New model adopted for governing board

By Mary L. Grady

After elections last fall, School Board members determined to change the way they did business.

A common perception was that there was too much emphasis in operational affairs rather than the setting or implementation of policies. Part of that change was how to work together more effectively and also to meet the desires and needs of the schools and the community.

The School Board will hold an open meeting concerning the formation of its new board governance model for members of the community at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 19, at Islander Middle School.

Board members and the superintendent wish to get input from the community on what they want the schools on the Island to accomplish.

The board is looking to find out what ``ends,'' or outcomes, that stakeholders wish to see in Island graduates. Those ends could be the percentage of students who go on to college, the number of community assets achieved by the schools or how well the district provides a way for each student to finish high school and be successful. The role of the board through the administration and teachers, to determine the means or methods in how to get there.

Corporate governance or the rules and policies that shape how a board of directors runs a business originated with new federal business regulations designed to make boards more accountable to shareholders. It has shifted to become a way for all kinds of boards to manage themselves and their organizations more effectively.

Once formed, corporate governance is a working set of principals, policies and rules that determine the types of actions and responsibilities that a board of directors has in governing an organization.

For the members of governing boards, it defines how they work and with whom, how they make decisions, on what and in what way. It narrows the focus of the board to what the organization wishes to accomplish and outlines the way that they guide the organization.

The new approach is an important part of the district-wide emphasis on respect and responsibility.

``The board determined that they needed to clarify the role of the board and the role of the staff if they were going to successfully create a climate of mutual respect and shared responsibility,'' Simms said.

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