Section 9000 District Policies and Board of Education ByLaws

9200 School Board Legal Status

The Constitution of Connecticut assigns to locally elected boards of education control of the public schools in their districts. The general assembly has provided by law, for the organization of school districts, the composition of district Boards, and the election of school Board members.

Therefore, local school Boards are legal instruments of the state and derive their powers from the state constitution and acts of the general assembly. They also have responsibilities to the local citizenry they serve and by whom they are elected.

The district is governed by a Board of Education consisting of nine elected Board members, each of whom is elected, from within district boundaries, for a four-year term, except those members who have received interim appointments to unexpired terms.

Legal Status

The legal name of the school district is the Madison Public Schools in the County of New Haven, in the state of Connecticut. It is a corporate body under the laws of the State of Connecticut. The district is governed by the laws of the State of Connecticut relating to such districts and by the policies and procedures adopted by the Board of Education in pursuance to such state laws, and in accordance with instructions of the State Commissioner of Education.

In no event will such policies and procedures be, or be construed to have been, adopted by reference to legislative or judicial pronouncements or to statements contained in applications for membership or policy positions of organizations in which the school district has been, is, or will become a member.

Governance

The Board will possess powers delegated and required by law. The Board will also be governed by both written bylaws and policies consistent with the directions and regulations of the State Board of Education.

In order to achieve its primary goal of providing each child with the necessary skills, commensurate with his / her ability, to become effective citizens, the Board will exercise the full authority granted to it by the laws of the state. Its legal powers, duties and responsibilities are derived from statute and regulation. Sources such as the school code, Attorney General's opinions, and regulations of the State Board of Education and the Superintendent of Public Instruction delineate the legal powers, duties and responsibilities of the Board of Education.

Date of Adoption: 3/7/95

9210 Board Member Authority

The Board of Education is the unit of authority for the Madison Public Schools. Apart from their function as part of the unit, Board members have no individual authority. Members of the Board shall have authority only when acting as a legally convened Board. Individually, the Board member may not commit the district to any policy, act or expenditure, except when such action is in pursuance of specific instructions of the Board of Education which has been approved by a majority vote of the entire Board.

The Board member is prohibited from doing business with the school district and from having an interest in any business contract with the school district in general. The Board member shall not seek employment within the school district while serving his / her term on the Board.

No individual member of the Board, by virtue of holding office, shall exercise any administrative responsibility with respect to the schools, nor as an individual command the services of any school employee. Visits to the schools by individual members, when acting in that capacity, shall be pre-arranged through the office of the building principal.

No member of the Board of Education shall be asked to perform any routine or clerical duties which may be assigned to an employee.

The Board member does not represent a factional segment of the community, but is rather a part of the body which represents and acts for the community as whole. The Board member shall respect confidentiality as well as abide by the Freedom of Information Act when communicating with the public and the media.

Date of Adoption: 3/7/95

9210.1 Responsibilities of Board Members

Members of the Madison Board of Education are responsible for the education of Madison's children, and to that end they will . . .

  1. attend all regularly scheduled Board meetings insofar as possible, and become informed concerning the agenda items to be considered at those meetings;
  2. recognize that the Board's primary role is the establishment of policy in governance of public elementary and secondary education in our community; Therefore, they will . . .
    • formulate and adopt written policies in consultation with groups affected, and properly delegate implementation of those policies;
    • recognize that they should endeavor to make policy decisions only after full discussion at publicly held Board meetings;
    • work as a group to establish effective Board policies, to monitor implementation of said policies, and to delegate authority for the administration of the schools to the Superintendent;
    • develop policies that support the concept of citizen advisory bodies and establish clear guidelines that define the task, composition, operation, duration, reporting, and evaluation of such bodies;
    • adopt policies which establish the use of volunteers as a means of enriching the learning experiences of students and building schoolcommunities;
  3. work with the Superintendent and the community to develop a vision for the schools;
  4. establish a structure and create an environment that will help the school system achieve its vision;
  5. develop academic standards based on high expectations and an assessment system to measure academic performance toward the achievement of such standards, so that the school Board can be accountable to the people of the community;
  6. encourage free expression of opinion by all Board members, and seek systematic communications between the Board and students, staff, and all elements of the community;
  7. make special efforts to involve parents and the public in the process of formulating educational policy; such participants will enhance advocacy and give parents an the public a sense of proprietorship that will benefit the instructional program for all students;
  8. support the Superintendent in all decisions that conform to Board policy, other decisions made by the Board, or recognized professional standards;
  9. hold the Superintendent responsible and accountable for the administration of the schools through regular, constructive, written and oral evaluations of the Superintendent's work; performance evaluation is an ongoing effort and should be linked to goals established by the Board with the advice and counsel of the Superintendent;
  10. provide the Superintendent with a comprehensive employment contract;
  11. provide fair and adequate compensation that will attract and retain excellent people in all circumstances;
  12. give the Superintendent the benefit of individual Board members' expertise, familiarity with the local school system, and community interests;
  13. conduct school district business in open session, except as otherwise provided by law, with the Superintendent or a designee present (except in personnel matters involving the Superintendent specifically), and endeavor by every possible means to inform the public concerning the schools;
  14. consult with the Superintendent on all matters, as they arise, that concern the school system, and on which the Board may take action;
  15. develop a plan for Board - Superintendent communications;
  16. channel communications with school employees through the Superintendent, especially if any action is suggested, and to refer all applications, complaints, and other communications, oral or written, first to the Superintendent: doing so ensures that such communications can be processed in a coordinated fashion that is responsive to students and patrons;
  17. take action on matters only after hearing the recommendation of the Superintendent, except in personnel matters involving the Superintendent specifically;
  18. exercise continued oversight of all educational programs;
  19. work closely, where appropriate, with other governmental agencies and bodies;
  20. seek information about current educational issues through programs and publications providing needed information, such as those presented by local, state and national school boards association, resources and / or workshops;
  21. collaborate with other school boards through state and national school boards associations to let state legislators, members of Congress, and all other appropriate state and federal officials know of local concerns and issues;
  22. mandate and provide resources for high-quality Board and professional development programs using qualified trainers that will enable school leaders to have the knowledge and skills needed to provide excellent policy leadership for the school system; in some cases, the Board and Superintendent should engage in joint training;
  23. provide for self-evaluation of the Board's own effectiveness in meeting its stated goals and performing its role in public school governance;
  24. establish a periodic review of all school Board policies for current relevance and necessity to ensure students' needs are being appropriately served;
  25. conduct an annual review of all school Board policies for compliance with current state law;
  26. work to ensure that the district has the necessary funds and that a balance is maintained between needs and resources in the distribution of available monies;
  27. delegate to the Superintendent responsibilities for all administrative functions, except those specifically reserved to the Board's presiding officer through Board policy; those reserved areas include establishing a regular time for the Superintendent and the leader of the school Board to meet for discussion of school Board policy matters and joint preparation of each meeting agenda, conducting Board meetings and certain public hearings, approving the agenda and minutes of Board meetings, and engaging in other activities related to serving as the presiding officer of the Board;
  28. ensure Board members understand that, under law, the school Board acts as a Board and that individual Board members have no independent authority.
Date of Adoption: 4/4/95

9220 Board Membership - Elections / Appointment

The Board shall consist of nine (9) members serving overlapping terms as required by Madison Town Charter and State law.

Members shall be elected for four (4) year terms at regular Town elections. Terms shall be limited to no more than twelve (12) consecutive years or three (3) full terms. Interim appointments to unexpired terms shall not be included in this calculation. Newly-elected members shall take office the Monday following the election.

Date of Adoption: 3/7/95

9220.1 Board Member Qualifications

Under qualifications established by law, a member of a school Board must be a citizen of the United States, a resident of Connecticut and of the Town of Madison and a registered voter in the district.

A variety of other public positions, elective and appointive, have been determined by the General Assembly or the courts to be incompatible with school Board membership. Generally, offices are considered incompatible when one is subordinate to or in any way a check upon the other; or when it is physically impossible for one person to discharge the duties of both positions.

In addition, the Board believes that members of the Board of Education should have demonstrated a genuine interest in and devotion to public education, a willingness to give time and effort to the work, a capacity for understanding people, and the ability to work cooperatively with others.

Date of Adoption: 3/7/95

9220.2 Board Member Oath of Office

Oath of Office

Each Board member elected in a regular election will qualify by taking the oath of office on or before the time set for the organizational meeting of the Board (the second Tuesday in November.) Each Board member appointed or elected at a special election will qualify within ten (10) days by taking the oath of office. The election or appointment and qualification will be entered by the Board Secretary. The oath may be administered by the Town Clerk in the manner and form prescribed by law.

I , __________, do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Connecticut so long as I continue a citizen thereof; and that I will faithfully discharge, according to law, the duties of the office of the Board of Education to the best of my ability, so help me God.

Date of Adoption: 3/7/95

9220.3 Board Member Resignation

Board Member Resignation

If a Board member's permanent residence ceases to be in the Madison School District, the Board member will resign immediately. Resignations for this or any other reason will require a written statement of resignation by the Board member to the Town Clerk and to the Chairperson of the Board. Upon receipt of a Board member's written resignation for this or any other reason, the Board will consider the resignation request at the next regularly scheduled meeting coinciding with or next following the receipt of written resignation. The Board will then accept the resignation by formal action and declare the Board position vacant unless the resignation is withdrawn any time prior to the Board's action.

Vacancies may occur on the Board because of a member's resignation, death, his / her moving outside of the district, or other reasons provided by law. Or a member may be recalled or removed from office for such reasons as specified in law.

Resignation of Board Member from an Executive Board Position

If an Executive Board member chooses to remain on the Board of Education but resign from his / her Executive Board position, the Board will consider the resignation request at the regularly scheduled meeting coinciding with or next following the receipt of written resignation from his / her Executive Board position. The Board will then accept the resignation by formal action and declare the Executive Board position vacant unless the resignation is withdrawn any time prior to the Board's action.

The vacancy to the Executive Board position shall be filled, other than the Chairperson, by a majority vote of those members present at the next regularly scheduled Board meeting following the declaration of vacancy. A vacancy to the Chairperson's position shall be temporarily filled by the Vice-Chairperson, for a period not to exceed six weeks. In the event that the temporary Chairperson is voted to the position on a permanent basis, an election for a new Vice-Chairperson shall occur within six weeks from the date of appointment. The newly-elected officer shall take office upon election.

