July; New school year and school board officer selection.

As July starts its time for swearing in of new school board members and election of the new officers for the 2011-2012 school year. I thought I would share some important words as to what are our responsibilities as board members. Delaware Code Title 14 states:
The school board of each reorganized school district, subject to this title and in accordance with the policies, rules and regulations of the State, shall, in addition to other duties:

(1) Determine the hours of daily school sessions, the holidays when

district schools shall be closed, and the days on which teachers attend

educational improvement activities. This authority is subject to the

requirement that all school district calendars must provide for school

attendance of at least the following number of hours:

Kindergarten: 440 hours

Grades 1-11: 1060 hours

Grade 12: 1032 hours

The waiver provisions in § 1305 of this title also apply to the district calendar.

The number of hours in a school day for grades 1-12 shall be at least 31/2 hours exclusive of lunch, and abbreviated days shall not be scheduled on the last school day prior to a scheduled holiday. In the case of an unplanned delay, or early dismissal caused by weather or other unforeseen emergency conditions, such a delay or early dismissal shall be no more than 2 hours. All district calendars shall be adopted by April 30 for the following school year and may only be amended following a 30-day public notice.

(2) Determine the educational policies of the reorganized school district and prescribe rules and regulations for the conduct and management of the schools;

(3) Enforce the provisions of this title relating to school attendance;

(4) Grade and standardize all the public schools under its jurisdiction and may establish kindergartens and playgrounds and such other types of schools, as in its judgment will promote the educational interest of the reorganized school district;

(5) Adopt courses of study;

(6) Select, purchase, and distribute free of charge such textbooks and other materials of instruction, stationery, furniture, equipment, apparatus and supplies as are necessary to the work of the schools;

(7) Provide forms on which regular school employees shall make such reports as may be required by the school board;

(8) Make all reports required by the Secretary of Education, at such time, upon such items and in such form as may be prescribed by the Secretary of Education;

(9) Appoint personnel.

Now these are what is required by law but there are many others parts to being a board member that I actually found in another article that both board members and those that vote for them should read. How to Choose a School Board Candidate: What Every Voter Should Know I particularly like the last part of the article:
“You might also look for the following qualities:

•The ability to work well with a team and support group decisions, along with an understanding that the board sets a climate for the entire district
•A desire to work toward a stronger relationship between the district and the public it serves
•A keen eye toward serving the needs of all students, regardless of their abilities and backgrounds
•A professional, poised demeanor and respectful, respectable behavior
•Respect for diverse points of view
•Commitment to the time and energy required each week for meetings, phone calls, conversations, visits to schools, and professional development seminars and workshops
•Knowledge about district policies, guidelines, needs, challenges and strengths”

I will steal a small quote that also can be said about boardsmanship, ” Its not just a job but an adventure!”


About Gary M Wolfe

The Author spent 10 years as a member of the Milford Delaware Board Of Education, and is currently seeking the 18th Senatorial seat in the Delaware Legislature.
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