School Board Governance & Operations
- 2100 School Board Legal Status and Authority
- 2110 Board of Education Membership
- 2120.2 Voting Procedures
- 2160 Code of Ethics
- 2175 Defense and Indemnification of Employees
- 2210 Organization of the Board
- 2220 Officers of the Board
- 2230 Clerk of the Board, Treasurer, Collector of Taxes
- 2240 Board-Superintendent Relationship
- 2250 Advisory Committees to the Board
- 2260 Citizen or Staff Advisory Committees
- 2265 School Building Education Plans
- 2270 Legal Counsel
- 2310 Meetings of the Board of Education
- 2320 Special Meetings
- 2330 Executive Sessions
- 2340 Public Notice of Meetings
- 2342 Agenda Preparation and Dissemination
- 2352 Parliamentary Procedure
- 2360 Minutes of Meetings
- 2410 Board Policy Development
- 2420 Formulation of Administrative Regulations
- 2440 Administrative Leeway in Absence of Board Policy
- 2500 Board Member Services
- 2510 Assistance to New Board Members
- 2520 Board Member Training
- 2521 Board Member Development Opportunities
- 2530 Membership in Associations
In order to assure that its operations support the schools in providing all students with a high-quality education, the Board of Education hereby establishes as its goals:
- To work closely with the community to ensure that Board actions and performance reflect the concerns and aspirations of the community.
- To identify the educational needs and aspirations of the community, and to formulate Board policies which serve the educational interests of students and provide sufficient guidelines for policy implementation.
- To provide leadership in order that the goals and objectives of the school system, as set forth by the Board, can be effectively carried out.
- To employ a Superintendent capable of ensuring that the district maintains a position as an outstanding school system and that school personnel carry out the policies of the Board with energy and dedication.
- To perform all Board functions and operations in conformity with state, federal and local laws, rules, and regulations.
- To evaluate the Board’s performance in relation to these goals, and to establish and clarify policies based upon the results of such evaluation.
Reviewed March 2008
Renumbered from P9000 – September 2015
The Board of Education is the legislative educational authority for the school district. Its legal status is that of a body corporate established pursuant to the laws of New York State. In exercising their authority and performing their duties, Board members act not as private individuals but as agents of the state. The Board as a corporate body may act only through the collective action of its members taken at a properly convened meeting. Absent specific authorization pursuant to a lawful vote, no individual Board member may exercise the authority of the Board nor may a member commit the Board to any course of action.
As a public body charged with the management of local schools, school boards are granted many powers and duties. The power of the Board of Education is generally limited to those powers expressly granted or implied by statute.
Reviewed March 2008
Renumbered from P9100 – September 2015
The Board of Education shall consist of seven members. They are elected annually on a rotating basis and the term of office begins on July 1. A member shall hold office for three years or until such time as he/she resigns, whichever is first.
A Board member may resign at any time. Should this occur, the Board of Education may appoint someone to fill the vacancy until the next annual election, leave the vacancy until the next annual election, or hold a special election to fill the vacancy.
No Board member shall speak for the Board as a whole except when authorized by the Board to do so and only on the subject so authorized.
Reviewed March 2008
Renumbered from P9110 – September 2015
Eligibility to Vote
A person shall be entitled to vote in any school district election and in all matters placed upon the official ballot, if such person is:
- a citizen of the United States;
- at least 18 years of age;
- a resident within the school district for a period of 30 days next preceding the election at which such person desires to vote;
- registered to vote in accordance with section 5-106 of the Election Law which excludes:
- those convicted felons who have not been pardoned or had their rights of citizenship restored, those whose maximum sentence of imprisonment has not expired; and/or those who have not been discharged from parole;
- persons adjudged mentally incompetent by a court.
In addition to other requirements of the law, qualified residents must personally register to be eligible to vote at any annual school district meeting and election or special school district meeting or election. Qualified voters must either be registered to vote with the district’s board of registration or be on a current voter list maintained by their county Board of Elections.
In keeping with state law, the Board of Education will annually appoint four qualified voters of the district to form the district’s board of registration, which will meet to conduct registration and to review voting materials not more than 14 days nor less than five days before the annual election as well as before any special election.
Each annual or special election or meeting shall have a presiding chairman appointed by the Board of Education, who will declare the polls open and closed at the appropriate times. This person will typically be the Clerk of the Board. The school board may also appoint the Head Election Inspector or other qualified voter to serve in this capacity in case of the absence or illness of the Clerk of the Board.
