Board of Education Manual

MISSION STATEMENT

Monroe-Woodbury Central School District is committed to academic achievement and success for all students in a safe environment.

In partnership with families and our community, the district’s mission is to promote confidence, inspire a passion for learning, and to prepare students to become responsible global citizens.

DISTRICT ORGANIZATION

flow-chart showing district organization

flowchart showing district administration

 

BOARD OPERATIONAL GOALS

The Board of Education is responsible for setting policy for the school district.

In order to do so, the Board has as its goals:

  1. to work closely with the community
  2. to employ a Superintendent of Schools
  3. to provide leadership in order that goals and objectives of the district can be effectively carried out
  4. to evaluate the Board’s performance in relation to these goals

BOARD OFFICERS

The Board of Education holds an annual organizational meeting the first Tuesday in July to elect officers of the Board.  The President and Vice-President of the Board of Education shall be elected by members of the Board for a term of one year. See the policy #1320 for the duties of the President and Vice-President.

Organizational meeting

At the annual organizational meeting the Board makes appointments and designations of certain other district employees.  See the policy #1330 for the lists of appointments, designations, authorizations and various reviews.

Appointed officials

At the annual organizational meeting, the Board of Education also appoints a District Clerk, District Treasurer and District Tax Collector.  See the policy #1331 for a description of duties for these personnel.

AUDITORS

External auditor

The Board by law shall obtain an annual audit of its records by an independent certified public accountant (CPA) or an independent public accountant (PA). The audit shall also include all extra-classroom activity funds. The independent accountant shall present the report of the annual audit to the Board. The Board shall adopt a resolution accepting the audit report and file a copy of the resolution with the Commissioner. The District will also file the audit report with the Commissioner for a specific school year by October 15 of the following school year. In addition to the annual audit, the District shall be subject to State audits conducted by the State Comptroller. See Policy #1334 for Duties & Responsibilities of the Auditor.

Claims auditor

The Board may adopt a resolution establishing the appointment of a Claims Auditor who shall hold the position subject to the pleasure of the Board and report directly to the Board on the results of audits of claims. The Board may require that the Claims Auditor report to the Clerk of the District or the Board, or to the Superintendent for administrative matters such as workspace, time and attendance.

The Claims Auditor must have the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively audit claims including experience with purchasing, bidding and claims. The Claims Auditor must be bonded prior to assuming his/her duties. See Policy #1335 for complete list of qualifications.

Internal auditor

The Internal Auditor reports directly to the Board of Education. The District may use its employees, inter-municipal cooperative agreements, shared services to the extent authorized by Education Law Section 1950, or independent contractors as the person/entity serving as Internal Auditor. The person or entity serving as Internal Auditor must follow generally accepted auditing standards, be independent of District business operations, and have the requisite knowledge and skills to complete the work. See Policy #1339 for complete list of responsibilities.

SCHOOL ATTORNEY

The Board of Education retains legal counsel annually at its organizational meeting. Legal counsel reports directly to the Board of Education. The President of the Board, or the Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee may contact the counsel on legal matters affecting the operation of the school district, or as specified in the most current retainer agreement. Board members and administrators shall be informed of who is allowed to contact the attorney and the process for doing so. See Policy #1337 for a more detailed description of the role of our school attorney.

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 shall appoint committee members and serve as an ex-officio member of all committees to which he/she is not appointed. Board committees shall undertake studies and make reports as charged by the Board, but shall not act on behalf of 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. Board committees can be established at any time, however, the Board currently approves three committees annually at the organization meeting: policy, audit, and facilities. See Policy #2210 for more general information on Board committees.

MEETINGS

Regular meetings

The Monroe-Woodbury Board of Education will hold open, regular meetings on a monthly basis. The time, dates and place of regular Board of Education meetings shall be established at the annual organizational meeting. All regular Board meetings are open to the public, and meeting facilities shall provide access to persons with disabilities. See the policy #1510 for a more detailed description of regular meetings.

Special meetings

Special meetings of the Board of Education must be called as requested by a member of the Board to the Board President. Such meeting requires a notice of 24 hours to all Board members and the public. See the policy #1520 for a more detailed description of special meetings.

Executive session

The Board of Education may hold executive sessions at which only the members of the Board or persons invited by the Board shall be present. However, the executive session is only available for the purpose of discussion, and except as the law allows (reviewing individual staff members for example) formal action must be taken in an open session. Executive sessions can be requested by any member of the Board or the Superintendent of Schools. A Board member must make a motion during an open meeting to convene in executive session. Upon a majority vote of its members, the Board may convene in executive session at a place which the Board President or said members may designate within the district. Matters properly discussed in executive session must be treated as confidential: that is, never discussed outside of that executive session. See the policy #1730 for a more detailed description of executive session, including a more complete list of items to be discussed.

