Using School Board Committees

By Doug Eadie

My last column discussed how well-designed school board standing committees can serve as powerful “governing engines” in helping your board do its governing work. In May’s ASBJ, I described a model structure consisting of four committees that correspond to your board’s broad streams of governing decisions and judgments: board operations, planning and development, performance oversight and monitoring, and external relations.

In this column, I describe two major steps that your district’s “strategic governing team” -- your board, superintendent, and senior administrators -- can take to ensure that these new standing committees are firmly established.

First, have the board adopt, by resolution, a set of detailed guidelines to govern the committees’ operations. Second, establish an executive staff committee support structure and process. I also will describe how a board of five or fewer members might make use of a structure of “virtual” committees.

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