Challenges to voters believed unqualified to vote may be undertaken pursuant to Education Law provisions. The presiding chairman shall have the responsibility of properly handling any challenges to the qualification of any voter.
Voting machines shall be used for recording the votes on all elections, budget votes, and votes on special propositions. The only exception to the use of voting machines shall be a situation where the machines are unavailable due to mechanical failure. If this should arise, paper ballots will be used.
Each voting machine shall have at least two election inspectors appointed by the Board in attendance during all voting hours. It shall be the duty of the election inspectors to consult a poll list containing the name and legal residence of each person before such person is permitted to vote.
Election inspectors shall not advise or induce such voter to vote on any proposition or candidate, and if the election inspector were to learn how the individual voted, the election inspector shall never reveal the vote(s) recorded to any other person at any time.
Write-in ballot slots are required. Ballots containing the names of nominated candidates will be provided by the Board. There will be as many write-in slots as there are vacancies at the time of election. The writing in of a name in the blank space so provided will sufficiently indicate a vote. The district cannot
require a voter to place any other mark beside the name of a write-in candidate.
The Board provides for the use of absentee ballots for voting. Such ballots shall be available for the election of members of the Board of Education, the adoption of the school district budget, and on questions and propositions submitted to the voters of the district. The application for an absentee ballot must be received by the District Clerk at least seven days prior to the election, if the ballot is to be mailed to the voter; or the application must be received by the day before the election if the ballot is to be personally delivered. The application must be completed and returned, and the individual must verify therein that he/she meets all voting requirements, and explain the reason for his/her inability to appear in person to vote.
In particular, the individual must explain that he/she will be unable to appear to vote in person on the day of the school district election because:
- he/she will be a patient in a hospital, or unable to appear personally at the polling place on such day because of illness or physical disability;
- his/her duties, occupation, business, or studies will require him/her to be outside of the county or city of his/her residence on such day;
- he/she will be on vacation outside the county or city of his/her residence on such day; or
- he/she will be detained in jail awaiting action by a grand jury; awaiting trial; or is confined in prison after conviction for an offense other than a felony.
The district shall request registration lists from the Board of Elections for those voters whose registration record has been marked “permanently disabled” and shall automatically mail absentee ballots to such voters in advance of each district vote or election.
Adopted March 2019
Pursuant to the provisions of section eight hundred six of the general municipal law, the Board of Education of the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Central Schools recognizes that there are rules of ethical conduct for public officials and employees which must be observed if public confidence is to be maintained.
It is thereby resolved that the following rules of ethical conduct shall serve as a guide for official conduct for the members and employees of the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Board of Education:
Section 1 – The rules of ethical conduct of this local policy as adopted, shall not conflict with, but shall be in addition to any prohibition of article eighteen of the general municipal law or any other general or special law relating to ethical conduct and interest in contracts of school officials and employees.
Section 2 – Definition
- “School official or employee” means a member of the Board of Education, school administrators, the professional teaching staff, and non-instructional employees.
- “Interest” means a pecuniary or material benefit accruing to a board member or employee unless the context otherwise requires.
- “Immediate relative” means parent, sibling, child, stepchild, stepparent, grandparent, spouse, and in-law.
Section 3 – Standards of Conduct
Every board member and employee of the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Central Schools shall be subject to and abide by the following standards of conduct:
- Gifts He/she shall not, directly or indirectly, solicit any gifts, or accept or receive any gift having a value of seventy-five dollars or more from one individual, family, or business entity, whether in the form of money, services, loan, travel, entertainment, hospitality, thing or promise, or any other form, under circumstances in which it could reasonably be inferred that the gift was intended to influence him/her, or could reasonably be expected to influence him/her, in the performance of his/her official duties or was intended as a reward for any official action on his/her part.
- Confidential Information He/she shall not disclose confidential information acquired by him/her in the course of his/her official duties or use such information to further his/her personal interest.
- Representation before one’s own agency He/she shall not receive, or enter into any agreement, express or implied, for compensation for services to be rendered in relation to any matter before the Board of Education of which he/she is an officer, member or employee.
- Representation before any agency for a fee He/she shall not receive, or enter into any agreement express or implied for compensation for services to be rendered in relation to any matter before any agency of his/her municipality, whereby his/her compensation is to be dependent or contingent upon any action by such agency with respect to such matter.
- Disclosure of interest in legislation To the extent that he/she knows thereof, a member of the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Board of Education or employee of the school district who participates in the discussion or gives official opinion to the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Board of Education on any legislation before the Board shall publicly disclose on the official record the nature and extent of any direct or indirect financial or other private interest he/she has in such legislation.
