School Board Governance & Operations

2000 OPERATIONAL GOALS

The Board of Education, as a legally constituted body of elected representatives, bears the responsibility of setting policy for the school district. The Board acts in accordance with authority and responsibility vested in it by federal and state laws, rules and regulations on behalf of the district’s citizens.

In order to ensure that its educational programs provide all students with a high-quality education, the Board hereby establishes as its goals:

  1. To work closely with the community to ensure that Board actions and performance take into consideration the concerns and aspirations of the community;
  2. To identify the educational and technological needs of the community and industry and to transform such needs into programs aimed at stimulating students and preparing them for future careers;
  3. To employ a Superintendent of Schools capable of ensuring that the district maintains its position as an outstanding school system and school personnel carry out the policies of the Board with energy and dedication;
  4. To provide leadership in order that goals and objectives of the district as set forth by the Board can be effectively carried out. Board action should be confined to policy-making, planning and appraisal with the Board delegating authority to the Superintendent for the implementation of policies; and
  5. To evaluate the Board’s performance in relation to these goals and establish and clarify policy based upon the results of such evaluation.

Adoption date: October 3, 2012; March 29, 2017

2100 SCHOOL BOARD LEGAL STATUS

The Board of Education is a seven-member Board elected by district residents. Each member of the Board serves for three years. The terms of office of Board members shall not expire all in the same year. Board members are responsible for school district management and policy-making.

The legal status of the Board is that of a corporate body established pursuant to the Laws of New York State. Any liability of the district is a liability of the Board of Education as a corporation and not that of the members of the Board as individuals.

Members of the Board of Education have legal authority for the conduct of the district schools only when acting as a body in a properly convened session. Board members acting as individuals have no authority over personnel or school affairs.

The Board will not be bound in any way by any individual’s statement or action unless the Board, through an adopted policy or by a majority vote of Board membership, has delegated this authority to the individual member.

The Board is entrusted with the responsibility of developing policies under which the district is managed. In addition, the Board has all the powers and duties stated in the Education Law and other applicable New York State Law.

Complete and final authority on all district educational matters, except as restricted by law, will be vested in the Board.

Ref: Education Law §§1604; 1604-a; 1701; 1702; 1703; 1708; 1709; 1710; 1804(1); 2101(2); 2105

Adoption date: October 3, 2012; March 29, 2017

2110 SCHOOL BOARD POWERS AND DUTIES

The Board of Education recognizes its dual function in representing both the State of New York and the voters of the school district. It shall fulfill the mandates of the residents of the district by carrying out their desire for high standards of education consistent with their willingness and ability to support it through taxation.

The Board is the governing body of the school district. The Board is entrusted with the responsibility of developing policies under which the district is managed. The powers and duties of the Board are stated in the Education Law and other applicable New York State Law.

Within the constraints of law and regulation, the Board views its duties as falling within the following areas:

  1. Legislative and Policy-Making. The Board is responsible for the development of policy as guides for administrative action and for employing a Superintendent to implement its policies.
  2. The Board is responsible for evaluating the effectiveness of its policies and their implementation.
  3. Provision of Financial Resources. The Board is responsible for the adoption of a budget that will provide the wherewithal–in terms of buildings, staff, materials and equipment–to enable the school system to carry out the Board’s policies.
  4. Public Relations. The Board is responsible for providing adequate and direct means for keeping the local citizenry informed about the schools and for keeping itself and the school staff informed about the needs and wishes of the public.
  5. Educational Planning and Evaluation. The Board is responsible for establishing educational goals that will guide both the Board and the staff in working together toward the continuing improvement of the educational program. It is responsible for providing an ongoing evaluation of the school program against the goals and objectives set forth by the Board, the State Education Department and the Board of Regents.

The Board recognizes the duty of the state in setting certain minimum educational standards, yet reaffirms its faith in the principal of local control for the improvement of educational facilities and programs. The Board recognizes the monitoring functions of the state, yet is aware that local responsibility rests with the Board.

Complete and final authority on all district educational matters, except as restricted by law, will be vested in the Board. The Board may also enter into contracts and agreements in conformity with the law.

Ref: Education Law §§ 1604; 1604-a; 1701; 1708; 1709; 1710

Adoption date: October 3, 2012; March 29, 2017

2120 SCHOOL BOARD ELECTIONS

The elections of members of the Board of Education shall be held on the third Tuesday in May, unless this date conflicts with religious observances on that day, in which case it shall be held on the second Tuesday in May. The polls shall be open for those hours designated by the district.

The following items shall be voted upon:

  • The annual budget;
  • Any vacancies on the Board of Education; and
  • Any special propositions that have been properly presented.

Electioneering during the hours of any vote is prohibited within the polling place or within 100 feet of any such polling place. Electioneering includes the display or distribution of any banner, poster, placard, button or flyer on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate or issue to be voted
upon.