Agenda

The Superintendent, in consultation with the Board President, shall prepare the agenda for each board meeting according to the order of business to facilitate orderly and efficient meetings, and to allow board members sufficient preparation time. The agenda and any supporting materials will be distributed to board members prior to the regular meeting to permit careful consideration of items of business. The agenda and supporting material to be discussed at the board meeting that is permissible to be released to the public will be posted on the district’s website, to the extent practicable, two days before the meeting. See the policies #1511 and #1515 for a more detailed description of the agenda.

BoardDocs

Meeting agendas and minutes are posted on BoardDocs.com. Meeting agendas are posted the Friday evening prior to the regular meeting. Special meeting agendas are posted within 24 hours of the scheduled meeting. Video of Board meetings is also available on BoardDocs.com. Minutes of Board meetings are available under the agenda of the subsequent regular meeting where they are voted on. The entire Monroe-Woodbury Board Policy Manual is also available in BoardDocs.com.

Procedures

The Board of Education has established meeting procedures and where there are circumstances that are not covered by these procedures, Robert’s Rules of Order will be used.

Basic Principles of Meeting Procedures:

  1. All members have equal rights, privileges and obligations.
  2. A quorum must be present for the group to act.
  3. Full and free discussion of every motion is a basic right.
  4. Only one (1) question at a time may be considered, and only one (1) person may have the floor at any one time.
  5. Members have a right to know what the immediately pending question is and to have it restated before a vote is taken.

Minutes

The Board of Education believes that open and accurate communication regarding its internal operations enhances the district’s public relations program and provides a record of the district’s progress towards its annual goals. Therefore, the Board will maintain a complete and accurate set of minutes of each meeting in accordance with law.  The District Clerk shall be responsible for taking the minutes, and shall present the draft minutes to the Board President within ten days of the meeting.  The minutes shall conform to an established format. The minutes of each meeting of the Board of Education shall state:

  1. The type of meeting;
  2. The date, time of convening, and adjournment;
  3. Board members present and absent;
  4. Board members’ arrival and departure time, if different from opening or adjournment times;
  5. All action taken by the Board including all motions, proposals, resolutions, and any other matters formally voted upon;
  6. The final vote of each Board member on each item voted upon; and
  7. The nature of events that transpire, in general terms of reference.

All motions, proposals, resolutions, and any other matters formally voted upon by the Board shall be recorded in Board minutes. See the policy #1720 for a more detailed description of meeting minutes.

SUPERINTENDENT EVALUATION

The Board of Education annually conducts a formal performance evaluation of the Superintendent.

BOARD EVALUATION

The Board of Education conducts an annual self-evaluation. A copy of the evaluation tool can be found here http://www.nyssba.org/clientuploads/nyssba_pdf/sb-eval-nonwrite-04062016.pdf.

BOARD RETREAT

The Board of Education takes an annual retreat along with Central Office. The purpose of the retreat could accomplish one or a multiple of functions involving team building. The district clerk annually coordinates the scheduling of the retreat.

STUDENT MEMBER ON BOARD

Beginning in the 2016-2017 school year, the Monroe-Woodbury Board of Education will select a student member on the Board annually. The student member of the board shall be entitled to sit with board members at all public meetings of the board and participate in all board hearings and meetings. The student member of the board is not allowed to vote, is not allowed to attend executive session, and is not entitled to receive compensation of any form for participating at board meetings. The student member must be a senior at the high school and must have attended Monroe-Woodbury High School for at least two years prior to selection.

RESOURCES

District Email

Board of Education members will be provided with a district email account for district related correspondence. In order for the account to be created, all Board members must agree to the district acceptable use agreement which can be found at https://www.mw.k12.ny.us/staff-resources/internet-acceptable-use/. See the policy #6470, 6115, 6215 as well as the district Code of Conduct for a more detailed description of district internet, technology, and guidelines. District email can be accessed through Gmail, found at www.google.com/mail.

Helpful Websites

  1. New York State School Board Association – www.nyssba.org
  2. National School Board Associations – www.nsba.org
  3. New York State Education Department – www.nysed.gov
  4. Engage NY – www.engageny.org (EngageNY was created and is currently maintained by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) to support the implementation of key aspects of the New York State Board of Regents Reform Agenda.)
  5. Orange County School Boards Association – www.ocsba.com

The New School Board Member Handbook – A Guide to Surviving Your First Year

NYSSBA has published a new board member guide that answers an array of questions about board membership. It can be accessed at www.nyssba.org/member-services/publications/. You will need to enter your NYSSBA membership information to access it. You can get your membership information from the district clerk if you have not received it.