- Investments in conflict with official duties He/she shall not invest or hold any investment directly or indirectly in any financial, business, commercial or other private transaction, which creates a conflict with his/her official duties.
- Private employment He/she shall not engage in, solicit, negotiate for or promise to accept private employment or render services for private interests when such employment or service creates a conflict with or impairs the proper discharge of his/her official duties.
- Future employment He/she shall not, after the termination of service or employment with the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Central Schools, appear before the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Board of Education in relation to any case, proceeding or application in which he/she personally participated during the period of his/her service or employment or which was under his/her active consideration.
Section 4 – Employment of Relatives It is the District’s policy to avoid favoritism, the appearance of favoritism, conflicts of interest, and the appearance of conflicts of interest in employment by applying the following standards:
- No immediate relative of a member of the Board of Education, the Superintendent, or an Assistant Superintendent shall be appointed, hired or advanced to any permanent or full time employment, including the professional teaching and non-instructional staff.
- No person shall be employed, promoted, or transferred to a position in the District which would create a direct supervisor-subordinate relationship with an immediate relative. The District will insure an alternate chain of supervision for any relatives working within the same building or department.
Section 5 – Nothing herein shall be deemed to bar or prevent the timely filing by a present or former member of the board or employee of any claim, account, demand, or suit against the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Central Schools on behalf of himself/herself or any member of his/her family arising out of any personal injury or property damage or for any lawful benefit authorized or permitted by law.
Section 6 – Distribution of Code of Ethics The Superintendent of Schools shall cause a copy of this Code of Ethics to be distributed to every member and employee of the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Board of Education within 30 days after the effective date of this local policy. Each member and employee elected or appointed thereafter shall be furnished a copy before entering upon the duties of his/her office or employment.
Section 7 – Penalties In addition to any penalty contained in any other provision of law, any person who shall knowingly and intentionally violate any of the provisions of this code may be fined, suspended or removed from office or employment, as the case may be, in the manner provided by law. The Board of Education will constitute the Board of Ethics and will determine if there has been any violation of this code.
Section 8 – Effective date This local policy shall take immediate effect as provided in section twenty-seven of the municipal home rule law.
Revised July 2010
Renumbered from P9120 – September 2015
Effective June 14, 1983, and pursuant to a resolution of the Board of Education dated May 24, 1983, it shall be the policy of said Board that the provisions of Article 18 of the Public Officers Law of New York State shall become a part of the school district policy, and shall be a requirement with respect to the defense and indemnification of all employees (instructional and non-instructional) and Board of Education members of the school district. It is further the intention of this policy that Article 18 of the Public Officers Law, as it may be amended, shall remain a policy unless modified by resolution and supplemental policy.
Reviewed June 1999
Renumbered from P4385 – September 2015
The organization of the Board of Education is established at the annual organization meeting in July. At the organization meeting the Board elects its president and vice-president and appoints certain other district officers.
ANNUAL REORGANIZATION MEETING
The Board of Education will hold an annual organizational meeting. The purpose of the organizational meeting shall be to elect officers of the Board and make the proper appointments and designations of other district employees for the proper management of the school district during the school year. The Board shall also perform such annual functions as are designated by law.
The annual organizational meeting of the Board of Education shall be held between July 1 and July 15, preferably on the first Tuesday in July.
The meeting shall be called to order by the previous Board President or his/her designee, who shall preside until the election of a new president. The order of business to be conducted at the organization meeting shall include the following items required or implied by state law and/or regulation:
- Administration of Oath. The District Clerk shall administer the oath of office to newly elected Board members. Such oath shall conform to Article XIII-1 of the Public Officers Law; the Clerk shall countersign the oath. No new Board member shall be permitted to vote until he/she has taken the oath of office.
- Election of Officers. The Board shall elect a president and vice-president for the ensuing year, and administer the oath of office to them. A majority of all members of the Board shall be necessary for a valid election.
- Appointment of Officers. The Board shall appoint the following officials: District Treasurer, Deputy Treasurer, Clerk of the Board, Tax Collector, Internal Claims Auditor.
- Other Appointments. The Board shall appoint and establish the stipend (if any) for the following positions: School Medical Officers, School Attorney, Census Enumerator, Attendance Officer, District Auditor, Board of Registration, Asbestos Designee, Records Access Officer, Central Treasurer-Extra class Activity Fund.
- Designations. The Board shall designate: Official depositories for district funds and Official district newspapers The Board shall fix the day, hour, and place for the holding of regular meetings, which shall be at least once each month while school is in session.