Cross-ref: 1050 – Annual District Election and Budget Vote; 6120 – Budget Hearing

Ref: Education Law §§2012; 2014; 2018; 2018-a; 2019-a; 2031; 2031-a; 2035
Appeal of Giuliano, 37 EDR 572 (1998)
Appeal of Fitzpatrick, 30 EDR 124 (1990)
Appeal of Heidbrink, 29 EDR 192 (1989)
Appeal of Gasparini, 23 EDR 25 (1983)

Adoption date: October 3, 2012; March 29, 2017

2120.1 CANDIDATES AND CAMPAIGNING

NOMINATIONS

Candidates for the office of member of the Board of Education shall be nominated by petition. Such petition shall be directed to the District Clerk, shall contain the signatures and addresses of at least 100 qualified voters of the district and shall state the name and residence of the candidate. Each petition shall be filed with the District Clerk not later than 30 days preceding the Annual Meeting and Election at which the candidates so nominated are to be elected.

The District Clerk will supervise the procedure used to establish the order of names on the ballot. The Board may reject nominations if the candidate is ineligible or has declared an unwillingness to serve.

REPORTING EXPENDITURES

If a candidate’s campaign expenditures exceed $500, the candidate must file a sworn statement with both the District Clerk and the Commissioner of Education itemizing their expenditures and contributions received. The statement must list the amounts of all money or other valuable things paid, given, expended or promised by the candidate or incurred for or on the candidate’s behalf with his or her approval.

A candidate who spends $500 or less is only required to file a sworn statement with the District Clerk indicating this to be the case. No other campaign expenditure statement is required.

An initial statement must be filed at least 30 days before the election, a second statement must be filed on or before the fifth day preceding the election and a final statement must be filed within 20 days after the election.

ELECTIONEERING

Electioneering during the hours of any vote is prohibited within the polling place or within 100 feet of any such polling place. Electioneering includes the display or distribution of any banner, poster, placard, button or flyer on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate or issue to be voted
upon.

Cross-ref: 1050 – Annual District Election and Budget Vote; 6120 – Budget Hearing

Ref: Education Law §§2012; 2014; 2018; 2018-a; 2019-a; 2031; 2031-a; 2035
Appeal of Giuliano, 37 EDR 572 (1998)
Appeal of Fitzpatrick, 30 EDR 124 (1990)
Appeal of Heidbrink, 29 EDR 192 (1989)
Appeal of Gasparini, 23 EDR 25 (1983)

Adoption date: October 3, 2012; March 29, 2017

2120.2 VOTING PROCEDURES

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:

  1. A citizen of the United States;
  2. At least 18 years of age;
  3. A resident within the school district for a period of 30 days preceding the election at which such person desires to vote;
  4. Qualified to register or is registered to vote in accord with Section 5-106 of the Election Law which excludes:
  • Those convicted felons who have not been pardoned or have not 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; and/or
  • Persons adjudged mentally incompetent by a court.

Challenges to voters believed unqualified to vote may be undertaken pursuant to Education Law provisions. Each annual or special election or meeting shall have a presiding chairman appointed by the Board. Such chairman shall have the responsibility of properly handling any challenges to the qualification of any voter.

Voting

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 an emergency situation whereby the machines are unavailable due to a mechanical failure or state or local law prohibiting their use. 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 District Clerk and assistant clerk or clerks to keep a poll list containing the name and legal residence of each person before such person is permitted to vote.

Entering a voting machine with another person is prohibited, except upon request from a voter, in which case an election inspector shall be allowed to enter the voting machine with that voter for the sole purpose of assisting that person in the actual manipulation of the voting machine.

The election inspector shall not advise or induce such voter to vote on any proposition or candidate, and the election inspector shall never reveal the vote(s) recorded by the voter 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. On a paper ballot, one blank space will be provided under the name of the last candidate for each office so that voters may vote for candidates who have not been nominated for the offices to be filled at the election. There will be as many write-in slots as there are vacancies at the time of election.

The writing in, with a black lead pencil, 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.

Absentee Ballots

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 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:

  1. 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;
  2. 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;
  3. He/she will be on vacation outside the county or city of his/her residence on such day or
  4. He/she will be detained in jail awaiting action by a grand jury, awaiting trial or 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.

Ref: Education Law §§2012; 2014; 2018; 2018-a; 2018-b; 2018-c; 2019; 2019-a; 2020; 2025; 2032(2)(e); 2035; 2037; 2603; 2607; 2610; 2613;

Election Law §§3-224; 5-106; 5-612; 5-400; 5-406

Matter of Rodriguez, 31 EDR 471 (1992)
Matter of Gresty, 31 EDR 90 (1991)
Matter of Ferro, 25 EDR 175 (1985)
Matter of Manno and Maloney, 23 EDR 172 (1983)
Matter of Yost, 21 EDR 140 (1981)
Matter of Alpert and Helmer, 20 EDR 281 (1980)
Matter of Reigler and Barton, 16 EDR 256 (1977)

Adoption date: October 3, 2012; March 29, 2017

2121 BOARD MEMBER QUALIFICATIONS

The qualifications of a candidate for the office of member of the Board of Education are that the candidate be:

  1. Able to read and write
  2. A qualified voter of the district
  3. A resident of the school district for at least one year prior to election.

