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Groton Board of Education Member Handbook

(Adopted June 22, 2015)

Our mission is teaching and learning.  

Table of Contents

Introduction to Handbook

Beliefs – Our Belief System that Focuses and Aligns our Decisions

Mission Statement

Goals of the Board of Education

Code of Ethics

Key Work of School Boards

Authority and Responsibilities of the Board of Education

Authority of Individual Board Members

Composition of the Board and Board Member Qualifications

Resignation of Board Members

Filling a Vacancy

Exit Interview.

Conflict of Interest

Conduct of Board Members

Board Member Attendance

Board Committees

New Board Member Orientation

Board Officers

Professional Development

Board Policies

Board Hearings

Board Role in the Hiring Process

Board Self-Evaluation

Board Retreat

Board Members Visiting Schools

Board Member Request for Information

Indemnification of Board Members

Student Information

Meetings of the Board of Education

Agenda Construction

Robert’s Rules of Order

Board Quorum.

Preparation of Meeting Materials

Consent Agenda

Board Votes

Public Comment at Meetings

Electronic Participation at Meetings

Meeting Norms

Search, Selection and Appointment of Superintendent

Superintendent’s Responsibilities

Superintendent Evaluation

Glossary

Acronyms

Resources

 

Mission Statement

Our mission is teaching and learning.

Adopted:  September 22, 2014

Goals of the Board of Education  

1.       Provide dynamic rigorous curriculum;

2.       Ensure effective and engaging instruction;

3.       Embrace excellent learning environment.

Approved September 22, 2014

Introduction to Handbook

The purpose of this handbook is to provide guidance for Members of the Groton Board of Education (the “Board”), Groton Public Schools staff, students, and the community-at-large regarding the manner by which the Board typically carries out the authority delegated to it by law.  This Handbook is not intended to mandate any process that is binding upon the Board, unless that process is otherwise required by law.  References to legal authority and/or Board policies which apply to specific subjects are included as appropriate.  This handbook will be posted on the Board’s website and updated periodically.

Beliefs – Our Belief System that Focuses and Aligns our Decisions     

 

 

 

These beliefs are established by the Board to reflect the priorities of the community. Although they do not contain accountability measures within themselves, the beliefs provide the foundation on which District Strategic Plans are established. The beliefs also guide those in the district when making complex decisions by providing a framework of expectations to ensure that the entire organization is aligned. The beliefs are organized in three related categories:

 

 

 

Development of the Individual Student

   

1.

We believe all students must develop to their fullest potential and must embrace the desire to achieve.

   

2.

We believe that strong academics develop the child as a whole and that clearly defined assessments and direct interventions bring about academic and personal growth.

   

3.

We believe that district success is sustained through the development of life-long learning; self-managed advocacy; collaborative relationship building; and divergent, inquiring, and creative thinking.

   
 

Development of the Learning Community

   

4.

We believe that evidence-based decision-making grounded in research leads to student success.

   

5.

We believe that the District's fiduciary responsibility is to seek ways to effectively and efficiently service students and to promote partnerships with other parts of the broader community to guarantee the greatest return on invested funding.

   

6.

We believe that the District must invest in recruiting, hiring and developing highly-qualified teachers and staff.

   

7.

We believe that students must have access to resources, programs, and facilities that support optimal learning.

   

8.

We believe that a challenging, creative, and secure atmosphere inspires students, administrators, teachers, and staff to learn and grow.

   

9.

We believe that an investment in early childhood development benefits society in the long term.

   
 

Development of the Culture

10.

We believe that embracing diversity through deliberate action strengthens Groton Public Schools.

   

11.

We believe that organizational success is created through pursuing diverse ideas within the structure of authority and accountability.

   

12.

We believe that a culture which encourages respect, risk-taking, and hard work can lead to unanticipated excellence and opportunities.

   

13.

We believe that transparency, active listening, and commitment of purpose build trust.

   
 

We commit to these beliefs as individuals and as a collective Board; we will hold these as high standards for all adults who interact with our students.