- Authorizations. The Board shall authorize: a. a person to certify payrolls b. a school purchasing agent c. a person(s) to authorize signature on checks d. the Superintendent of Schools to approve budget transfers e. the Superintendent of Schools, or his/her designee, to act as hearing officer in any hearing of charges against a Civil Service employee under the provisions of Paragraph 2, Section 75 of the Civil Service Law as amended f. a person to make application for and receive federal funds on behalf of the school district
- Other Items. The Board shall establish any other items it deems appropriate to enhance district operations. The Board shall conduct general business at this meeting before it adjourns, if it so desires.
Reviewed March 2008
Renumbered from P9200 – September 2015
Renumbered from P9210 – September 2015
The officers of the Board of Education shall consist of a President and Vice-President to be elected at the first public meeting in July. They serve for one year and may not succeed themselves more than once.
PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD
The President shall preside at all meetings at which he/she is present or, in the case of committees, he/she may designate the chairman of the committee as the presiding officer. He/she shall be an ex-officio member of all committees and shall perform all such duties as are incidental to the office of president and are properly required of him/her. In conjunction with the Superintendent of Schools, he/she shall have responsibility for the agenda of any board meeting, regular or special. Any member of the Board may submit an agenda item for consideration to either the Superintendent or the President.
The President of the Board of Education shall appoint the members as chairmen to such standing committees as he/she feels will be in the best interest of the district, but all actions of the Board of Education will be made as a committee of the whole.
The President of the Board of Education shall appoint the members of the Board as representatives to each individual PTA in the district, the PTA Council, and to County School Boards Associations.
The President of the Board of Education may at any time designate any member or group of members as a temporary committee for any purpose not prohibited in the by-laws.
The President shall act as fiscal or legal agent for the Board of Education when so authorized by official action of the Board.
The President may act as public spokesman for the Board of Education but only in those factual matters such as meeting times or the time an action will take place but not on predicting what that action will be or how the Board thinks. When specific authorization is given by the Board, the President may act as public spokesman for the Board on any subject so authorized.
The President shall work with the Vice President to insure an orderly transition from one year to the next and to provide for the orientation of new Board members.
The President shall coordinate a schedule of meetings necessary to carry on the duties of all committees as well as meetings needed to update and review district policies.
VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD
In the absence of the President, the Vice President shall exercise all the functions of the President and be vested with all his/her powers. He/she shall work with the President to insure an orderly transition from one year to the next and to provide for the orientation of the new Board members.
Reviewed March 2008
Renumbered from P9220 – September 2015
Renumbered from P9221 – September 2015
Renumbered from P9222 – September 2015
The Clerk shall have charge of all papers, keep such records and perform such duties as are incidental to the office and properly required.
The Clerk of the Board of Education shall submit to each member by the Friday prior to a regular meeting, the agenda for that meeting and any information useful to the Board members in the conduct of the meeting. Information for any necessary additions to the agenda will be distributed to Board members on the day of the meeting.
The Treasurer shall have charge of all funds of the school district and shall make a monthly report of such funds to the Board of Education and such other duties as are incidental to the office and are properly required.
COLLECTOR OF TAXES
The Collector of Taxes shall notify all property owners of the district of the amount, the time and place in which the taxes are to be paid and shall turn over to the Treasurer the receipts of such taxes.
Reviewed March 2008
Renumbered from P9230 – September 2015
Renumbered from P9231 – September 2015
Renumbered from P9232 – September 2015
The Board intends that its relationship with the Superintendent of Schools be harmonious and professional. While both the Board and the Superintendent strive to provide an educational program of the highest caliber in the most efficient manner possible, some disagreements are inevitable. Such disagreements will be resolved, to the extent possible, by reasoned discussion among the Superintendent and the members of the Board.
The Board believes that the development and adoption of policies is the most important function of a school board and that the execution of the policies is the function of the Superintendent.
Delegation by the Board of its executive powers to the Superintendent provides freedom for the Superintendent to manage the schools within the guidelines established by Board policy and frees the Board to devote its time to policy development and evaluation.
The Board holds the Superintendent responsible for the administration of its policies; the execution of Board decisions; the day-to-day operation of the school program; and for keeping the Board informed about school operations and problems.
Reviewed March 2008
Renumbered from P9240 – September 2015
The Board may establish ad hoc advisory committees for special projects or to address specific problems or issues, except as otherwise specified by law. Final decisions in all matters rest with the Board, which may terminate any committees at any time.