No employee of the school district may be a member of the Board, except as permitted by law.

Ref: Education Law §§2102; 2103; 2502(7) Rosentock Y. Scaringe, 40 N. Y.2d 563 (1976) Matter of Schoch, 21 EDR 300 (1981)

Adoption date: 10103/2012

2150 FILLING BOARD VACANCIES

The Board of Education has the power to fill any vacancy by a majority vote which may occur on the Board by reason of death, resignation, removal from office or from the school district or refusal to serve by any member or officer of the Board. The person so appointed in the place of any such member of the Board shall hold the office until the next annual election of Board members. The unexpired term of the office will then be filled by election.

The Board shall have the power to call a special school district election for the purpose of filling the unexpired term of office of a member of the Board.

Ref: Education Law §§1709(17); 2113

Adoption date: October 3, 2012; March 29, 2017

2160 SCHOOL DISTRICT OFFICER AND EMPLOYEE CODE OF ETHICS

The Board of Education is committed to avoiding any situation in which the existence of conflicting interests of any officer or employee may call into question the integrity of the management or operation of the school district. The Board recognizes that sound, ethical standards of conduct serve to increase the effectiveness of district officers and staff as educators and public employees in the community.  Adherence to a Code of Ethics promotes public confidence in the schools and furthers the attainment of district goals.

The Board also recognizes its obligation to adopt a Code of Ethics setting forth the standards of conduct required of all district officers and employees under the provisions of the General Municipal Law.  Therefore, every officer and employee of the district, whether paid or unpaid, shall adhere to the following Code of Ethics.

Statutory Conflicts of Interest

It is a conflict of interest for a Board member, officer or employee to benefit personally from contracts made in their official capacity.

  • “Contract” is defined broadly to include any claim or demand against the district or account or agreement with the district, whether expressed or implied which exceeds the sum of $750 in any fiscal year.
  • An “interest” is defined as a direct or indirect benefit that runs to the employee as a result of a contract with the district.

No Board member, officer or employee shall have an “interest” (i.e., receive a direct or indirect benefit as the result of a contract with the district) in:

  1. a firm, partnership or association in which he/she is a member or employee;
  2. a corporation in which he/she is an officer, director or employee;
  3. a corporation in which he/she, directly or indirectly, owns or controls five percent  or more of the stock; or
  4. a contract between the district and his/her spouse, minor child or dependents, except for an employment contract between the school district, a spouse, minor child or dependent of a Board member authorized by §800(3) of the General Municipal Law or §3016 of the Education Law.

Gifts

An officer or employee shall not directly or indirectly solicit any gift or accept or receive any gift having a value of $75 or more, 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 in the performance of his/her official duties or was intended as a reward for any official action on his/her part.  However, the Board welcomes and encourages the writing of letters or notes expressing gratitude or appreciation to staff members. Gifts from children that are principally sentimental in nature and of insignificant financial value may be accepted in the spirit in which they are given.

Confidential Information

A Board member, officer or employee shall not disclose confidential information acquired by him or her in the course of his or her official duties or use such information to further his or her personal interest.  This includes 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.

Representation Before the Board or District

A Board member, officer or employee shall not receive or enter into any agreement, expressed or implied, of compensation for services to be rendered in relation to any matter before the school district.

Disclosure of Interest in Matters Before the Board

A Board member, officer or employee, whether paid or unpaid, must publicly disclose the nature and extent of any interest they or their spouse have, will have or later acquire in any actual or proposed contract, purchase agreement, lease agreement or other agreement involving the school district (including oral agreements) to the governing body and his/her immediate supervisor (where applicable) even if it is not a prohibited interest under applicable law. Such disclosure must be in writing and made part of the official record of the school district.  Disclosure is not required in the case of an interest that is exempted under §803(2) of the General Municipal Law.

Investments in Conflict with Official Duties

A Board member, officer or employee shall not invest or hold any investment directly in any financial, business, commercial or other private transaction that creates a conflict with his/her official duties.  Exceptions to the conflict of interest law can be found in §802 of the General Municipal Law.

Private Employment

A Board member, officer or employee shall not engage in, solicit, negotiate for or promise to accept private employment when that employment or service creates a conflict with or impairs the proper discharge of his/her official duties.

Future Employment

A Board member, officer or employee shall not, after the termination of service or employment with the district, appear before the Board in relation to any action, proceeding or application in which he/she personally participated during the period of his/her service or employment or that was under his/her active consideration.

Involvement with Charitable Organizations

A Board member, officer or employee may be involved as a volunteer, officer or employee in a charitable organization which has a relationship with the district.  If a Board member is a board member, officer or employee of the charitable organization, the Board member must disclose such relationship in writing to the district; and the Board member must recuse himself or herself from any discussions or votes relating to the charitable organization which may come before the Board.  When participating in the activities of the charitable organization, the Board member, officer or employee shall not disclose any confidential information learned in the course of his or her official duties or use such information to further personal interests.  Additionally, the Board member, officer or employee shall not make representations on behalf of the district unless specifically authorized to do so by the Board.

