PHILOSOPHY AND BYLAWS OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION
The Board of Education, as an agent of the State, has the responsibility of providing an educational system for the students of Litchfield in accordance with state and federal statutes and regulations.
The Board of Education, as an elected body of the Town of Litchfield, is charged with providing an educational system acceptable to the people of Litchfield in compliance with state and federal statutes and regulations.
The Board of Education, as a policy-making body, derives its authority from decisions made by the Board as a unit. No individual member or committee has executive authority beyond that granted by the Board.
The Superintendent of Schools, as Executive Officer of the Board, shall follow the policies and procedural decisions of the Board in administration of the school system.
The Board of Education shall organize itself at a meeting within two weeks after newly elected members have been legally seated.
The officers of the Board shall consist of Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and such other officers as the Board may, from time to time, create. Such officers shall be elected by the Board as the first order of business at the organizational meeting provided for in Article II, Section 1, above. The Town Treasurer shall be the Treasure of the Board.
The Superintendent of Schools, or his/her designated agent, will serve as moderator for the Board's election of Chair. The Chair will take office immediately and will conduct the election of the Vice Chair and Secretary.
a. Voting for all offices shall be by paper ballot, the results of which shall be recorded.
b. A majority vote of the Board as a whole shall be required to constitute election to any office.
c. If there are more than two nominees for an office and if no nominee receives a majority vote of the Board as a whole, the nominee receiving the lowest number of votes shall be removed from the list of candidates before balloting again.
d. The balloting will continue until the offices are filled.
The terms of office of the Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary shall be two years. If any such office is vacated prior to expiration of two (2) year term, there shall be a vote at the next meeting of the Board to fill the vacated office in accordance with processes set forth in Article II, Section 4, above.
Upon a motion duly made and seconded, an officer of the Board may be removed from office by a two-thirds vote of the total Board membership, voting by paper ballot. Immediately following such removal, the Board shall vote to fill the office vacated thereby in accordance with the processes set forth in Article II, Section 4, above.
Duties of Officers of the Board
The Board Chair will preside at all Board meetings and will appoint all committees. He/she will have the right to discuss questions and to vote, but not to make motions. He/she shall call all Special or Emergency meetings of the Board that he/she may deem necessary or when requested by one-third of the members of the Board. The Chair may choose to serve as an ex-officio member of any Board committee.
b. Vice Chair
In the absence of the Chair, the Vice Chair will perform the duties and have the obligations of the Chair. He/she may also serve as ex-officio member of any Board committee at the discretion of the Chair.
The Secretary shall be responsible for developing an accurate record of the proceedings of the Board, including each motion and vote.
The Treasurer of the Town of Litchfield is the Treasurer of the Board of Education. He/she shall sign all warrants drawn for settlement of obligations authorized for payment by the Board. He/she shall be bonded, the amount to be determined by the Board of Finance, and shall perform the duties imposed herein and by statute.
Members of the Board of Education are expected to represent and balance the educational interests of students in the public schools, district citizens and the State of Connecticut through;
a. Advocacy for equal educational opportunities for district students in accordance with all state and federal statutes and regulations.
b. Regular attendance at Board and Committee meetings.
c. Participation in meeting discussions on issues before the Board.
d. Suggesting appropriate agenda topics.
e. Being informed about local schools and their educational programs and activities.
f. Representing the community as part of a representative democratic governmental body.
No member of the Board of Education shall exercise administrative responsibility with respect to the schools or personally request or utilize the services of any Board employee for other than Board business. Any information sought by individual Board members must conform to Board Policy #1340 and be approved by the Superintendent of Schools.
a.The Standing Committees of the Board of Education shall address not less than the following:
5. Facilities and Technology
Standing committees may be modified, consolidated and/or established as deemed necessary by the Board.
b. The Chair of the Board will appoint members to the committees and will designate the Chair of each.
c. The Chair may from time to time appoint Ad Hoc Committees to study unique individual problems requiring the attention of such a committee. The Ad Hoc Committee will cease to exist as soon as its final report is made to the Board.
d. All Standing and Ad Hoc Committees will observe their responsibilities to the Freedom of Information laws. Requests for items to be placed on the agenda may be made with the Chair of the committee and must follow the procedures outlined in Policy #9323 for Board meetings.
e. Committee Responsibilities and Duties:
Working with the Superintendent, the Curriculum Committee is responsible for recommending curriculum policy, initiating curriculum reviews and studying the implications of external measurements provided to the school district.
