The formation and adoption of policies constitutes the primary method through which the board exercises its leadership in the operation of the school system.
Through policy, the board of education creates a framework within which the superintendent and the staff can discharge their duties with positive direction. Policies make clear to the administration what the board wants to see happen, and they also may indicate “why” and “how much.”
The board not only should adopt policies, but also should exercise the appropriate degree of oversight as the administration implements the policies. Board members should ask themselves not only whether its policies are being implemented but also whether they are achieving the desired results.
The process for drafting, considering, adopting, reviewing, and revising board policy is not set by law; each board can determine its own process for policy development. Generally speaking, the superintendent is expected to alert board members if he or she believes there is a need for a board policy on a particular issue or a need to revise an existing policy. Local boards of education often require that new or revised policies be considered in no less than two meetings, to provide the opportunity for public feedback and to give board members time to consider that feedback.