The Board of Education is composed of seven-members who serve three-year terms. Members are elected by residents in the community to establish policy and direct the administration of the district’s schools.
As your representatives, the board exercises the community’s rights to citizen control over public education. Every Board of Education in the State of New York has legal and financial control over local school matters, subject only to limitations imposed by the United States Constitution, Federal Law, State Law, regulations of the Commissioner of Education, and, of course, the will of local residents as expressed in local elections.
Jennifer Longtin, President
Lakshmi Nagarajan, Vice President
Nicole Boyea, Student Representative
Meeting Schedules, Agendas, Documents, and Minutes
BH-BL Board of Education meetings are open to the public, and residents are urged to attend.
The BH-BL Board of Education typically holds meetings twice a month at 6 p.m. The year’s board meeting schedule can be found here. All meeting dates are also listed on the districtwide calendar and the website’s Google calendar.
If you are looking for the agenda for the next Board of Education meeting, it is usually available the Friday preceding the meeting. If you are looking for minutes from previous year meetings, visit Archived Minutes.
Public Participation at Board of Education Meetings
Residents are welcome to address the Board during “Privilege of the Floor,” which occurs early in the agenda at regular Board meetings. Please use the clipboard near the door entrance to sign up for this so that the Board president will know to call on you. Please limit your comments to five minutes.
Members’ Roles and Responsibilities
BH-BL Board of Education members are volunteers elected to serve a three-year term of office at no pay. Two or three of the seven members of our board are elected each May.
Under state law, school board members must be registered voters, at least 18 years old, and have lived in the school district for at least one year. They cannot be a school employee, cannot reside in the same household as another school board member and must be able to read and write English.
Collectively the Board of Education has legal responsibility for the operation of the entire district. The Board establishes the policies under which the school district is operated, and the Superintendent of Schools is responsible for administering the school program within the context of these policies.
The Board’s powers and duties are derived from the State Constitution, the laws of New York State, and rulings of the State Commissioner of Education. The Board’s four main areas of responsibility are to:
- Establish all school district policies.
- Develop an annual budget for public approval.
- Approve or disapprove the Superintendent’s recommendations regarding personnel matters and the many contracts the district must enter into.
- Act as a two-way communications link between residents and the Superintendent.
The Board encourages parents and residents who have a concern about school matters to try first to resolve the problem at the level most directly involved, which is usually the classroom teacher or the principal. If a satisfactory solution cannot be reached at this level, contact Superintendent of Schools Patrick McGrath.
If the matter can only be resolved by a change in district policy or some other action of the Board of Education, residents are welcome to communicate their concerns to the Board by letter, phone call, or a statement under “Privilege of the Floor” at one of the Board’s meetings.
Board members are kept informed about programs and activities in the district through weekly informational packets and various other means. Our tradition is also that each member of the school board serves as a liaison with one of the five school PTAs on a rotating basis. Typically the vice president is focused on developing the new school budget and chairing the Board’s Finance Committee rather than meeting with a PTA.
Board members also receive extensive training through the district’s own Board Development materials and through workshops sponsored by the New York State School Boards Association. Board members also use local groups like the Capital District School Boards Association to study topics of interest.