Procedures will be established by the Board for the creation and function of advisory committees. These procedures shall include: specific charges or tasks assigned to committees, payment of committee expenses, membership of committees and procedures for dissolution of committees.
Committees shall report all suggestions and recommendations to the Board and Superintendent prior to public release. Final reports shall be delivered to the Board at a meeting scheduled by the Board to receive the report.
Any official policy-level action is 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.
COMMITTEES AND CABINETS
The Superintendent of Schools is authorized to establish such permanent or temporary cabinets or committees as he or she deems necessary for proper management of the schools and for the improvement of the educational program.
Reviewed March 2008
Renumbered from P9260 – September 2015
Revised February 2000
Renumbered from P2380 – September 2015
At its discretion, the Board of Education may establish study committees to investigate specific topics and to report committee findings and recommendations to the Board of Education for its consideration.
These committees will be ad hoc in nature and will be dissolved when they have completed the task assigned by the Board of Education. In establishing a study committee, the Board of Education will approve a charge to the committee which specifies the nature of the work to be done and the date by which a final report is expected.
Members of study committees will be appointed by the Board of Education upon recommendation of the Superintendent. Study committees may be largely citizen or staff committees depending on the nature of the task at hand. Staff members will be a minority of a citizens committee membership, and citizens will be a minority of a staff committee. The Board of Education will appoint one of its members and a designee of the Superintendent of Schools to provide liaison with the study committee. The Board of Education will have sole power to dissolve any of its study committees and may exercise this right at any time during the life of the committee.
At the request of the committee the Superintendent will appoint a member of his professional staff to assist in carrying out the work assigned to it. Expenditure of district funds by a study committee shall be made only upon prior approval of the Superintendent. Arrangements for the use of supplies and equipment will be made through this committee assistant.
Study committees will present their finding and recommendations to the Board at a public meeting. The Board of Education will exercise its best judgment with regard to accepting the recommendations of a study committee and will not be bound to accept them. The Board will provide a clear response to committee recommendations identifying the recommendations that are acceptable and those that are not. The Board will inform the public of the services rendered by the study committee.
Reviewed March 2008
Renumbered from P1210 & P9250 – September 2015
A school building council shall be established in each school building. The objective of this council shall be to improve the quality of education for all students by involving the whole school in sharing decision making responsibility with the Board of Education on matters related to curriculum and instruction. Members of the council will be selected by their constituent groups in each building. Teaching professionals represented by the Teachers Association bargaining unit must constitute at least 50% of the council members. Community members, administrators, support staff personnel, and students, where appropriate, will also be included on the council.
The school council shall undertake an annual planning process that includes, but is not limited to:
- Using school performance information to improve student success.
- Setting building instructional goals consistent with identified building needs and District standards of excellence.
- Reviewing the organization and design of the instructional delivery system and student support services.
- Maintaining a direct relationship with the K-12 Curriculum Committees and the District Staff Development Committee.
- Evaluating student achievement in relation to the identified building goals and the District standards of excellence.
- Developing a five-year building plan for achieving building goals and updating it annually.
- Monitoring the progress of the plan.
- Accepting responsibility for presenting the five-year plan to the Board of Education.
- Reporting the results to the school community.
The building principal and the Teachers Association building president will act as co- coordinators for the school council. The council will determine its own ground rules and set its own meeting times and dates. All meetings will be open to the entire school community. Council decisions will be made within the constraints of Education Law, Board of Education Policy and Administrative Regulations, and negotiated agreements with District bargaining units.
SHARED DECISION MAKING
he Board of Education believes that educational quality is enhanced when stakeholders share decision making responsibility with the Board of Education on matters related to curriculum and instruction. The Board further believes that the actions taken to establish a school council in each building comply with the spirit of Section 100.11 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education adopted by the Board of Regents on March 27, 1992.
Section 100.11 requires every school district to develop and adopt by February 1, 1994, a plan for the participation by parents and teachers with administrators and school board members in school-based planning and shared decision making. In determining whether or not the present school councils, their membership selection procedures, and their role in school improvement planning comply with Section 100.11, the Board of Education will:
- consult with and provide for full participation by the designated representatives of the teachers, parents, and administrators as required by CR100.11;
- seek endorsement of the final plan for school-based planning and shared decision making by those designated representatives;
- adopt a plan by February 1, 1994;
- make the plan available to the public;
- file the plan with the District Superintendent at the Albany BOCES within thirty days of its adoption;
- submit the plan to the Commissioner of Education for approval within thirty days of its adoption.