Date of Adoption: 3/7/95

9220.4 Board Member Removal from Office

Any officer of the Board, except the Treasurer, may be removed from office by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the entire membership of the Board. The Chairperson shall select a temporary officer to act in that capacity for a period of time not to exceed six (6) weeks, during which time a special election for that office shall be held, as specified under the terms of Madison Board of Education Bylaw #9400. The newly elected officer shall serve out the term of the officer being replaced.

Date of Adoption: 3/7/95
Reference: Bylaw # 9220.3
Bylaw # 9400

9220.5 Unexpired Term Fulfillment / Vacancies

Vacancies on the Board of Education shall be filled in accordance with Connecticut General Statutes, the Madison Town Charter and the Board of Education Bylaws.

Date of Adoption: 3/7/95

9220.6 Board Candidates

Membership and service on a school board is considered to be one of the highest acts of citizenship in our American democracy. It offers qualified citizens an opportunity to promote the interests of education and thereby the welfare of the community and the nation.

Therefore, the Board considers it important that a new member be knowledgeable about school governance and operations and prepared to discuss and cast informed votes on matters before the Board from the time he or she is sworn into office.

All declared candidates will be urged to attend, and will be welcomed at, public meetings of the Board during the period of candidacy. All public information about the school district will be made easily available to them.

The Superintendent will cooperate impartially with candidates in providing information about school governance, Board operations, and school programs. This cooperation may include:

  • notification of public meetings of the Board, with the agenda provided;
  • meetings with candidates to provide information on the school system and school Board services;
  • providing candidates with published information on the duties and responsibilities of school Boards and Board members;
  • making arrangements for the candidate to review the current policies of the Board, district regulations, and publications of the school system; and
  • past copies of Board agendas, including minutes and other reports and bulletins of recent origin.

The Board and its staff will seek to be impartial as it offers orientation for Board candidates. It expects candidates to recognize that until and unless they are elected, their official status is that of other members of the public and that they are not entitled to privileged information which is properly discussed in executive sessions.

Newly-elected Board Members

The magnitude of school Board membership calls for knowledge of, and orientation to, many areas of information and understanding. Under the guidance of experienced Board members and the Superintendent, orientation will be provided to the new Board members immediately upon election, through the following methods:

  • The electee will be invited to meet with the Superintendent and other administrative personnel to discuss school governance, board operations, and school programs.
  • The electee will be invited to attend Board meetings and to participate in discussion. The clerk will supply materials pertinent to meetings and will explain their use.
  • The clerk will give the new member a copy of the Board's policies and bylaws.
  • It is strongly recommended and suggested that newly-elected Board members attend:
    • the annual conference for new board members sponsored by the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (assuming the Board's membership in this association); and
    • local, state, and national school board meetings during their tenure to stay abreast of current educational issues.

Orientation will be considered as an ongoing process for all Board members, and may include such activities as those indicated above and the addition of items such as attendance at school board and administrative conferences, and conventions on a local, area, state, and national basis.

Date of Adoption: 3/7/95

9220.7 Board Election Campaigns

The Board prohibits campaigning in the public schools by individual candidates or parties for municipal, school Board, or federal elections except that:

  • schools may organize all-candidate forums for educational purposes; and
  • school space may be rented after school hours by a candidate or party on a commercial basis.

The Board prohibits the posting or distribution of campaign materials associated with elections on lands, or within buildings owned by the Board except that campaign materials may be:

  • posted and distributed in a school rented for a campaign meeting or being used for an all-candidate forum; however, all political materials must be removed from school premises at the end of any such meeting;
  • used as classroom teaching aids on condition support for an individual or political party is not solicited.


Date of Adoption: 3/7/95

9240 Treasurer

The Treasurer of the Town of Madison is by law the Treasurer of the Board of Education. The Treasurer shall sign all warrants drawn in settlement of obligations ordered by the board and shall perform the duties imposed by statutes. The Treasurer shall not be a participating member or a voting member of the Madison Board of Education.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statute Sec. 10-243
Town of Madison Charter Article VII, Sec. 7-5

Date of Adoption: 1/3/72
Revised: 3/21/89

9300 Ethical Standards for Board Members

Public office is a trust created by the confidence which the public places in the integrity of its public officers. To preserve this confidence, it is the desire of the Board to operate under the highest ethical standards.

Members of the Madison Board of Education will strive to improve public education, and to that end they will . . .

  • render all decisions based on the available facts and independent judgment, and refuse to surrender that judgment to individuals or special interest groups;
  • strive to avoid being placed in a position of conflict of interest, and refrain from using a Board position for personal or partisan gain;
  • take no private actions that will compromise the Board of Education or the administration, and respect the confidentiality of information that is privileged under applicable law; and
  • remember always that the first and greatest concern of a Board member must be the educational welfare of the students attending the public schools.

In carrying out his / her fiduciary duties, a Board member will not:

  • disclose or use confidential information acquired in the course of his / her official duties to further substantially his or her personal financial interests;
  • accept a gift of substantial value or substantial economic benefit tantamount to a gift of substantial value which would tend to improperly influence a reasonable person in his or her position or which he or she knows or should know is primarily for the purpose of rewarding him / her for official action taken;
  • engage in a substantial financial transaction for his or her private business purposes with a person whom he or she supervises in the course of official duties;
  • perform an official act which directly and substantially confers an economic benefit on a business or other undertaking in which he / she has a substantial financial interest, or in which he / she is engaged as a counsel, consultant, representative, agent or public speaker.

The phrase "economic benefit tantamount to a gift of substantial value" includes a loan at a rate of interest substantially lower than the prevailing commercial rate and compensation received for private services rendered at a rate substantially exceeding the fair market value.

It is permissible for a Board member to receive:

  • an occasional non-pecuniary gift which is insignificant in value;
  • non-pecuniary award publicly presented by a nonprofit organization in recognition of public service;
  • payment or reimbursement for actual and necessary expenditures for travel and subsistence for attendance at a convention or other meeting at which he / she is scheduled to participate;
  • reimbursement for or acceptance of any opportunity to participate in a social function or meeting which is not extraordinary when viewed in light of his / her position; and
  • tickets to school-sponsored sporting, recreational, educational, or cultural events.
Date of Adoption: 4/4/95

9310 Board Member Conflict of Interest

The Board desires its members not only to adhere to all laws regarding conflict of interest, but to be alert to situations which have the appearance of a conflict of interest and to avoid actions that might embarrass themselves or the Board.

Two areas of Board operations must be guarded with particular care in order that there be no real or seeming conflict of interest. These are purchasing and hiring of personnel. Therefore,

  • no member of the Board will have any direct pecuniary interest in a contract with the school district, nor furnish directly any labor, equipment, or supplies to the district. It is not the intent of this policy to prevent the district from contracting with corporations or businesses because a Board member is an employee of the firm. However, in such instances, the member may be expected to declare an association with the firm and refrain from debating or voting on the question; and
  • no member of the immediate family or any member of the Board will be employed in any continuing capacity by the school system. This will not construed as necessitating the resignation of any employee should a member of his or her immediate family be elected to the Board.

For the purpose of this Bylaw the term immediate family shall mean the following relatives of the Board member: father, mother, spouse and / or domestic partner, siblings, children, or the spouse and / or domestic partners of those individuals.

The closeness with which the Board works with other agencies of the Town may also give rise to situations in which the Board may be subject to charges of favoritism and / or involve itself in interagency disputes.

Therefore,

  • the Board will not engage the services of persons in the paid employ of other Town agencies on a continuing basis, except for employees who are hired on a joint basis. However, police, fire, and part-time clerical personnel may be employed on a noncontinuing basis when the employment of such persons is deemed to be in the best interest of the school system and the Town, as approved by the Board; and
  • the Board will not make purchase from companies in which paid Town employees have a major financial interest, nor from companies by which they are employed.
Date of Adoption: 1/3/95

9325.43 Attendance at Meetings via Electronic Communications

Recognizing the inherent responsibility and statutory duties of Board members, the Board strongly encourages members to attend and participate at all meetings of the Board. Though great importance is given to the physical presence of Board members at meetings, the attendance and participation of members electronically is authorized under limited conditions and with prior approval of the Chairperson.

The Boards recognizes that factors such as illness, travel, schedule conflicts and weather conditions can make impossible the physical presence of a Board member at a Board meeting, and that electronic communications can enable a Board member to participate in a meeting from a remote location.

A Board member shall be able to attend a Board meeting, and participate in Board deliberations and voting, through electronic communications, but only under extraordinary circumstances. The reason that such attendance is not reasonably practical shall be stated in the minutes of the meeting.

The Board authorizes the administration to provide the equipment required to implement this Board procedure.

Guidelines

The Board may allow members to participate in meetings by telephone or other electronic means. Board members may not simply vote electronically, but must be connected with the meeting throughout the discussion of business.

If the Board allows a member to participate electronically, the member will be considered present and will have his or her actual physical presence excused. The member shall be counted present for purposes of convening a quorum. The Board Secretary will document it in the minutes when members participate in the meeting electronically.

Board members participating electronically may cast votes. However, if a Board member electronically joins the meeting after an item of business has been opened, the remotely located member shall not participate, nor cast any vote, until the next item of business is opened. All votes taken during such a meeting shall be by roll call vote.

Any Board member wishing to participate in a meeting electronically will notify the Board Chairperson and Superintendent as early as possible. Upon approval of the Chairperson, the Superintendent will arrange for the appropriate equipment so that Board members participating in the meeting electronically may interact and the public may observe or hear the comments made. The Superintendent will take measures to verify the identity of any remotely located participants.

Each part of a meeting required to be open to the public shall be audible or otherwise discernable to the public at the location specified in the meeting notice as the location of the meeting. Each member participating electronically or otherwise must be able to simultaneously hear each other and speak to each other during the meeting, and shall be audible or otherwise discernable to the public in attendance at the meeting’s location. Any member participating in such fashion shall identify the persons present in the location from which the member is participating. No meeting shall be conducted by electronic mail or any other form of communication that does not permit the public to hear, read, or otherwise discern meeting discussion contemporaneously at the meeting location specified in the meeting notice.

