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1240 - Duties of Individual Board Members Policy

Policy 1240


Duties of Individual Board Members
The Pasco School District Board shall follow principles that enable it and its members to operate lawfully, efficiently, respectfully, and strategically focused on District progress toward the District Outrageous Outcomes and Goals and Balanced Governance Board Standards (See Board Handbook Appendix M) to improve learning for all students.

  1. The Board shall engage in Balanced Governance with an emphasis on beliefs and actions emulating the Balanced Governance Individual Board Member Characteristics (See Board Handbook Appendix J).
  2. Board members shall strive to make policy decisions based on information received from the Superintendent and staff that reflects the progress or the need for improvement toward the District Outrageous Outcomes and Goals.
  3. Superintendent or staff reports presented to the full Board during Board meetings shall, at a minimum, follow these Board Progress Monitoring and Reporting Protocols as shown in Policy 1260.
  4. Board member discussion should focus on the extent to which policy, programs, and processes of both the District educational system and Board governance actions support Balanced Governance Standards (See Board Handbook Appendix M).
  5. Board members shall respect relationships with other members of the Board by:
    a. Recognizing the integrity of predecessors and associates and the merit of their work.
    b. Refusing to make promises regarding voting on any matter that will come before the Board.
    c. Respecting the right of others to their opinions and, while striving for consensus, supporting the majority rule principle.
  6. Board members and the Superintendent shall engage in professional public communications to respect and ensure an unobstructed process of Board deliberation and policy approval. This includes:
    a. Board members shall suspend decision-making and public comment until proper analysis of data and Board discussion is concluded and a vote is cast.
    b. Supporting the integrity of final Board decisions and supporting the implementation of those policy decisions while retaining the right to publicly share one’s own reasons for voting against a particular policy or program.
    c. Providing appropriate redirection through the proper personnel channels when approached by the public. For example, Board members shall defer comments regarding inquiries about District issues to the Superintendent, who will speak for the District.
    d. Public comments or inquiry directed to the Superintendent regarding Board practices or actions, should be passed on to the Board President who may, if time permits, confer with the Board on such matters during a regular Board meeting, and when directed by the Board, respond on their behalf. In emergencies where a timely response is needed, the Board President may speak on behalf of the Board without their conference and approval.
  7. Board members who fail to follow governance process policies, either during or outside of a Board meeting shall be addressed using the Board Members’ & Superintendent Progressive Response Protocols delineated in Policy (See Board Handbook Appendices K & L).
  8. Board members shall respect the authority of the Superintendent of Schools and the staff by:
    a. Giving the Superintendent full administrative authority for properly discharging the professional duties of the position and by holding the Superintendent accountable for progress toward the District Outrageous Outcomes and goals.
    b. Recognizing individual interactions between Board members and employees of the Superintendent lack authority except when explicitly authorized by the Board.
    c. Refraining from expressing individual judgments of performance of the Superintendent or employees of the Superintendent except as described in the Board Members’ & Superintendent Progressive Response Protocols (See Board Handbook Appendix L).
    d. Acting only upon the recommendations of the Superintendent in matters of employment or dismissal of District personnel.
    e. Excluding the Superintendent at regular and special meetings of the Board only when the contract, salary, and evaluation of the Superintendent are discussed.
    f. Referring all complaints to the Superintendent and discussing such complaints at a regular meeting only after exhausting all other steps described in the Board Members’ & Superintendent Progressive Response Protocols (See Board Handbook Appendix L).
    g. Providing an environment in which the Superintendent and staff may function effectively within the community and discharge their educational functions on a thoroughly professional basis.
    h. Presenting any criticisms of any employee directly to the Superintendent.
  9. Concerns regarding school Board member/Superintendent communication or implementation of policy and procedures shall be addressed with the Superintendent through the Balanced Governance Progressive Response Protocols (See Board Handbook Appendices K & L).
  10. Board members shall refrain from individually and privately monitoring the implementation of policy, programs, or operation processes.
  11. Board members shall conduct effective and productive meetings focused on open dialogue and policy actions intended to check the progress and improve achievement of the District Outrageous Outcomes and Goals.
  12. Board members shall conduct their Board meetings in a professional manner with appropriate decorum through: 
    a. Well-attended meetings and well-prepared participants.
    b. A well-planned agenda that is focused on progress checking and discussion of the District Outrageous Outcomes and goals.
    c. Keeping discussions centered on the agenda and staying focused on progress checking and discussion of the District Outrageous Outcomes and goals.
    d. Balanced participation with everyone participating and no one dominating.
    e. Sharing viewpoints in a clear, concise manner.
    f. Accomplishing work in an atmosphere of trust and openness with respect and courtesy.
    g. Monitoring policies to facilitate accountability and assurance of policy implementation fidelity.
    h. Supporting the Superintendent’s reasonable interpretation of applicable Board policies or further clarifying Board intention by revising the policies.
    i. Making decisions based on information garnered from Superintendent and staff reports presented at Board meetings, additional information requested through the Superintendent, and family/community input.
  13. Board members shall recognize that authority rests only with the Board during official meetings and that the individual member has no legal status to bind the Board outside meetings. The Board shall follow the following provisions:
    a. Except as otherwise provided by Washington Statute, three members of the Board shall constitute a quorum.
    b. No action of the Board shall be considered valid without the approval of a quorum of the Board.
    c. A quorum of members shall only meet, deliberate, or vote regarding matters within the Board's jurisdiction in either an open meeting or a closed meeting in compliance with a specific statute.
    d. Members' interaction with the public, press, or other entities must recognize Board decisions and the inability of any member to speak for the Board.
    e. An agenda item which has previously been considered and decided by the Board within the past year may only be placed on the agenda for reconsideration by a Board Member who was on the prevailing side of the previous decision. A quorum of Board Members must vote to add the item to the agenda.

Legal Reference:
RCW 28A.343.390 Directors--Quorum--Failure to attend meetings may result in vacation of office
RCW 28A.320 Provisions applicable to all districts
RCW 28A.330.100 Additional powers of the board
RCW 28A.330.080 Payment of claims--signing of warrants
RCW 28A.330.200 Organization of the board

Adoption Date: September 28, 2021