Board Operating ProceduresWichita Falls Independent School District
In effective school systems, the Superintendent and the Board function as a “Team of Eight.” A structured approach (to developing a District vision and setting goals) is enhanced by first developing a system of standard operating procedures. The School Board is the corporate policy making body for the District, the Superintendent and staff provide the leadership to implement Board policies.
The Wichita Falls ISD Board of Trustees adopts these guidelines as Operating Procedures to effectively communicate with staff and patrons of the District.
American public education is characterized by its unique emphasis on local lay control of the governance of school districts. Board trustees, as locally elected public officials, are stewards of the educational welfare of all students in the district. Wichita Falls ISD trustees adhere to the Ethics for School Board Members adopted by the Texas Association of School Boards. Ethics for School Board Members are attached as Exhibit "A".
A. Placing items on agenda
1. A tentative agenda is created through Work Session Meetings with the exception of time-sensitive items presented to the Board by the Administration, Board president or any two trustees.
2. In consultation with the Board President, the Superintendent shall prepare the agenda for all Board meetings. The Board president or any two trustees may request that a subject be included on the agenda for a meeting.
3. In accordance with Texas Open Meeting Act (OMA), no item can be placed on the agenda less than 72 hours in advance of a meeting, except in an emergency as provided by the OMA.
B. Items for executive session
Only the following may be deliberated in an executive or closed session:
1. When the Board seeks advice from its attorney about pending or contemplated litigation, a settlement offer, or other matters which the attorney has a duty to keep confidential.
2. When the Board discusses gifts or donations to the District or real estate transactions and values and needs to keep those discussions confidential to protect its negotiating position.
3. When the Board deliberates the appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline, or dismissal of a public officer or employee, or hears a complaint or charge against an officer or employee. (This does not apply if the employee or officer requests a public hearing.)
4. When the Board deliberates the deployment or specific occasions for implementation of security personnel or devices.
5. When the Board deliberates the discipline of a student or when a charge is brought against an employee of the District.(This does not apply if an open hearing is requested in writing by a parent or guardian of the child or by the employee.)
6. When the Board deliberates the standards, guidelines, and terms or conditions the Board will follow in a consultation with a representative of an employee group.
7. When the Board discusses or deliberates regarding commercial or financial information that the District has received from a business prospect that the District seeks to have locate, stay, or expand in or near the territory of the governmental body and with which the District is conducting economic development negotiations; or to deliberate the offer of a financial or other incentive to such a business prospect.
8. The Board can only discuss those items listed on the executive agenda and as limited by law.
9. The Board must vote in public session.
C. Use of consent agenda
1. The consent agenda generally consists of routine matters that do not require explanation or deliberation. Usually such items have been reviewed by Board members prior to a regular meeting, through written materials provided by the administration or at work sessions. The following are examples of appropriate items for the consent agenda:
a) Annual renewal of Region IX and TEA items
b) Financial information
c) Minutes of regular and special Board meetings
d) Updates of Board policy
e) Human Resource Reports
f) Bid recommendations
Any Board member may request that an item be removed from the consent agenda if the member feels that further information, deliberation or discussion is necessary.
(Four members present constitute a quorum for a meeting.)
A. Persons addressing the Board
There are two methods available to persons to address the Board. The first is through the complaint or grievance procedures (See Policy DGBA Local, Policy FNG Local, and Policy GF Local). The second and more common method is through the open forum portion of a regular meeting. The following rules apply to the open forum:
1. Speakers must register prior to the Regular Board Meeting which begins at 6:00 p.m.
2. The Open Forum presentation is limited to a maximum audience time of 30 minutes, or not more than three minutes per speaker. No more than 10 individuals will be allowed to speak and the per person time will be prorated. If fewer that 6 individuals apply to address the Board, still only three minutes per speaker will be allotted. (Board Policy BE adopted July 19, 2010)
3. The Board President may recognize persons who sign up to address agenda items at the time when the agenda item is discussed by the Board or during the open forum portion of the meeting. However, the Board will not engage in dialogue with speakers during the Board meeting on items that are not part of the posted agenda.
4. Board President or two trustees may direct the Superintendent to review
and respond to the request or concerns and report back to the Board through transmittal or at a designated meeting.
5. The Board President shall recognize Board members prior to any member asking clarifying questions or making statements to the Board.