(c.f. #9540 Quorum)

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes
1-225 Meetings of government agencies, as amended by June 11 Special Session, PA 08-3

9350 Control of Funds

The Board of Education shall be responsible for preparing and presenting an estimated budget for review and approval, in accordance with the Madison Town Charter. The Board of Finance will present a recommended budget to the electorate at the Annual Budget Meeting.

The estimated budget shall be submitted to the Board of Selectmen, who will present it to the Board of Finance not later than two months preceding the Annual Budget Meeting. The Board of Education shall appear before both the Board of Selectmen and the Board of Finance to document the budget proposal.

Upon appropriation of funds by the Board of Finance, the funds shall be expended by and at the discretion of the Board of Education. The Superintendent shall allocate funds as to programs and/or function. All expenditures for school purposes, from town appropriations, shall be requested through the Superintendent. Bills to be paid from town appropriations shall be presented to the Town Treasurer for payment upon approval by the Board of Education.

The Board of Education may transfer any unexpended or non-contracted portion of any appropriation for school purposes to any other item of such itemized estimate. Expenditures shall not exceed the appropriation made by the town. If any occasion arises whereby additional funds are needed, the Chairperson shall notify the Board of Finance in accordance with the Madison Town Charter and submit a request for additional funds. No additional funds shall be expended unless such supplemental appropriation is granted.

The annual report of the Board of Education, as well as the budget document, shall include a summary showing:

  • the total cost of operating and maintaining the schools
  • the amount received from the state and other sources for the operation and maintenance of the schools
  • the net cost to the town for the operation and maintenance of the schools.

Legal References: CT. Gen. St., # 10-222, 10-240, 10-241, 10-242, 10-243, 10-248
Town of Madison Charter, Sec. 3-8, 5-51D, 8-5.

Adopted: 2/7/72
Revised: 6/19/90

9353 Bonding of Officers

The Town Treasurer; the Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson, and the Secretary of the Board; and the Superintendent of Schools shall be bonded to the extent deemed appropriate by the Board.

Legal References: Madison Town Charter, Art. VI I, Sec. 7-5B

Adopted: 1/13/72
Revised: 6/19/90

9400 Organization of the School Board

Board Officers

The Board will elect a Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson and a Secretary who will be members of the Board. The Board may assign a district employee to provide clerical assistance to the Board. Officers will be elected by majority vote of the members present and voting.

Term and Duties

Board officers will serve for a term of two years and until a successor is elected, except in the case of removal or resignation.  Officers may succeed themselves in office. Each officer will perform any legal duties of the office and other duties, as required by the Board.

Vacancy

The vacancy to the Executive Board position shall be filled, other than the Chairperson, by a majority vote of those members present at the next regularly scheduled Board meeting following the declaration of vacancy. A vacancy to the Chairperson's position shall be temporarily filled by the Vice-Chairperson, for a period not to exceed six weeks.  In the event that the temporary Chairperson is voted to the position on a permanent basis, an election for a new Vice-Chairperson shall occur within six weeks from the date of appointment. The newly-elected officer shall take office upon election.

 

Date of Adoption: 3/7/95
Date of Revision: May 8, 2018

 

9410 Board Organizational Meeting

The Board of Education Meeting organizational meeting shall be the next regularly scheduled meeting following the election in November and shall be the organizational meeting of the Board. The meeting shall be called to order by the Chairperson of the Board, the Vice-Chairperson or the Secretary, in that order of priority, provided one of these officers is still a member of the Board. If none of the Board officers from the preceding year is presently a member of the Board, the Superintendent shall call the meeting to order. A temporary Chairperson shall be chosen by a majority of those members present. The temporary Chairperson shall preside until a successor is elected. The vote of each member of such Board cast in such election shall be reduced to writing and made available for public inspection within 48 hours, excluding Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, and shall all be recorded in the minutes of the meeting, which shall be available for public inspection at all reasonable times.

The newly elected Chairperson of the Board shall take office upon election and preside over the elections of the Vice-Chairperson and Secretary.

All officers of the Board shall hold office for a term of two years and until their successors are elected, except in the case of removal or resignation.

Assignments for Permanent Committees and Board Representatives shall be decided at the second regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting following the election. Terms for these positions shall be two years.

Legal Reference: Connecticut State Statutes Sec. 10-218

Date of Adoption: 1/17/1972
Revision: 6/19/1990
Revision: 1/3/1995
Revision: 10/29/2013

9420 Board Officers

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee of the Board of Education shall be comprised of the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, and Secretary. They shall be elected for a two year term, by majority vote from its members at the initial Board Organization Meeting as required by Bylaw 9410.

The purpose of the Executive Committee shall be limited to enhancing the orderly process of internal Board policies and procedures and in such other matters as organizing the annual Board evaluation of the Superintendent and organizing the process for annual Board self-evaluation and goal setting. The Executive Committee will work with the Superintendent to develop Board meeting agendas. Also, the Executive Committee will set goals and initiate the strategic planning efforts for the entire Board, including the review and development of the Board’s vision statement.

The Executive Committee shall not have the authority to take action on any matter that is appropriately the responsibility of the Board of Education in directing the Madison School District. It shall not represent the Board in any external discussion, action, or negotiation with any person, board, or organization that should appropriately be communicating with the Board of Education. It is recommended that the Executive Committee meet on a regular basis to maintain communication. It is the responsibility of the Chairperson to schedule and preside over these meetings.

Chairperson

The Chairperson shall serve as spokesperson for the Board of Education and represent the policies and decisions of the Board in a responsible manner. In addition, the Chairperson of the Board shall:

  • preside at all meetings of the Board;
  • have a vote on all motions placed before the Board for action;
  • sign such documents on behalf of the Board that require his / her signature;
  • represent the Board in deliberations with other Boards, districts, or agencies unless another member of the Board is so designated;
  • call special meetings of the Board that he / she may deem necessary as well as those requested in writing by one-third of the members of the Board;
  • select a member to keep minutes of the executive session should the Secretary be unable to do so;
  • serve as ex-officio member of all committees of the Board, permanent and temporary, unless another member of the executive committee is so designated by the Chairperson;
  • appoint temporary officers, should an officer be removed or retire from office, for a period of time not to succeed six (6) weeks;
  • appoint Board members to administrative committees and committees of other agencies (i.e.: CABE, Regional Service Center);
  • communicate, along with the Executive Committee, with the Superintendent on the formulation of agendas for Board meetings; schedule and preside at Executive Committee meetings; and
  • appoint membership to temporary committees.

Vice-Chairperson

The Vice-Chairperson will have all the powers and duties of the Chairperson in his / her absence or during his / her disability and such other powers and duties as the Board may from time to time determine. The Vice-Chairperson is required to attend a majority of regular and special meetings, Executive Committee meetings, and meetings of all assigned committees.

Secretary

The Secretary shall:
  • sign all payroll checks of employees of the Madison Board of Education;
  • sign all other documents that require his / her signature;
  • be responsible for maintaining minutes of all Board meetings, in accordance with the bylaws and generally by overseeing the accuracy of the minutes prepared by district personnel provided to facilitate such minutes;
  • preside over Board of Education meetings when both the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson are absent and assume such other powers and duties as the Board may from time to time determine;
  • attend a majority of regular and special meetings, Executive Committee meetings, and meetings of all assigned committees.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes Sec. 10-218, 10-243 and 1-25

Chairperson:
Date of Adoption: 1/3/1972
1st Revision: 3/21/1989
2nd Revision: 1/3/1995

Vice-Chairperson:
Date of Adoption: 1/3/1972
1st Revision: 3/21/1989
2nd Revision: 6/19/1990
3rd Revision: 1/3/1995

Secretary:
Date of Adoption: 3/21/1989
1st Revision: 1/3/1995

Executive Committee:
Date of Adoption: 3/21/1989
Date of Revision: 1/3/1995
Date of Revision: 10/29/2013

9430 Appointed Board Officials

The Superintendent shall recommend to the Board for their approval, a candidate to serve as Clerk of the Board and a recommended compensation for this service.

The Clerk of the Board shall keep a record of all public meetings of the Board of Education and shall perform such other duties as may be required by the Board of Education.

The Superintendent is responsible for posting minutes of Board meetings.

The Clerk of the Board shall not be a Board member.

Performance of the Clerk of the Board shall be subject to evaluation on a continuing basis by the Board of Education and the Superintendent.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes
10-224, 10-232

Date of Adoption: 3/21/89
1st Revision: 1/3/95

9440 Board - Superintendent Relationship

The Board of Education believes that the legislation of policies is a function of the School Board and that the execution of the policies should be the function of the Superintendent of Schools.

While the Board reserves to itself the ultimate decision of all matters concerning policy and expenditures of funds, delegation by the Board of its executive powers to the Superintendent provides flexibility for the Superintendent to manage the school system according to the provisions of the Board's policies and decisions, and allows Board members to devote their time to policy making and appraisal functions.

The Board holds the Superintendent responsible for the administration of its policies and regulations, the execution of Board actions and decisions, the operation of schools and for keeping the Board informed about school system activities, operations, and concerns.

The Board will strive to procure, when a vacancy exists, the best professional leader available for the Superintendent's position. The Board as a whole, and individual members, will:

  • give the Superintendent complete administrative authority for properly discharging all professional and legal responsibilities and duties;
  • hold all meetings of the board in the presence of the Superintendent except when the Superintendent's contract and salary are under consideration;
  • refer all concerns to the Superintendent for appropriate investigation and action; and
  • provide adequate safeguards for the Superintendent and his / her staff members so they can discharge their professional and legal responsibilities and duties.

The Superintendent will assist the Board in making decisions and establishing policies by giving Board members relevant facts, information, and reports. The Superintendent may not perform, cause, or allow to be performed any act that is unlawful, in violation of commonly accepted business and professional ethics, in violation of any contracts into which the Board has entered, or in violation of policies and regulations adopted by the Board.

Date of Adoption: 1/3/95

9450 Board Committees

Standing Committees

The Board of Education shall have five (5) standing committees as follows:  Communication Committee, Curriculum and Student Development Committee, Finance Committee, Personnel Committee and Policy Committee. Temporary and liaison assignments are not considered to be standing committees.

Standing Committee Membership

The Board Chairperson shall designate standing committee members, subject to Board action. Therefore, any member of the Board who is interested in serving on a particular standing committee shall notify the Chairperson.

