Section B. School Board Governance and Operations

  

BBA: BOARD POWERS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

 

The MEAA Board shall exercise such responsibilities as specifically provided by law, applicable bylaws and school policy.

 

The Board shall concern itself primarily with broad questions of policy rather than with administrative details.  The application of policies is an administrative task to be performed by the Executive Director or his/her designee(s) and his/her staff, who shall be held responsible for the effective administration and supervision of the entire school system. 

 

The Board, functioning within the framework of laws, court decisions, attorney general opinions, and similar mandates from the state and national levels of government, and recognizing the authority of the state, fulfills its mission as the governing body of a political subdivision by acting as follows in the execution of its duties:

 

  1. Enacts policy; 

  2. Selects, employs and evaluates the Executive Director; 

  3. Requires the establishment and maintenance of records, accounts, archives, management methods and procedures incidental to the conduct of school business; 

  4. Approves the budget, financial reports, audits, major expenditures, payment of obligations, and policies whereby the administration may formulate procedures, regulations, and other guides for the orderly accomplishment of business; 

  5. Provides staff and instructional aids; 

  6. Evaluates the educational program to determine its effectiveness with which the school is achieving the goals as outlined in the school's mission, vision, Learning Results system and Common Core standards and charter contract. 

  7. Provides for the dissemination of information relating to the school necessary for creating a well-informed public; 

  8. Approves/disapproves personnel nominations from the Executive Director and determines (where appropriate via collective bargaining) compensation and working conditions of all staff; and

  9. Approves the curriculum in support of the Maine Learning Results system and Common Core standards and adopts and directs the general course of studies.

 

BBAA: BOARD MEMBER AUTHORITY AND RESPONSIBILITIES

 

Members of the Board have authority only when acting as a Board legally in session.  The Board shall not be bound in any way by any action or statement on the part of any individual Board member except when such statement or action is in pursuance of specific instructions from the Board. 

 

BCA: BOARD MEMBER CODE OF ETHICS

 

As a member of the Board of Directors of MEAA, I accept the principles set forth in the following code of ethics to guide me in my Board efforts:

 

  1. I will use my service on the Board as an opportunity to serve my community by promoting education and performing arts for the youth of the state of Maine and beyond.

 

  1. I will make no disparaging remarks, in or out of the Board meetings, about other members of the Board or their opinions. 

 

  1. I will remember that I have no legal authority relating to MEAA outside of my role on the Board, and that I will conduct my relationship with the school staff, the local citizenry, and all media of communications on the basis of this fact. 

 

  1. I will recognize that my responsibility is not to operate the school but to see that it is well operated. I will confine my Board action to policy making, planning, and appraisal, leaving the administration of the school to the Executive Director.

 

  1. I will seek to provide education for all enrolled students commensurate with their needs and abilities. 

 

  1. I will listen to all public comment but will refer all complaints to the proper authorities, and will discuss such complaints only at a regular meeting of the Board, where necessary.

 

  1. I will not criticize MEAA or its employees publicly, but will share concerns or criticism, if any, with the Executive Director for investigation and action, if necessary.

 

  1. I will make decisions openly after all facts bearing on a question have been presented and discussed. I will support a decision graciously once it has been made by the majority of the Board.

 

  1. I will not discuss the confidential business of the Board outside of Board meetings.

 

BCB: BOARD MEMBER CONFLICT OF INTEREST

 

A Board member shall not have any direct or indirect pecuniary (financial) interest (as defined by law) in a contract with the school, nor shall he/she furnish directly be paid for any labor, equipment, or supplies to the school.  In the event that a Board member is employed by a corporation or business, or has a secondary interest in a corporation or business which furnishes goods or services to the school, the Board member shall declare his/her secondary interest and refrain from debating or voting upon the question of contracting with the company.

 

It is not the intent of this policy to prevent the school from contracting with corporations or businesses because a Board member is an employee of the firm.  The policy is designed to prevent the placing of Board members in a position where their interest in the public school and their interest in their places of employment (or other indirect interest) might conflict, and to avoid appearances of conflict of interest even though such conflict may not exist.