Reviewed February 2000
Renumbered from P0440 – September 2015
Reviewed March 2008
Renumbered from P9270 – September 2015
The Board of Education shall provide for legal services to the district by appointing a school attorney on an annual basis at the July reorganization meeting as an independent contractor.
The Board of Education shall retain legal counsel who shall be appointed at the Annual Reorganizational Meeting of the Board of Education. The Board shall enter into a written contract annually with the selected attorney.
In selecting a School Attorney, the district will consider the cost of a retainer (or hourly fee), as well as such other factors as:
- the special knowledge or expertise of the lawyer/law firm;
- the quality of the service provided by the lawyer/law firm;
- the staffing of the lawyer/law firm; and
- the lawyer’s/law firm’s suitability for the district’s needs.
Revised March 2008
Renumbered from P9233 – September 2015 Approved May 2006
In order to perform its duties in an open and public manner, and in accordance with state law, the Board of Education shall hold regular business meetings at least once a month.
The time, dates and place of regular Board of Education meetings shall be established at the annual organizational meeting. In the event that the day appointed for a regular meeting falls on a legal holiday, the meeting shall be rescheduled. All regular Board meetings are open to the public, and meeting facilities shall provide access to persons with disabilities.
Board members are permitted to participate in board meetings via videoconferencing, in accordance with state law. Any site where videoconferencing is to take place must be open to the public. The district will comply with applicable notice requirements (see policy 2340).
In addition to the members of the Board, the following individuals will regularly attend the business meetings of the Board: the Superintendent of Schools, the Assistant Superintendents, and other specified personnel as deemed necessary.
Cross-ref: 2210, Board Organizational Meeting 2340, Notice of Meetings
Ref: Public Officer’s Law §§102, 103, 104
Reviewed March 2008
Renumbered from P9300 – September 2015
Revised May 2016
Special meetings of the Board of Education must be called as requested by a member of the Board, making such a request to the Board President.
Such meeting requires a notice of 24 hours to all Board members.
If, in an emergency, a special meeting is held before the 24-hour notice can be given, each member may be asked to sign a waiver of notice. A statement regarding the time of notice and signature of such forms shall be entered in the minutes.
Ref: Education Law §§1606; 2504; 2563 Open Meetings Law, Public Officers Law §§100 et seq.
Adoption date: May 2016
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, 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 to discuss the subjects enumerated below. Matters which may be considered in executive session are:
- matters which will imperil the public safety if disclosed;
- any matter which may disclose the identity of a law enforcement agent or informer;
- information relating to current or future investigation or prosecution of a criminal offense which would imperil effective law enforcement if disclosed;
- discussions regarding proposed, pending or current litigation;
- collective negotiations pursuant to Article 14 of the Civil Service Law (the Taylor Law);
- the medical, financial, credit or employment history of a particular person or corporation, or matters leading to the appointment, employment, promotion, demotion, discipline, suspension, dismissal or removal of a particular person or corporation;
- the preparation, grading or administration of examinations; and
- the proposed acquisition, sale, or lease of real property or the proposed acquisition of securities, or sale or exchange of securities, but only when publicity would substantially affect the value thereof.
The vote to go into executive session shall be detailed enough to allow the public to understand the topic the Board will be discussing, without disclosing specifics. Discussion in executive session shall be limited to the topic(s) identified in the motion.
A Board may not take action in executive session except to vote on disciplinary charges against a tenured teacher.
Individual Board members, acting on their own, shall not disclose matters discussed in executive session. However, the Board, acting as a whole, may decide to disclose such information where disclosure is not prohibited under the law.
Minutes shall be taken at executive sessions of any action that is taken by a formal vote and should consist of a record or summary of the final determination of such action and the date and vote thereon, provided, however, that such summary shall not include any matter which is not required to be made public by the Freedom of Information Law. Minutes taken shall be available to the public within one week from the date of the executive session.
Cross-ref: 2160, Code of Ethics Ref: Education Law §1708 (3) Public Officers Law §§100 et seq. Application of the Board of Education, 57 EDR Dec. No. 17,147 (2017) Application of Nett and Raby, 45 EDR 259 (2005) Formal Opinion of Counsel No. 239, 16 EDR 457 (1976)
Adopted October 2018
For all regular and scheduled special meetings of the Board of Education, the District Clerk shall give adequate notice to all members and to the community, including posting notice of the time and place of meetings on the district website.
If a meeting is scheduled at least a week in advance, notice will be given or electronically transmitted to the public and news media at least 72 hours prior to the meeting. A special meeting may be called upon 24-hour notice to Board members.