The following rules apply specifically to standing committees:

  1. Standing committee chairpersons and members on standing committees shall serve for the same term as the Board Chairperson.
  2. No board member may chair more than one standing committee.

Duties of Standing Committees

Standing committees are assigned regular duties as described below. The Board Chairperson may assign additional tasks or responsibilities to a standing committee as needed. If the tasks or responsibilities become a recurring and substantial part of the standing committee's work, the Board of Education may consider revising the duties of that standing committee in the bylaws.

Communication Committee

  • Collaborate with the Superintendent to inform the public about district news and other information.
  • Recommend to the Board ways to inform the public of present and future educational needs of the community.
  • Recommend to the Board ways to inform the public of the goals and objectives of the Board.
  • Recommend to the Board ways to inform the public of other appropriate information.
  • Foster two-way communication with the public.
  • Endeavor to inform the community about the operations of the school system.
  • Seek systematic communications between the Board and students, staff, and all elements of the community; (note: from Bylaw 9210.1)
  • Make special efforts to involve parents and the public in the process of formulating educational policy; (note: from Bylaw 9210.1)

Curriculum and Student Development Committee

  • Recommend to the Board curriculum revisions, additions, and deletions submitted by the superintendent.
  • Participate as appropriate in all phases of curriculum review.
  • Monitor the effectiveness of the curriculum in achieving Board goals and objectives.
  • Monitor progress and report regularly to the full Board regarding District programmatic initiatives.
  • Monitor progress and report regularly to the full Board regarding District curriculum initiatives.
  • Receive regular updates and projections regarding enrollment.
  • Recommend to the entire Board, in cooperation with administrators and staff, program development needs in the area of student development, including health, safety, and student growth needs outside the curriculum, including recommendations for staff, related to new or revised programs and initiatives.
  • Review instructional technology plans to provide for district programmatic and curriculum needs. 

Finance Committee

  • Review, deliberate, and adjust the budget, proposed by the administration, for the operation of the district for the upcoming school year.
  • Recommend to the entire Board a budget which in the committee’s view supports the goals and objectives of the district for the upcoming school year.
  • Recommend the format and procedures for budget presentations and hearings.
  • Serve as an advocate for the budget adopted by the Board during the town budget adoption process, including:
    • Board of Education hearings
    • Presentations to the Board of Selectmen and the Board of Finance Town meetings 
    • Budget referenda
  • Oversee the ongoing financial status of the district budget during each school year.
  • Recommend action to the entire Board that the committee deems appropriate concerning the fiscal affairs of the district.
  • Provide and maintain services related to operations, such as transportation, fuel, food services, and telecommunications. 
  • Using enrollment data provided by the Curriculum and Student Development Committee, make recommendations for future staffing.

Personnel Committee

  • Act as an agent for the Board while deferring decision making to the full Board.
  • Negotiate contracts with administration, professional staff, and non-certified personnel toward the goal of reaching a fair and equitable agreement.
  • Maintain confidentiality while negotiations are ongoing.
  • Research the Board’s position referring to current and local data to substantiate proposals.
  • Work with the Board to set parameters within which to negotiate.
  • Keep the Board apprised of the negotiations process.
  • Present a package of negotiated items for the Board’s approval.

Policy Committee

  • Formulate policies to be presented to entire Board for action.
  • Suggest amendments to / revisions of existing policies.
  • Serve as a resource to provide policy reference to other board members.
  • Conduct annual reviews of policies.
  • Review legislative updates to ensure district policy compliance.
  • Review bylaws on an annual basis.

 Ad Hoc Committees

The Chairperson of the Board may establish an ad hoc committee at any regular meeting of the Board. The committee purpose, membership, and term shall be determined at the time of creation. An ad hoc committee is considered dissolved when its final report has been accepted by the Board of Education.

Facilities Committee

The Facilities Committee is an ad hoc committee that was established In February 2018 to operate through October 2020. The Policy Committee will review the standing of this committee in June 2019. 

Committee Objectives 

  • Responsible for oversight/development of Master Facilities Plan. 
  • Develop Capital Improvement Program (CIP) 5-year plan, 10-year plan and Planned and Cycled Maintenance 10-year plan for operational improvements and oversee implementation.
  • Review CIP ten year plan for approval and recommendation to the Board. 
  • Monitor and oversee implementation of ten year plan. 
  • Create an overall 10 year planned and cycled maintenance plan for operational improvements. 
  • Determine what, if any, steps are necessary to address the needs of students within our buildings. 
  • Investigate and examine the state of repair of the school buildings and make recommendations for a wholistic approach over a specific timespan to the Board as may be deemed necessary for alterations or repairs of said buildings. 
  • Make recommendations to the Board on the effective utilization of all buildings and grounds to address the needs of students, including policies on rentals, etc. 
  • Liaise with other Board Committees to ensure smooth management of facilities and facilities projects and to ensure clear communication with community.
  • Review non-instructional technology plans to provide for district needs. 

 
Rules Governing Appointment and Functions of Standing and Ad Hoc Committees:

  1. A committee may be established or dissolved by the Board Chairperson at any regular Board of Education meeting through action of the Board.
  2. The committee members shall be appointed by the Board, as designated by the Board Chairperson.
  3. The Board Chairperson shall be an ex-officio member of all Board committees.
  4. The Board Chairperson shall select a committee chairperson from among the members of a committee, subject to Board approval.
  5. Advisory members, community, staff, or student representatives may be appointed by the Board to serve as advisory members to a Board committee for a specific length of time or purpose. Staff and student advisory members will be named by the Board only upon the Superintendent’s recommendation.
  6. The status of ex-officio members and advisory members of Board committees shall be as follows:
    1. These members may not be included in considering whether a quorum of the committee is present.
    2. These members may not vote on recommendations to be made by the committee to the Board.
    3. Ex-officio and / or advisory members may present in writing a minority report to the Board whenever they disagree with recommendations made by the committee to the Board.
  7. Board of Education committees have no authority independent of the entire Board of Education.
  8. All reports of Board committees will be made directly to the Board. Board committees will not release reports to the public without prior Board approval.

Legal Reference:    Connecticut General Statutes
    1-18a  Definitions
1-21    Meetings of Government Agencies to be Public


Date of Adoption:  June 4, 1973 (as #8130)
First Revision:  May 4, 1988
Second Revision:  March 21, 1989
Third Revision:  January 3, 1995
Fourth Revision:  September 19, 2000
Fifth Revision:  February 15, 2005
Sixth Revision:  August 28, 2018
 

9450.1 Committee of the Whole

The Board of Education shall act as a committee of the whole in final consideration of all matters.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes
1-18a Definition
1-21 Meetings of Government Agencies to be Public

Date of Adoption: 3/21/89
1st Revision: 1/3/95

9460 Advisory Committees

The establishment and functioning of citizens advisory committees will be subject to the following requirements:

  • The Board will create the committee and issue its assignment. This will be fully outlined to the committee when it is appointed.
  • All committees will be temporary. They will be created to serve only during the fiscal year of appointment or until completion of their assignment, whichever is shorter. Continuing the committee for all or part of the subsequent fiscal year is at the discretion of the Board.
  • Committee members will be appointed by the Board. Vacancies will be filled by the Board upon the advice of the committee, or otherwise. Persons appointed will be residents concerned with public education who are able to give the effort, time, and talents needed for the committee's assignment. At the discretion of the Board, one of its members may be appointed to serve the committee in an advisory capacity.
  • The Board may appoint the chairperson, or it may appoint a committee member to serve as chairperson until the committee selects a chairperson from its membership. The committee will appoint a member as secretary.
  • Meetings will be announced to all committee members and Board members through the office of the Superintendent. Members of the Board, and the Superintendent or a designee, may attend committee meetings.
  • Minutes of meetings will be promptly distributed to members, Board members, and the Superintendent.
  • Joint meetings of the Board and the committee will be held at the request of the Board or of the chairperson of the committee.
  • To ensure smooth and orderly procedures, the chairperson of the committee will maintain liaison with the Board through the Superintendent's office.
  • At the conclusion of its assignment, the committee will submit a written report to the Board. At this time a joint meeting will be called to discuss the report and the committee's recommendations.
  • Through the public records of the Board and other appropriate means, the public will be informed on the organization, purpose, and membership of citizens committees and of each committee's final recommendations.
  • Date of Adoption: 3/7/95

9470 School Attorney / Legal Services

The Board of Education may appoint, either on a full-time or retainer basis, an attorney or attorneys to serve as School District Attorney(s). The primary function of the School District Attorney(s) is to provide professional legal representation for the Board and the Superintendent in questions related to their official duties.

The Attorney(s) shall:
  • represent the Board of Education in legal proceedings;
  • give an opinion on all legal questions referred by the Board of Education or the Superintendent;
  • attend all Board of Education meetings, conferences, and other meetings as requested by the Board or Superintendent
  • fulfill such other legal duties as the Madison Board of Education may assign.

The performance of the School District Attorney(s) shall be subject to evaluation on a continuing basis by the Board of Education and the Superintendent.

Date of Adoption: 3/21/89
1st Revision: 1/3/95
2nd Revision: 6/7/11

9480 Consultants to the Board

The Board of Education may enlist the services of consultants to provide specialized advice or assistance to the school system concerning educational, management or administrative matters where it is felt an additional opinion or opinions are appropriate.

The Board encourages the use of consultants when they can provide valuable and necessary specialized services not normally required on a continuing basis and which cannot be provided by district personnel because of limitations of time, experience, or knowledge.

Any proposed contracts with consultants will be submitted to the Board for approval, and will be accompanied by figures showing the estimated cost of the consulting project to the district. Where appropriate, bids for consulting services will be sought but the Board will have ultimate discretion with respect to selection.

Consultants who serve this district will exercise no authority over the work of the employees of the district, but will act only as advisor in the field in which they are qualified to offer assistance.

Date of Adoption: 3/7/95

9490 Student Representatives

The Madison Board of Education shall seat two students from Daniel Hand High School, in a non-voting capacity, at all public Board of Education meetings.

The two student representatives will not attend executive sessions of the Board of Education, nor will they have access to associated backup material.

Date of Adoption: 9/15/87 [as 9022 (a)]
1st Revision: 3/7/95

9500 School Board Meetings

Except as otherwise provided by the Connecticut General Statutes, meetings of the Board of Education shall be conducted in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order, Revised, in a manner consistent with the bylaws of the Board.

