Ashland School District No. 5, Jackson County, Oregon - The Board of Directors met in a work session August 23, 2005, at 2:00 p.m. at Buckhorn Springs Inn. Present were:
Heidi Parker ) Chair
Ruth Alexander )
Amy Amrhein ) Board Members
Mat Marr )
Amy Patton )
Juli Di Chiro, Superintendent
Betsy Miller-Jones, OSBA Facilitator
I. Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 2:00 p.m. by Chair Parker.
II. Roll Check
A roll of the board was taken and all members were present.
III. Board/Superintendent Communications
The purpose of the retreat is to become a team. An important part of being a highly functioning team is to have a common purpose which, in its broadest definition, is doing what is best for Ashland students. Another important aspect of working well as a team is to have trust. This requires shared experiences over time where trust is demonstrated repeatedly.
Ground rules were established.
A. Board Organization/Management
The following suggestions were made:
Have the Board chair, vice-chair and superintendent set time limits per item at the agenda-setting meeting.
Do not be drawn into discussion following public comment not on an agenda. Assign the Board chair or superintendent to respond to the person to discuss the issue or set on a future agenda.
Consider having some or all reports submitted in writing to be added to the consent agendas. These reports could also be made accessible by website.
If the superintendent has an important item to report, it should be identified in a subheading.
The Board should limit its reporting to school-related items of major community interest and board liaison reports.
Begin with Old Business; then move to New Business.
Save our Schools and Playgrounds, Ashland Schools Foundation, etc., may be asked to save their verbal reports for situations where it is vital to share new information, such as the Ashland School Foundation fundraising efforts.
A suggestion was made to “accentuate the positive” in Ashland schools by highlighting a different school program each month. RVTV could be asked to pretape and show a highlight from one of the schools in the 15 minutes prior to each regular meeting. Concern was expressed that this would require someone for coordination.
B. Board/Superintendent Communications Between Meetings
The pros of the traditional Wednesday breakfast meetings include:
Builds personal relationships.
Not overexposed discussions.
Allows updates on confidential issues.
Allows Board to bring concerns to superintendent.
Information sharing opportunity.
The cons of traditional Wednesday breakfast meetings include:
Board members not present sometimes don’t receive important information.
These become mini board meetings.
Lack of trust.
Discussing items previously short-circuits public discussion.
Current time and day is difficult for Director Patton’s schedule.
One-hour public meeting every week with full board (notice, minutes needed, public comments?).
Written summary of items to share each week (already being done).
Meet at cafeteria (serves a different purpose).
C. Board/Superintendent Roles and Responsibilities
The roles and responsibilities of the Board and superintendent are well outlined in OSBA materials and the booklet distributed by the facilitator of the meeting.
Board members expressed that part of their role is to bring the views of the community into the process:
Important to represent all community.
Key Communicators is a tool.
Don’t be paralyzed by the idea of hearing from all.
The Board sets and prioritizes district goals; the superintendent implements the goals. The Board sets policy and budget.
D. Board Expectations of Superintendent
Negotiate, supervise and oversee staff. Avoid strike.
Implement board goals and policies within budget framework, articulate K-12 curriculum, other goals and policies.
Communicate in a timely manner regarding upcoming decisions such as RFPs or changes in practice.
Practice respectful collaboration.
Demonstrate respect and support of the Board, personally and professionally.
Communicate with honesty.
E. Superintendent Expectations of Board
Support school district.
Adopt an insider’s role.
Show personal support of the superintendent.
Trust the decision making of the superintendent.
When there is an issue, call the superintendent.
Follow the chain of command.
Respect administrative authority.
Set policy, budget, goals, and leave implementation to the administration.
The Board wants to know about superintendent meetings regarding Board Committees, including the Budget Committee.
Teacher complaints are personnel issues and should be referred to the chain of command. If there is an issue, support the superintendent in public and contact the superintendent afterwards. Teacher who are unsatisfied after going through the chain of command, can go to the Union or have a meeting with the superintendent and Board representative.
G. Superintendent Evaluation Timetable
The Board should decide on an evaluation form at the next meeting. Director Amrhein suggested that the Board select a negotiation tam and begin negotiating the superintendent’s contract by October 1, 2005.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 6:00 p.m.
Jeanne Peterson, Executive Secretary