1620 Board-Superintendent Relationship

  • The successful operation of schools requires a close, effective working relationship between the board and the superintendent.  The relationship must be one of trust, good will and candor.  As the legally designated governing body, the board retains final authority within the district.  The board exercises those powers that are expressly required and implied by law.  The superintendent is the board’s professional advisor to whom the board delegates executive responsibility, including such powers required to manage the district in a manner consistent with board policy and state and federal law. 

    The superintendent, as an executive officer of the board (Secretary), is responsible for the administration of the schools under applicable laws and policies of the district.  The board delineates the duties of the superintendent and uses them as the basis for evaluating the superintendent’s performance.  Unless specifically limited, the superintendent may delegate to other staff the exercise of any powers and the discharge of any duties imposed by district policy or a vote of the board.  The delegation of power or duty does not relieve the superintendent of responsibility for the actions taken under such a delegation.

    In order to perform their responsibilities, board members must be familiar with the operations within the schools. The superintendent will establish communication procedures which can enhance the board member's understanding of student programs and school operations.

    The superintendent will communicate monthly their major activities in the district. 

    Legal References:
    RCW 28A.320.010         Corporate powers
    RCW 28A.330.100         Additional powers of the board (First Class Districts Only)
    RCW 28A.400.010         Employment of superintendent – Superintendent’s qualifications, general powers, term, contract renewal
    RCW 28A.400.030         Superintendent’s duties 

    Management Resources:                                    
    Policy & Legal News, Feb 2013         Policy Revisions

    ADOPTED: 08/28/1997
    REVISED: 09/24/98; 06/25/13

    Procedure No. 1620P Board-Superintendent Relationship
    The following communications procedures are established: 

    Staff Communications to the Board

    All communications or reports to the Board or members of the board from principals, supervisors, teachers, or other staff members shall be submitted through the superintendent.  This shall not deny any employee’s right to appeal to the board regarding administrative decisions, provided that the superintendent shall have been notified of the forthcoming appeal and that it is processed in accordance with the applicable procedures on complaints and grievances.

    Board Communications to Staff

    All official communications, policies, and directives of staff interest and concern will be communicated to staff members through the superintendent.  The superintendent will employ all such media as are appropriate to keep staff fully informed of the board’s problems, concerns and actions.

    Visits to Schools

    Board members are encouraged to visit schools at any time.  Informing the principal ahead of time or at arrival is expected.  If assistance of school personnel is desired, advanced notice should be given.

    Social Interaction

    Staff and board members share a keen interest in the schools and in education.  When they meet at social affairs and other functions, informal discussion of such matters as educational trends, issues, and innovations and general district problems can be anticipated.  Discussions of personalities or staff grievances is not appropriate.

    ADOPTED: 5/17/1990
    REVISED: 08/28/97