In the absence of the Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson shall preside over the meeting. In the absence of both of these officers, the Secretary shall preside over the meeting. In the absence of all officers, the Board shall choose a Chairperson pro tempore for the purpose of conducting a meeting.

All Board meetings shall commence at the stated time and shall be guided by an agenda which has been prepared and delivered in advance to all Board members as designated by the bylaws.

When a question is submitted to vote, every member present shall vote upon it. If a member has a conflict of interest in the issue, he / she shall identify the conflict of interest and abstain from voting.

Due to the Freedom of Information Act, due process and appropriately designated channels of communication in the school system, no charges or complaints against employees of the Madison Public Schools shall be heard in public session.

Should the meeting be interrupted by the conduct of anyone in attendance to the extent that the business of the meeting cannot be conducted in an orderly manner, such person(s) may be asked by the Chairperson or presiding officer to leave the room in which the meeting is taking place.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes
Sec. 1-21h

Date of Adoption: 3/20/72
1st Revision: 6/19/90
2nd Revision: 1/3/95

9510 Regular Board Meetings

Scheduling Board Meetings

Regular meetings of the Board shall be held the first and third Tuesday of each month at a consistent time to be determined by the members of the Board. A schedule of meetings shall be made at a regular meeting of the Board. A calendar of such regularly scheduled meetings shall be made known to the Town Clerk of Madison by the Superintendent at least thirty (30) days prior to the first regularly scheduled meeting of the calendar year. Any change in the location, date and / or time of a regular meeting, due to a legal holiday or some other circumstance, shall be determined at a public meeting of the Board. Notice of such change shall be given to the Town Clerk and the public no less than forty-eight (48) hours prior to the revised meeting. If a regularly scheduled meeting of the Board would otherwise fall on the November Election Day, the meeting shall be rescheduled to such other date as determined by the Board.

Adjourning Board Meetings

A regular meeting of the Board of Education may be adjourned in the absence of a quorum or due to incomplete business. A majority vote of those members present is required when a meeting is adjourned due to incomplete business. Within twenty-four hours of the adjournment, notice must be given to all Board members, the office of the Town Clerk, and clearly posted at the meeting site. Such notice shall include the site and time for the rescheduled adjourned meeting. If the hour for the rescheduled adjourned meeting is not stated, it shall be held at the hour specified for regular meetings.

Canceling Board Meetings

A regular meeting of the Board may be canceled by agreement of the majority of the entire Board and notice given to the Town Clerk at least 24 hours in advance of the scheduled meeting. Emergency cancellation of a regular or special Board meeting may be made by the Board Chairperson and the Superintendent when such a condition exists. Board members will be notified as soon as possible and public notice given by local radio stations or cable channel.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes
10-218 Offices Meeting; 1-21 Meetings of Public Agencies

Date of Adoption: 2/7/72
1st Revision: 3/21/89
2nd Revision: 4/7/92
3rd Revision: 1/3/95
4th Revision: 12/15/98

9520 Special Board Meetings

Special meetings of the Board of Education shall be called by the Chairperson when he / she deems it necessary or upon the written request of one-third (1/3) of the members of the Board. No business shall be transacted at any special meeting which does not come within the purpose set forth in the call for the meeting unless all members are present and agree to the consideration of the additional items.

Notice of the time and location of each special meeting shall be given to the Office of the Town Clerk not less than 24 hours prior to the time of such meeting. Notice of any special meeting shall be given to all Board members not less than 24 hours prior to the time of such meeting.

Emergency Special Meetings:

In the case of an emergency, a special meeting may be held without complying with the requirement set forth above regarding notification to the Office of the Town Clerk. However, a copy of the minutes of such emergency meeting which adequately sets forth the nature of the emergency and the proceedings which occurred at the meeting shall be filed with the Office of the Town Clerk not later than 72 hours following the meeting. No other business shall be considered at emergency meetings than that for which the meeting is called.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes
Sec. 1-21

Date of Adoption: 1/17/72
1st Revision: 6/19/90
2nd Revision: 1/3/95

9530 Executive Sessions / Open Meetings

All meetings shall be open to the public except for executive sessions, as allowed by law.

Executive sessions of the Board of Education may be held upon the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members present and voting, taken at a public meeting and stating the reason(s) for the executive session.

Executive sessions may be considered for the following reasons:

  1. Discussion concerning appointment, employment, evaluation, performance, health or dismissal of a public officer or employee; (The individual has the opportunity to request that such discussion be held at a public meeting)
  2. Strategy and negotiations with respect to pending claims and litigation;
  3. Matters concerning security;
  4. Discussion of site selection or lease, sale or purchase of real estate where publicity may cause an increased price;
  5. Discussion of any matter which would result in the disclosure of exempt records or information contained therein as described in the Connecticut General Statutes, Section 1-19(b).

Attendance at executive session shall be limited to members of the Madison Board of Education, the Superintendent and other persons invited by the Board to present information pertinent to matters before the Board.

The Board of Education is required to maintain minutes of the executive session. The minutes shall indicate all persons who are in attendance, except job applicants who attend for the purpose of interview by the Board.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes
Sec., 1-18a (e), 1-21 (a), 1-21g (a)

Date of Adoption: 2/7/72
1st Revision: 6/19/90
2nd Revision: 1/3/95

9540 Meeting Procedures / Bylaws

All actions of the Board shall be taken only in official Board meetings called, scheduled, and conducted in accordance with the bylaws of the Madison Board of Education and the Connecticut General Statutes.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes
10-220
10-221

Date of Adoption: 1/3/72
1st Revision: 3/21/89
2nd Revision: 1/3/95

9540.1 Notification of Board Meetings

The Board must file a schedule of all regular meetings with the town clerk no later than January 31 of each year, and no such meeting may be held less than 30 days after the schedule is filed. In order to ensure timely compliance, the Superintendent will present to the Board before December 1 a calendar of proposed regular meetings which, when approved, will be transmitted to the town clerk.

Notification of special meetings must be given by posting a notice of time, place, and purpose of the meeting in the town clerk's office at least 24 hours prior to the meeting.

Where practical, the Board must give notice by mail of each regular and special meeting to any person who has filed a written request for such notice. The Board may make a reasonable charge for this service.

State law requires that notices of special meetings be delivered to the home of each member of the Board, but his requirement may be waived by individual members as permitted by law.

Wherever possible the Board will announce in advance through the media the date, time, place, and agenda for all regular, special, and rescheduled meetings The Secretary will supervise this notification.

Legal Reference: Connecticut State Statutes
Sec. 1-21
Cross Reference: Bylaw #9540.2
Additional Reference: Robert's Rules of Order, Rev., 75th Edition: Article XI, Sec. 65 Order of Business

Date of Adoption: 3/20/72
1st Revision: 6/19/90
2nd Revision: 1/3/95

9540.2 Agenda

To expedite Board business and to provide a framework for its orderly conduct, the Superintendent, in cooperation with the Board Chairperson and Executive Committee, will prepare an agenda outlining the matters to be brought to Board attention at meetings.

Construction of the Agenda

The Superintendent, in cooperation and communication with the Board Chairperson and Executive Committee of the Board of Education, shall prepare the agenda and supporting information for each regular meeting. Any Board member wishing to request an item be placed on the agenda of a regular meeting shall contact the Superintendent one week prior to the meeting for which the agenda applies. Supporting information should contain:

  • statistics when applicable;
  • alternatives considered prior to the recommendation;
  • ramifications of the recommendation; and
  • background information leading to the recommendation.

The consent grouping of items on the agenda is used for those items (such as bills payable, minutes, action items, periodic reports, hiring of personnel, donations, etc.) which usually do not require discussion or explanation as to the reason for Board action. Any Board member may request the withdrawal of any item under the consent grouping for independent consideration.

The Board will follow the order of business set up by the agenda unless the order is altered or new items are added by vote of the Board during the meeting. Only by twothirds vote of the entire Board present at a regular meeting can the Board add, or take action on, a matter which did not appear on the printed agenda. Items can be added to the agenda of a special meeting only by unanimous consent of the entire Board.

Delivery of the Agenda

The Superintendent is responsible for the delivery of the agenda, with all necessary support information, to all Board members. Board members shall have the agenda and support information at least 48 hours prior to each regular meeting and 24 hours prior to each special meeting. In the case of a special meeting, a verbal communication of the proposed agenda and purpose may be appropriate. This requirement of agenda delivery is not applicable to emergency meetings.

Posting of the Agenda

The agenda of all regular meetings of the Board of Education shall be available to the public and shall be on file, not less than 24 hours before the meeting to which it refers, in the Central Office of the Board of Education.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes 1-21 Meetings of Government Agencies to be Public
Cross Reference: Bylaw #9540.1
Additional Reference: Robert's Rules of Order

Date of Adoption: 3/20/1972
Revision: 6/19/1990
Revision: 12/21/1993
Revision: 1/3/1995
Revision: 10/29/2013

9540.3 Quorum

A majority (5) of all the members of the Board of Education (9) shall constitute a quorum. Members participating remotely in accordance with Bylaw 9325.43 shall be considered present for purposes of convening a quorum. In the absence of a quorum, the Chairperson or the presiding officer shall cancel or adjourn a meeting.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes
Section 1-21d

Date of Adoption: March 20, 1972
Revised: June 19, 1990
Revised: January 3, 1995
Revised: February 11, 2014

9540.4 Rules of Order

The Board will follow Robert's Rules of Order, Revised, latest edition as modified by this policy and subsequent rules.

The purpose of modified rules adopted by the Board are:

  • to establish guidelines by which the business of the governing board can be conducted in a regular and internally consistent manner,
  • to organize the meetings so that all necessary matters can be brought to the Board and that decisions of the Board can be made in an orderly and reasonable manner,
  • to insure that members of the Board, concentrating on the substantive issues at hand, have the necessary information to make decisions, and to insure adequate discussion of decisions to be made; and
  • to insure that meetings and actions of the Board are conducted so as to be informative to the staff and the public, and to produce a clear record of actions taken and decisions made.
Date of Adoption: 3/7/95

9540.5 Parliamentarian

The parliamentarian will be either a member of the administrative staff or a Board member appointed by the Board who will be well versed in Robert's Rules of Order, Revised, and able to advise the Board to resolve any questions related to the rules of order that arise during a public meeting.