Code of Ethics

The Groton Board of Education has developed a Code of Ethics based on the National School Board Association (NSBA) recommendations:

·         Listen to and consider all viewpoints

·         Follow operational process and procedure

·         Participate in Board-related continued educational training

·         Support the Board’s decisions regardless of personal opinion

·         Respect the confidences of executive sessions

·         Make responsible decisions that demonstrate knowledge, understanding, and ownership of Board goals 

Collectively show respect to each other as a professional body by:

·         Actively listening

·         Carefully considering what has been said

·         Providing a clear explanation as to the vote

·         Following Board process while accessing performance and progress as educational leaders 

·         Cultivating an understanding of group responsibility in the attainment of excellence in governance 

·         Requiring that the individual and the Board be accountable for its decisions

·         Committing as a Board, as well as an individual, to being well-informed on education initiatives and practices on  local, state and national levels

·         Striving for excellence, as a Board member, in the best interest of all students

Key Work of School Boards

The Board is committed to the “Key Work of School Boards,” developed by the National School Boards Association, encompassing the following eight key areas:

·         Vision – Establishing a clear vision of student achievement as the top priority of the school board, staff, and community

·         Standards – Setting clear standards for student performance

·         Assessment – Establishing an assessment process that measures success at regular intervals

·         Accountability – Establishing a strong accountability process

·         Alignment – Aligning resources  to focus on students meeting the standards

·         Climate – Creating a positive climate for student success

·         Collaborative Relationships – Building collaborative relationships with political and business leaders, with a focus on developing a consensus for student success as a top community priority

·         Continuous Improvement – Committing to continuous improvement for student achievement

Authority and Responsibilities of the Board of Education

The Board of Education is ultimately responsible for ensuring that Groton residents have access to a free, quality education.  Connecticut law imbues the Board with specific and often broad authority over the administration of the Groton Public Schools.  For example, the Board of Education exercises control over school buildings and property, employs and supervises the Superintendent of schools, adopts a budget, and approves textbooks.  A lengthier and more specific listing of the Board’s authority can be found in Chapter 10 of the Connecticut General Statutes.

Authority of Individual Board Members

Individual Board members have no authority except when they are meeting as a Board of Education.  The Board of Education is a collective body, and by statute, can only act when a quorum is assembled in a legally constituted meeting.  The statements or actions of individual Board members do not bind the Board of Education, except when that statement or action has been authorized by an official act of the Board.  Board members should be careful not to act or speak in a manner that suggests they are speaking or acting on behalf of the Board of Education or the school district when they have not been so authorized by the Board. 

Composition of the Board and Board Member Qualifications

The Board is composed of 9 members and 2 non-voting student liaisons.  The members are elected at large from the Town of Groton for a 4 year term beginning the first Tuesday in December following the election. By Town Charter there must be a minimum of 3 Board members from the minority political party.  Members may not be an employee or contractor of the Board.  Members must be a resident of the Town of Groton and a registered voter.  Each year two students, a junior and a senior, will be selected by the Board to serve as Student Liaison Representatives to the Board of Education.  Students interested in serving as Student Liaison Representatives will be asked to submit a letter of interest stating why they are interested in serving on the Board.  The student representatives will be asked to attend the first meeting of the Board each month and will be invited to the Committee of the Whole meetings where they are encouraged to participate.  The students cannot vote but will be asked to discuss program initiatives and activities occurring at Fitch High School.

Reference:  BOE Rules of Procedure Rule 1.4

Resignation of Board Members

Board members who wish to resign from the Board of Education must submit a letter of resignation to the Town Clerk, with a copy to the Board Chairperson.  A member’s resignation is not effective until it is filed with the Town Clerk.  The Board of Education does not have the power to either accept or reject a member’s resignation

Filling a Vacancy

Any vacancy on the Board of Education shall be filled until the next biennial election by appointment by the Board of Education without undue delay in accordance with the Town Charter.  If a person vacating the office has been elected as a member of a political party, such vacancy shall be filled by the appointment of a member of the same political party.  Any such vacancy shall be formally acknowledged by the Board at its next regular meeting.  Candidates will be asked to submit a resume and participate in an interview with the Board prior to the meeting scheduled to fill the vacancy.