 

A Board member may not, during the time the member serves on the Board and for one year after the member ceases to serve on the Board, be appointed to any employment position which has been created or the compensation of which has been increased by the action of the Board during the time the member serves on the Board.

 

A Board member may not be, at any time, in conflict with the Board's policy on nepotism.

Legal Reference:        20-A MR.S.A. § 1002 

BDB: BOARD OFFICERS

 

 The officers of the Board shall consist of the Board Chair (who shall serve as and have the power and authority of the Executive Director of a nonprofit corporation pursuant to Section 710 of the Maine Nonprofit Corporation Act), a Board Vice Chair, a Treasurer, a Secretary, and such other officers and assistant officers as the Board of Directors shall deem desirable.  No two offices may be held by the same person.  In addition to the duties and powers specifically set forth in these Bylaws, each officer shall have such duties and power as the Board of Directors may from time to time prescribe.

 

Chair of the Finance Committee:  The Chair of the Finance Committee shall have oversight of all financial affairs of the corporation.  

 

Treasurer.  The Treasurer shall have general charge of the financial affairs of the corporation.  The Treasurer shall have custody of all funds of the corporation, subject to such regulations as may be imposed by the Board.  The Treasurer may be required to give bond for the faithful performance of his or her duties, in such sum and with such sureties as the Board may require.  The Treasurer shall deposit, or cause to be deposited, all moneys of the corporation in such depositories as may be designated by the Board.  The Treasurer shall keep or cause to be kept full and accurate accounts of the receipts and disbursements of the corporation in suitable books of the corporation and shall exhibit such books upon request of any officer or Director for any proper purpose at any reasonable time.  The Treasurer shall be a non-voting member.

 

Secretary.  The Secretary shall have charge of such books, documents, and papers as the Board of Directors may determine and shall have the custody of the corporate seal.  The Secretary shall attend and keep or cause to be kept the minutes of all the meetings of the Board of Directors.  The Secretary shall keep or cause to be kept a record of the names and addresses of the Board of Directors.  The Secretary may certify all votes, resolutions, and actions of the Board of Directors and of its committees.

 

Board Chair.  The Board Chair shall preside at all meetings of the Board and shall have such other powers and responsibilities as set forth in these Bylaws and shall perform other duties as directed by law, Maine Department of Education regulations. 

 

Legal Reference:        20-A MRSA § 1055 (ALL)

                        20-A MRSA § 1251(5), (7) (MSAD)

                        20-A MRSA§ 1651, 2 (CSD)

                        20-A MRSA § 1471 (RSU)

   

BDDH: PUBLIC PARTICIPATION AT BOARD MEETINGS

 

The Board recognizes the value of public comment on educational issues and the importance of involving members of the public in their meetings.  To permit fair and orderly expression of such comment, the Board will provide a period of time at each meeting during which visitors may make brief comment on school issues. Formal presentations shall be scheduled in advance.

 

Requests to address the Board on matters must be made in writing to the Executive Director at least ten (10) days prior to a regular meeting date and must set forth the specifics of the subject to be addressed.  When appropriate, the Executive Director his/her designee(s) will place such requests on the agenda for the next regular Board meeting.

 

The Board may also allow individuals to express an opinion prior to Board action on agenda items. Individuals wishing to be heard by the Board will be recognized by the Chair.  After identifying themselves, speakers will make brief comments. A speaker will not be recognized for a second time on a particular item unless time remains after all have been heard. Speakers must concern themselves with the item under discussion. All speakers must observe rules of common etiquette. The Board may set a time limit on the length of public comment and/or a time limit for individual speakers. Personal comments, criticism, or complaints about specific individuals will not be permitted. A speaker in violation of these rules may be required to leave, in order to permit the orderly consideration of the issues for which the meeting was called.

 

To be eligible to address the Board, an individual should reside within the school’s catchment area, a parent of a current student, be an employee of the school, or be invited by the Board or Executive Director to speak.

 

The Board will give due attention to comments and contributions from the audience, but will not be expected to respond or take action immediately.  Inquiries will be referred to the Executive Director, who will investigate or consider and report to the citizen or to the Board.

