Board of School Trustees Policies and Meeting Guidelines

Policies

Tri-Creek School Corporation Board of School Trustees Policy Manual

Purpose of the School Board

The Board of School Trustees is charged with the responsibility of determining educational policy, approving educational programs, and providing appropriate facilities and personnel for carrying out these policies.

One of the School Board's important jobs is to build understanding of public education and to lead the public in supporting high quality education for all children.  Trustees are an essential link between the school system and the public and serve as the voice of the community in establishing local educational priorities.

Mission Statement

The mission of Tri-Creek School Corporation is to provide a safe, nurturing learning environment, which develops skillful citizens able to think critically, solve problems, and work independently and cooperatively.

Board Members

Tri-Creek School Corporation Board of School Trustees is composed of five citizens elected to serve overlapping terms of four years each.  At the end of a term, a board member wishing to continue service to the community must be re-elected to an additional four-year term.  State law does not limit the number of terms a member may serve.  Voting for school board positions takes place at the general election in November and seating begins the following July 1.

Board Meetings

All regular board meetings, special board meetings, and emergency board meetings are open to the public.  Closed executive sessions are held for the purpose of discussion as permitted by IC 5-14.1.5-6.1(b)(1).  No official action may be taken in executive session.  All board action must be made during public session.

The school board meets regularly on the second and fourth Thursday of each month in the board room of the Administration Office located at 195 West Oakley Avenue, Lowell, Indiana.  Meetings are called to order with the Pledge of Allegiance at 7:00 p.m.  Meetings may be cancelled or rescheduled as business permits, and in accordance with the Open Door Law, Indiana Code 5-14-1.5-1, the public will be properly notified via publication in the local newspaper 48 hours (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays) before the meeting.

Meetings of the school board follow an agenda prepared jointly by the board president and the superintendent.  This agenda becomes the order of business for the meeting.  Undue interruptions or other interference with the orderly conduct of school board business will not be allowed.

Board Action

No one person or group of persons acts in the name of the board.  When an item of business comes before the board in the form of a motion, it is necessary that a majority of votes in favor of the motion be cast for the board to act.  The board has complete and final control over local school matters subject only to limitation imposed by state law, regulation of the state, and the will of local residents as expressed in district elections.

General Information Regarding Public Input on Agenda Items/General Comments

Individuals wishing to address the board during Public Input on Agenda Items or General Comments must have signed in at least five minutes prior to the start of the board meeting.  The sign-in sheets will be available on the table near the entry door in the board room.  An individual must list his/her name, home address, and topic to be discussed.  It should be pointed out that there is no legal requirement that the public be given this opportunity to speak at board meetings. If the pressure of business or other circumstances dictate, however, the board chairman may decide to curtail this practice.  Interruptions or interference with the orderly business of the board will not be allowed.  The presiding officer may terminate the speaker’s privilege to speak if, after being called to order, the speaker persists in improper conduct or remarks.

Public Input on Agenda Items

The board president may accept input from the audience at the beginning of each regularly scheduled board meeting.  Input will be limited to topics shown on that evening’s board agenda.  Any individual wishing to ask a question or make a statement should address the chairman as Madam President or Mr. President, as appropriate.  Upon recognition by the board president, the visitor should state his/her full name, home address, and the reason for wishing to speak.  A visitor who has been granted permission to speak may make a brief statement, express a viewpoint, or ask a question regarding matters related to that evening’s board agenda only.  Each person will be given three minutes to address the board.  A maximum of thirty minutes will be allowed for public input.

General Comments

At the beginning of the regularly scheduled board meeting, general comments may be accepted from those individuals who signed in prior to the start of the board meeting.  The board president will request a spokesperson when a group shares common concerns.  Any individual wishing to ask a question or make a statement should address the chairman as Madam President or Mr. President, as appropriate.  Upon recognition by the board president, the individual should state his/her full name, home address, and the reason for wishing to speak.  If the individual has a grievance he/she wishes to bring to the board, the individual must have first attempted to resolve the issue by following the appropriate chain of command, i.e., the individual has discussed the issue with the building principal, the assistant superintendent of curriculum, and the superintendent.  Each person will be allowed three minutes to address the board.  A maximum of thirty minutes will be allowed for general comments.

Charges, Complaints, or Challenges

At a public school board meeting, no person shall orally initiate charges or complaints against individual employees of the district or challenge instructional material used in the district.  All such charges, complaints, or challenges shall be presented to the superintendent in accordance with established written board policy.

Superintendent of Schools

The superintendent of schools is appointed by the school board and acts as its chief executive officer in administering the board’s policies in the operation of the district.  The superintendent also acts as advisor in keeping the school board informed of the needs and progress of the schools.  The superintendent is available to the board as a professional resource, and the superintendent’s recommendations normally precede school board action on questions relating to recruitment and supervision of professional staff, selection of textbooks and instructional materials, and development of curriculum.

Public Access

All regular Board meetings, special Board meetings, and emergency Board meetings are open to the public.  Closed executive sessions are held for the purpose of discussion as permitted by IC 5-14.1.5-6.1(b)(1).  No official action may be taken in executive session.  All Board action must be made during public session.