Reference: BOE Policy P 9221

Exit Interview

Upon leaving the Board, Board member will be asked to participate in a dialogue with the Board Chair or the Superintendent.  It is hoped that the honest and thoughtful reflections of departing members will provide valuable information and ideas for the Board’s self-evaluation and improvement efforts.  

Conflict of Interest

The Groton Board of Education has a clear obligation and commitment to conduct all business of the Groton Public Schools with the highest standards of integrity and ethics, and in compliance with federal and state laws. Board members must avoid conflict of interest or any appearance of conflicts between their own personal interests and the interests of the school system.                                                    

Conflicts of interest occur when a member of the Groton Board of Education or an immediate family member receives personal or financial benefit from the board member's position in a manner which may inappropriately influence the member's judgment or compromise the member's ability to carry out his/her responsibilities. A conflict of interest arises whenever the personal or professional interests of a Board member are potentially at odds with the best interest of the Groton Public Schools. Furthermore, no member of the Board shall use his/her position to influence Groton Public School decisions in which he/she knows or has reason to know he/she has a financial interest.                           

Board members have a responsibility to immediately disclose any real or potential conflict of interest. A board member shall be prohibited from voting on any matter that gives rise to a conflict between their personal interest and the Groton Public Schools’ interests.

Reference: BOE Policy P 9270

Conduct of Board Members

Although the Board of Education cannot remove individuals from service as Board members, it does have the authority and ability to discipline individual members.  Since service as a Board officer is a privilege and not a right, Board officers can be removed from their position as an officer by a two-thirds majority vote of the membership of the whole Board.

Board members who violate the rules, regulations, or policies of the Board, interfere with the orderly and efficient operation of the Board, or act in ways that are contrary to the best interests of the school district can be subject to a vote of censure by the Board.  A censure vote is an expression of disapproval concerning an individual member by the Board.

Board Member Attendance

Board members are expected to attend meetings of the Board, including meetings of their assigned committee.  While it is almost inevitable that, on occasion, an individual member will have a personal or professional conflict that prevents him/her from attending a meeting, ideally this is a rare and unavoidable circumstance. Board members are responsible for keeping themselves abreast of any information that they might have missed during their absence. Service on the Board of Education is a public trust on behalf of the community and children of Groton, and it is expected that Board members will make this service a priority.  If a board member is unable to attend a meeting, it is expected that he/she will notify the Chairperson or the Superintendent’s Office.  The Board of Education functions best when all nine members devote the time, energy, preparation, and seriousness of purpose necessary to accomplish exceptional work that is called for by public service.

Board Committees

The Board understands that not all of its work can be accomplished at regularly scheduled meetings of the entire Board.   Thus, committees must be established to dedicate time, expertise, and focus on specific issues.  All committee meetings are open to the public. The Board’s committee structure was developed so that it is aligned with the Board’s goals to better focus Board activity and action on its stated priorities.  The Board also will rely on ad hoc committees, appointed by the Board Chairperson, for those tasks that require a committee of the Board and do not fall within the parameters of the standing committees.

Standing committees of the Board of Education include Policy, Curriculum, Finance/Facilities, and Negotiations.

New Board Member Orientation

Following the election of new members, the Board of Education officers will provide an orientation to address the Board’s operation and processes.  The working relationships with the Superintendent and staff of Groton Public Schools, the roles, responsibilities, and functions of Board, as well those of the Superintendent of Schools, will be reviewed.  New Board members are also encouraged to attend the orientation sessions sponsored by the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE), and participate in other Board sanctioned training as agreed upon by the Board.