 

 

BEA: BOARD USE OF ELECTRONIC MAIL

 

Use of electronic mail (e-mail) by Board members should conform to the same standards of judgment, propriety and ethics as other forms of Board-related communication. They shall comply with the following guidelines when using e-mail in the conduct of Board responsibilities:

 

The Board shall not {regularly} use email as a substitute for deliberations at Board meetings or for other communications or business properly confined to Board meetings.

 

Board members should be aware that e-mail and e-mail attachments received or prepared for use in board business or containing information relating to board business are likely to be regarded as public records which may be inspected by any person upon request, unless otherwise made confidential by law. Board members shall avoid reference to confidential information about employees, students or other matters in e-mail communications because of the risk of improper disclosure.  Board members should comply with the same standards as school employees with regard to confidential information. 

BEC: EXECUTIVE SESSIONS

 

Except as provided by law, all meetings of the School Board shall be open to the public, and all persons shall be permitted to attend the meetings.  The Board may hold executive sessions upon recorded vote of three-fifths (3/5) of the members present and voting.  Any motion to go into executive session shall indicate the precise nature of the business of the executive session and include a citation of one or more sources of statutory or other authority that permits an executive session for that business.  Deliberations may be conducted in executive sessions only on those matters defined in the law.  No final action shall be taken in executive session.

 

By its very nature, the subject matter of executive sessions is highly confidential.  It is expected that all parties to such discussions will respect the need for confidentiality.  Legal Reference:        1 MRSA § 401 et seq.

 

BEDB, BEDB-R, SCHOOL BOARD MEETINGS AND AGENDAS

 

Agenda Preparation and Dissemination

 

The Executive Director or his/her designee(s), in consultation with the Chair, shall prepare an agenda for each meeting of the Board.  The agenda shall include items that the Board plans to address in performing its duties as the governing body of the school in accordance with Maine law and Board policies. 

 

The agenda will be distributed to Board members, the media, and to designated school-affiliated organizations no later than five days prior to a regular meeting of the Board and no later than three days (72 hours) prior to a special meeting.  Copies of the agenda will be posted and/or available at the Executive Director’s Office and on the MEAA web site.  Anyone desiring additional information regarding an agenda item should direct inquiries to the Office of the Executive Director. Copies of the agenda will also be available at the Board meeting. 

In the case of an emergency meeting, notice of the agenda will be given as early as practicable and will be provided to the media at the same time and in the same manner that it is given to Board members.

 

Requests for Agenda Items

 

Board members, school staff, groups or organizations, and members of the public may submit written requests to the Board through the Chair or the Executive Director his/her designee(s) for items to be placed on the agenda.  To be considered for placement on the agenda, an item must be within the scope of the Board’s duties, timely, and appropriate for consideration under all applicable laws and Board policies.  The request must be received a minimum of ten (10) days prior to the meeting at which the group or individual wishes the item to be addressed by the Board in order for it to be considered for the agenda of that meeting.  The Chair and Executive Director his/her designee(s) shall make the final decision regarding placement of items on the agenda. 

 

Dissemination of Supporting Materials

 

As an accompaniment to the agenda, the Executive Director his/her designee(s) will provide to the Board such background materials and data that in his/her judgment are necessary for the Board to give informed consideration to agenda items.  The Executive Director his/her designee(s) will also provide to the Board the draft minutes of Board meetings that will be presented for approval.

 

Documents containing information that is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Access Act or other law shall be marked “confidential.”  Such information shall not be disclosed by Board members or the Executive Director or provided to the

media or the public.  Requests for disclosure of materials received by Board members should be referred to the Executive Director his/her designee(s).

  

Regular Meetings

 

The Board of Directors holds regular monthly meetings.  Meetings may be cancelled at the discretion of the Executive Director or Chairperson. 

 

Special Meetings

 

A special meeting may be called by the Chairperson of the Board, at the request of the Executive Director his/her designee(s), or at the request of any two members of the Board.  No business will be transacted except that for which the meeting was called.  

 

Emergency Meetings

 

An emergency meeting may be called by the Chairperson or Executive Director or his/her designee(s).  No business shall be transacted except that for which the meeting was called.  Notice of the agenda will be given as early as practicable. 

 

Quorum

 

Unless otherwise required by law or Board policy, a majority of the Board of Directors constitute a quorum for the purposes of taking action.