Date of Adoption: 3/7/95

9540.6 Suspension of Rules of Order

In accordance with Robert's Rules of Order, Revised, the Board of Education may suspend parliamentary rules of order by a two-thirds vote of members at the meeting.

Date of Adoption: 3/7/95

9540.8 Voting Method

Matters coming before the Board for a vote shall be presented by a motion and second of a Board member. Where a matter is brought forward by a standing or ad hoc committee of the Board, the committee may move the matter, and a second shall not be required to initiate Board action.

The ayes, nays and abstentions upon votes taken shall be entered on the record on all questions called by the Chairperson. Any member may request that his / her vote be changed if such request is made prior to consideration of the next order of business. Motions or resolutions shall be recorded as having passed or failed and the votes of each Board member shall be clearly identified.

The affirmative vote of a majority of those members present at any meeting having a quorum shall be considered sufficient for action except for those actions required otherwise by law or these policies. In addition, the following actions shall require a majority vote of the entire Board:

  • approval of negotiated personnel contracts;
  • approval of the annual budget and special appropriations;
  • approval of long-term lease / purchase agreements / contracts;
  • approval to employ or dismiss certified personnel;
  • approval of the high school course of studies;
  • approval of the annual school calendar; and
  • approval of transfer of appropriation (line item transfers).

Special Circumstances

Vote on Relative of Board Member:

An affirmative vote of the majority of the Board, excluding the relative, duly recorded, showing how each member voted, will be required for the appointment as an employee of any person related to a member of the Board.

Date of Adoption: April 4, 1995
First Revision: February 15, 2005

9540.9 Minutes

The Secretary of the Board of Education shall be responsible for complete and accurate minutes of all meetings of the Board. Copies of the proceeding shall be made for distribution to the board members with the agenda for the next regular meeting. The official minutes of the Board of Education meetings shall be kept in the office of the Superintendent of the Madison Public Schools. The votes of each Board member upon any issue shall be made available to the public in writing within forty-eight (48) hours of the meeting and also recorded in the minutes of the session as which they were taken. Minutes shall be made available to the public for inspection within seven (7) days after each meeting, except as required by the law regarding emergency meetings.

The minutes of the Board of Education shall include:

  • the date, place and type of meeting (regular, special, adjourned, emergency);
  • members present by name;
  • notation of others present, including the Superintendent of Schools;
  • call to order, identification of the person presiding including his / her office and the opening ceremony;
  • late arrival and early departure of members by name;
  • approval or amended approval of the minutes of preceding meetings;
  • a record of public comments made at the meeting;
  • recorded summary of all business identified in the agenda as well as any item appropriately placed on the agenda in accordance with the state law and these bylaws;
  • the exact wording of each motion, the names of the individuals making and seconding, and the disposition; and
  • the time of adjournment.

The minutes shall be permanently filed and indexed for the purpose of reference. All reports requiring Board action, resolutions, agreements, and other written documents may be made a part of the minutes by reference, and if so, shall be placed in the district office as a permanent record.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes - Sec. 1-21

Date of Adoption: 1/17/72
1st Revision: 6/19/90
2nd Revision: 4/7/92
3rd Revision: 1/3/95

9540.10 Public Participation At Board Meetings

All regular and special meetings of the Board will be open to the public. Because the Board desires to hear the viewpoints of citizens throughout the district, it will schedule one or more periods during each meeting for public participation. It may set a time limit on the length of this period and / or a time limit for individual speakers.

Comments and questions at a regular meeting may deal with any topic related to the Board's conduct of the schools. Comments at special meetings must be related to the call of the meeting.

The Board Chairperson will be responsible for recognizing all speakers. To maintain proper order and to adhere to any set time limits, all speakers must properly identify themselves. Questions asked by the public will, when possible, be answered immediately by the Chairperson or referred to staff members present for appropriate reply. Questions requiring investigation will be referred to the Superintendent for consideration and later response.

Members of the public will only be recognized by the Chairperson as the Board conducts its official business at the discretion of the Board.

(cf. 1312 - Public Complaints)
(cf. 9540.1 - Notification of Board Meetings)
(cf. 9540.2 - Agenda)

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes
1-200 Definitions
1-206 Denial of access of public records or meetings. Notice. Appeal 1-210 Access to public records
1-225 Meetings of government agencies to be public
1-226 Recording, broadcasting or photographing meetings
19a-342 Smoking prohibited in certain places. Sign required. Penalty
1-231 Executive sessions
1-232 Conduct of meetings (re disturbances)
10-224 Duties of the Secretary

Date of Adoption: January 3, 1995
Technical Revision: March 21, 2006

9540.11 News Media Services at Meetings

The Board believes that one of the paramount responsibilities of a Board of Education is to keep the public informed of its actions. Consequently, the local news media representatives will be welcome to attend all regular, special, and annual meetings of the Board.

A copy of the agenda of all official Board meetings will be made available to members of the working press who request it. In the event that representatives of the news media are unable to attend a meeting, upon request, they will be provided a summary of important Board actions.

All reports approved by the Board will be a matter of official record and, upon request, will be made available to the press or other members of the public. No report-inprogress, including all of those on which the Board has taken no final action, will be released by any Board or staff member unless the Board specifically authorizes its release as a "tentative report."

In situations where individual Board members receive requests from news media representatives for information about Board meetings, members may speak only for themselves and not as spokesperson for the Board unless this responsibility has been specifically delegated to a Board member.

Date of Adoption: 3/7/95

9540.12 Broadcasting / Taping of Meetings

Photographic and electronic audio and video broadcasting and recording devices may be used at regular and special Board of Education meetings legally open to the public

according to the following guidelines:

  • Photographs, broadcasting, and recordings of meetings are permitted only when all parties involved have been informed that cameras, broadcasting, and / or recording devices will be used.
  • Persons operating cameras, broadcasting, and / or recording devices must do so with a minimum of disruption to those present at the meeting. Specifically, the view between Board members and the audience must not be obstructed, interviews must not be conducted during the meeting, and no commentary is to be given in a manner that distracts Board members or the audience.
  • The Board will make the necessary arrangements to have video recordings of all regular meetings and any special meeting that it deems appropriate. Through the facilities of public television, the Board will televise all regular meetings and any special meetings that it deems appropriate to meet the needs of the community and to better educate citizens about the schools. Following approval of the minutes which will be the official record of the meeting, video recordings will be held for six months for reference, then erased.
  • Video recordings of special hearings will be retained for a minimum of three years. Video recordings, as specified, are for the use of staff members, residents of the school district, and representatives of the news media. Audio recordings are not to be considered part of the minutes of any meeting.
  • Persons who wish to review any of the above should contact the Superintendent's office. The school system also will utilize the facilities of cable television in interpreting and promoting its various programs.
Date of Adoption: 3/7/95

9540.13 Reporting of Board Meeting Business

Public statements in the name of the Board will be issued by the Board Chairperson, or if appropriate, by the Superintendent, at the direction of the Board Chairperson. The Board supports the use of established channels of communication and members must recognize that only the Board has authority and that Board action is corporate action. It is inappropriate for an individual Board member to make public statements in the name of the Board.

Date of Adoption: 3/7/95

9550 Board Hearings / Appeal Proceedings

In conducting public hearings required by law, and any other hearings as it deems advisable, the Board will adhere strictly to any statutory requirements that apply to the specific type of hearing and shall seek to conduct the hearings in a fair, open, and objective manner, giving all persons involved an equal opportunity to be heard.

The Chairperson of the Board, or another member at his / her and the Board's approval, will preside at hearings before the Board.

At the beginning of the proceedings, the attending public will be informed of particular rules that it will be following in regard to questions, remarks, rebuttals, time limitations, or other rules necessary to give everyone an opportunity to be heard.

In conformance with customary hearing procedures, statements and supporting information will be presented first by the Board, or by others on behalf of the Board. To address the Board, citizens must be recognized by the Chairperson, and all remarks must be addressed to the Chairperson and be germane to the topic.

Date of Adoption: 1/3/95

9560 School Board Work Sessions and Retreats

The Board, as a decision making body, is confronted with a continuing flow of problems, issues, and needs which require action. While the Board is determined to expedite its business, it is also mindful of the importance of planning, brainstorming, and thoughtful discussion without action. Therefore, the Board may schedule work sessions and retreats from time to time in order to provide its members and the executive staff with just such opportunities. Topics for discussion and study will be announced publicly, and work sessions and retreats will be conducted in accordance with the state law on public meetings.

Date of Adoption: 3/7/95


9600 School Board Policy Process

It is the intent of the Board to develop policies and put them in writing so that they may serve as guidelines for the discretionary action of those to whom it delegates authority and for the successful and efficient functioning of the public schools.

The Board considers policy development one of its chief responsibilities. Proposals regarding policies may originate with a member of the Board, the Superintendent, a staff member, a parent, student, consultant, civic group, or any resident of the district. A careful and orderly process will be used in examining such proposals prior to action upon them by the Board. The Board will take action after hearing the recommendations of the Superintendent and the viewpoints of person and groups affected by the policy.

The policies of the Board are framed and meant to be interpreted in terms of state laws and regulations and other regulatory agencies within our state and federal levels of government.

Changes in needs, conditions, purposes, and objectives will require revisions, deletions, and additions to the policies of the present and future Boards. The Board will welcome suggestions for ongoing policy development.

Date of Adoption: 3/7/95

9610 Policy Development System

The Board endorses for use in this district the policy development, codification, and dissemination system of the National School Boards Association (NSBA).

This system is to serve as a general guideline for such tasks as policy research, the drafting of preliminary policy proposals, reviewing policy drafts with concerned groups, presenting new and revised policies to the Board for consideration and action, policy dissemination, policy evaluation, and maintenance of the manual.

Codification System Framework

  • The Board will set up a policy making framework based on a clear understanding of duties and responsibilities of all interested and concerned parties and, also, the necessary procedures for the initiation, consideration and implementation of its policies.
  • The organizational channel through which a proposed policy will pass for consideration and reaction will be precisely defined.
  • All final policy decisions will be made by the Board.
  • Policy decisions will be made only in open meetings.
  • All policies will be written, clearly defined and based on the Board's educational goals.
  • All policies and related materials will be coded and, in each case, the exact date of approval will be shown.
  • The Superintendent will be responsible for keeping the Board advised as to evaluation and feedback procedures relative to existing policies and / or implications for new policies.
  • The Superintendent or designated representative will serve as a liaison between the Board and the NSBA Policy Information Clearinghouse and other sources of policy research information.