Board Officers

The Board of Education has two officers, chairperson and vice-chairperson/secretary.  They shall be elected by the members of the Board at the first regular meeting of the newly elected Board in an election year and at the first regular meeting in November in a non-election year.  Officers are elected by a majority vote of those members present and voting.  The Board chairperson presides at all meetings and serves as the Board’s spokesperson.  He/she is responsible for appointing Board members to committees and signing documents and contracts on behalf of the Board.  The Board chairperson works closely with the Superintendent of Schools to plan meeting agendas and may call special meetings of the Board.  The Board vice-chairperson/secretary is responsible for certifying the minutes of Board meetings and shall attend to the official correspondence of the Board.  The vice-chairperson presides over meetings when the chairperson is absent.

Professional Development

The Board is committed to the principles of continuous improvement.  Thus, in order to perform as a high-functioning, professional organization its members must be conversant about the Groton Public Schools, Board governance, and educational best practices.  To that end, the Board will provide professional development opportunities for Board members and will encourage its members to participate in these learning opportunities. The Board will reimburse members for reasonable, pre-approved expenses for professional development.  Request for participation in professional development shall be submitted to the Board Chair/Superintendent for consideration by the full Board.

These professional development opportunities include, but are not limited to, the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE)/Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS) Annual Convention and other offerings conducted by CABE or similar school-related organizations.

Board Policies

 The primary role of the Board of Education is to develop and monitor policy for the Groton Public Schools. Policy serves to protect and guide all facets in the successful operation of the school system. The policies are goal-driven in order to provide optimal learning experience for the students in our school district. Board policies are developed in accordance with the requirements established in Connecticut State Statutes, Connecticut Department of Education recommendations, as well as the Board's bylaws, policies, and mission statement. The policy committee shall recommend new and revised policies to the Board.  While the Board may retain the advice of the superintendent, the Board’s attorney, or other outside consultants, any revisions or removal of any current policies is the chief responsibility of the Board.  The formal adoption of policies shall be by majority vote of all members of the Board of Education.

The role of the superintendent is to keep the Board apprised of any issues that require revisiting policy. These policies shall be made public via the Groton Public Schools website and shall distributed to individual Board members.  Updates will be provided as necessary.   A hard copy will be available in the Superintendent’s office.

Reference: BOE Rules of Procedure Rule 3.10

 

Board Hearings

One of the responsibilities of the Board of Education is to conduct hearings.  Board members who serve on a hearing panel must make decisions based only on the evidence and information presented at the hearing.  Regardless of whether the Board is serving as an impartial panel, or in a grievance hearing, Board members have an obligation to treat those before them respectfully and fairly, adhering to the highest standards of professional conduct. It is imperative that Board members understand that they should not become individually committed to a personnel issue in that they must act as an impartial panel if the issue is brought to the full Board.

Board Role in the Hiring Process

In general, the Board does not have the primary role in the hiring process, except for the Superintendent of Schools.  It is Board policy to authorize the Superintendent of Schools to hire teachers and other personnel without direct involvement on the part of Board members.  When hiring school administrators, the Board has a more direct role.  Board members selected by the Board chairperson may participate in the interview process.  The superintendent will introduce new administrative hires to the Board in a timely manner.

Board Self-Evaluation

In the spring of the school year, the Board shall meet to conduct a self-evaluation.  The self-evaluation shall be based, in large part, on the Board’s success in making progress towards meeting its stated goals.  An essential part of the self-evaluation process is a focus on Board governance.  The Board will look carefully at its conduct at board meetings; its adherence to policy; its treatment of the public, staff, and one another; its focus on student achievement; and its ability to distinguish between governance and management.

Board Retreat

The Board recognizes the need to meet regularly in a retreat setting to develop a long-range, in-depth plan for school improvement and to promote focused discussion of school district performance and initiatives.  Although they are considered special meetings of the Board of Education, retreats are generally held at times and in locations different from regularly scheduled meetings.  In addition to the attendance of all Board members, the Board may invite the Superintendent of Schools, school administrators, or other individuals to participate in its retreats.

Board Members Visiting Schools

Board members are strongly encouraged to visit schools to better understand the individuality of schools and the responsibility of staff within the school system.  As a matter of courtesy, Board members should schedule visits to with advance notice, to avoid conflicts with student testing, staff evaluations, or other critical activity necessitating the attention or presence of the school principal. 