When a meeting is scheduled less than a week in advance the Board shall provide or electronically transmit public notice to the extent practicable. Said notice shall be conspicuously posted in one or more designated public locations, including the district’s website.
If a board member intends to participate in a board meeting via videoconference, the public notice of the meeting will indicate that videoconferencing will be used, specify the location(s) for the meeting and state that the public may attend at any of the locations.
If a meeting will be streamed live over the internet, notice will indicate the internet address of the website streaming the meeting.
Ref: Open Meetings Law, Public Officers Law §§100 et seq. Education Law §§1606; 1708; 2504; 2563
Adopted October 2018
The responsibility of providing an agenda for all Board of Education meetings will be shared cooperatively by the Board President and the Superintendent.
Any Board member may have a matter placed on the agenda of a meeting by submitting such to either the Board President or the Superintendent, in writing, at least five days prior to the meeting.
The agenda, together with supporting materials, shall be distributed to Board members at least two days in advance of the scheduled meeting, if at all possible, to allow Board members to give items of business careful consideration. The agenda and appropriate materials shall also be made available to the Superintendent and designated staff, and to members of the news media, the public, students and parents, upon request.
Any items added to the agenda after it has been disseminated to Board members shall be announced at the commencement of the Board meeting. Such may be excluded by majority vote of the Board members present.
Reviewed March 2008
Renumbered from P9320 – September 2015
In all matters of procedure not covered in the by-laws, Roberts Rules of Order, Revised, shall be followed.
Reviewed March 2008
Renumbered from P9330 – September 2015
Minutes shall be taken at all meetings of the Board of Education. These minutes shall consist of a record or summary of all motions, proposals, resolutions and any other matter formally voted upon and the vote thereon.
The minutes should reflect the vote of each member on each matter upon which action was taken by the Board. Where a vote is unanimous, the minutes will so indicate; the minutes will list the names of those voting aye and nay on a split vote. The minutes of all meetings of the Board of Education shall be available to the public in accordance with the Freedom of Information Law and the provisions of Board of Education Policy 1120 (Public Access to Records) within two weeks from the date of such meeting.
Revised March 2011
Renumbered from P9350 – September 2015
Board members, school officials and employees, parents, students and community members are encouraged to participate in the initiation and development of new Board policies, and in recommending changes in existing policies.
All policy proposals and suggested amendments shall be submitted in writing to the Superintendent, briefly describing the proposal and why it is needed. The Superintendent may designate a staff member or members to conduct independent research, to evaluate the information within the proposal, to maintain a reference file for the Board on all such proposals, and to assist the Superintendent in drafting policy proposals.
Proposed new policies will initially be presented to the full Board as an item for discussion only in order to permit time for evaluation and comment. The initial first presentation will include recommendation by the Superintendent, including a reading of any completed draft, and any reports done by staff or others. Opportunity will be given for concerned groups or citizens to react.
FORMULATION OF POLICIES
The Board of Education by a majority vote shall adopt the policies for the district. These policies shall be presented at a public meeting and adopted at a separate public meeting held no sooner than two weeks following their presentation.
These policies may be amended by a majority vote of the members of the Board of Education. Such amendment shall be presented at a public meeting and adopted at a separate public meeting held no sooner than two weeks following such presentation.
A policy of the Board of Education may be suspended at a meeting only on the unanimous vote of those members of the Board present at that meeting.
Suggestions for statements of policy may come from the Board, the administration, or a member of the school district.
District policies shall be reviewed on an on-going basis. The board president or his/her designee shall take responsibility for the annual review process.
Reviewed March 2008
Renumbered from P9400 – September 2015
Renumbered from P9410 – September 2015
The Superintendent of Schools shall formulate the necessary administrative regulations that are needed to put into effect the policies of the Board of Education. The Superintendent will share any changes to the administrative regulation with the Board of Education prior to implementation.
DEVELOPMENT AND DISSEMINATION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS
The Superintendent of Schools is responsible for the development and distribution of administrative regulations subject to their communication to the Board of Education at a public meeting of the Board. Administrative regulations will be considered to carry the same authority as Board of Education policy and will be distributed to each building.
Reviewed March 2008
Renumbered from P9420 – September 2015
Revised June 2007
Renumbered from P2400 – September 2015
In the absence of applicable Board of Education Policy, Public Law, or Commissioner’s Regulations, the Board of Education authorizes the Superintendent of Schools to make such decisions as are felt to be in the best interests of the school district. The Superintendent shall at the next board meeting advise the Board of his/her action and his/her reasoning in such decisions.
