retainment of such special counsel as he or she may deem necessary in the circumstances, subject to the approval of the Board; and
  8. in the event of a public employees’ strike, to apply to the New York State Supreme Court for an injunction against such violation. In the event such injunction or order does not receive compliance, he/she must apply to the Court to  punish such violation.

 

The district, when seeking to retain a School Attorney, may first locate prospective qualified lawyers/law firms by:

 

  1. advertising in trade journals;
  2. checking listings of lawyers/law firms; or
  3. making inquiries of other districts or other appropriate sources.

 

The district may then prepare a well-planned, written request for a proposal which will contain critical details of the services sought and submit this request to prospective applicants.

 

In selecting a School Attorney, the district will consider the cost of a retainer (or hourly fee), as well as such other factors as:

 

  1. the special knowledge or expertise of the lawyer/law firm;
  2. the quality of the service provided by the lawyer/law firm;
  3. the staffing of the lawyer/law firm; and
  4. the lawyer’s/law firm’s suitability for the district’s needs.

 

                                                                                                                            2270

 

The district will maintain documentation of the written proposals submitted by lawyer/law firm applicants for the position of School Attorney.

 

The Board shall determine the amount of compensation for the School Attorney.  In addition to the annual retainer (or hourly fee), the Attorney shall be reasonably compensated for:

 

  1. all services rendered in connection with litigation and appeals to the Commissioner of Education, state or federal courts, brought by or against the district, the Board or the Superintendent, in addition to those rendered pursuant to the retainer agreement;
  2. all services rendered in connection with bond issues or similar financial transaction;
  3. assistance in contract negotiations with representatives of employees and in the drafting of negotiated contracts;
  4. legal services with respect to any grievances that may be filed by employees or their representatives;
  5. tenure and related type hearings; and
  6. such services as shall not be reasonably included within the specified duties enumerated as attorney duties.

 

Cross-ref:        2270.1, Litigation Procedures

 

Adoption date: December 16, 1997

 

 

                                                                                                                         2270.1

 

                                        LITIGATION PROCEDURES

           

The Board of Education recognizes the seriousness of legal allegations against the school district and the importance of responding promptly to such allegations.  The Board further acknowledges that it may be served legal documents including notice of claim and summons and complaint documents either by personal delivery or mail delivery.

 

The Board notes that service may be made on any school officer, as defined by Education Law §2, which includes the District Clerk, the District Treasurer, any member of the Board, the District Superintendent of Schools, an Attendance Officer, or any other elected or appointed officer of the district whose duties generally relate to the administration of the district’s affairs.

 

If any teacher is sued as a result of action taken by the teacher while acting in the discharge of his/her duties within the scope of his/her employment, the district shall provide legal aid and render all necessary assistance to the teacher in his/her defense, within the limitations of New York State Law.  The teacher shall notify the Superintendent within five days after the action is brought against him/her.  In the event action is submitted to the Board concerning a teacher, the teacher shall be notified by the Superintendent within 10 days.

 

The Superintendent shall establish effective procedures to ensure that the district responds within the time frames prescribed by law. The procedures developed, when implemented, will  help protect the district from penalties for failure or refusal to acknowledge receipt of a summons served either by mail or personal delivery.

 

Cross-ref:        2270, School Attorney

 

Ref:     22 NYCRR §130.1(b); 130.2

            Education Law §2 (13); 3813

Civil Practice Law and Rules §311; 312(a); 318

 

Adoption date: December 16, 1997

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                            2410

 

        FORMULATION, ADOPTION AND AMENDMENT OF POLICIES

 


 

                                                                                                                            2510

 

                             NEW BOARD MEMBER ORIENTATION

 

Following public election or temporary Board of Education appointment of new members of the Board, the Board will provide a full program of notification, orientation and formal reception for the newly elected Board member(s) which are designed to make the transition into public office both comfortably and efficiently.

 

Notification

 

No later than the day following the official announcement of the results of a vote of a Board election or following the temporary appointment to a position of the Board, the newly elected or appointed Board member(s) shall be notified by a formal letter of announcement dispatched from the office of the Superintendent of Schools.

 

The letter shall include the good wishes of the Superintendent and the Board, the official results of the election (if elected), and information related to the expectations of the new Board member(s) regarding when and in what manner he/she is to assume his/her new office.

 

News releases shall be prepared or the news of the new Board member shall otherwise be promulgated to the news media.

