Frequently Asked Questions About School Board Meetings
The Arlington Central School Board Welcomes You
Printable Tri-Fold Guide - FAQs about School Board Meetings
The Arlington Board of Education welcomes community members, staff, students, and others to its meetings. Board Meetings are held in public and the Arlington Board encourages input from the community during the two scheduled public comment sessions.
The information in this brochure provides a quick reference guide to Board of Education meetings. The structure of each meeting is consistent and the Board votes on all business items in public. Board actions are recorded in official minutes. The minutes are available to the public on the school district website after they have been approved, which is usually 15-30 days after action is taken.
What are the responsibilities of a Board of Education Member?
Board Members are non-paid volunteers elected by residents of the district. The primary job of the Board of Education is to establish policies for the educational program and to provide oversight for the District. The Superintendent and the administration are responsible for the day to day management of the District and execution of Board Policies.
The Board’s additional responsibilities include:
- Selecting the Superintendent of Schools
- Adopting goals for the District, and monitoring and evaluating progress towards these goals
- Appointing and approving salaries for all District personnel
- Determining the use of District resources and adopting the annual school District budget
When and where are the School Board Meetings held?
Board Meetings are generally scheduled on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. The meeting location rotates among each of the eleven schools in the District and the Central Administration Office. Please consult the website to determine which school building the Board will hold the meeting on any given month.
Board Meetings begin at 7:00pm.
Typically, Board Meetings can be as short as 30 minutes or last as long as 2 hours, depending on the scheduled presentations and length of discussion.
What are the responsibilities of the Superintendent of Schools?
The Superintendent of Schools is the Chief Executive Officer of the District and is responsible for the implementation of educational programs in accordance with the District Policies. The Superintendent advises the Board on all matters of policy and management of the District.
What happens during an Executive Session of the Board?
Executive Sessions are usually held near the end of a Board Meeting. The Board will vote to enter into Executive Session and will usually describe the general topic that will be discussed.
The Open Meetings Law of New York places limits on what can be discussed in Executive Session, and the topics are usually confined to legal matters, negotiations, and confidential personnel items.
When does the Board discuss the school budget?
The Board begins public discussion on the school budget in January. Multiple budget study sessions will be scheduled from January to April. All budget discussions are held in public and the community is encouraged to comment during the meetings.
The budget is presented in a series of different drafts until the final version is adopted.
The meetings always begin with the Pledge of Allegiance followed by a Roll Call of Board Members. After the roll call the District Mission will be read. The Board will then approve the agenda as written. The Board will also identify correspondence that was received.
The first Public Comment Session will follow the announcement of correspondence.
The rest of a normal agenda will follow the sequence of business listed below:
Board President’s Remarks
Superintendent’s Remarks (usually includes presentations on critical topics and recognition of students or staff members).
Reports and Discussion Items
Board Policy Items-Additions, deletions and modifications of Policies.
Personnel Items-the Board will vote on formal resolutions for resignations, appointments, and leaves of absence.
Finance Items-the Board will vote on financial resolutions having to do with budget expenditures, competitive bidding, and capital improvements.
Curriculum and Instruction Items
Special Service Items-the Board will vote on resolutions having to do with special education and pupil personnel services.
Second Public Comment Session
Committee Reports-to include Policy, Audit and Finance, and Advocacy
Future Discussion Items
Executive Session-the Board may move to enter Executive Session to discuss legal matters, negotiations, or confidential personnel items. Executive Session can also occur before the business portion of the meeting.
There are two times available for public comment at school board meetings:
At the beginning of the meeting-immediately prior to the Board of Education business agenda
Near the end of the meeting-following the formal business of the Board
Are there any rules regarding public comment to the Board?
When speaking, please state your name and address, and identify the organization you represent, if any.
Comments are limited to three minutes in order to ensure that all interested parties have an opportunity.
Please speak on one topic per public comment session.
Please do not identify individual staff members or students by name for critical comment.
The Board will listen to all public comment but it should not be expected that the Board will respond. The Superintendent may respond, request that the individual submit the question in writing, or invite the individual to meet at a later time.