Amherst-Pelham Regional Public Schools




170 Chestnut Street,
Amherst MA 01002

Policy BIA: New School Committee Member Orientation

Home 5 Policy BIA: New School Committee Member Orientation


New members to the School Committee are required under MGL Chapter 71, Section 36A to complete at least 8 hours of orientation covering school committee responsibilities.  This orientation is offered at no charge to the school committee member by the Massachusetts Association of School Committees and by other approved groups.  New members’ expenses at these meetings will be reimbursed in accordance with established policy.

The certificate awarded to the participant at the completion of the orientation must be filed with the Town Clerk for the town in which the school committee member resides.


As soon after election as possible, the School Committee Chair and Superintendent will hold one or more orientation meetings with each newly elected member to assist him/her in understanding the School Committee’s functions, policies and procedures. (See also Policy BBBB.)

In discussions with new members, the Chair and Superintendent will clarify policies and procedures that involve:

  • How a community member (parent, teacher, student, etc.) may make a request of the Committee; appropriate responses/actions of an individual School Committee member when a request or complaint concerning staff or programs is presented directly to him/her.
  • How School Committee members may make arrangements to visit schools; and the protocol associated with such visits.
  • How the School Committee members, assigned certain tasks or investigating certain problems, may request information or services of the school staff.
  • How the School Committee receives and examines complaints relating to personnel.
  • How and why executive sessions may be held; what is considered privileged information.How School Committee members handle confidential information.

Prior to the orientation meeting with the Chair and the Superintendent, the Superintendent will provide each newly elected member with the following materials:

  • A copy of the School Committee Policy Manual
  • A copy of the Open Meeting Law
  • A copy of the Conflict of Interest Regulations
  • A copy of the District’s budget 
  • Collective bargaining agreements and contracts
  • Student and staff handbooks
  • Any other materials the Chair and/or Superintendent determine to be necessary



MGL 71:36A

Region Voted to Approve: 12/07/11
Amherst Voted to Approve:
Pelham Voted to Approve: