Policy BG : Policies

A. POLICY DEVELOPMENT

The School Committee will develop policies and put them in writing sothat they may serve as guides for the discretionary action of those towhom it delegates authority.

The formulation and adoption of these written policies willconstitute the basic method by which the School Committee will exerciseits leadership in providing for the successful and efficient functioningof the school system. Through the study and evaluation of reportsconcerning the execution of its policies, the School Committee willexercise its control of school operations.

The School Committee accepts the definition of policy set forth by the National School Boards Association:

“Policies are principles adopted by a school committee to chart acourse of action. They tell what is wanted; they may include why andhow much. Policies should be broad enough to indicate a line of actionto be followed by the administration in meeting a number of problems;narrow enough to give clear guidance. Policies are guides for action bythe administration, who then sets the rules and regulations to providespecific directions to school district personnel.”

The policies of the School Committee are framed, and are meant to beinterpreted, in terms of state law, regulations of the MassachusettsBoard of Education, and other regulatory agencies of the various levelsof government.

The School Committee will develop the process that the School Committee will use for policy formulation and adoption.

B. POLICY ADOPTION 

Adoption of new policies or changing existing policies is solely theresponsibility of the School Committee. Policies will be adopted and/oramended only by the affirmative vote of a majority of the SchoolCommittee members present when such action has been scheduled on theagenda of a regular or special meeting. A quorum must be present forthe School Committee to take any vote. A majority of the SchoolCommittee will constitute a quorum.

To permit time for study of all new policies or amendments topolicies and to provide an opportunity for interested parties to react,proposed policies or amendments will be presented as an agenda item tothe Regional School Committee for discussion at a regularly scheduledmeeting. Except to meet emergency conditions, no vote will be taken bythe Regional School Committee to approve the proposed policies oramendments until the following regularly scheduled meeting or at aspecial meeting established for that purpose.

To meet emergency conditions, the School Committee may dispense withthe above sequence by a vote of two thirds of those members present. Aquorum must be present for the School Committee to take any vote.

Because the three School Districts are strongly connected with eachother, policies usually will be consistent across the three districts.Except when the topic of a policy is not relevant for all three schooldistricts, a proposed policy will be brought before all three SchoolCommittees for a vote. A policy becomes effective for the schooldistrict as soon as the School Committee has voted approval, unless theSchool Committee specifies a later date for the policy to take effect.

If a policy will not apply to all three districts, then the pertinentSchool Committee may adopt a policy for its School District bydiscussing the proposed policy as an agenda item at a regularlyscheduled meeting and by voting to approve the policy. Except inemergency conditions, no vote will be taken until the followingregularly scheduled meeting or at a special meeting established for thatpurpose.

Policies will be effective upon the date set by the Regional SchoolCommittee or by the pertinent School Committee. This date will ensurethat affected persons have an opportunity to become familiar with therequirements of the new policy prior to its implementation.

C. POLICY REVIEW AND EVALUATION

In an effort to keep its written policies up-to-date so that they canbe used consistently as a basis for School Committee action andadministrative decision, the Committee will review its policies on aregular basis.

The Committee will evaluate how the policies have been executed bythe school staff and will weigh the results. It will rely on the schoolstaff, students, and the community for providing evidence of the effectof the policies it has adopted.

The Superintendent is given the continuing commission of calling tothe Committee’s attention all policies that are out of date or for otherreason appear to need revision.

The School Committee directs the Superintendent to periodicallyrecall all policy and regulations manuals for administrative updatingand Committee review.

D. SUSPENSION OF POLICIES

The operation of any section or sections of School Committee policiesnot established by law or contract may be temporarily suspended by atwo-thirds vote of a quorum of Committee members present at any regularor special meeting. Any action to suspend policy must be reviewed atthe next scheduled meeting and will be so noted on the agenda for thatmeeting.

E. ABSENCE OF POLICY

In the absence of policy, the Chairperson may speak for theCommittee, and the Superintendent of Schools may act for the Committee.Both would do so with the understanding that such actions are subjectto review by the entire Committee and approval by them.

Region Voted to Approve: 7/11/06 amended 11/25/08
Amherst Voted to Approve: 8/15/06 amended 12/9/08
Pelham Voted to Approve: 9/7/06 amended 12/4/08
Effective Date: 12/9/08