A point of clarification about our BOE meetings may be helpful. It’s my impression that the “Discussion” section of our BOE meetings may be inadvertently causing some confusion. There are very specific rules on what can be discussed in an Executive session of the BOE meeting. You can find the RCS BOE policy on Executive Session on our website here.
Why do I think there’s confusion? It seems when someone reads the BOE agenda or minutes and an item is discussed in open session or during an administrator’s report to the BOE, often it is thought to be a “done deal”. That couldn’t be farther from the reality. That’s why our agenda is delineated into discussion items and BOE action items.
Here’s a good example. From the “Discussion Item” section of our October 5, 2011 BOE minutes:
Discussion Item: Mrs. Moritz discussed planning for the APPR, assessment, and
improvement of RCS. Mrs. Moritz stated that she would like to begin a
conversation with the Board to discuss the possibility of hiring our curriculum
coordinator directly instead of through BOCES. With all of the new requirements
for the state-mandated APPR plan, additional oversight is needed. It makes a
difference if we have a dedicated position; someone who’s primary responsibility
is program and curriculum implementation and follow through. Look at the recent
Special Education audit – it was excellent, best one RCS has ever had; that’s
because of Dr. Rockey’s position and direct oversight of the Special Education
department. We need to start thinking about this as other districts may be
discussing the same thing and qualified candidates will be hard to find. Mrs.
Moritz will do a cost analysis for the Board. Discussed our current Curriculum
Coordinator’s position and how the district will receive curriculum information
through BOCES. Discussion held. Mrs. Moritz stated that we need to analyze the
Dean of Students position vs. a Director of Curriculum and Instruction. Do we
need both? Mrs. Moritz asked the Board to keep thinking about it. Maybe post the
position in February? Mr. Evans asked for more information on the accountability
of the position. More info./discussions at future meetings.
This was a discussion, that’s all. The truth? I don’t know what the right direction is right now. I need our BOE members, our Administrative team and our teachers thinking about it with me. Placing an item in open discussion is a deliberate and conscious effort to get everyone thinking about something long before a BOE action happens. That’s why we have open meetings laws and why we solicit input from others–so that we can consider all of the alternatives in advance. It doesn’t mean we’re adding a position, it doesn’t mean we are reconfiguring our current staff, and it doesn’t mean we aren’t. It just means we have an issue up for discussion. Please consider talking with me about your thoughts on any of those Discussion items or anything else happening in the District.