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Frequently Asked Questions
Board of Education
 
 
What is the Board of Education?

The Greater Latrobe Board of Education is a 9-member elected body that adopts policy for the daily operation of schools and sees that school laws are properly explained, enforced, and observed.

 

Who can attend a board meeting?

Anyone can attend a board meeting.

 

When and where are board meetings held?

Committee of the Whole meetings are typically held on the second Tuesday of every month, and the Regular Board meetings are typically held on the third Tuesday of every month, in the Center for Student Creativity.  The public portion of the meetings starts at 7:30 pm. For the schedule of meetings, please refer to the Board Meeting Dates to the left.

 

How long do most meetings last?

School Board meetings vary in length, with most averaging about two hours.  When discussing personnel, disciplinary or other confidential matters, the Board will move into executive session.

 

Where can I find a copy of meeting minutes?

Meeting minutes are posted on the district website and can be obtained at the Central Administration building.

 

When/How may I address the board?

Any citizen may address the Board at any regular meeting during the designated period called "Hearing of Visitors." Persons wishing to appear before the School Board are requested to contact the Board Secretary for placement on the agenda. A reasonable period of time, as determined by the School Board, will be allocated at each regular meeting for citizens to present matters of concern.

 

What is proper Board Meeting etiquette? MUST CUSTOMIZE

The only time members of the audience may address the Board during a Board meeting is during the "Hearing of Visitors" period, or at the Board president's request. Audience members are requested to turn off cell phones and to leave the room to carry on conversations.

 

What are the main responsibilities of Board of Education members?

School board members have no power or authority except that which results from participation in decisions and actions of the board in an official session.  Actions or commitments by individual board members are without legal basis and have no binding commitment upon the district.  Also, a board member represents the entire school district in all matters pertaining to education.

  

When are executive sessions held?

All meetings of the school board are open to the public, including teachers, except when specific notice is given for an executive session.  Such executive sessions are to be limited to discussion of the following:

    • Matters affecting school security;
    • Preliminary discussions on the selection, acquisition, or
      disposition of real property;
    • Personnel matters, such as the appointment, employment, or
      dismissal of employees, or to hear complaints or charges
      against an employee;
    • Negotiations tactics / parameters;
    • Pending litigation; and
    • Quasi-judicial proceedings, such as employment appeals or
      student discipline appeals.

Note: The purpose of an executive session must be announced prior to going into closed session.  Only the specifically announced subjects may be discussed, no votes may be taken but minutes must be kept. The results of this meeting / conclusions / decisions are to be released in minute form when the need for confidentially no longer exists.

 

Who should I talk to when I have an issue or problem?

Teacher: The teacher is responsible for the day-to-day education of students

Principal: The principal is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the school within the school system

Superintendent: The Superintendent translates policies that are defined by the Board of Education into actions.  He/she is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the school system.

Board of Education: The Board of Education ensures that the school system is run effectively. 

 

The function of the school board is not to run the schools but to see that they are run effectively.  The superintendent is the person chosen to translate the will of the board into administrative action.  Teamwork and cooperation between the board and superintendent are essential. 

 

What is the relationship between board members and teachers?

Officially, the board is responsible for adopting policies, rules, and regulations that define the responsibilities of teachers and for approving all employment contracts.  Individually, board members should treat teachers, or any other school employees, in the same way they treat any other citizen of the district.  They should listen, but make no personal promises for remediating problems, but rather refer the individual to the proper authority (i.e. chain-of-command).

   

Where do school districts get their money?

Most districts derive the major portion of their revenue from local tax levies, with varying levels of aid received from the state.  Most districts also receive some revenue through special programs funded by the state and the federal government.  Boards are governed in the amount of revenue they may raise through taxes by a "cap" set by the State.

 

Who decides how this money is spent?

A district’s budget is the means to translate board goals into action, so the board should discuss implications of program needs and set parameters for budget development.  The superintendent then works with other staff members to draft a budget that attempts to actualize these board goals, student needs, complies with state laws and regulations, and stays within available district financial resources.  Once the board approves the budget, the superintendent is responsible for administering and living within its limits and for seeking board approval of expenditures.
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