The successful operation of schools requires a close, effective working relationship between the board and the superintendent. The relationship must be one of trust, goodwill and candor. As the legally designated governing body, the board retains final authority within the district. The board exercises powers expressly required and implied by law. The superintendent is the board’s professional adviser, to whom the board delegates executive responsibility, including such powers required to manage the district in a manner consistent with board policy and state and federal law.
The superintendent, as an executive officer of the board (secretary), is responsible for the administration of the schools under applicable laws and policies of the district. The board delineates the duties of the superintendent and uses them as the basis for evaluating the superintendent’s performance. Unless specifically limited, the superintendent may delegate to other staff the exercise of any powers and the discharge of any duties imposed by district policy or a vote of the board. The delegation of power or duty does not relieve the superintendent of responsibility for the actions taken under such a delegation.
In order to perform their responsibilities, board members must be familiar with the operations within the schools. The superintendent will establish communication procedures which can enhance the board member’s understanding of student programs and school operations.
Legal References: RCW 28A.320.010 Corporate powers
RCW 28A.330.050 Duties of superintendent as secretary of the board
RCW 28A.330.100 Additional powers of the board (First Class Districts Only)
RCW 28A.400.010 Employment of superintendent — Superintendent’s qualifications, general powers, term, contract renewal
RCW 28A.400.030 Superintendent’s duties
Management Resources: 2013 – February Issue
Adoption Date: 7.17
Procedure The Board-Superintendent Relationship
The following communications procedures are established:
A. Staff Communications to the Board
All communications or reports to the board or individual board members from principals, supervisors, teachers, or other staff members shall be submitted through the superintendent. This will not deny any staff member’s right to appeal to the board regarding administrative decisions, provided that the superintendent will have been notified of the forthcoming appeal and that it is processed according to the applicable procedures on complaints and grievances.
B. Board Communications to Staff
All official communications, policies, and directives of staff interest and concern will be communicated to staff members through the superintendent. The superintendent will employ all such media as are appropriate to keep staff fully informed of the board’s priorities, concerns and actions.
C. Visits to Schools
Individual board members interested in visiting schools or classrooms will make arrangements for visitations through the principals of the various schools. Such visits will be regarded as expressions of interest in school affairs and not as “inspections” or visits for supervisory or administrative purposes. Official visits by board members will be carried on only under board authorization and with the full knowledge of staff, including the superintendent, principals and other supervisors.
D. Social Interaction
Staff and board members share a keen interest in the schools and in education. When they meet at social affairs and other functions, informal discussion on such matters as educational trends, issues, and innovations can be anticipated. Discussions of personalities or staff grievances are not appropriate.
Adoption Date: 7.17
Classification: Discretionary WSSDA: 12.11