Procedures

  • In order to ensure the orderly and efficient development of new and / or revised policies the ensuing steps will constitute the process to be followed:
  • Any Board member, by a carried motion, may initiate the preparation and / or amendment of a policy statement. The Superintendent has an ongoing responsibility to advise the Board on policy matters and therefore will initiate policy statements for the Board's consideration, as he / she may deem appropriate.
  • The initiation motion ought to contain at least the main concepts that should be addressed in the subsequent policy statement that will be prepared by administration.
  • Administration will conduct the necessary research to assure the integrity of the resultant statement.
  • A proposed policy statement will be prepared and presented to the Policy Committee.
  • The Board will give the policy proposal a first reading and then direct it to the Policy Committee and to interested and / or affected groups for input and response.
  • The Policy Committee may modify or change the policy proposal before returning it to the Board for second reading.
  • Second reading is the final approval step by the Board. (Second reading is to occur not sooner than one regular Board meeting after first reading unless in the unanimous opinion of the members of the Board present, second reading should immediately follow the first reading.)
  • Administration will disseminate the approved policy statement to manual holders and develop regulations if and as required to ensure appropriate implementation.

System Maintenance

The Superintendent or designated representative will be charged with the responsibility of maintaining the Board's policy reference files, drafting policy proposals as instructed by the Board and / or Superintendent, maintaining the Board's manual, and serving as liaison between the Board and the NSBA Policy Information Clearinghouse and other sources of policy research information.

Date of Adoption: 3/7/95
Date of Revision: January 18, 2000

9620 Policy Adoption

Policies will be adopted, amended or repealed only by the affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the Board when such action has been scheduled on the agenda of a regular or special meeting.

To permit time for study of all new policies or amendments to policies and to provide an opportunity for interested parties to react, proposed policies or amendments will be presented as agenda items to the Board in the following sequence:

  • Information item: distribution with agenda (this may be an announcement that a policy is being developed in a particular area and that interested persons may submit suggestions.)
  • Discussion item: first reading of proposed policy or policies; response from Superintendent; report from any Board or advisory committee assigned responsibility in the area; Board discussion and directions for any redrafting.
  • Action item: discussion, adoption / rejection.

Amendments to the policy at the action stage will not require repetition of the sequence, unless the Board so directs.

In instances, the Board may disperse with the above sequence to meet emergency conditions.

Policies will be effective immediately, unless a later date is set by the Board if it feels that affected persons need an opportunity to become familiar with the requirements of the new policy prior to its implementation.

Date of Adoption: 3/7/95

9630 Policy / Bylaw Revision and Review

Policies

The Board of Education recognizes its responsibility to have written policy that will give direction to the Madison Public Schools. Such policies shall be appropriate and consistent to ensure and enhance quality educational goals.

Formulation, revision or amendment of policies shall be directed through the Policy Committee of the Madison Public Schools Board of Education. Development of all such proposals prior to their submission to the Board for action shall include to the fullest extent possible, deliberative discussions with all persons or groups to be affected, or their representatives where appropriate.

Policy proposals and suggested amendments to, or revisions of existing policies, shall be submitted to all members of the Board and the Superintendent in writing prior to a regularly scheduled Board meeting in which such proposed policies, amendments or revisions shall be read or discussed.

A vote for adoption shall take place at the third regular meeting of the Board, not less than four (4) weeks apart from the first to the third meeting, unless additional time is required for discussion. Action shall be by majority vote of the quorum of the Board.

Bylaws

Proposed new bylaws and suggested amendments to or revisions of existing bylaws may be adopted by majority vote of the quorum of the Board during the third of three regularly scheduled meetings of the Board not less than four (4) weeks apart from the first to the third meeting. The calls for such meetings should describe in writing the proposed additions, amendments, or revisions.

Provisions for emergency situations requiring the waiver of second and / or third readings shall be in accordance with Madison’s Board of Education Policy #9610.

(cf 9610 – Policy Development System)
Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes:
10-220 – Duties of boards of education
10-221 – Duties of boards of education to prescribe rules, policies and procedures
10-241 – Powers of school districts

Date of Adoption: January 17, 1972
1st Revision: March 21, 1989
2nd Revision: January 3, 1995
3rd Revision: January 18, 2000

9640 Board Review of Regulations

The Board of Education does not adopt administrative regulations unless specifically required to do so by law, or unless requested to do so by the Superintendent. Adoption and amendment of such Board of Education adopted regulations shall be by the same procedure as that specified for policies in Bylaw 9620.

The Board of Education reserves the right to review and direct revisions / additions of administrative regulations should they, in the Board of Education's judgment, be inconsistent with the policies adopted by the Board. Any Board action directing such revisions shall require a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the entire Board.

Date of Adoption: 6/19/90 1st Revision: 1/3/95

9650 Policy Communication / Dissemination

The Superintendent will establish and maintain an orderly plan for preserving and making accessible the policies and regulations of the public schools. Accessibility will extend to students, to all employees of the school division, to members of the Board, and to persons in the community.

All employees are expected to know and observe the school policies and regulations contained in this manual. Each school will be furnished a copy of the Board of Education's policy manual. The Superintendent will arrange for school employees to be informed of new policies and revision of existing policies.

Dissemination of Policy Manuals

  • Policy manuals will remain the property of the Board of Education and will be considered as "on loan" to anyone, or any organization, in whose possession they might be at any time. They are subject to recall at any time for updating.
  • The Board's policy manual will be considered a public record and will be open for inspection at the Central Office.
  • Copies of approved policies will be distributed to the following:
    • each building principal / assistant principal;
    • each Board member;
    • each Central Office administrator;
    • the president of the organization selected to represent teachers; cafeteria workers, custodians, and clerical staff
    • the school attorney; and district media / press (upon request).

Personnel policies will be published annually in policy booklets for certified and classified employees.

Regulations Based on Policy Statements

Additionally, it will be the responsibility of the Superintendent to see that the regulations developed to implement committee policies and administer the school system are appropriately coded and included as regulations in the Board of Education's policy manual.

A regulation concerning a particular group or groups in the schools will be distributed to the group(s) prior to the effective date of the regulation.

Members of the Board of Education will also receive copies of all new or revised regulations that are issued for insertion in the manual.

Date of Adoption: 3/7/95

9660 Suspension / Repeal of Policy

Policies, bylaws and Board adopted regulations, except those resulting from negotiations with employee organizations, shall be subject to suspension for a specified purpose and limited time by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of all members of the Board at a legally called Board meeting.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes
10-220, 10-221

Date of Adoption: 1/17/72
1st Revision: 3/21/89
2nd Revision: 1/3/95

9700 School Board Communications

It is the belief of the Board that keeping open communication with the public is critical to its proper functioning.

It is the belief of the Board that keeping open communication with the public is critical to its proper functioning.

In general, letters directed to the school district, and addressed to the Chairperson of the Board, or to the School Board, or to officials of the Board, will be acknowledged within ten days following receipt of such letters, if appropriate.

Through the procedures below, the Board will ensure that its members have knowledge of the communications directed to it from the public, and the public will know that Board members have received the communication.

All communications received by the district which are addressed to the Board will be copied and distributed to all Board members, either in the agenda materials for the next meeting or at the beginning of the meeting.

Significant complaints or communications from teachers, parents, or patrons to individual Board members or to the Board as a whole, will be conveyed to the office of the Superintendent.

Communications to individual Board members requesting action or a statement of view may be acknowledged. It is recommended that an answer which commits the Board member should be avoided until the full Board has reviewed the issue.

Statements of a Board member's opinion to any citizen will be clearly identified as an individual opinion which does not necessarily reflect the thinking of the entire Board.

The Secretary will be informed of all invitations to speak or represent the Board received by Board members.

Date of Adoption: 4/4/95

9710 School District Logo And / Or Motto

The school district logo will be given prominence in identifying the schools, departments and services of the Madison Public Schools. Specifically, it will appear on all documents generated in schools and administrative offices which are intended for public circulation, and on all official forms of communications. These will include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Letterheads
  • Pamphlets
  • Newsletters
  • Public Notices
  • Advertisements
  • Calendars
  • Video Presentations
  • Certificates and Diplomas
  • Numbered forms
  • Purchase Orders
  • Invoices
  • Checks
  • Curriculum Documents or other Copyrighted Publications
  • Student Report Cards
  • Board-owned Vehicles

Individual schools or departments who wish to use local identifying symbols in their own publications, letterheads, etc., may do so provided the official Board Logo is also used. In such cases, the Board Logo will appear on the first or cover page of any multi-page document.

The Superintendent is authorized to issue procedures as may be necessary to support this policy.

Date of Adoption: 3/7/95

9720 Guidelines for Use of District Logo / Board Members' Names

Guidelines are necessary to establish uniform use of the District Logo, Board of Education members' names, and use of the approved Equal Employment Opportunity statement that is printed on appropriate district publications. Therefore, it shall be the responsibility of the Superintendent to assure that all individuals responsible for the development and printing of district publications adhere to application of the following guidelines:

  • Indication of the date of all publications shall be included on the publication;
  • On any publications produced for general distribution, and at least once a year on all regular publications, the District's Equal Employment Opportunity statement should appear as follows:
    The Madison Public Schools is committed to affirmative action and equal opportunity for employment. No student will, on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, handicap, national origin, or sexual orientation, be denied access to any appropriate educational program or activity provided by the District. The Title IX compliance coordinator and the Section 504 compliance coordinator is the Director of Special Educational and Regional Services.
  • On any publications produced for employment purposes, the District's Affirmative Action statement should appear as follows:
    The personnel policies, procedures, and practices of the Madison Public Schools will be administered to best assure equal employment opportunities for all applicants and employees. The District has identified and eliminated any personnel policies, procedures, or practices which discriminate on the basis of race, color, ancestry, national origin, gender, age, religion, handicap, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or status as a veteran and will continue to do so,remaining vigilant against development of unlawful employment discrimination. The District will comply with all applicable state and federal laws and regulations prohibiting employment discrimination, and all contractors and vendors will be requested to do likewise.
  • Names of Board of Education members serving at the time of a publication should appear in the following publications annually: Board Policies and Administrative Regulations manuals, student handbooks, school / faculty handbooks, Board meeting agendas, the district annual report, all district council and committee publications, professional publications for dissemination both within and without the district, and other such publications considered to be representative of the district.
  • The District Logo should appear on district-printed publications prepared for distribution to the public;
  • Names of Board of Education members serving at the time of publication should be published annually in at least the first issue of the parent / community newsletter and commencement programs; use of the logo on invitations is encouraged but not required; and
  • Publications currently in print must be modified to conform with this regulation at the time they are reprinted.