Reviewed and Renumbered from P2440 August 1992
Renumbered from P2350 – September 2015
In order to perform their policy-making function effectively, the Board of Education must be provided with certain support services. Board members must be oriented to their new duties when they are elected to the Board of Education. They should have opportunities for in-service training, often available through membership in associations such as the Capital Area School Board Institute and county or regional school boards associations. Board members should be insured against liability incurred while exercising their official duties and they should be reimbursed for authorized out-of-pocket costs incurred in Board-approved developmental activities.
Reviewed March 2008
Renumbered from P9500 – September 2015
Incumbent members of the Board of Education and the central administration will assist new members of the Board in their acclimation to the duties of a member of the Board of Education.
Among the ways such assistance can be provided are the following:
A. Assistance to candidates who have filed the required number of nominating signatures:
- Provide NYS School Boards Association or comparable orientation materials for prospective Board members.
- Provide assistance in establishing contact with local newspaper who might be interested in information about the candidate.
- Publish information about the candidate in the budget brochure.
- Upon request familiarize the candidates with the operation of the school district.
- Inform candidates about Education Laws which address the filing of campaign expenditure statements and “electioneering.”
B. Assistance to successful candidates for election:
- Newly elected members of the Board will be invited to attend all meetings of the Board between the date of election and the date when the new member’s term of office begins.
- The weekly Board of Education information packet should be distributed to newly elected members beginning with the first packet following their election.
- The outgoing Board member who is being replaced by a newly elected member should arrange to transfer essential school district documents or publications to the new member (i.e. Board Policy Book, School Law Manual, etc.).
- The Board of Education and the Superintendent of Schools and his/her staff will organize an orientation program for new Board members that will include:
- Operations of the Board
- Board Policy Manual
- Legal responsibilities
- Relationships with the Superintendent, school district employees, and district residents.
- Available NYSSBA training programs.
The Board President, or his/her designee, shall work with the new Board member to complete the orientation program.
Reviewed March 2008
Renumbered from P9510 – September 2015
Members of the Board of Education elected or appointed for a term beginning on or after July 1, 2005, shall, by the end of the first year of the term, complete a minimum of six hours of training on the fiscal oversight, accountability and fiduciary responsibilities of a school board member unless previously completed. Such training may be offered as part of a general course of training for the purpose of educating Board members on their powers, functions and duties.
Each member shall demonstrate compliance with this requirement by filing with the District Clerk a certificate of completion of such course issued by the provider. Actual and necessary expenses incurred in complying with this requirement shall be a charge against the school district. Board members are required to complete this training only once for multiple terms.
Reviewed March 2008
Renumbered from P9511 – September 2015
Board of Education members are expected to demonstrate high qualities of leadership. Accordingly, a Board should place a high priority on the importance of efforts to enlarge the horizon and abilities of its members through a planned and continuing program of in-service education for its members. Participation in district-sponsored training sessions and conferences, workshops, and conventions at the local, state, and national levels are ways to deliver Board member in-service training. Funds will be budgeted annually in support of these efforts. Individual Board members will be reimbursed for authorized out-of-pocket costs incurred through participation in Board-approved development activities.
Reviewed March 2008
Renumbered from P9520 – September 2015
The Board of Education may join such educational associations as are deemed beneficial to the school district.
Such organizations have been “NYS School Boards Association,” “CASDA,” and county school boards associations.
Reviewed March 2008
Renumbered from P9530 – September 2015
The Board recognizes the use of e-mail as an effective vehicle for communication between Board members and administration. However, the use of e-mail by Board members needs to be consistent with the spirit and intent of New York State open meeting or “Sunshine” laws. This policy has been developed to provide a set of guidelines for Board members to follow to ensure compliance with these laws.
The Open Meetings Law requires that whenever a public body gathers to conduct business, the meeting must be open to the public. If Board members engage in a series of e-mail communications resulting in a vote or a collective decision, they would be deemed to have convened and conducted public business in violation of the Open Meetings Law. Board members are not prohibited from conferring individually, conducting informal communications, or making recommendations that are pre-decisional in nature.
General Guidelines to Follow When Using E-mail
- Limit e-mail communications among Board members to informal suggestions, ideas and proposals.
- E-mail may be used to distribute agendas, reports or communications such a PTA minutes, NYSSBA and NYSCOSS communications and comments on these materials.
- Do not negotiate over e-mail or engage in discussions that could be construed as an online “meeting.”
- Avoid information of a personal nature that would constitute an invasion of privacy if exposed.
Reviewed March 2008
Renumbered from P9390 – September 2015