Beaverton School Board and Superintendent Operating Agreements
Approved September 24, 2018
The Board is the educational planning and policy-making body for the District. The Superintendent is responsible for the operational execution of the District's goals and plans. To meet the District's challenges effectively, the Board and Superintendent must work together as a high-functioning leadership team. Toward that end, these operating agreements serve to clarify the complementary roles and responsibilities of the Board and Superintendent.
This document will be reviewed and adopted annually to reflect current philosophy and procedures.
The Board and the Superintendent shall:
- Dedicate their efforts toward the success of the students and staff of the District.
- Operate in a positive, honest and transparent manner.
- Treat each other with dignity and respect.
- Represent the District throughout the community.
The Board shall:
- Lead through strategic-planning, policy-making, resource allocation, and community outreach.
- Recognize and support the Superintendent's authority to manage the day-to-day operations of the District.
- Monitor the District's progress and implementation of strategic goals.
- Support Board decisions after honoring the right of individual members to express their viewpoints and vote accordingly.
Board members shall:
- Commit to District communication that promotes openness, understanding and inclusion of the diverse perspectives of the community.
- Effectively and tactfully use a variety of communication tools (i.e., public appearances, email, telephone).
- Clearly indicate that he/she is voicing his or her individual opinion, and not speaking on behalf of the Board, if discussing areas for which there is no existing Board policy.
- Advocate for the district locally as well as the state level.
- Recognize and support the Chair's role in responding to media requests and speaking on behalf of the Board.
- Refer questions, requests for action, or complaints to the Superintendent and Board Chair.
Meetings and Decisions
The Board shall:
- Govern as a legal entity and make decisions only as a whole Board at properly noticed meetings. Board members recognize that individual members have no authority to take individual action.
- Follow a two-phase approach to decision-making on major issues. The first phase includes discussion, dialogue, and study. The second phase involves Board decision.
- Communicate in a polite and respectful manner even though disagreements may occur. Discussions between Board members will serve as a model for positive and constructive public dialogue.
- Attempt to provide questions and communicate with the Superintendent, Board Chair, and Cabinet members in a timely manner regarding agenda items prior to actual meetings.
- Actively participate in Board meetings with a focus on key policy issues and problem solving. Come to meetings with an open mind, and seek to clarify issues by soliciting each other's points of view.
- Focus on problem solving and move as a group toward consensus building/decision-making.
- Respect the confidentiality requirement of Board Meeting Executive Sessions.
Board Chair Responsibilities
The Board Chair shall:
- Speak on behalf of the Board to the media with regard to Board policy and decisions and inform the Superintendent.
- Respond to community requests or questions if directed to multiple Board members and the zone or school district are unknown or not specified.
- Ensure that new Board members are oriented to Board processes and District activities.
- Ensure the Board follows its own operating agreements and provide training as needed to address issues of non-compliance.
- Work together with the Superintendent to develop efficient agendas with input from other Board members and staff, and encourage knowledgeable participation, thoughtful discussion and effective decision-making.
- Ensure that community members who testify at Board meetings are appropriately thanked and provided information.
- Facilitate the meeting in a collaborative, focused and timely manner.
The Superintendent shall:
- Acknowledge the Board's role in planning, policy-making, evaluation and overseeing the performance of the Superintendent.
- Each year, prepare preliminary Superintendent goals and a self-evaluation based upon those goals for the Board's consideration.
- Ensure that staff reports to the Board are succinct and avoid restatement of written information.
- Provide information to the Board to support data-driven decision-making.
- Inform the Board of notable information including anticipated media coverage, changes to District processes, and significant developments related to Board policy.
- Work together with the Chair to develop efficient agendas with input from other Board members and staff, and encourage knowledgeable participation, thoughtful discussion and effective decision-making.
- Provide follow-up information to Board members on concerns and issues they have referred to the Superintendent.