 

Orientation

 

The Board and the Administrative staff shall assist each new Board member-elect to become familiar with and to understand the Board's functions, policies and procedures, and the school district's operation before taking office.  Each Board member-elect shall, as soon as possible,

 

  1. be given a full library of meaningful printed material which will acquaint him/her with his/her duties and responsibilities and which cover the function of the Board and the school district, including (a) policy manual, (b) copies of key reports prepared during the previous year by school Board committees and/or the administration, (c) the School Law Handbook prepared by the New York State School Boards Association, (d) access to minutes of Board meetings of the previous year, (e) latest financial report of the district, school budget workbook, purchasing code booklet and explanations, (f) all agendas, minutes, memoranda and correspondence that are received by Board members, (g) employee contracts, (h) copies of pertinent materials developed by the New York State School Boards Association, (i) a copy of the Sunshine Laws, and (j) any other materials which may be deemed helpful and informative;
  2. be invited to attend all Board meetings and functions, excluding executive sessions, as a non-participating member until he/she is duly sworn into office;

 

                                                                                                                            2510

 

  1. be invited to meet with the Superintendent of Schools, be conducted on a tour of all district buildings and be introduced to and meet with the administrative and supervisory personnel to discuss the services that they perform for the school board and the school district. The new Board member shall be accompanied by another Board member if possible; and 4.be invited and encouraged to attend the New York State School Boards Association's workshop for New School Board Members.

 

 

Formal Reception

 

The newly elected or appointed Board member will be administered the oath of office in accordance with policy 2122.

 

Cross-ref:        2122, Board Member Oath of Office

 

Adoption date: December 16, 1997

                                                                                                                                        2520

BOARD MEMBER TRAINING

Members of the Board of Education elected or appointed for a term beginning on or after July 1, 2005 shall, within the first year of their term, complete a minimum of six hours of training on the fiscal oversight, accountability and fiduciary responsibilities of a school board member. Such training shall be provided by the New York State Education Department, the Office of the State Comptroller or any other provider approved by the Commissioner of Education and may be offered as part of a general course of training for the purpose of educating Board members on their powers, functions and duties.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, a board member shall be deemed to have met the training requirements set forth herein and will not be required to complete them if he or she submits to the State Education Department sufficient documentation which demonstrates that he or she has completed a training program which is substantially equivalent to an approved curriculum by an approved provider during the period July 1, 2004 through January 1, 2006. The State Education Department's approval of the documentation submitted by the board member shall effect compliance with the training requirement set forth in this Policy.

Each member shall demonstrate compliance with the training requirements by filing with the District Clerk a copy of his or her certificate of completion of such course issued by the provider or written approval issued by the State Education Department.

Actual and necessary expenses incurred in complying with this requirement shall be a charge against the school district.

Upon satisfaction of the training and certification requirements of this Policy, a board member shall have completed his or her obligations hereunder and shall not be required to repeat this training.

Cross-Ref: 2510, New Board Member Orientation
2521, School Board Conferences, Conventions and Workshops
Ref: Education Law §2102-a
8 NYCRR § 170.12

Adoption Date: March 14, 2006

 

 

                                                                                                                            2530

 

                 MEMBERSHIP IN SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATIONS

 

The Board of Education shall maintain memberships in the Nassau-Suffolk School Boards Association, the New York State School Boards Association, and other organizations established for Boards of Education.

 

Board members should take the responsibility to attend association meetings for the purpose of Board development and gathering new information.

 

Ref:     Education Law §1618

            General Municipal Law §77b

 

Adoption date: December 16, 1997

 

                                                                                                                            2700

 

                                BOARD-STAFF COMMUNICATIONS

 

The success of any school system requires effective communication between the Board of Education and school staff.  Such communication is necessary for facilitating proposals for the continuing improvement of the educational program and for the proper disposition of personnel problems which may arise.

 

The main goal of both the Board and the staff is to provide the best possible educational opportunities for the entire community.  To achieve this end, good Board-staff relations must be maintained in a climate of mutual trust and respect.  At the same time, the Board in exercising its public trust to provide thorough and efficient public education, cannot dissipate or transfer its responsibilities.

 

In accordance with good personnel practice, staff participation in the development of educational and personnel policies will be encouraged and facilitated.  The Superintendent of Schools, as professional leader of the staff and the chief executive of the Board, will develop appropriate methods to keep staff fully informed of the Board's problems, concerns and actions, and for staff to communicate information related to district operations.

 

All communications and reports to the Board from staff members and staff organizations will be submitted to the Board through the Superintendent.  All official communications, policies, and directives of staff interest and concern will be communicated to staff members through the Superintendent.  However, this will not be construed as denying the right of any staff member to appeal any action or decision of the Superintendent to the Board.

 

All effective means of facilitating channels of communication between the Board and staff will be explored in order to promote close and cooperative action for the continuing improvement of the educational program and the mutual benefit of the school system and the community.

 

Adoption date: December 16, 1997