 

Additions and Adjustments to the Agenda of a Regular Meeting

 

After the meeting has been called to order, the Executive Director his/her designee(s) or Board Chair may recommend additions and/or adjustments to the agenda of a regular meeting. 

 

Any Board member who wishes to add an item to the agenda may offer a motion to that effect.  Such a motion shall require a second to proceed to a vote.  The item should be within the scope of the Board’s duties, timely, and appropriate for consideration under all applicable laws and Board policies. Additions to the agenda should only be made when the matter cannot reasonably wait until the next regular meeting.

 

All additions to the agenda must be approved by a majority vote of the members present and voting, with all additions added to the end of the published agenda except if the order of business is changed.

 

In order to facilitate its business or to accommodate groups in attendance, the Board may adjust the agenda by changing the order of business.  Such adjustments shall require the consent of the Board by three-fifth (3/5) of the members present voting. 

Legal Reference:                20-A MRSA § 1477 (RSU)

BEDJ: BROADCASTING/TAPING OF BOARD MEETINGS

 

The following guidelines will govern the public use of recording devices at the public meetings of the Board and subcommittees of the school. 

Any recording device may be used by members of the public so long as it does not:

 

  1. Require the use of power cords and microphone cords that would interfere with the free movement of traffic into, out of, and within the meeting room;

 

  1. Produce continuous or periodic sounds that interfere with speakers or with the ability of all persons present to hear the proceedings;

 

  1. Require the occasional or frequent relocation of a microphone or microphones in such a manner as to be disruptive to speakers or other persons present; and/or;

 

  1. Require excessive space in the meeting room so that any participants or observers at the meeting are displaced or excluded or cannot see because of the device.

 

Whenever a taped or filmed recording is being made of a meeting or any part thereof, the person making the tape or film shall first notify the Board Chair or the person conducting the meeting.  The Chair will announce at the meeting that a member of the public is recording the meeting.

 

The Chair has the authority to request the operator to comply with the provisions of this policy when, in his/her judgment, the activity is interfering with the orderly conduct of the meeting and/or the ability of the public to observe the proceedings.  If the problem persists, the Chair may direct that the recording be discontinued and, if necessary, that the recording device be removed from the meeting room.

 

BFE/CHD:  ADMINISTRATION IN THE ABSENCE OF POLICY

 

In cases when action must be taken within the school system and the Board has provided no guidelines for administrative action through policy, the Executive Director his/her designee(s) shall have the power to act.

 

It is the duty of the Executive Director his/her designee(s) to inform the Board promptly of such action and of the need for policy. 

BG: POLICY REVIEW

 

At the start of each school year, the Compliance Committee shall meet to review all policies.  They shall make recommendations to the Board as to which policies should be maintained, modified, or discontinued.  They shall solicit from the Board, school administrations and school staffs new policy areas to be addressed during the course of the school year. This policy shall not prohibit the review of policies at any time during the school year as the need arises.

BGC: POLICY ERRORS AND INCONSISTENCIES

 

The Compliance Committee of the Board may make the following changes and corrections to policies, when the changes or corrections do not alter the sense or meaning of the policies:

 

  1. Misspellings.  Misspelled words may be corrected.

  2. Cross-References.  Cross-references in policies may be changed to agree with new, amended, renumbered, reallocated, or corrected statutes, rules or policies.

  3. Capitalization.  Improper capitalization may be corrected.

  4. Renumbering.  The numbering or lettering of policies may be corrected or properly arranged.

  5. Punctuation.  Punctuation, including hyphenation, may be corrected.

  6. Errors.  Obvious clerical, typographical or grammatical errors may be corrected.

  7. Language.  Additions or deletions may be made to clarify the intent of the policy.

 

Changes or corrections made by the Compliance Committee shall not alter the substantive meaning of any policy.  In the event the Compliance Committee is in doubt whether a specific change or correction is authorized by this policy, it will not make the change or correction but shall incorporate the proposed change or correction into the policy amendment submitted to the Board for consideration.