Distribution of Code of Ethics

The Superintendent of Schools shall cause a copy of this Code of Ethics to be distributed to every member of the Board, every officer and every employee of the school district.  Each officer and employee elected or appointed thereafter shall be furnished a copy before entering upon the duties of his/ her office or employment.  In addition, the Superintendent shall ensure that a copy of Article 18 of the General Municipal Law shall be kept posted in each public building under the district’s jurisdiction in a place conspicuous to the district’s officers and employees.

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 the Board’s Code of Ethics and its accompanying regulation may be fined, suspended or removed from office or employment, as the case may be, in the manner provided by law.

Ref:    General Municipal Law §§806-808

Opn. St. Comp. 2008-01

Application of the Board of Education, 57 EDR Dec. No. 17,147 (2017)

Application of Nett and Raby, 45 EDR 259 (2005)

Adoption date:  10/03/2012; 07/01/2016; 03/29/17; 06/20/18

2210 BOARD REORGANIZATIONAL MEETING

The Board of Education recognizes its obligation to hold an annual reorganization meeting. The purpose of the reorganization meeting is 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 will hold its annual reorganization meeting during the first week in July, unless otherwise specified by law.

The District Clerk shall call the meeting to order and shall preside until the election of a new president. The order of business to be conducted at the reorganization meeting shall include items required or implied by state law and/or regulation. The Board may also conduct general district business at the end of the meeting before adjourning.

  1. OATH OF OFFICE
    The District Clerk shall administer and countersign the Oath of Office to newly-elected Board members. The oath shall conform to Article XIII-1 of the New York State Constitution and Section 10 of the Public Officers Law. No new Board member shall be permitted to vote until he/she has taken the Oath of Office.
  2. ELECTION OF BOARD 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.
  3. APPOINTMENT OF DISTRICT OFFICERS
    The Board shall appoint and the Board President may administer the Oath of Office to the following district officers:

    • District Treasurer
    • Deputy Treasurer
    • District Clerk of the Board
    • Deputy District Clerk
    • Tax Collector
    • Deputy Tax Collector
    • Internal Claims Auditor
    • Deputy Internal Claims Audit
    • Records Access Officer
    • Records Management Officer
    • Superintendent
    • Assistant Superintendent
    • Purchasing Agent for Education
    • School Business Leader
    • Director of Special Education
  1. BONDING OF PERSONNEL
    The Board may bond the following personnel handling district funds: District Treasurer. The Board may, in each instance, specify the amount of the bond it intends to obtain. The Board may include any of the above officers in a blanket undertaking, pursuant to law and Commissioner’s Regulations, rather than bond individuals.
  2. DESIGNATIONS
    The Board shall designate:Official depositories for district funds;
    Official district newspaper; and
    Day and hour for the holding of regular meetings that shall be at least once each month while school is in session in the rooms provided for the Board unless otherwise ordered by the Board.
  3. AUTHORIZATIONS
    The Board shall authorize
    (a) Person to certify payrolls;
    (b) School purchasing agent;
    (c) Attendance at conferences, conventions, workshops, etc. with designated expenses;
    (d) Establish petty cash funds (and to set amount of such funds);
    (e) Designate authorized signatures on checks; and
    (f) Superintendent of Schools to approve budget transfers.
  4. OTHER ITEMS
    The Board shall
    (a) establish rate for mileage reimbursement; and
    (b) other

The Board shall conduct general business at this meeting before it adjourns, if it so desires.

Cross-ref: 5252, Student Activities Funds Management

Ref: New York State Constitution, Article XIII, §1
General Municipal Law §103(2) (official newspapers)
Public Officers Law §§10; 13; 30; Education Law §§ 701 (meeting to elect president, may elect vice president); 1707 (date of meeting); 1904 (central high school districts in Nassau county); 2130 (appoint clerk, bonded treasurer and bonded tax collector); 2504 (small city meeting during the first week of July, day and time of regular meetings)

Adoption date: October 3, 2012; March 29, 2017

2220 BOARD OFFICERS

The President and Vice President of the Board of Education shall be elected by members of the Board at the annual reorganization meeting in July.

DUTIES OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD

The duties of the President of the Board shall be as follows:

  1. preside at all meetings as the chief fiscal officer of the Board,
  2. execute all documents on behalf of the Board,
  3. appoint all standing and ad hoc committees,
  4. act as an ex-officio member of all committees,
  5. call special meetings he/she considers necessary or upon request of one member of the Board,
  6. vote together with other members of the Board,
  7. perform the usual and ordinary duties of the office,
  8. act as temporary chairman of the annual district meeting and special district meetings and
  9. offer resolutions along with the other members and discuss

DUTIES OF THE VICE PRESIDENT

The Vice President shall assume all the duties of the President in his/her absence or inability to act within statutory limitations.

