9030 - Commitment to Democratic Principles in Relation to Community, Staff, Students

Policy 9030

Bylaws of the Board

Commitment to Democratic Principles in Relation to Community, Staff, Students

Board-Staff Communications

The Newtown Board of Education recognizes the need to maintain open communication between itself and the staff. Essentially, communications with staff deal with three general areas -- administration, policy and philosophy. While the Board recognizes the necessity for Board-staff communications, it also recognizes that administrative matters must be dealt with through its chief administrator. Hence, the basic line of communication for administrative matters shall be through the Superintendent.

1.    Staff Communications to the Board

All formal reports to the Board or any Board committee from administrators, supervisors, teachers or other staff members shall be submitted through the Superintendent. This necessary procedure shall not be construed as denying the right of any employee to appeal to the Board from administrative decisions on important matters, provided that the Superintendent shall have been notified of the forthcoming appeal and that it is processed in accordance with the Board's policy on complaints and grievances. (cf. 4135.4 and 4235.4 re Complaints/Grievances)

Staff members are also reminded that Board meetings are public meetings. As such, they provide an excellent opportunity to observe and participate first hand the Board's deliberations on problems of staff concern. Communications to the Board could include informal written documents and public participation.

2.    Board Communication to Staff

All official communications, policies and directives of staff interest and concern will be communicated to staff members through the Superintendent, and the Superintendent will employ all such media as are appropriate to keep staff fully informed of the Board's problems, concerns and actions. (cf. 9020 - Public Statements)

3.    Visits to Schools

Individual Board members interested in visiting schools or classrooms in an official capacity will make arrangements for visitations through the administrators of the various schools. Such visits shall be regarded as informal expressions of interest in school affairs and not as "inspections" or visits for supervisory or administrative purposes. Official visits by Board members will be conducted only under Board authorization and with the full knowledge of staff, including the Superintendent, building administrators and other supervisors.

4.    Social Interaction

Staff and Board members share an interest in the schools and in education generally, and it is to be expected that when they meet at social affairs and other functions, they will informally discuss such matters as educational trends, issues, and innovations and general school district problems. Individual Board members have no special authority except when they are convened at a legal meeting of the Board or vested with special authority by Board action. Board of Education members are expected to avoid discussion of:

A.    Matters that are, or have the potential of becoming, the subject of an executive session;

B.    Information and data contained in personnel records protected by the privacy act;

C.    Contested issues that may require final resolution by the Board.

(cf. 2220 - Representative and Deliberative Groups re staff involvement in decision making)

(cf. 5145 - Civil and Legal Rights & Responsibilities)

(cf. 9133 - Special/Advisory Committee re: staff advisory committee and student advisory committee)

Legal Reference:    Connecticut General Statutes

10-220 Duties of boards of education.

Adopted: 4/10/12
Inspiring Each Student to Excel

3 Primrose St., Newtown, CT 06470
Phone: 203-426-7600