 

Within thirty (30) days of making a change or correction hereunder, the Compliance Committee shall submit a written report to the Board containing a description of the changes and corrections.  The Board may reject any of the changes or corrections.  Those changes and corrections not rejected by the Board shall take effect on the date of the Board meeting at which such changes and corrections were reviewed or at such other times as the Board may designate.

BHC/GBD: SCHOOL BOARD STAFF COMMUNICATIONS

 

The School Board desires to maintain open channels of communication between itself and the staff.  The primary MEAA of communication will, however, be through the Executive Director or his/her designee(s).

 

Staff Communications to the School Board   

 All communications or reports to the School Board or any School Board from staff members will be submitted through the Executive Director or his/her designee(s).  This necessary procedure will not be construed as denying the right of any employee to appeal to the School Board administrative decisions about important matters, provided that the employee has discussed the matter with the Executive Director or his/her designee(s), attempted to resolve the issue, and notified the Executive Director or his/her designee(s) of the forthcoming appeal.  The appeal must be processed in accordance with the School Board policy on complaints and grievances.

 

Also, School Board meetings are public meetings.  As such, they provide an excellent opportunity to observe at first-hand the School Board deliberations on issues of staff concern.  Staff members may participate in School Board meetings in accordance with the policy on public participation at such meetings.  Further, at times, and with the knowledge of the Executive Director, the School Board may invite staff members to speak at School Board meetings or to serve on advisory committees to the School Board.

 

School Board Communications to Staff

All official communications, policies, and directives of staff interest and concern will be communicated to staff members through the Executive Director or his/her designee(s), and the Executive Director or his/her designee(s) will employ all such media as are appropriate to keep staff fully informed of the School Board problems, concerns, and actions. 

 

Visits to the School

Individual School Board members who, in their parental capacity, wish to visit the school or classroom(s) of their child(ren) will follow the regular procedures for visitors.  School Board members who wish to visit other classrooms as an informal expression of interest in school affairs (not as "inspection") will inform the Executive Director or his/her designee(s) who will arrange such visit(s) through the Principal.

 

Official visits by School Board members will be conducted only under School Board authorization and with the full knowledge of the Executive Director his/her designee(s), Principal and staff.

 

 

School Board Member Authority

Staff and Board members are reminded that individual School Board members have no special authority, except when they are convened at a legal meeting of the School Board or vested with special authority by School Board action.

 

BHD: BOARD COMMUNICATIONS

 

The Board is responsible to all of the people for whose benefit the school has been established.  This includes all residents of the school’s catchment area and, by extension, the broader community.  Current Board decisions will influence the course of education in the school for years to come.  By virtue of this responsibility and influence, the Board and each of its members must look to the future and consider the needs of all people. Board members must have a comprehensive perspective as they make long-range plans as well as attend to immediate problems.

 

The Board believes that the school is an integral part of the community and that community support is necessary for its operation and achievement of excellence.  The Board and staff members recognize that community support is based on a mutual exchange, a dynamic process in which the school contributes to the community’s success and, in turn, benefits from the community’s resources.  In order to maintain productive relationships with the community, the school is committed to sustaining effective, accurate, and meaningful communication that facilitates dialogue, encourages involvement in school programs, and creates community advocacy for the school.

 

Good communication between the school and its citizens is crucial for the development of wholesome mutual understanding, respect and confidence.  Communication is a two-way process - disseminating and receiving.  For communication to be effective, all parties are encouraged to listen to each other and when conflicts arise, disagree respectfully.  Respect for the others point of view is critical to success.  Citizens are urged to bring their aspirations and feelings about their school to the attention of the Board.  The Board will keep the citizens regularly and thoroughly informed to the best of its ability on all the policies, programs, and issues of the school.

An effective communications program should include at least the following elements:

  • website and links

  • distribution of press releases, Board meeting summaries, and periodic printed reports;

  • prompt responses to inquiries or statements of concern from members of the public;

  • opportunities for individuals or groups to make a presentation to the Boards.

 

The Board believes that effective communication with the public is a significant element of effective operation.  To this end, appropriate avenues of communication will be utilized and encouraged.

© 2019 by MAINE ARTS ACADEMY

Maine Arts Academy

11 Goldenrod Lane,

Sidney ME 04330

(207) 618- 8908

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