Ref:     New York State Constitution, Article 13 §2 Local Finance Law §2.00(5)(e)

Education Law §§1709; 2105(6); 2502; 2504; 2553; 2563; 2590-b

Adoption date:   10/03/2012; 05/17/17

2230 APPOINTED BOARD OFFICIALS

DISTRICT CLERK

The Board of Education shall annually appoint a District Clerk. The District Clerk shall continue until the next reorganization meeting. The salary of the District Clerk shall also be fixed annually at the reorganization meeting. The District Clerk shall perform the duties and have the powers prescribed by law i.e., send notices of all meetings to the members of the Board; make, keep and distribute accurate Minutes of all meetings of the Board and be responsible for the publication of legal notices and perform such other duties as may be assigned to the office by the Board.

DISTRICT TREASURER

The Board of Education shall also annually appoint a District Treasurer. The District Treasurer shall serve until the next reorganization meeting or until a successor has been appointed. The District Treasurer shall perform such duties imposed upon the office by statute or law i.e., shall report, at least monthly, to the Board the state of all accounts; shall act as official custodian of all district funds; shall sign all checks including those for which facsimile signatures have been approved and shall perform such other duties as may be assigned to the office by the Board. The District Treasurer shall file a bond for the faithful performance of his/her duties or be covered under a blanket undertaking pursuant to policy 2210.

The Board may appoint, fix the term and fix the compensation of such other officials as may be necessary for its proper functioning.

Ref: Education Law §§2121; 2122; 2130

Adoption date:   10/03/2012; 05/17/17

2260 CITIZENS ADVISORY COMMITTEES

The Board of Education recognizes that it can beneficially utilize the talents, resources and interests available among district residents to assist in developing the programs needed for the maintenance of a quality educational program in the schools of the district. To that end, the Board shall, at its discretion and in accordance with state law and regulation, appoint Citizens Advisory Committees of representative residents of the district to meet with the Board to provide advice and reaction about important matters before the Board which may have special significance for the community.

Each Citizens Committee organized by the Board shall be appointed and discharged by official Board resolutions. In establishing such committees, the Board shall seek the advice of the Superintendent of Schools. Resolutions appointing such committees shall state specifically the scope of the work of the committee.

A specific charge, in writing, shall be given to members at the beginning of the committee’s work.  The charge will include:

  1. identification of the activity or area to be studied,
  2. length of time each member is being asked to serve,
  3. relationship of the committee to the Board and school district staff,
  4. resources the Board intends to provide to support the committee’s work,
  5. approximate date when the committee will be expected to submit its report and
  6. the approximate date on which the Board will expect the committee to be

Appointments to Citizens Advisory Committees shall be on the basis of interest, experience, expertise and concern. No one shall be appointed as a representative of a specific group or area, unless it is the express purpose of the Board to have all areas of the community represented, in which case the Board will, in its discretion, appoint representative members of every such group or area.

The Board shall make every effort to form a committee that is representative of the entire community.

Committees shall report all suggestions and recommendations to the Board and Superintendent of Schools prior to public release. Final reports shall be delivered to the Board at a meeting scheduled by the Board to receive the report.

The Board may accept, reject or return committee recommendations for further study. Any action stemming from committee reports is the responsibility of the Board. Publicity or the release of information concerning committee findings shall be the responsibility and the prerogative of the Board. Advisory committees shall be discontinued upon completion of their assignment(s).

Ref:     Education Law §§4402; 4601 8 NYCRR §135.3(2)

Adoption date:   10/03/2012; 05/17/17

2270 SCHOOL ATTORNEY

The Board of Education shall retain legal counsel, who shall be appointed at the Annual Reorganization Meeting of the Board of Education. This legal counsel will represent the Board of Education and shall report directly to the Board. The attorney shall have the applicable legal expertise to represent the interests of the school district.

The Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee may contact the counsel on legal matters affecting the operation of the school district or as specified in the most current retainer agreement. Board members and administrators shall be informed of who is allowed to contact the attorney and the process for doing so.

The selection of legal counsel shall be carried out in accordance with state law and regulation as well as Board policy.

Any attorney working for the Board as legal counsel must be admitted to the bar of New York State and duly licensed to practice law in New York State. Other qualifications, such as years of experience representing school districts in the area of education law, shall be outlined in the Request for Proposal.

The written agreement with the attorney and/or law firm shall describe, at a minimum, the cost (e.g., hourly rates, retainer agreement), services provided, representation (e.g., in hearings,  courts, investigations, negotiations), level of participation at Board meetings, who may contact the attorney(s), who has access to the attorney(s) and process for doing so, who directs the work of the attorney(s) and how the attorney(s) will communication information to the Board. Generally, any information shared with the contact person will be shared with the Board as a whole.