Board Member Request for Information

In order to coordinate requests, to avoid duplication, and to determine the appropriate use of staff, requests by Board members for specific information, data, and/or reports shall be made through the Board chairperson or superintendent’s office, but not directly to administrative staff.    Excluding individual student or personnel records, the superintendent will be responsive to all reasonable requests.  If a request is deemed overly time-consuming or unreasonable, the matter will be brought to the attention of the Board chairperson for consideration by the full Board.  Materials and information requested by individual members will be distributed to the entire Board.

Indemnification of Board Members

Connecticut law provides that the school district must indemnify and hold school employees, volunteers, and Board members harmless from any claim, demand, or judgment from negligence in the performance of their duties and responsibilities.  This protection includes legal fees, expenses, and other costs.

Reference: Connecticut General Statutes 10-235

Student Information

Except for statutorily mandated exceptions, such as expulsion and residency hearings, Board members do not become involved with individual student matters.  Individual student information is confidential, and Board members have access to this information only when that information is necessary for Board members to perform a function in their official capacity.

Meetings of the Board of Education

All meetings of the Board of Education are public meetings, except for executive meetings, and as otherwise permitted under state law.  The Board typically conducts 2 meetings per month, the regular meeting the 2nd Monday of the month and the Committee of the Whole meeting on the 4th Monday of the month.  The Committee of the Whole (COW) is a working meeting of the Board and no action is taken. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requires that all meetings of the Board be posted at least 24 hours in advance and that members of the public are allowed to be present.  Additionally, the FOIA requires that all Board documents be made available to the public promptly upon request. 

Executive Session – Although, as a public agency, the Board must meet and conduct its business in public, under certain narrowly-defined exceptions, the Board may exclude the public from a portion of its meeting by calling an executive session. The Freedom of Information Act provides that a Board of Education may hold an executive session by a two-thirds vote of those members in attendance and voting.  Although the law allows for discussion in executive session, any action by the Board must be taken in open session.  The permissible reasons for holding an executive session are limited, thus, when in doubt, the Board should consult with its counsel.  Executive sessions may be held to discuss collective bargaining, personnel matters (with the permission of the individual who is the subject of the discussion), pending claims and litigation, confidential documents, and student matters.

Special meetings – Meetings of the entire Board that are not on the annual schedule of meetings are special meetings.  At a special meeting, the Board cannot add items to the meeting agenda for discussion or action.

Reference: BOE Rules of Procedure Rule 3.6

Agenda Construction

An agenda, listing all proposed action, shall be prepared and delivered by hand or electronically to all Board members no later than four calendar days prior to each regular meeting.  The chairperson of the Board of Education, in cooperation with the Superintendent of Schools, shall prepare an agenda including the consent calendar for each regular meeting. Any member of the Board of Education may require the chairperson or superintendent to place an item on the agenda 48 hours prior to the posting of the agenda. In the interest of timely public information, no additions to the posted agenda will be permitted after the posting. Items constituting true emergency may be added by two-thirds affirmative vote of the Board at the meeting. Minutes will reflect the emergency nature of the item.  Should a member's agenda request be too late for one regular posting, it shall be added to the next agenda without additional request.

Reference: BOE Rules of Procedure - Rule 3.7

Robert’s Rules of Order

The Board conducts its meetings under Robert’s Rules of Order, except when these rules are in conflict with Board policy or Connecticut law.  There shall be a Parliamentarian of the Board selected by the Board from among its members at the first regular meeting of the newly elected Board in an election year and at the first regular meeting in November in a non-election year.

Reference:  BOE Rules of Procedure – Rule 3.8 D

Board Quorum

Five members of the Board of Education shall constitute a quorum for any regular, special or emergency meeting. In the absence of a quorum, the meeting shall be declared adjourned to a future date. Prior to adjourning for lack of a quorum, the chairperson may declare a recess for a period not to exceed thirty (30) minutes to obtain a quorum. In the absence of both the chairperson and vice-chairperson, the superintendent shall call the Board to order and call for and declare the election of Chairperson Pro-Tem during absence of the chairperson.  If the chairperson notices an absence of a quorum during a meeting, the chairperson may allow debate to continue, but should not allow any vote to be taken.

