American Education Week

American Education Week is traditionally observed the week before Thanksgiving.

Appointing subcommittees

The board has the authority to appoint special committees.

Back to School Week

While Back to School Week officially ended in 2004, we think it's an event worth perpetuating. What better say to help Oregonians understand what public schools are doing for our children and our future?

Bill Tracking from previous sessions

Education bills from 2015 and prior Oregon legislative sessions.

Board chair's authority

A description of the board chair's authority.

Board secretary

The board secretary provides the board with accurate records of meeting minutes, handles board correspondence, and posts all meetings.

Budget communication tools

User-friendly resources for informing and involving your community in the process of setting spending priorities.

Building collaborative relationships

Tips for building collaborative relationships with political and business leaders in order to develop a consensus for student success.

Building meaningful partnerships

Basic steps for building partnerships between businesses and schools.

Census primer for school boards

Resources to help you make the most of the U.S. Census information.

Choosing the chair

The selection of the board chair is made no later than the next regular meeting following July 1 each year.

Communicating during the board meeting

Resources for making a positive impression on the public at board meetings.

Communicating with diverse populations

Communicating with Oregon's growing minority population.

Communicating your message to Legislators

Do's and don'ts for building relationships with legislators.

Communication with the board and public

The primary role of the chair, other than to run meetings, is to be the voice of the board.

Community engagement resources

Links to articles designed to help school boards establish two-way communication between the organization and the community it serves.

Conducting board meetings

The most important role of the board chair is conducting the meeting.

Covering Education: A Reporter's Guide to Education in Oregon

Information about school organization, curriculum, budget, collective bargaining, education service districts and community colleges.

Districts helping districts

Resource page linking districts to information and tools from other districts.

Evaluating the superintendent

What the board needs to know to effectively evaluate the superintendent.

Executive sessions

A board may be called to meet in executive session or decide to go into executive session at any time during a regular, special or emergency meeting to discuss certain matters. By Oregon law, the chair may call a board into executive session without a vote of the board; however, in some districts, local policy may require such a vote.

Whenever an executive session is called, the presiding officer must identify the section and subsection of ORS 192.660 (listed reasons) or 332.061 (expulsion or medical records of a minor student) that authorize the executive session's purpose.

Boards may not meet in executive session to conduct the following business:

  • Fill a vacancy in an elective office
  • Fill a vacancy on any public committee, commission or other advisory group
  • Consider general employment policies
  • Discuss an employee's performance, unless that employee has been notified and has been given the option of having the discussion held in public
  • Hire the superintendent or any other employee if the vacancy has not been advertised, hiring procedures have not been adopted by the board, and there has been no opportunity for public input about the hiring

Purposes for which executive session may be called:

  • To consider the employment of a public officer, employee, staff member or individual agent. (ORS 192.660(2)(a))
  • To consider the dismissal or disciplining of, or to hear complaints or charges brought against, a public officer, employee, staff member or agent, unless he or she requests an open meeting. (ORS 192.660(2)(b))
  • To conduct deliberations with persons designated to carry on labor negotiations. (ORS 192.660(2)(d))
  • To conduct deliberations to negotiate real property transactions. (ORS 192.660(2)(e))
  • To consider records exempt by law from public inspection. (ORS 192.660(2)(f))
  • To consult with counsel concerning current or possible litigation. (ORS 192.660(2)(h))
  • To review and evaluate the performance of the superintendent or any other public officer, employee or staff member, unless that person requests an open hearing. (ORS 192.660(2)(i))
  • To consider matters relating to school safety or a plan that responds to safety threats made toward a school. (ORS 192.660(k))
  • Conduct a hearing on the expulsion of a student or to review a student's confidential medical records. (ORS 332.061(1))

If you have questions about the state’s public meetings laws and other state statutes dealing with the meetings of public officials, call OSBA. Further information on executive session is available in OSBA's Public Meetings Law, Board Meetings and Executive Sessions.

Exploring the benefits of regional negotiation forums

A new trend may be on the horizon for Oregon school boards. Districts in two regions - Southern Oregon and East Multnomah County - have recently improved their bargaining advantage by participating in regional negotiation forums.

Freedom of information laws

Oregon’s Public Meetings Laws govern what materials must be made available to the public and which may be withheld.

Handling board correspondence

Letters sent to the board of education through the board chair should be shared with other board members.

Healthy Kids Learn Better: State and national resources

Links to useful information from Oregon and around the nation.

History of school board elections

Statistical information about school board elections.

How much time does being a good board member require?

The time committment for school board service.

How to become a school board candidate

Information on becoming a school board candidate.

How to organize a successful community legislative forum

Pointers for planning large public events.

Is your school board dysfunctional?

Common denominators in dysfunctional school boards.

Key communicator network

Building Support for Your Schools

Keys to effective advocacy

Five tips for communicating with your legislators.

New board member resources

Resources for New Board Members

Personal qualities of a board chair

Leadership is an acquired art, not something that comes naturally to all people.

Public hearings

The board will hold public hearings as required by law.

School board elections

Information about how to file as a candidate for school board elections.

Schools at the heart of communities

Schools are changing - from footprints and heating systems to landscapes and siting decisions.

Schools cycle back into the heart of the neighborhood

Communities began to move away from the concept of a small neighborhood-centered school that kids could walk to in the 1970s, but some are pushing back. Learn about this trend.

Sharing a common vision

The board chair should work to keep the board focused on the school district's vision.

Superintendent and board chair dialogue

Keeping the lines of communication open between the board chair and the superintendent benefits the entire board and school district.

Superintendent evaluation workbook

A high quality superintendent evaluation process helps develop good board/superintendent relationships, provides clarity of roles, creates common understanding of the leadership being provided and provides a mechanism for public accountability.

Tangible triumphs: Increase support for schools by changing your message

Oregonians aren't getting enough of the right information about their local schools to create a very big fan club for education. Here we provide examples of "blue-ribbon" triumphs in our schools and give you new tools to help you change the public's opinion.

The board chair and first amendment

When the board chair speaks to an issue, the public and the media assume that the chair’s statement is the opinion of the entire board of education.

The board meeting agenda

The agenda, prepared by the board chair and the superintendent, is the most important document at any board meeting.

Time/stress management

Serving on a board of education is a volunteer effort that requires many hours of diligent work.

What does a school board do?

An overview of a school board's responsibilities.

What makes a good board member?

Qualities that describe effective board members.

When you're in charge as the board chair...

As a new board chair, you suddenly find that you are making decisions, and that 'basic rule' is less defined.