Rainier School Board Operating Protocol
For the purpose of enhancing teamwork among members of the board and between the board and the administration, we, the members of the Rainier School Board, do hereby commit ourselves collectively and individually to the following operating protocol:
1. Children's interests come first. The board will represent the needs and interests of all the children in our district.
2. The board acts only as a body. Individual board members do not have authority. Only the board as a whole has authority. We agree that an individual board member will not take unilateral action. The board president will communicate the position(s) of the board on all issues.
3. Clearly stated goals. The board will set clear goals for themselves and the superintendent. The board and superintendent will set clear goals for the Rainier School District.
4. Follow the chain of command. The last stop, not the first, will be the board. We agree to follow the chain of command and insist that others do so, too. While the board is eager to listen to its constituents and staff, each inquiry is to be referred to the person who can properly and expeditiously address all the issues.
5. Executive/closed sessions will be held only for appropriate subjects.Executive sessions will be held only when specific needs arise. Board members will be extremely sensitive to the legal ramifications of their meeting and comments.
6. Communication between staff and the board is encouraged. However, board requests that will likely require considerable time or have political implications are to be directed to the superintendent. All personnel complaints and criticisms received by the board or its individual members will be directed to the superintendent.
7. Practice the governance role. The board will emphasize planning, policy making, and communication rather than becoming involved in the management of the schools.
8. Practice efficient decision making. Board meetings are for decision-making action and votes. We agree to move the question when discussion is repetitive.
9. Utilize superintendent input. The superintendent should make recommendations, proposals, or suggestions on most matters that come before the board.
10. Speak to agenda issues. We agree to speak to the issues on the agenda and listen to our fellow board members. Facts and information needed from the administration will be referred to the superintendent.
11. Debate the issues. Conduct at a board meeting is very important. We agree to avoid words and actions that create a negative impression on an individual, the board, or the district. While we encourage debate and differing points of view, we will do so with care and respect.
12. Own your own issues. The board will not be a ball carrier for others, but rather, will encourage others to present their own issues, problems, or proposals when discussing issues.
13. Conduct efficient and effective board meetings. Long board meetings should be avoided. Points are to be made in as few words as possible; speeches at board meetings will be minimal. If a board member believes he/she does not have enough information or has questions, either the superintendent or board president is to be called before the meeting.
14. Do not spring surprises on other board members or the superintendent. There should be no surprises at a board meeting. Surprises to the board or the superintendent will be the exception, not the rule. We agree to ask the board president and the superintendent to place an item on the agenda instead of bringing it up unexpectedly at the meeting.
15. Annually conduct a board evaluation. The board will address its behaviors by yearly self-evaluation and by addressing itself to any individual problems such as poor meeting attendance or leaks of confidential information.