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One of the school board’s major functions, and the foundation upon which the district’s structure is built, is the setting of policy. The board develops and adopts district policy governing all facets of school operations, including employment of staff, administration of student services, educational programs, instructional materials, school facilities, equipment, finance, and support services. A board can adopt policy upon the recommendation of the superintendent, but the final decisions on policy cannot be delegated. A board delegates the implementation of policies to the superintendent. The board evaluates the execution and effect of policy through monthly study sessions and periodic reports by administrators.
Policy versus Procedure
Policies are the legally binding and enforceable mechanism by which the board establishes the governance framework of the district.
A process or plan implementing district policy is commonly defined as an administrative regulation or procedure. The development and implementation of these regulations or procedures are appropriately left to the district’s administrators. Procedures guide implementation of policy, define standard operating procedure, and generally allow room for professional discretion and judgment, as appropriate. Procedures should be reviewed and revised by administrators as policy changes or circumstances warrant. Procedures are not adopted by the board.