Date of Adoption: 4/4/95

9740 Board - Community Relations

Within the bounds of legal and ethical responsibilities to pupils, the Board will endeavor to inform the community about the operations of the school system to establish two-way communications with the community, and to involve citizens in the work of the schools. The Board of Education and the school district operate most successfully with the support of the community. The quality of education in the district is highly dependent upon what the community believes is a good school program and the extent to which the community is able and willing to support such a program. The Chairperson of the Board of Education and / or a Board member designated by the Chairperson will be responsible for the Board's procedures in the area of Board-Community Relations.

  • Members of the Board of Education must recognize their individual community relations responsibility.
  • At news conferences and similar public functions, the Chairperson of the Board of Education will speak for the Board. The Chairperson may designate another member to speak in his / her behalf
  • The Board may form a citizens' consulting committee to assume assigned responsibilities for specific projects of school district. The committee will serve in an advisory capacity. It will cease to function upon the completion of appointed responsibilities and the presentation of a final written report, unless called upon by the Board for additional duties.
  • Citizen consulting committees appointed by the Board of Education will conduct their meetings in open public session, unless the topic under discussion would fall within the permissible "executive session" justifications specified in Bylaw 9530.
  • In conjunction with the administration, the Board will maintain two-way communications with the many publics of the school district by (1) providing an information program to aid public understanding of the schools and (2) continuously attempting to assess public opinion as a means of assisting the Board of Education in determining policy and of assisting the professional staff operating the schools.
  • An annual evaluation of the policies and procedures regarding the relationship between the Board and the community will be made so that the results may be appraised and necessary changes made to improve the program.

Date of Adoption: 3/7/95

9800 School Board Member Services

The Board may maintain memberships in the state and national school boards associations and take an active part in the activities of these groups.

It may also maintain institutional memberships in other educational organizations which the Superintendent and Board find to be of benefit to members and district personnel.

The materials and benefits of institutional membership will be distributed and used to the best advantage of the Board and the staff.

9810 New Board Member Orientation / Handbook

Because the Board, as the policy-making authority of the Madison Public Schools, is responsible to the public for the success of all educational services offered by the school system, and because that success is directly dependent upon each Board member's comprehension of the workings of the district's system wide operations and each member's ability to participate meaningfully in the decision-making process that governs this system, it shall be the policy of the Board to provide, as soon as practicable, for the orientation of new members. The purpose of the orientation is to help new members become quickly acquainted with their Board duties and responsibilities.

Orientation of new Board members will begin at the outset of their candidacy and follow through each step of the election process. Prior to the nomination, candidates will receive from the Board, upon the recommendation of the Superintendent and through the Public Information Department, a brief overview of the Madison Public Schools. They also will be informed of and given the opportunity to attend Board meetings and various other meetings being held throughout the school system.

Nominees will be placed on a mailing list to receive notices of Board and other meetings and summary reports of Board action. Nominees also will be informed that additional information pertinent to each Board agenda item is available to them through the school system's Public Information Department.

The third step of orientation will be carried out after the general election in November. The new members will continue to attend meetings throughout the system and will be notified of and given the opportunity to attend sessions of the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education. The new members will be invited to meet with the Superintendent and other administrative personnel to discuss services to be performed for the Board, and to give them the opportunity to request any other information they may deem desirable. Each new member also will receive an orientation packet from the Public Information Department as part of an orientation program conducted by the Public Information Department. The packet will include:

  • a copy of the Board's Policies, Rules and Regulations;
  • a copy of the current school budget and the latest financial statement;
  • information on school enrollments, proficiency standards for professional staff, transportation, buildings, and other items;
  • information on the program of instruction;
  • a copy of the annual district profile; and
  • any other materials relevant to their duties and responsibilities as members of the Madison Public Schools Board of Education.
Date of Adoption: 1/3/95

9820 Board Member Development Opportunities

On an annual basis, the Board will consider a retreat involving teachers, administrators, classified staff, and Board members with the general purpose of improving the instructional program, and improving communications between the various constituencies of the school district.

The specific purposes for such a workshop shall be planned during the spring of the preceding year. These plans shall include the various objectives to be met and the anticipated cost of such a workshop. Issues to be considered at a retreat may include:

  • imrovement of general curriculum and instruction;
  • improvement of communication skills, community relations and community services; and
  • timely, special issues such as upcoming tax or bond elections, district unification, and accreditation.
Date of Adoption: 1/3/95

9820.1 Board Member Conferences, Conventions, and Workshops

Attendance at meetings, such as conferences and conventions, directly or indirectly related to education or to school matters, should be encouraged for the values that they have to the school system and to the professional growth of Board members. Board members will report to the Board their findings following their attendance at such meetings. The Board Chairperson and the Superintendent of Schools will notify the Board members of all such scheduled meetings. Included among such activities are conferences, workshops, local, state and national conventions, and district-sponsored meetings. Toward this end, the Board will:

  • establish a calendar of such events and require the Board secretary to maintain the calendar and keep the Board informed on upcoming events;
  • decide which meetings are most promising and approve Board members' attendance at them;
  • designate members who will represent the Board at such meetings;
  • provide funds in the budget to cover expenses;
  • reimburse Board members for out-of-pocket expenses as may be legally permitted; and
  • require Board members to report to the Board as a whole within a reasonable period of time following their return to the district.


Legal References: Connecticut Education Laws
Sec. 10-220; 10-221 Powers and Duties of the Board of Education
Sec. 10-157 Appointment of Superintendent of Schools
Sec. 9-185 Municipal Officers - Boards of Education
Sec. 10-248 Payment of School Expenses

Date of Adoption: 1/3/95


9830 Board Facilities and Services

Resource Material For Board Room

In the interest of having current information more readily available for Board Meetings, the following material should be kept on hand in the Board Room:

  • Robert's Rules of Order, Revised;
  • up-to-date Policy Book;
  • complete set of Minutes
  • school Act and Regulations
  • educational Policies Reference Manual
  • N.S.B.A. Policy Manuals;
  • any other material designated by the Board

For purposes of records storage, study, meeting preparation, and other related needs, space will be reserved at the administration building for the use of Board of Education members.

In addition to all official Board correspondence and reports being provided through the office of the Superintendent of Schools, clerical services will be made available to Board members upon request. Administrative assistance also will be available to Board members. All such services and assistance will be coordinated by the Superintendent.

Date of Adoption: 3/7/95

9840 Board Member Compensation and Expenses

Remuneration:

Board members shall receive no compensation for their services.

Reimbursement:

  1. Educational Conferences
    Board members authorized to attend educational conferences out of state shall be reimbursed for reasonable expenditure upon submitting vouchers and supporting documentation. Board members must have approval in advance from the Board of Education.
  2. Reimbursement of Expenses
    Board members shall be reimbursed, upon submitting vouchers and supporting documentation, for reasonable expenditures incurred in connection with the performances of their official Board duties. Board members must have approval in advance from the Board of Education

Date of Adoption: 6/19/90
1st Revision: 1/3/95

9850 Board Member Insurance / Liability

Because they are members of an agency of government whose powers and duties can only be exercised by a decision of the majority of Board membership when the Board is officially in session, the members of the Board and its employees act as agents of the Board. None of these individuals should be placed in a position of personal liability for the performance of the responsibilities vested in them by the voters of the Town or assigned by this agency.

Therefore, in order to protect the individual members of the Board, its agents, and the educational interests of the Town, the Board will purchase, in the absence of governmental immunity, or in addition to governmental immunity, from public school funds adequate insurance to indemnify Board members and agents of the Board for their official actions in the service of the Town schools.<.p>

If a Board member is made a defendant in any legal proceeding resulting from the member's action in good faith in his or her official capacity as a member of the Board and compensatory or punitive damages are requested as a result thereof, the Board will fully protect and indemnify the member against any determination of judgment which may be rendered against him or her.

If a Board member is made a defendant in any legal proceeding pertaining to any act performed in good faith in his or her official capacity as a member of the Board, the Board will furnish legal counsel to represent and defend the member.

Date of Adoption: 3/7/95

9900 School Board Legislative Program

The Board, as an agent of the State, must operate within the bounds of state and federal laws affecting public education. If the Board is to meet its responsibilities to the residents and students of this community, it must work vigorously for the passage of new laws designed to advance the cause of good schools and for the repeal or modification of existing laws that impede this cause. To this end, the Board ...

  • Will keep itself informed of pending legislation and actively communicate its concerns and make its position known to elected representatives at both the state and national level.
  • May work with its legislative representatives (both state and federal), with the state school boards association, the National School Boards Association, and other concerned groups in developing an annual, as well as long-range, legislative program. One of the major objectives of the Board's legislative program will be to seek full funding for all state and federally mandated programs.
  • May annually designate a person—who may or may not be a member of the Board—to serve as its legislative representative. This person will be authorized to speak on the Board's behalf with respect to legislation being considered by the state legislature or the United States Congress or their respective committees. In all dealings with individual elected representatives, the legislature, or Congress, the Board's representative will be guided by the official positions taken by the Board.

Board's Legislative Representative

A legislative representative may serve as the Board's liaison with the state school board association legislative assembly. The legislative representative may attend state school boards' association assemblies, conveying local views and concerns to that body and participating in the formulation of state legislative programs. The legislative representative will monitor proposed school legislation and inform the Board of the issues.

Date of Adoption: 3/7/95

9910 State Legislative Program

The Board recognizes the importance of sound and constructive state legislation in establishing the framework and support for public education. It is therefore directly concerned with legislative proposals affecting education.

If the Board has appointed a designated legislative liaison member, that member will report to the Board on legislative proposals, and the Board will make its position known both to the state school boards association and to appropriate state representatives and senators.

The legislative liaison member will also keep the Board informed of pertinent federal legislative proposals and communicate the Board's position to representatives and senators at the national level.

Date of Adoption: 3/7/95