Board policies are statements that set forth the purposes and prescribe in general terms the organization and program of a school system. The formulation and adoption of policies, recorded in writing, will constitute the basic method by which the school boards will exercise its leadership in the operation of the school system. Policies create a framework within which administration and personnel or staff can discharge their assigned duties with positive direction.
What is policy?
A guideline adopted by the board to chart a course of action
What is wanted or not wanted
May also include "why" and "how much"
Broad enough to allow administrative discretion/specific enough to give clear guidance
Policy is not:
Restatements or paraphrases of state or federal law
Forms, job descriptions, etc.
Why is policy important?
Board policies do the following:
Provides consistency, stability and continuity
Conserves time and effort, freeing the board from routine action
Provides direction for administration, staff and students
Informs the public
Establishes a legal record as well as a legal basis for board actions
Aids orientation of new board members and staff
Provides a sound basis for appraisal and accountability
Meets minimum requirements as prescribed by law
There might be times you see administrative regulation language in a policy because the law/statute or rule requires the how, where, when and by whom to be in policy, and in order for the conveyance of the procedure, it also has to be included in the administrative regulation as well.
The basic responsibility for initiating, reviewing and recommending new policies or policy modification will rest with the administration. New policies or changes in existing policy may be proposed by any board member, staff member, parent, student or other member of the community to the administration for the board to consider. The administration, in developing these policies, may be guided by the recommendations of the staff and may seek parent and community input during the preparation and subsequent review of policy statements. Advice from legal counsel may be appropriate. The administration may need to furnish background information to the Board.
The final authority and responsibility for board policy lies with the school board.