1. Recommend to the Board and implement a calendar of curriculum reviews including the participation of the faculty, administration, committee and Board.
2. Review the staffing and class sizes recommended by the Superintendent to implement the curriculum.
3. Based on the Superintendent's recommendations, propose to the Board minimum graduation requirements.
4. Explore with the faculty and administration significant potential changes in the curriculum.
5. Evaluate, with the Superintendent in preparation for Board review, the long-term implications of data provided by external measurements.
6. Make budgetary recommendations to the Finance Committee that will allow the school system to achieve curriculum objectives.
With the Superintendent, formulate budgetary guidelines and oversee the preparation of a budget with supporting data for presentation to the Board for a vote, the Board of Finance and finally to the Town Budget Hearing and Budget Meeting. Oversee current expenditures and assure that financial commitments will be met within the confines of the total budget.
1. Develop policies and procedures related to capital and operating expenditures to allow for effective administration by the Superintendent and control by the Board.
2. Review proposed capital and operating budgets with the Superintendent and appropriate staff members to prioritize committee recommendations and develop a budget that is educationally responsible, economically practical, and supportive of Board goals. Present and explain the proposed budgets to the Board, the Board of Finance and the Town Budget Hearing and Meeting.
3. Review major expenditures and significant deviations from budgeted expenditures in light of the overall budget and changing conditions and make recommendations for budget transfers to the Board.
Represent the Board in negotiating contracts with the recognized bargaining agents for teachers, classified staff, administrators and the Superintendent, as well as the bus contractor and various other agencies where negotiations for purchase, sale or contractual agreements are involved.
1. Formally review current bargaining agreements to identify and prioritize potential contract issues for recommendation to the Board.
2. Meet with representatives of the recognized Board bargaining units and the Superintendent or his/her designee, and the Director of Business Operations to reach an agreed upon contract as prescribed by State law.
3. Recommend to the Board final contract proposals.
Periodically review policies and administrative regulations in effect for recruiting, hiring and evaluating staff members to ensure the hiring and retention of personnel of the highest quality.
1. Review the credentials and the resume of the final candidates to be recommended by the Superintendent to the Board for appointment to the certified staff.
2. Meet with administrators, faculty and staff representatives to discuss issues and concerns related to personnel policies.
3. Follow the contractual guidelines for the assessment and evaluation of the Superintendent.
4. Periodically review the process of evaluation of employees.
5. Annually negotiate the terms of the Superintendent's contract.
FACILITIES AND TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE
Work with the Superintendent to assure that all facilities of the district are adequate to meet educational goals and objectives and are maintained in a sound, safe and attractive condition.
1. Review annually with the Superintendent the facilities and technology needs. Annually update the repair and replacement plan.
2. Study and make recommendations regarding future facilities and technology needs in order to meet changes in enrollment as well as state and federal requirements.
3. Work with the Superintendent or his/her designee to obtain technical and professional advice for the Board on facilities and technology matters as needed.
4. If deemed advisable by the Committee, review bid specifications for facilities and technology-related purchases or contractual projects.
5. Make capital and operating budgetary recommendations to the Finance Committee that will allow the school system to fulfill its facilities and technology needs.
6. Appoint a representative of the Board to the Town Capital Improvement Committee.
7. Annually review the District Facilities and Technology Plan with the Superintendent.
Review existing policies, update and add new policies as Superintendent recommends and statutes dictate, and recommend additions or rescission where appropriate.
Review all issues related to student transportation, including safety and quality of service.
1. Work with the Superintendent to obtain technical and professional advice for the Board on issues of transportation safety.
2. Review periodically quality issues such as length of bus runs, number of runs, bus routes and stops, and bus conditions.
3. Review and investigate any special transportation situations as referred to it by the Superintendent.
4. Make capital and operating budgetary recommendations to the Finance Committee that will allow the school system to provide safe and adequate student transportation.
Litchfield Board of Education
Bylaw Adopted: January 24, 1984
Bylaw Amended: December 9, 1986
Bylaw Amended: April 21, 2010
Bylaw Amended: May 4, 2011
Bylaw Amended: December 4, 2103