Board Policies


Adoption Date: Aug 14, 1991
Revision Date: May 28, 2004
0140 - MEMBERSHIP

0141                Number

The Board shall consist of seven (7) members.

0142                Election/Appointments                      

Members shall be qualified and elected in accordance with the Corporation’s Reorganization Plan adopted January 1, 1965.

0142.1             Term

The term of each Board member shall be four (4) years.

0142.2             Oath                       

Each elected Board member shall take an oath of office as well as other oaths, which may be required for transactions connected with or related to the educational program of the Corporation.

0142.3             Vacancies                     

A vacancy on the Board shall occur immediately upon any one (1) of the following events:

A.                 the death of the incumbent, or the incumbent’s being found mentally incompetent by the proper court;

B.                 the incumbent’s resignation;

C.                 the incumbent’s conviction of a felony;

D.                 the incumbent’s election or appointment being declared void by a competent tribunal;

E.                  the incumbent’s failure to take the oath of office;

F.                  the incumbent’s ceasing to possess the legal qualifications for holding office; and,

G.                 the incumbent moving his/her residence out of the Corporation.

Members of the Board shall be removed from office only for reasons outlined in state statutes.

A vacancy shall be filled by the remaining members of the Board within thirty (30) calendar days.

0142.5             Orientation & Board Development

The Board believes that the preparation of each Board member for the performance of Board duties is essential to the effective functioning of the Board.  The Board shall encourage each new Board member to understand the functions of the Board, acquire knowledge of matters related to the operation of the Corporation, and learn Board procedures.   Accordingly, the Board shall give to each new Board member for his/her use and possession during the term on the Board the following items:

A.                 a copy of the Board policy manual;

B.                 a copy of the Superintendent’s administrative guidelines;

C.                 a copy of each current employee agreement or negotiated contract;

D.                 the current budget statement, audit report, and related fiscal materials; and,

E.                  pertinent materials developed by the Indiana School Board Association.                       

The Board will provide and maintain a library of publications and reference materials for the use of Board members.

Each new Board member shall be invited to meet with the President, The Superintendent, and the Chief Fiscal Officer of the Corporation to discuss Board functions, policies, and procedures.

The Board shall encourage the attendance of each new Board member at orientation and training meetings.

0143                Board Member Authority

A.                 Individual members will refer compliments, suggestions and criticism about the operational matters directly to the Superintendent for appropriate consideration and action.

B.                 Individual members of the Board will not speak in the name of the total Board.

C.                 Individual members shall not engage in activities, which have the potential of becoming unfair labor practices.

D.                 Individual members of the Board do not possess the powers that reside in the Board, but individual members shall be provided documents or information to which she/he is legally entitled and which are required in the performance of his/her duties as a Board member.

E.                  Communication and recommendations from the Superintendent to individual Board members shall be considered to be confidential until presented at an open meeting.

Access to Corporation personnel records shall be subject to the following guidelines:        

A.                 Examination of school employee personnel records by the Board shall be conducted only at executive sessions of the Board.  Any Board member may request that the Superintendent bring the personnel records of a designated employee(s) to an executive meeting of the Board.

B.                 Personnel records shall, in their entirety, be returned to the custody of the Superintendent at the conclusion of the executive session of the Board.

C.                 Information obtained from employee personnel records by members of the Board shall be used only for the purpose of aiding the members in fulfilling their legal responsibilities in making decisions in matters such as appointments, assignments, promotions and demotions, remuneration, discipline, and dismissal or to aid the development and implementation of personnel policies, or for such other uses as are necessary to enable the Board to carry out its legal responsibilities.

0143.1             Public Expressions of Board Members

                        From time to time individual Board members make public statements on school matters:          

A.                 to local media; and,

B.                 to local officials and/or State officials.

Sometimes the statements imply, or the readers (listeners) infer, that the opinions expressed or statements made are the official positions of the Board.  The misunderstandings that can result from these incidents can embarrass both the member and the Board.  Therefore, Board members should, when writing or speaking on school matters to the media, legislators, and other officials, make it clear that their views do not necessarily reflect the views of the Board or of their colleagues on the Board.

C.                 This bylaw shall apply to all statements and/or writings by individual Board members not explicitly sanctioned by a majority of its members, except as follows:

a.                   correspondence, such as legislative proposals, when the Board member has received official guidance from the Board on the matters discussed in the letter;

b.                  routine, not for publication, correspondence of the Superintendent and other Board employees;

c.                   routine “thank you” letters of the President of the Board;

d.                  statements by Board members on nonschool matters (providing the statements do not identify the author as a member of the Board);

e.                   personal statements not intended for publication; and,

f.                    copies of this bylaw shall be made available to local media by the Board President.

0144                Operations

0144.1             Compensation

Compensation for members of the Board shall be paid on a calendar year (January 1 – December 31) basis.  Compensation shall be the maximum amount allowed from time to time by Indiana statute and shall be adjusted automatically as necessary on the first day of January of each year hereafter to the maximum amount allowed by statute without the necessity of any further Board action.

