Board of Education Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct and Agreed Upon Norms for Members of the School Board

As a member of my local School Board, I will do my utmost to represent the public interest in education by adhering to the following standards and principles:

1. I will represent all school district constituents honestly and equally and refuse to surrender my responsibilities to special interest or partisan political groups.
  • I will stay focused on what is best for the whole/all students.
  • I will base my decisions on fact rather than supposition, opinion, or public favor.
2. I will avoid any conflict of interest or the appearance of impropriety which could result from my positions, and will not use my Board membership for personal gain or publicity,
  • I will be mindful that I am responsible for my public conduct, even when not acting in my capacity as an elected official.
  • I will conduct myself in a manner that reflects well on the District and avoid sharing Board information that has not been verified and made public.
  • I will understand that I may be perceived as a Board member, rather than as a parent or community member, in any of my communications or actions.
3. I will recognize that a Board member has no legal authority as an individual and that decisions can be made only by a majority of the Board.
  • I will make requests for Board information through the Superintendent, not to administrative staff, with a copy to the Board president.
  • I will not make individual requests for action to the Superintendent or administration.
  • I will understand that responses to my requests for information will be shared with all Board members, so that all Board members have the same information.
4. I will take no private action that might compromise the Board or administration and will respect the confidentiality of privileged information.
  • I will not be a part of communicating privileged information relating to the District.
  • I will not post anything derogatory about District students, District employees, or pending District matters on social media.
5. I will abide by majority decisions of the Board, while retaining the right to seek changes in such decisions through ethical and constructive channels.
  • I will not act or speak on behalf of the Board without the consent of the Board.
  • I will speak with one voice and abide by the will of the majority.
6. I will encourage and respect the free expression of opinion by my fellow Board members and will participate in Board discussions in an open, honest and respectful manner, honoring the differences of opinion or perspective.
  • I will express my opinion and respect others' opinions.
  • I will strive to avoid redundancy; not monopolize discussions; not interrupt others; stay succinct; pay attention to the speaker; avoid side bar conversations and tangents; minimize personal stories; and use time wisely during Board meetings.
  • I will strive to be clear about the intent of my questions and the manner in which they are asked.
7. I will prepare for, attend, and actively participate in School Board meetings.
  • I will maintain decorum and stay on task during meetings.
  • I will be fully prepared for Board meetings and be willing to commit whatever time is needed to the task at hand.
8. I will be sufficiently informed and prepared to act on specific issues before the Board, and remain reasonably knowledgeable about local, state, and national, and global education issues.
9. I will respectfully listen to those who communicate with the Board, seeking to understand their views, while recognizing my responsibility to represent the interests of the entire community.
  • I will follow policy and deal appropriately with students, parents or staff concerns.
  • I will not engage audience members in conversation during Board meeting, unless they are presenting, understanding that Board meetings are "in the public" rather than "for the public".
10. I will strive for a positive working relationship with the Superintendent, respecting the Superintendent's authority to advise the Board, implement Board policy, and administer the District.
  • I will honor a "no surprises" rule for fellow Board members, the Superintendent and administrators at Board meetings, and expect the same in return.
  • I will submit questions in advance of Board meetings, whenever possible, and may also ask them during Board meetings.
11. I will model continuous learning and work to ensure good governance by taking advantage of Board member development opportunities, such as those sponsored by my State and National School Board Associations, and encourage my fellow Board members to do the same.

12. I will strive to keep my Board work focused on its primary work of clarifying the District purpose, direction and goals, and monitoring District performance.

  • I will stay focused on Board work; i.e., stay in the balcony, define the "what" not the "how", and focus on high-level management data.
  • I will ask for what the Board needs to know, rather than what is nice to know.

CROSS REF.: 1:130 (School District Philosophy), 2:10 (School District Governance), 2:20 (Powers and Duties of the Board of Education, 2:44 (Board of Education Membership), 2:80 -E (Board Member Code of Conduct), 2:105 (Ethics and Gift Ban), 2:120 (Board Member Development), 2:130 (Board-Superintendent Relationship), 2:140 (Communications To and From the Board), 2:140-E (Exhibit: Guidance for Board Member Communications), 2:210 (Organizational Board of Education Meetings), 2:230 (Public Participation at Board Meetings), 3:30 (Chain of Command); 8:10 (Connection with the Community), 8:110 (Public Suggestions and Concerns)