The attorney and/or law firm will be the legal advisor to the Board. In that capacity, the legal counsel’s duties will include, but not be limited to, the following:

  1. to advise the Board with respect to all legal matters relating to the district including, but not limited to, interpretation of the Education Law of the State of New York and all other statues, rules or regulations affecting the district;
  2. to be easily accessible to the Board and the Superintendent of Schools (and, at the discretion of the Superintendent, to his/her administrative staff) with respect to legal matters issuing out of the day-to-day administration of the district;
  3. to review and to represent the district in the preparation of any and all contracts that the district may be obliged to execute (other than purchase orders usually issued for the purchase of goods, equipment and services);
  4. to advise and assist in matters of litigation pursuant to the retainer agreement;
  5. to review the legality of policies, rules or regulations to be adopted by the Board;
  6. to review and advise with respect to any legal papers served upon the district to commence legal action and
  7. to recommend retaining special counsel as deemed necessary in the circumstances, subject to the approval of the

The school attorney and/or firm will report any censure, suspension or disbarment to the Board.

Adoption date:   10/03/2012; 05/17/17 

2310 REGULAR MEETINGS

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 once a month.

The time, dates and place of regular Board of Education meetings shall be established at the annual reorganization 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.

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.

Adoption date:   10/03/2012; 05/17/17 

2320 SPECIAL MEETINGS

In an effort to anticipate and respond to special circumstances which may arise during district operations, any member of the Board may call special and/or emergency meetings of the Board. Notice of such meetings will be given at least 24 hours before the date of the meeting to every Board member. If less than a week in advance, public notice of the meeting will be given to the extent practicable.

If, in an emergency, a special meeting is held before the twenty-four-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.

In compliance with state law, the Board will develop and implement a specified method for calling special meetings.

Ref:     Education Law §§1606; 2504; 2563

Open Meetings Law, Public Officers Law §§100 et seq.

Adoption date:   10/03/2012; 05/17/17

2330 EXECUTIVE SESSIONS

The Board of Education reserves the right, within the constraints of State law, to meet in executive session. Such sessions can be requested by any member of the Board or the Superintendent of Schools.

Upon a majority vote of its members, the Board may convene in executive session to discuss the subjects enumerated below.  Matters which may be considered in executive session are:

  1. matters which will imperil the public safety if disclosed;
  2. any matter which may disclose the identity of a law enforcement agent or informer;
  3. information relating to current or future investigation or prosecution of a criminal offense which would imperil effective law enforcement if disclosed;
  4. discussions regarding proposed, pending or current litigation;
  5. collective negotiations pursuant to Article 14 of the Civil Service Law (the Taylor Law);
  6. 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;
  7. the preparation, grading or administration of examinations or
  8. 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.

A Board may not take action in executive session except to vote on disciplinary charges against a tenured teacher.

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 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.

Ref:     Education Law §1708 (3)

Public Officers Law §§100 et seq.

Formal Opinion of Counsel No. 239, 16 EDR 457 (1976) Adoption date:  10/03/2012; 05/17/17

2340 NOTICE OF MEETINGS

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.

If a meeting is scheduled at least a week in advance, notice will be given 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 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.

Ref:     Open Meetings Law, Public Officers Law §§100 et seq.

Education Law §§1606; 1708; 2504; 2563 Adoption date:   11/19/14; 05/17/17

2342 AGENDA PREPARATION AND DISSEMINATION

The Superintendent of Schools shall prepare, with the approval of the Board President, the agenda for each board meeting according to the order of business to facilitate orderly and efficient meetings and allow board members sufficient preparation time.

Items of business may be suggested by any board member, a district employee, parent, student or another member of the public and must relate directly to district business. The inclusion of items suggested by district employees, parents, students or other members of the public shall be at the discretion of the Superintendent and subject to the approval of the Board President.

Persons suggesting items of business must submit the item to the Superintendent at least 30 days prior to a regular meeting and 15 prior to a special meeting. Items will not be added to the agenda later than these time periods, unless the item is of an emergency nature and authorized by the Superintendent in consultation with the Board President.

The agenda shall specify whether the item is an action item, a consent item, a discussion item or an information item.

The agenda and any supporting material will be distributed to board members 5-7 days in advance of the board meeting, if possible, to permit careful consideration of items of business. The agenda will be released to the media including local newspapers in advance of the meeting. The agenda will also be available in the Superintendent’s office to anyone who requests a copy.

The District Clerk shall be responsible for ensuring that the agenda is available to the public and the media.

Cross-ref: 2350, Board Meeting Procedures

Adoption date: 10/03/2012; 05/17/17

2350 BOARD MEETING PROCEDURES

Each Board of Education meeting shall be conducted in an orderly manner that provides time for and encourages community involvement. The order of business at each regular meeting shall be as follows:

Title: COHOES CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT, Board of Education Regular Meeting, Cohoes, New York
AGENDA, Date and Time, Place

  1. MEETING CALLED TO ORDER
  2. Pledge of Allegiance
  3. Evacuation Procedure for Emergency
  4. Roll Call
  5. Acceptance of Minutes of the Board of Education Meetings of
  6. PRESIDENT’S REPORT
  7. Good News

III. SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT

  1. Curriculum and Instruction
  2. Business and Operations
  3. BOARD OF EDUCATION DISCUSSION OF AGENDA ITEMS
  4. COMMUNITY DISCUSSION OF AGENDA ITEMS
  5. OLD BUSINESS

VII. REPORT FROM MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION

  1. THAT the Board of Education accept the Minutes for the Committee on Special Education for the following meeting dates:

VIII. RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT – PERSONNEL

Instructional

Non-Instructional

  1. RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT – BUSINESS/FINANCE
  2. FINANCIAL REPORTS (Recommended by the Superintendent)
  3. I recommend that the following reports be accepted by the Board of Education:
  4. Warrants
    2. Budget Transfer
    3. Budget Status Reports
    4. Bank Reconciliation Report
    5. Extracurricular Activity Report
  5. INFORMATION AND CONSIDERATION

XII. COMMENTS FROM THE BOARD OF EDUCATION MEMBERS

XIII. QUESTIONS AND STATEMENTS FROM AUDIENCE

XIV. BOARD POLICY REVIEW

  1. DATES FOR FUTURE MEETINGS

XVI. ADJOURNMENT

The regular order of business may be changed at any meeting (and for that meeting only) by an affirmative vote of a majority and voting for the proposed change in the regular order of business.

Except in emergencies, the Board of Education shall not attempt to decide upon any question under consideration before examining and evaluating relevant information. The Superintendent of Schools shall be given an opportunity to examine and evaluate all such information and recommend action before the Board attempts to make a decision.

The Board may adjourn a regular or special meeting at any place in the agenda providing that arrangements are made to complete the items of business on the agenda at a future meeting. The minutes shall make notice of the adjournment, and the reconvened session shall be considered an addition to these minutes.

Adoption date: 10/03/2012; 05/17/17

2352 RULES OF ORDER

Robert’s Rules of Order. Revised, shall be adhered to in conducting a meeting of the Board of Education.

Adoption date: 10/03/2012

2360 MINUTES

The Board of Education believes that open and accurate communication regarding its internal operations enhances the district’s public relations program and provides a record of the district’s progress toward its annual goals. Therefore the Board will maintain a complete and accurate set of minutes of each meeting in accordance with Jaw.

The minutes shall constitute the official record of proceedings of the Board and shall be open to public inspection within one week of executive sessions and within two weeks of all other meetings. Minutes which have not been approved by the Board within this time frame shall be marked “DRAFT. ‘ A draft of the minutes of each meeting shall be forwarded to each member of the Board not later than the time the agenda for the next meeting is disseminated.

All motions, proposals, resolutions and any other matters formally voted upon by the Board shall be recorded in Board minutes. In recording such votes, the names of the Board members shall be called in the following order:

  • Vice President
  • Board  members in order of seniority (most senior first)
  • If seniority is equal, then vote count shall determine order of vote
  • President

And the record shall indicate the final vote of each Board member.

If a Board member is not present at the opening of a meeting, the subsequent arrival time of such member shall be indicated in the minutes.

Ref: Open Meetings Law  Public Officers Law   §§100 et seq.

Freedom of information Law, Public Officers Law §§84 et seq. Education  Law §2121

Adoption  date:   10/03/2012, April 2014

2410 POLICY DEVELOPMENT, ADOPTION, IMPLEMENTATION AND REVIEW

The Board of Education is responsible for adopting and assessing the effectiveness of the written policies by which the district is governed. The Board recognizes that written  policies  are  essential to district governance in that they:

  • Govern effectively and efficiently across time, situations, and  individuals
  • Provide the foundation and guidance for administrative action
  • Publicize the federal, state, and local rules that govern the  district
  • Help to evaluate progress by including measurable

DEVELOPMENT

The Board is committed to developing written policies that:

  • Clearly define the district’s goals and objectives and reflect the Board’s    vision
  • Define roles and responsibilities and identify who is responsible for what
  • Provide the Superintendent and district staff with clear guidance regarding expected  district administration
  • Allow for flexibility that is needed for day-to-day  operations
  • Include measurable outcomes

Any member of the Board, district staff, students, parents, district taxpayers or other member of the public may identify policy issues. Such issues shall be identified to the Superintendent. The Superintendent shall be responsible for submitting policy issues to the Board for consideration and for keeping a record of all policy initiatives submitted to the Board.

Before acting on any proposed policy, the Board will assemble the relevant facts; receive recommendations from individuals and groups who will be affected by the policy; and discuss, debate and decide on the substance of the policy in open meetings. The Superintendent shall be responsible for identifying the individuals and groups who will be affected by the policy and seek their input.

The Superintendent shall be responsible for preparing a written draft of all proposed policies. When reviewing the contents of a proposed policy, the Board will consider whether the proposed policy:

  • Is within the scope of the Board’s authority
  • Is consistent with state and federal law and the state and federal  Constitutions
  • Supports the district’s goals and objectives
  • Reflects good practice (e.g.  educational, personnel,  business, etc. )
  • Is reasonable and not arbitrary or discriminatory
  • Adequately covers the subject
  • Is consistent with  the Board ‘s existing policies
  • Can be administered in a practical, cost-effective manner

ADOPTION

Once a proposed policy has been drafted it shall be placed on the Board’s agenda for a first reading, giving all persons interested in it an opportunity to express their views. The Board will not take any official action on any policy on first reading unless a majority of the Board decides that it is necessary to do so.