Effective April 22, 2009, group medical insurance will no longer be available to active, future or prior members of the Board. Board members, who, as of March 18, 2009 are actively enrolled in the group medical insurance plan, shall be allowed to continue coverage until such time as they stop payment, leave the Board or wish to drop coverage.

NOTE:  Expenses of a Board member shall be reimbursed when incurred in the performance of his/her duties or in the performance of functions authorized by the Board and duly vouchered.

0144.2             Board Member Ethics

A Board member should honor the high responsibility which his/her membership demands by:

A.                 thinking always in terms of  “children first”;

B.                 understanding that the basic function of the Board member is “policy-making” and not “administrative”, and by accepting the responsibility of learning to discriminate intelligently between these two functions;

C.                 accepting the responsibility along with his/her fellow Board members of seeing that the maximum of facilities and resources is provided for the proper functioning of schools;

D.                 refusing to “play politics” in either the traditional partisan or in any petty sense;

E.                  representing at all times the entire school community;

F.                  accepting the responsibility of becoming well informed concerning the duties of Board members, and the proper functions of public schools; and,

G.                 recognizing responsibility as a State official to seek the improvement of education throughout the State.

A Board member should respect his/her relationships with other members of the Board by:

A.                 recognizing that authority rests only with the Board in official meetings, and that the individual member has no legal status to bind the Board outside of such meetings;

B.                 refusing to make statements or promises as to how she/he will vote on any matter which should properly come before the Board as a whole;

C.                 making decisions only after all facts bearing on a question have been presented and discussed;

D.                 respecting the opinion of others and by graciously conforming to the principle of “majority rule”; and,

E.                  refusing to participate in irregular meetings such as “secret” or “star chamber” meetings, which are not official and which all members do not have the opportunity to attend.

A Board member should maintain desirable relations with the Superintendent of Schools and his/her staff by:

A.                 striving to procure, when the vacancy exists, the best professional leader available for the head administrative post;

B.                 giving the Superintendent full administrative authority for properly discharging his/her professional duties, and also by holding him/her responsible for acceptable results;

C.                 acting only upon the recommendation of the Superintendent in matters of employment or dismissal of school personnel;

D.                 having the Superintendent present at all meetings of the Board except when his/her contract and salary are under consideration;

E.                  referring all complaints to the proper administrative office and by discussing them only at a regular meeting after failure of administrative solution;

F.                  striving to provide adequate safeguards around the Superintendent and other staff members to the end that they can live happily and comfortably in the community and discharge their educational functions on a thoroughly professional basis; and,

G.                 presenting personal criticisms of any employee directly to the Superintendent.

A Board member should meet his/her responsibilities to his/her community by:

A.                 attempting to appraise fairly both the present and future educational needs of the community;

B.                 regarding it as a major responsibility of the Board to interpret the aims and methods of the schools of the community;

C.                 insisting that all school business transactions be on an open, ethical, and above-board basis;

D.                 vigorously seeking adequate financial support for the schools;

E.                  refusing to use his/her position on the Board in any way whatsoever for personal gain or personal prestige;

F.                  refusing to discuss personnel matters or any other confidential business of the Board in his/her home, on the street, or in his/her office; and,

G.                 winning the community’s confidence that all is being done in the best interests of school children.

(Indiana School Boards Association)

0144.3             Conflict of Interest                     

Board members shall perform their official duties in a manner free from any possible criticism or prejudice or self-interest.  To this end:

A.                 every effort shall be made to avoid the possibility of a claim being made that an individual participated in reaching a decision on a matter in which s/he had either a direct or an indirect financial interest of a substantial nature; 

B.                 each member of the Board shall resist every temptation and outside pressure to use his/her position as a Board member to benefit either himself/herself or any other individual or agency apart from the total interest of the Corporation;

C.                 when a member of the Board determines that the possibility of a personal interest conflict exists, s/he should, prior to the matter being considered, disclose his/her interest in accordance with statute (such disclosure shall become a matter of record in the minutes of the Board), and thereafter shall abstain from participation in both the discussion of the matter and the vote thereon; and, 

D.                 no member of the Board may obtain for at least one (1) year after termination of service on the Board, a pecuniary interest in any Corporation contract or purchase which was approved during his/her tenure.

0144.4             Indemnification                       

The Board may bear the costs, including reasonable counsel fees and expenses and costs of appeal, if any, incurred by a Board member in his/her defense of a civil action, or in a criminal action that results in final disposition in his/her favor, brought against him/her for any act or omission arising out of and in the performance of duties as a Board member.

References:
0142.2 - I.C. 20-26-4-2

0142.3 - I.C. 20-23-4-30

I.C. 20-26-5-5 (2c)

I.C. 5-8-1-37

0144.1 - I.C. 20-26-4-7

0144.3 - I.C. 35-44-1-7

I.C. 35-44-1-3

I.C. 35-44-1-7

0144.4 - I.C. 20-26-5-4 (15)
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