Compass Points Oct 2014: Policy Development

One of the most important obligations of a school board is to create and adopt policy that guides their District or Supervisory Union.  Policies are “laws” in a sense. They define limits and provide guidance where needed.  They set the boundaries for employees, community and parents.

At Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union the policy process starts with the policy committee which is made up of representatives from all of the member district boards. This committee reviews the current policies for updating, creates new policy if requested or state mandated, and makes recommendations to the RNESU Executive Committee, also comprised of representatives from each member district board.

The RNESU Executive Committee considers the recommendations from the policy committee and if accepted, publicly warns the policies and sends them out to each member district for their review at their local meeting.  Each district board must approve the recommended policy for it to go back to the RNESU Executive Committee for final action.  If changes are requested or needed, the policy committee revisits it at their next meeting and restarts the process.

This process allows for multiple opportunities for public participation in the creation of policies. At each district board level, the public is warned and may speak to the policy under consideration at the public forum portion of the agenda. At the RNESU level, there are two opportunities for public participation, both at the start of the process and when the policy returns a month or more later for final action.  There are often reasons for policies to be adopted only at the local school district, in this case only the local board is involved with the review and adoption process.

All policies currently in effect  and under review are available on the RNESU website for the public to view. In addition, one need just ask for a hard copy from a school or the RNESU office to receive one. Board meeting agendas will note what policies are being considered at their next meeting. This process is a wonderful way to stay involved in the shaping of our local schools and supervisor union and is open to any resident in Rutland Northeast towns.

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