Governing Board Overview
The Role of the Governing Board
The five members of Roosevelt School District's Governing Board have been elected by the people of the district to their positions. Their main responsibilities are to formulate and approve the policies which guide the operation of the district. These policies are then implemented by the superintendent and district staff. These policies include the employment of all district personnel, the development of job descriptions and responsibilities, approval of annual salary schedules, the development of annual operating budgets, the development of annual capital expenditure budgets, and the approval of textbooks and other curricular materials.
Board members are elected for four-year terms. There is no limit on the number of terms a member may serve, and they are not paid for their services. Board candidates must reside within the district boundaries for one year prior to being elected to office. We appreciate the countless hours that our board members invest in the future of our children.
All Board meetings, except executive sessions, are open to the public. Under Arizona law, the Board may call an executive session to discuss personnel matters, the purchase or lease of real property, meet-and-confer discussions and legal matters with attorneys.
Governing Board Duties
As outlined by the Arizona School Boards Association (ASBA), the duties of school board members are responsible for broad, futuristic thinking, minute analysis and decisive action in all areas that affect students and staff in their schools. Some roles and responsibilities are implicit. Others are specifically mandated (A.R.S. §15-341) or allowed (§15-342) by Arizona law. Everything board members do is focused on providing the best education possible for the children in their community.
Set the Direction
The governing board, with extensive involvement from the staff and community, is responsible for envisioning the future of the public schools in their community. After setting the vision and mission for the district, the governing board works collaboratively to establish strategic goals to move the organization toward the community’s vision for its schools.
Establish the Structure
Board policies and goals establish the structure and create the environment for ensuring that all students are served. The superintendent uses the structure established by the board to manage operations on a day-to-day basis. Although the superintendent may suggest changes to policies, only the board as a whole has the legal authority to adopt policy.
The board provides support to its organization by ensuring that resources are adequate and aligned to meet established goals. Support also is provided by recognizing and encouraging excellence throughout the organization.
As the community’s representative in the local schools, the board is responsible for ensuring that the schools are well run – that resources are used wisely and that high standards for academic performance are set. The board as a whole needs to monitor performance to meet established goals – academic, financial and operational.
Advocate for Your Students
One of the board’s most important roles is to be the ambassador for public education in the community. As individuals, each board member can help communicate the ways in which their local schools are supporting student educational needs, parent and community aspirations, and state and federal standards. Together, the board also can demonstrate that an atmosphere of collaboration and respect is the most conducive environment for providing the best education for children in the community.
Abide by a Code of Ethics
A code of ethics for board members is included in the policies adopted by most school boards for their districts, and it is incumbent on individual board members to follow it.
Specific duties of school boards may relate to employment, purchasing, budget preparation, students and policies. They may include:
- Hiring and evaluating the district superintendent.
- Providing guidance in the development of the budget to ensure funding needed to meet board established goals.
- Approving the budget.
- Monitoring the budget.
- Setting salaries for employees.
- Approving purchases.
- Establishing and approving policies.
- Approving curriculum materials.
- Adopting the school calendar.
- Reviewing regulations for compliance with policy.
- Approving personnel actions based on the superintendent’s recommendation.
- Closing or constructing schools.
- Assessing board effectiveness.
- Monitoring progress toward goals.
- Mandatory duties of school boards are defined in A.R.S. §15-341. Discretionary powers are defined in A.R.S. §15-342.)
What School Board Members and Boards DON’T Do
School board members do not:
- Implement policy; school boards make policy and superintendents carry it out.
- Manage the day-to-day operations of the school district; school boards see to it that the district is managed by professionals.
- Evaluate staff, other than the superintendent, nor do they become involved in employment interviews, other than those for superintendent.