B. Discussion of individual employees or students by the Board or audience
Negative comments or complaints to individual employees or students fall under the complaint process. A complaint form and information regarding the process may be obtained from the Coordinator of Student Assignment. The Board will not entertain such comments in public session as provided by law.
(See Policy FNG Local)
A. Each action item shall require a motion and second prior to discussion and voting.
B. The Board President may participate in the discussion and vote on all action items.
C. Voting shall be by voice or show of hands, as directed by the President. Any member may abstain from voting, and a member’s vote or failure to vote shall be recorded upon the member’s request.
D. In case of a tie vote, the President or two trustees may bring the item back to the Board on a subsequent agenda.
A. Board members shall request information and/or reports through the Superintendent.
B. The Superintendent will gather the information and/or reports and disseminate it in a timely manner to all Board members.
C. Board members are encouraged to advise the Superintendent of questions or concerns on agenda items before the Board meeting.
A. The Board has provided a complaint process that encourages the resolution of concerns at the level at which the concern arises. It is the intent of the Board that the public is treated with dignity and respect throughout the complaint process.
B. When an individual Board member is contacted by a member of the public, the trustee is to encourage the individual to discuss the concern or complaint through informal conferences with the appropriate administrator.
C. The Board member should explain the steps in the complaint process if the concern cannot be resolved informally.
D. The Board member should explain the need for the trustee to remain impartial due to the potential for a hearing if the complaint remains unresolved through administrative channels.
E. The Board member should inform the Superintendent of the citizen concern.
A. Board members are not to go to a campus or into teachers’ classrooms for the purpose of evaluation or investigation of complaints or grievances.
B. Board members are encouraged to visit campuses for special events and for parental reasons. Board members as well as parents and visitors to campuses should sign-in at the front office when visiting the campus.
A. Superintendent will meet with the Board President on a routine basis.
B. Board members will keep Superintendent informed via telephone calls, faxes, e-mail, or personal visits.
C. Board members will communicate with the community through public hearings and regular Board meetings.
D. The Board President or his/her designee shall be the official spokesperson for the media/press on issues of media attention that are high profile. Individual Board members should feel free to express their opinions in response to media inquiries, but with discretion-avoiding the appearance of debating an issue through the media, and should avoid criticism of prior action taken by the Board.
A. The evaluation of the Superintendent will be in accordance with state law and Board policy.
B. The Board President obtains input from all Board members for the Superintendent’s evaluation.
C. The Superintendent’s evaluation is conducted in executive session.
A. Evaluation of the Board is an assessment of completion of goals established by the Board and its working relationship with the Superintendent.
B. The evaluation of the Superintendent is an indication of the Board’s success in meeting established goals.
A. The Board shall elect a President, a Vice-President, and a Secretary who shall be members of the Board.
B. A vacancy among officers of the Board shall be filled by majority action of the Board.
C. Board officers shall serve for a term of two years or until a successor is elected. No officer may serve more than two consecutive terms in the same office. Each officer shall perform any legal duties of the office and other duties, as required by the Board. In addition to the duties required by law, the President of the Board shall:
1. Preside at all Board meetings unless unable to attend.
2. Have the right to discuss, make motions and resolutions, and vote on all matters coming from the Board.
3. Appoint all Board committees, unless otherwise provided by policy or Board consensus. (Policy BDB Local)
4. Execute contracts on behalf of the District, subject to any restrictions imposed by law, as approved by the Board unless such authority has been delegated to the Superintendent or designee.
D. The Vice-President of the Board shall:
a. Act in the capacity and perform the duties of the President of the Board in theevent of the absence or incapacity of the President.
b. Become President only upon being elected to the position.
E. The Secretary of the Board shall:
1. Ensure that an accurate record is kept of the proceedings of each Board meeting.
2. Ensure that notices of Board meetings are posted and sent as required by law.
3. In the absence of the President and Vice-President, call the meetings to order and act as presiding officer.
4. Sign or countersign documents as directed by action of the Board.
A. The Board may only discuss those items listed on the executive session agenda and as allowed by law.
B. The Board must vote in public session.
C. Discussions during executive session must remain confidential.
The Wichita Falls Independent School District Board of Trustees encourages input; however, anonymous calls or letters will not receive Board attention, discussion, or response and will not result in directives to the Administration. Confidentiality is strictly maintained when possible.
These procedures are not part of the official policies of the Wichita Falls Independent School District. In the event of any conflict between these procedures and such policy, the terms of the policy shall control.