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Book: B

Section: Board Governance and Operations


Code: BIA

Status: Active

Adopted: April 26, 2006

Last Revised: October 4, 2016

In order that newly elected and returning Board members may cast informed votes and function effectively as board members, the Portland Board of Public Education (the “Board”) and Superintendent will extend to them the fullest measures of courtesy and cooperation, and will make every reasonable effort to assist newly elected and returning Board members in understanding the Board’s functions, policies, procedures and current issues.


A. In the interim between a new member’s election or appointment and his/her assuming office, the Board, through the Superintendent, will invite newly elected members to attend meetings, except those held in executive session, and provide newly elected members with agenda, minutes and reports applicable to those meetings. During the time between election or appointment and the assumption of office, the status of the future-member remains that of a private citizen and not that of an elected or appointed official.


B. The Board, through the Superintendent, will provide new members with access to appropriate publications, such as the Board policy manual, student handbook(s), collective bargaining agreements and current budget documents.


C. The Board Chair will remind Board members of their obligation to complete, not later than the 120th day after the date of taking the oath of office, training on the requirements of Maine’s Freedom of Access Law. The Chair will provide Board members with information regarding available training. Each Board member shall attest by means of a written or electronic record that he/she has completed the training and provide a copy of such record to the Superintendent’s Office. To facilitate documentation of training, the Superintendent will make available to Board members copies of the State’s sample Certification of Completion of Freedom of Access Training form. D. The Chair and Superintendent will schedule and arrange for an orientation session for all Board members as soon as practicable after election or appointment. A reasonable amount of time will be provided for discussion of:


1. The roles and responsibilities of the Board and individual members; 2. Basic operational procedures of the Board; 3. Placement of items on the agenda; 4. The role of committees, special committees and advisory panels; 5. How and why executive sessions may be held; 5. What is considered confidential or privileged information; 7. Appropriate responses of an individual member when a request or complaint is made directly to him/her by a student, parent or member of the community; NEPN/NSBA Code: BIA PORTLAND PUBLIC SCHOOLS Page 2 of 2 8. How the Board responds to complaints involving personnel; 9. General information about the school system and its resources; 10. How Board members, in fulfilling their duties, may request information concerning schools and District operations, finances and personnel; 11. How Board members may make arrangements to visit schools and the protocol for such visits; 12. Protocol for dealing with the media; 13. Timing of the Superintendent’s Evaluation; 14. Annual reports from each standing committee Chair; and 15. Other relevant topics.


All Board members will be encouraged to attend and participate in the orientation. The orientation is intended to serve as a useful review of basic boardsmanship concepts for experienced members, as well as an opportunity to provide information and counsel to new Board members. The Chair and Superintendent will also schedule a workshop to review school law basics with the School Board’s legal advisor(s).


BIA - New and Returning Board Member Orientation.pdf (16 KB)


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