For the purpose of enhancing teamwork among members of the School Committee and between our School Committee and administration, we, the members of the Blackstone- Millville Regional District School Committee, do hereby publicly commit ourselves collectively and individually to the following operating protocols:
Who the Committee Represents:
- The BMR School Committee will represent the needs and interests of all the students in the district.
- We will strive to make decisions that are the best for students in all cases, and we assert that all means all.
- We will advocate for the Blackstone-Millville Regional School District and for regional and public education. We accept our roles as ambassadors of the district promoting support for public education and celebrating our successes.
How the Committee will conduct business:
- The School Committee will lead by example. We agree to avoid words and actions that create a negative impression of an individual, the School Committee, or the district. While we encourage debate and differing points of view, we will speak with care and respect.
- The School Committee will conduct its business through a set agenda at both Regular and Special Meetings (Workshops) of the Committee. Emerging items will be addressed in subsequent meetings through items placed on the agenda.
- Surprises to the School Committee or the superintendent will be the exception, not the rule. We agree to ask the School Committee Chair or the Superintendent to place an item on the agenda instead of bringing it up unexpectedly at a meeting.
- We acknowledge that a School Committee meeting is a meeting of the School Committee that is held in public—not a public meeting, and we will make every effort to ensure that the Committee meetings are effective and efficient.
- The Committee will debate issues, not one another and will work to build trusting relationships.
What the Committee will focus on:
- The School Committee will help establish the vision, create policies and assure accountability to sustain continuous improvement in our teaching and learning. The Superintendent will manage the schools and staff.
- The School Committee will consider research, best practice, public input and financial impacts in their decision making.
- The School Committee will represent the needs, interests and achievement of all students in the district and place these above all else in the decisions we make.
- The School Committee will set overarching goals for the District in conjunction with the Superintendent and allow these to drive District Improvement and School Improvement Plans. The Committee will define success and accountability for the itself, the Superintendent, staff and students.
How the Committee will communicate:
- School Committee members will channel request for information through the Superintendent and School Committee Chair rather than directly to staff. The Superintendent will ensure that each member has equal access to any requested information.
- We will recognize a single official “voice” of the Committee, such that, if the Committee is contacted as a whole, the Chair and/or Superintendent will be expected to respond. If members are contacted individually, they will respond if appropriate and/or forward the inquiry to the Superintendent.
- The Committee will maintain the confidentiality of privileged information and respect the Open Meeting Law.
- Members will refer constituent concerns and complaints to the appropriate person within the district chain of communication.
- Members will recognize the importance of working collaboratively with our members towns and town officials to improve our schools and actively seek ways to enlist their support for our efforts.
- Individual School Committee Members do not have authority. Only the School Committee as a whole has authority. We agree that an individual School Committee Member will not take unilateral action.
Continued Committee Improvement means:
- The School Committee will establish continuing workshop opportunities, either in house or external, to support each other and the efforts of the Committee and to assess our goals and hold ourselves accountable.
- School Committee members agree to participate in an annual formal retreat organized by the superintendent and the School Committee chairperson.
- We will model continuous learning in our roles as members of the governance team.
Understanding our Limits:
- It is the responsibility of the Superintendent to oversee the hiring, evaluation, and handling of personnel issues; it is the responsibility of the Committee to evaluate the Superintendent’s effectiveness in these matters.
- We will recognize that authority rests only with the majority decision of the School Committee and will make not independent commitments or take any independent actions that may compromise the School Committee as a whole.
- We will not use our positions for personal gain and when speaking with staff regarding issues surrounding our own children will identify that we are speaking as parents and not members of the School Committee.