If the draft policy is acceptable or if it is not acted upon out of necessity after the first reading, the draft policy will be placed on the Board’s agenda for a second reading, at which time the Board will officially act.

The Superintendent shall consult with the school attorney or NYSSBA, as necessary prior to the adoption or revision of any policy.

IMPLEMENTATION

The Superintendent shall be responsible for implementing all policies adopted by the Board. This responsibility shall include:  promulgating any necessary administrative regulations ensuring that the policy is included in the board policy manual and publicizing the policy as necessary to ensure that persons affected by the policy are aware of it.

The board policy manual shall be kept in the district office and made available to the public upon request. A copy of the board policy manual shall also be kept in each school building and any other local specified by the Board.

REVIEW

The Superintendent shall be responsible for informing the Board of any policies that are out-of­-date or in need of revision. In addition, the Board will review the policy manual on a periodic basis and update it as necessary to ensure that the policies are consistent with board goals and district practices.

Ref: Education Law §1604  1709   1804 (powers and duties of board of education)

Adoption date:    10/03/2012, April 2014

2510 NEW BOARD  MEMBER ORIENTATION

The Board of Education and the administrative staff shall assist each new Board member-elect to become familiar with and to understand the Board’s functions policies and procedures and the school district’s operation before taking office. As soon as possible each Board member-elect shall:

  1. Be given selected materials covering the function of the Board and the school district, including
    1. policy manual
    2. copies of key reports prepared during the previous year by school Board committees and/or the administration
    3. the School Law handbook prepared by the New York State School Boards Association
    4. access to minutes of Board meetings  of the previous year
    5. latest financial report  of the district and
    6. any other materials that may be deemed helpful and informative*
  2. Be invited to attend all Board meetings and  functions
  3. Be invited to meet with the Superintendent of Schools and other administrative personnel to discuss the services they perform for the school Board and the school district
  4. Be invited and encouraged to attend the New York State School  Boards  Association’s workshop for New School Board Members.

* The Board may wish to provide new Board members with The Sunshine Laws (an Association publication which discusses the Open Meetings Law), the Freedom of Information Law and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA–“Buckley Amendment 11) regarding access to student records and Fiscal Management, an Association publication which presents an overview of school district budgets and other fiscal information which board members need to know.

Adoption date:   10/03/2012, April 2014

2520 SCHOOL BOARD CONFERENCES, CONVENTIONS  AND WORKSHOPS

In recognition of the need for continuing in-service training and development for its members, the Board of Education encourages the participation of all members in meetings and activities of area state and national school Board associations as well as in the activities of other educational groups. Board members are encouraged to study and examine materials received from these organizations as well as publications and tapes available in the Board’s own library.

In order to control both the investment of time and funds necessary to implement this policy the Board establishes these principles and procedures for its guidance:

  1. The Superintendent of Schools will compile maintain and distribute to each Board member a calendar listing school Board conferences, conventions and workshops to help the Board decide which meetings appear to be most promising in terms of producing direct and indirect benefits to the school district.
  2. Prior approval is required to reimburse conference attendees (Board members) for reasonable and necessary expenses not paid for directly by the district (travel, hotel, meals, and registration).
  3. When any Board member attends a conference convention or workshop the member will be requested to share information, recommendations, and materials acquired at the meeting.

Adoption  date:   10/03/2012, April 2014

2700 BOARD-STAFF COMMUNICATIONS

The success of any school system requires effective communication between the Board of Education and school staff. Such communication is necessary for facilitating proposals for the continuing improvement of the educational program and the proper disposition of personnel problems which may arise.

The main goal of both the Board and the staff is to provide the best possible educational opportunities for the entire community. To achieve this end, good Board-staff relations must be maintained in a climate of mutual trust and respect. At the same time, the Board in exercising its public trust to provide thorough and efficient public education, cannot dissipate or transfer its responsibilities.

In accordance with good personnel practice, staff participation in the development of educational and personnel policies will be encouraged and facilitated. The Superintendent of Schools as a professional leader of the staff and the Chief Executive of the Board will develop appropriate methods to keep staff fully informed of the Board’s problems, concerns and actions as well as enable staff to communicate information related to district operations.

All communications and reports to the Board from staff members and staff organizations will be submitted to the Board through the Superintendent. All official communications, policies, and directives of staff interest and concern will be communicated to staff members through the Superintendent. However, this will not be construed as denying the right of any staff member to appeal any action or decision of the  Superintendent.

All effective means of facilitating channels of communication between the community and staff will be explored in order to promote close and cooperative action for the continuing improvement of the educational program and the mutual benefit of the school system and the community.

Adoption date: 10/03/2012, April 2014

Preparing our students for success in tomorrow’s world.

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