Roles & Responsibilities
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Helpful links for roles & responsibilities of school board members:

  • The Key Work of School Boards
  • Role of the Board Chair(PowerPoint)

    The Role of School Board

    (information excerpted from the NSBA Key Work of School Boards Guidebook)

    These are challenging times for public education, and even more challenging is the work of local school board members. Today's local board of education is the leader on the front lines of public education. The board is responsible for putting in place the proper keystones for students to learn and achieve at the highest level possible. Board members' primary agenda is raising student achievement and involving the community in the attainment of that goal.

    In an effort to help local school boards best fulfill their role, the National School Boards Association has articulated the Key Work of School Boards, a framework for raising student achievement through community engagement. It is designed to give school boards concrete action tools to help them be effective in their roles as community leaders. The framework is based on the premise that excellence in the classroom begins with excellence in the boardroom.

    VISION
    The board envisions the community education future and then formulates the goals, defines the outcomes, and sets the course for its public schools. Vision is not about what we are, but what we want to be. Vision captures a critical dimension of dynamic systems. For school boards, it is about where we are going and what kind of school systems we are trying to create now and for the future.

    Closely related to vision is mission. At one level, the mission of an organization is what it is created to do. In effective organizations, the mission statement also captures and reflects the core values and beliefs that guide the organization and its members in pursuit of stated aims and goals.

    STANDARDS
    Another major component of a systems approach is the establishment of standards for performance. In order to know whether we are performing in accordance with expectations, we need to establish specific and clearly delineated standards. Those standards need to be tied in realistic ways to the expectations of the community.

    ASSESSMENT
    Promoting outstanding student performance based on clearly delineated standards is central to the key work of school boards. The next step is to determine how well students are doing in meeting those standards. School boards need information in order to make decisions, not only about how well they are doing, but also about what may be needed in order to ensure that system goals will be met.

    ACCOUNTABILITY
    Increasingly, local school districts are being held accountable for what happens to students and how well they perform on a variety of assessment measures. Local school boards, similarly, are being held accountable for student performance. An example is the Act 60 and NCLB requirements that schools annually report student performance results to the community.

    ALIGNMENT
    Alignment is another key component of a systems approach to school board leadership. A critical role of the board is to establish high quality standards and system priorities focused on enhancing student achievement. The board is responsible to create the conditions under which excellent teaching and student performance will take place. The next critical step is to align the organization by harnessing the system's resources to the achievement of the system's standards and priorities.

    CLIMATE AND CULTURE
    Climate is an essential aspect of system culture. Climate is a by-product of culture and is dependent on it. Leading-edge organizations are very conscious of climate because of its powerful effect on behavior. Effective school boards give priority attention to climate as well, because it factors importantly in what students and teachers are able to accomplish. Climate also is a critical determinant of how parents and others in the community view schools.

    COLLABORATIVE RELATIONSHIPS
    Relationships are an important dimension in effective organizations. We know that when individuals work together effectively, the product of their efforts will almost always be superior to the efforts of any single individual. In the Information Age, relationships are not just important, they are critical. The quality of relationships in an organization will largely determine how well that organization produces.

    CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT
    The board causes the continuous assessment of all conditions affecting education and ensures that schools are accountable for results in student learning. Boards monitor student achievement, make program corrections as necessary, keep the public informed of the status of education programs and progress, and ensure that all functions of the school work together well.

    Contact Vermont School Boards Association
    1-800-244-8722 or 802-223-3580
    Email addresses



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