Board's and Interim Superintendent's Working Agreement
The Board of Directors is the educational policy making body for the Milton-Freewater Unified School District. To effectively meet the District's challenges the School Board and Interim Superintendent must function together as a leadership team. To ensure unity among team members, effective group agreements must be in place. The following are the group agreements for the Board and Interim Superintendent.
A. The Board Job Description:
- Members of the Board and the Interim Superintendent shall work together as a team.
- Focus on policy making, planning and evaluation of the Interim Superintendent, rather than day-to-day operations.
- Make decisions as a whole board only at properly called meetings. Board members recognize that individual members have no authority to take individual action in policy or district and school administrative matters.
- Support decisions of the majority after honoring the right of individual members to express opposing viewpoints and vote their convictions.
- Recognize and respect the Interim Superintendent's responsibility to manage the school district and to direct employees in district and school matters.
- Give careful consideration to all issues brought to the Board by individuals and special interests. Actively solicit input and listen to all perspectives. Board members will operate as representatives and make decisions in the best interest of the whole district.
- Value the role the Board plays in the community and represent the district, when possible, by attending school and community functions.
- Be an advocate for public education in the district, region and state level by speaking up for and on behalf of public education whenever required.
B. Meeting Operational Agreements:
- Acknowledge that during a Board meeting two board members must agree before an item is placed on a meeting agenda.
- Uphold the legal requirement for confidentiality on all matters arising from the board meeting in Executive Session.
- Start and end meetings on time.
- Attend regularly scheduled board meetings and work sessions unless a situation occurs that makes attendance impossible.
- Cooperate in scheduling special meetings and/or work sessions for planning and training purposes.
- Cast a vote on all matters except when a conflict of interest arises.
C. Communication Agreements:
- Communicate directly with the Interim Superintendent when a question arises, or a concern is voiced by a staff member, student, parent or community member. The Collective Bargaining Agreement must be followed regarding a complaint against an employee.
- Communicate directly with the Interim Superintendent or Board Chair prior to meetings of the Board to address questions and/or concerns about agenda items.
- Communicate one-on-one, when an individual concern arises, with the Interim Superintendent or other board members, as appropriate.
- Give the Interim Superintendent/Building Administrator a courtesy call or e-mail before visiting a school.
- No individual board member, regardless of his or her position, has the authority to speak for the Board. In accordance with Board policy, the Board Chair will be the spokesperson for the media.
- From time-to-time the Board may be required to make findings of fact that are appealable to another agency. In these situations, no board member will have personal contact with parties who have a personal interest in the findings and in the Board's decision prior to the time the decision is made.
- Confidentiality of executive session will be maintained and the Board and Interim Superintendent may only discuss topics related to personnel, labor negotiations, real estate transactions, legal counsel, records exempt from public record inspection, student expulsion or any other subject authorized by ORS 192.660.
The purpose of this agreement is to help ensure that no board member will receive any information regarding a pending matter that is not available to all board members prior to the time the decision is made. Examples of such decisions include personnel matters, official land use decisions and charter school applications.
D. Annual Planning and Evaluation:
- Set priorities as a board for board professional development annually.
- Participate in annual self-assessment of the Board's performance.
- Participate in establishing expectations and goals for the Interim Superintendent.
- Objectively evaluate the Interim Superintendent's performance and provide appropriate feedback.
E. Orientation of New Board Members
- Assure timely orientation of new board members.
F. Role of the Chair:
- Recognize the role of the Chair to speak for and about the Board and to describe the Board's process and positions. Recognize the role of the Chair to convene meetings, develop the agenda with the Interim Superintendent and execute documents as appropriate.
G. Board's Expectations of the Interim Superintendent
- Work toward becoming a team with board members.
- Respect and acknowledge the Board's role in setting policy and overseeing the performance of the Interim Superintendent.
- Work with the Board to establish a clear vision for the school district.
- Prepare preliminary goals annually for the Board's considerations.
- Provide data to the board members so that data driven decisions can be made.
- Possess a working knowledge of all legal and local policies.
- Inform the Board of all critical information including relevant trends, anticipated adverse media coverage or critical external or internal change.
- Distribute appropriate information to all board members.
- Communicate with board members promptly and effectively.
- Distribute the board agenda by Thursday prior to the regularly scheduled board meetings on Tuesday of the following week. Board members will be contacted if a situation causes any delay.
- Respect the confidentiality requirement of board meeting Executive Sessions.
- Treat all board members professionally.
- Communicate individually with board members if a problem or issue is developing related to his/her role and responsibilities as a board member.
- Conduct a self-assessment prior to the Board's final evaluation of the Interim Superintendent's job performance.
- Represent the school district by being visible in the community.
- Provide follow-up information to board members on concerns and issues they have referred to the Interim Superintendent - close the communication loop.
H. Interim Superintendent’s Expectations of the Board
- Recognition of the Interim Superintendent as the educational leader of the school district.
- Willingness to share the success and failures of the school system with the Interim Superintendent.
- Assist in gaining acceptance and support within the community.
- Willingness to abide by its own rules, policies and code of ethical conduct.
- Willingness, within budget constraints, to provide the Interim Superintendent with adequate staff and clerical assistance.
- Willingness to acknowledge and follow the chain of command of the school district.
- Respect the confidentiality requirement of board meeting executive sessions.
- Avoidance of seeking personal privilege.
- A willingness to participate in professional development activities at the local, state and national level.
- An effort to foster unity, harmony and open communications within the Board.
- An understanding of the relative or complimentary role of the Interim Superintendent and Board in policy making.
- Careful consideration of each recommendation made by the Interim Superintendent.
- Insistence on all available facts and data before making a decision.
- Willingness to study and evaluate educational issues affecting the school district.
- Practice of avoiding surprise items at board meetings.
- Integrity of the highest order.