Friday 18 Aug 2017

Preface to Board Policy

 

The Shoshone Joint School District No. 312 operates according to policies established by the Board of Trustees. The Board as elected representatives of the local community adopts policies after careful deliberation and the school administration implements them through specific procedures. The Board will periodically review policies and make revisions when necessary.


The Difference Between Policy and Procedure

Generally the role of a Board of Trustees is to set policy and the role of Administration is to implement it through procedures. The National School Boards Association's definition of policies and procedures are:

Policies: are principles adopted by the Board to chart a course of action. They tell what is wanted and may include who and how much. They are broad enough to indicate a line of action to be taken by the Administration in meeting a number of day to day problems; they need to be narrow enough to give the Administration clear guidance.

Procedures: are detailed directions developed by the Administration to put policy into practice. They tell how, by whom, where and when things are to be done.

As long as the Administration operates within the guidelines of general policy adopted by the Board, it may change procedures without prior Board approval unless Board action is required by law or unless the Board has specifically asked that a particular procedure be given Board approval. The Board, of course, should be kept informed of procedures issued by the Administration. Either the Superintendent or the Board may request prior Board approval to administrative procedures. Issues which are controversial or are often subject to law suits are typical reasons for this type of request.

The Purpose of Written Board Policies

1. To uphold the vision and goals of the District; 
Board policies reflect and provide a framework for the District's goals and vision.

2. To provide the community an opportunity for input in charting the District's course of action and in establishing limits; 
Those groups who will be affected by the policy should have a reasonable opportunity to learn about and provide feedback to those policies. Written policies, adequately communicated, make this possible.

3. To avoid or minimize crisis situations; 
Clearly written policies which reflect thorough research, sound judgment and community input: 
protect individuals from arbitrary or reactionary administrative decisions; (1) provide a fair and objective process in which an individual's problems, concerns, or accusations can be calmly and appropriately addressed; (2) give credibility. Individuals who have advanced written notice of the rules are less likely to challenge those rules when they become affected by them. People tend to respect that which is in writing.

4. To be accountable to the community; 
School boards are public bodies and as such operate in the open. Properly written board policy shows the public that the Board is operating the District in a business-like manner and that the Board takes its job seriously by adhering to Board policy.

5. To allow the Board and Administration to operate in a more efficient manner; 
Policies are the usual and customary method of handling a recurring problem or issue. Ambiguity, confusion, and problems often result when policies are not in writing. When policies do exist, there is no longer a need for lengthy Board discussions on every matter that comes before the Board. The Board frees itself to work on more important matters that need Board attention.

6. To clarify Board/Superintendent relations and provide guidance for the Superintendent; 
The Board determines the direction of the educational program within the school district. This direction is written in school board policy. By writing Board directions, the Board gives the Superintendent guidance to administer the school system to ensure the goals of the Board are met.

7. To maintain continuity and consistency and foster stability; 
Board members and employees come and go, but policy endures. A board policy manual, containing current policies and procedures, permits smooth transitions when changes take place.

8. To provide the basis for a legal record.
Board policies are the law of the school district. If policies are written properly and are consistent with federal and state laws and regulations, the Board's action should be upheld.

Policy Areas

The policy manual is divided into the following areas:
Section 1000 Board of Trustees
Section 2000 Instruction 
Section 3000 Students 
Section 4000 Community Relations 
Section 5000 Personnel 
Section 6000 Administration 
Section 7000 Financial Management 
Section 8000 Noninstructional Operations
Section 9000 School Facilities


The pages which immediately follow the title for each policy area serve as the table of contents for each section of the manual. Sub-classifications under each heading are based on logical sequence and numerical sub-coding.

Use of the Policy Manual

1. How to find a policy: There are two ways to find a policy: 
a. Turn to the Policy Manual Table of Contents to determine which section addresses the policy area of interest. Use the code numbers to locate the pages. (All pages of the manual are coded in the upper right hand corner.)
b. Click on the search icon and type in the word that most closely matches the object of your search and review the listings provided by the search until you find the section you need.

2. Codes used for listings: Pages which have a letter following the page number are not policy pages, e.g. #___P. The letters and their meanings are listed below.
P - Board approved administrative procedures
F - Form

3. Legal References: Legal references indicate the section of the law, the court decision, etc. 
which are pertinent to the policy. Other laws and/or court decision also may be applicable to
a particular policy. The following explains terms and abbreviations used in the legal 
references: 
I.C. - Idaho Code 
U.S.C. - United States Code
IDAPA - Idaho Administrative procedures adopted as rule by the State Board of Education

4. Cross-References: Certain policies relate to others. Cross-references are provided following some of the policies to help the reader find all of the related information.

5. Dates: Each policy page indicates when it was adopted, reviewed or revised.

6. Order of precedence: Board policies must be read and interpreted in the light of applicable laws, court rulings, and state regulations. Wherever inconsistencies of interpretation arise, the applicable laws, court rulings, and state regulations prevail.

7. Definitions: The following terms are used throughout this policy manual:

Board of Trustees: refers to the governing body of the school district composed of five elected representatives. The Board of Trustees sets District policy and acts as the final appeal panel for extended suspensions and expulsions.

Board Approved Administrative Procedures: are procedures developed by the Superintendent or designee to implement Board policy and submitted to the Board by the Superintendent or designee for approval. Board approved administrative procedures may be approved in the same meeting as it is presented.

Designee: is a person who is designated or appointed by the person or persons named in the policy to fulfill the stated duties.

District: is the Jerome Jt. School District No. 261, Jerome, Gooding and Lincoln counties.

On any school premises or at any school sponsored activity, regardless of location: shall include, but not be limited to, buildings, facilities, grounds on the school campus, school busses, school parking areas, and the location of any school sponsored activities. This includes instances in which the perpetrator is off school premises or away from the location for a school sponsored activity, but the victim of the policy violation is on school premises or is at the location of a school-sponsored activity.

Policies: are principles adopted by the Board to chart a course of action. They tell what is wanted and may include who and how much. They are broad enough to indicate a line of action to be taken by the Administration in meeting a number of day to day problems; they need to be narrow enough to give the Administration clear guidance.

Procedures: are detailed directions developed by the Administration to put policy into practice. They tell how, by whom, where and when things are to be done.

School Official: includes, but is not limited to teacher, school counselor, school nurse, principal, and assistant principal, or District administrator.

Superintendent: is the Superintendent of Schools for the Jerome Jt. School District No. 261.

How to Make Suggestions for Improving this Policy Manual

Policy development is a continuing process. Suggestions may be made by calling the Clerk of the Board at the Shoshone Joint School District Administration Office, (208) 886-2338, or writing to:

Board of Trustees
Shoshone Joint School District No. 312
61 E. Hwy 24
Shoshone, ID 83352