209-Board Code of Conduct and Service
- 200 Series: School Board
|The Board of Education in adherence to the Code of Conduct makes a positive contribution to the community and the lives of its children by formulating sound educational policies, maintaining and making available to the community facilities and equipment for the educational programs, and by providing an atmosphere which encourages the participation of the community in the educational process.||
The Board of Education of Independent School District 622 - North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale is committed to ethical, businesslike and lawful conduct including proper use of authority and appropriate decorum in the conducting of school district business.
Board Code of Conduct
Members of the Board of Education of Independent School District 622 - North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale are champions of their community and excellence in its schools. The members of the Board will cultivate a sense of group responsibility. The Board will work in partnership with the Superintendent, staff, students, parents and community members. The Board, not the Superintendent or staff, will be responsible for excellence in governing. The Board will use the expertise of individual Board members to enhance the ability of the Board as a body, but will not substitute individual judgments for the Board’s collective judgments.
Member accountability to the entire school district supersedes:
1. Any conflicting loyalty a member may have to an advocacy, partisan or other interest group
2. Any personal ambition or agenda
3. Loyalty based upon membership on other boards or staff
4. Conflict(s) based upon the personal interest of any Board member
1. Demonstrate integrity and courage in making decisions for the community of District
2. Exercise honesty in all written and interpersonal interaction
3. Demonstrate respect for the opinions of others
4. Focus on issues rather than on personalities
5. Maintain focus on common goals
6. Communicate knowledge and information with transparency and in a timely manner to avoid surprises
7. Commit the time necessary to understand, communicate and ask questions for clarification concerning the challenges of education in District
8. Respect, accept and support the decisions of the full Board, providing direction as a “whole” rather than as an individual
9. Maintain appropriate confidentiality
10. Refer complaints to the Superintendent and abstain from individual counsel and action
11. Protect the integrity and promote the positive image of the District
12. Remain informed about state, federal laws and regulations and District policy affecting education
13. Recognize that the primary function of the Board is to establish policies by which the schools are to be administered, but that the administration of the educational program and the management of school business shall be left to the Superintendent of Schools
Board Member Expectation of Service includes:
1. Preparation for and attendance at all Board of Education meetings and work sessions; three or more unexcused absences of scheduled Board meetings in a calendar year may result in Self Governance as defined in Policy 215.
2. Continuous learning about those policies, practices, laws, educational strategies that affect or govern education in District and are characteristic of high performing Board of Education members.
3. Full participation in meetings held by the Board of Education.
4. Willingness to collect information about Board performance and use that information to continuously improve the work of the Board.
1) General Statement of Policy
Each school board member shall follow the code of ethics stated in this policy.
a) AS A MEMBER OF THE SCHOOL BOARD, I WILL:
1. Attend school board meetings.
2. Come to the meetings prepared for discussion of the agenda items.
3. Listen to the opinions and views of others (including, but not limited to, other school board members, administration, staff, students, and community members).
4. Vote my conscience after informed decision, unless I abstain because a conflict of interest exists.
5. Support the decision of the school board, even if my position concerning the issue was different.
6. Recognize the integrity of my predecessors and associates and appreciate their work.
7. Be primarily motivated by a desire to provide the best possible education for the students of my school district.
8. Inform myself about the proper duties and functions of a school board member.
b) IN PERFORMING THE PROPER FUNCTIONS OF A SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER, I WILL:
1. Focus on education policy as much as possible.
2. Remember my responsibility is to set policy – not to implement policy.
3. Consider myself a trustee of public education and do my best to protect, conserve, and advance its progress.
4. Recognize that my responsibility, exercised through the actions of the school board
as a whole, is to see that the schools are properly run – not to run them myself.
5. Work through the superintendent – not over or around the superintendent.
6. Delegate the implementation of school board decisions to the superintendent.
c) TO MAINTAIN RELATIONS WITH OTHER MEMBERS OF THE SCHOOL BOARD, I WILL:
1. Respect the rights of others to have and express opinions.
2. Recognize that authority rests with the school board in legal session – not with the individual members of the school board except as authorized by law.
3. Make no disparaging remarks, in or out of school board meetings, about other members of the school board or their opinions.
4. Keep an open mind about how I will vote on any proposition until the board has met and fully discussed the issue.
5. Make decisions by voting in school board meetings after all sides of debatable questions have been presented.
6. Insist that committees be appointed to serve only in an advisory capacity to the superintendent and school board.
d) IN MEETING MY RESPONSIBILITIES TO MY COMMUNITY, I WILL:
1. Attempt to appraise and plan for both the present and future educational needs of the school district and community.
2. Attempt to obtain adequate financial support for the school district’s programs.
3. Insist that business transactions of the school district be ethical and open.
4. Strive to uphold my responsibilities and accountability to the taxpayers in my school district.
e) IN WORKING WITH THE SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS AND STAFF, I WILL:
1. Hold the superintendent responsible for the administration of the school district.
2. Give the superintendent authority commensurate with his or her responsibilities.
3. Assure that the school district will be administered by the best professional personnel available.
4. Consider the recommendation of the superintendent in hiring all employees.
5. Participate in school board action after considering the recommendation of the superintendent and only after the superintendent has furnished adequate information supporting the recommendation.
6. Insist the superintendent keep the school board adequately informed at all times.
7. Offer the superintendent counsel and advice.
8. Recognize the status of the superintendent as the chief executive officer and a non-voting, ex officio member of the school board.
9. Refer all complaints to the proper administrative officer or insist that they be presented in writing to the whole school board for proper referral according to the chain of command.
10. Present any personal criticisms of employees to the superintendent.
11. Provide support for the superintendent and employees of the school district so they may perform their proper functions on a professional level.
f) IN FULFILLING MY LEGAL OBLIGATIONS AS A SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER, I WILL:
1. Comply with all federal, state, and local laws relating to my work as a school board member.
2. Comply with all school district policies as adopted by the school board.
3. Abide by all rules and regulations as disseminated by the Minnesota Department of Education and other state and federal agencies with jurisdiction over school districts.
4. Recognize that school district business may be legally transacted only in an open meeting of the school board.
5. Avoid conflicts of interest and refrain from using my school board position for personal gain.
6. Take no private action that will compromise the school board or administration.
7. Guard the confidentiality of information that is protected under applicable law.
Adoption and Revision History
CODE OF ETHICS
Replaced Policy 103 (Governing Manner) adopted March 26, 1992; 109 (School Board Member Code of Ethics) adopted March 26, 1992; BBF (School Board Members Ethics) adopted August 14, 1975; Rescinded: August 5, 2008.
This policy adopted: Nov. 20, 2007
Revised: Dec. 14, 2010
This Policy Adopted: January 14, 1997
209 BOARD CODE OF CONDUCT & SERVICE
This policy revised: May 21, 2019; Revised: September 24, 2019
Legal References: Minn. Stat. § 123B.09 (School Board Powers)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.02, Subd. 1 (School District Powers)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.143, Subd. 1 (Superintendent)
Cross References: MSBA Service Manual, Chapter 1, School Board Member Code of Ethics