Reference: BOE Rules of Procedure – Rule 3.8B

Preparation of Meeting Materials

An agenda, listing all proposed action items, shall be prepared and delivered by hand or electronically to all Board members no later than four calendar days prior to each regular meeting.  For further information about agenda construction see Rule 3.7 of the Rules of Procedure.

Consent Agenda

Agenda items that require a vote by the Board, but may not require discussion, are to be placed on the consent agenda.  A vote to approve the consent agenda by the Board shall approve all items listed on the consent agenda.  If a Board member wishes to discuss an item, he/she shall request that the item be taken off the consent agenda, and it will be discussed and voted on separately following a vote on the consent agenda.

 Reference: BOE Rules of Procedure -Rule 3.7 D

Board Votes

The Board of Education is a collective body, and as such, can act only via a vote by its members.  Board votes must be in public, at a properly noticed meeting of the Board.  Pursuant to Robert’s Rules, all motions must be made by one Board member and seconded by another.  Members may vote in favor, against, or abstain from voting.  Members may explain their vote, but are not required to do so.

Rules of procedure – Rule 3.8 E

Public Comment at Meetings

The Board may designate a meeting agenda item to allow public comment, permitting any individual or group to address the Board concerning any subject that lies within its jurisdiction.  Each citizen will be allowed a maximum of five minutes.  No inappropriate or disrespectful conduct shall be permitted at any Board of Education meeting.  Persistence in such conduct shall be grounds for summary termination, by the Chair, of that individual’s privilege of address, and if disruptive behavior continues, removal from the meeting.  All speakers must identify themselves by name and address.

Electronic Participation at Meetings

Board members may participate in meetings electronically.  However, there must be enough members physically present to constitute a quorum.  In order for a Board member to participate electronically, the following conditions must be met: (a) the facility that is made available to the public wishing to attend the meeting must be located where the greatest number of Board members are located; (b) any physical or demonstrable material that is used in the course of the proceedings must be present in the place where the public is located; and (c) all those in attendance at the meeting, at whatever location, must be able to hear and identify all participants  in the proceeding, including their individual remarks and votes. 

When a Board member is participating in a meeting electronically, the chair shall ensure that he/she has adequate opportunity to express himself/herself in Board discussion, including the opportunity to take the floor and make motions.  The meeting may not be chaired by a person not physically present.  If the chairperson is participating electronically, the vice-chairperson shall chair the meeting.

In the event that the electronic means becomes a distraction to the meeting, or if the member is unable to hear or communicate through electronic means at any time, the Board chairperson may terminate the use of such electronic means and end the participation.  The minutes of the meeting shall reflect the name of any Board member who participated in the meeting electronically.

Rules of procedure – Rule 3.8 C

Digital Citizenship

Digital citizenship skills guide all stakeholders in communication and in using information and technology in safe, legal, and responsible ways.  A responsible digital citizen is one who respects oneself, respects others, protects oneself, protects others, and respects and protects intellectual property.  Board members must be careful about “constituting a meeting” by responding to e-mails from fellow Board members.

Meeting Norms

The Board of Education is a professional organization whose meetings model appropriate behavior for the school district.  Members will be prepared for meetings and arrive on time.   Those individuals who cannot arrive in a timely fashion will give prior notice to the Board chairperson.  Board meetings will be conducted via understood and established procedures as set forth in Board policy and bylaws.

In order to ensure that meetings of the Board are effective, members will articulate specific concerns in advance.  The Board believes that informed, respectful discussion and debate is the best means of arriving at good decisions for the school district.  Accordingly, during discussion, Board members will listen attentively, consider all points of view, support their positions with facts, be prepared to answer questions from other Board members, focus on the issue at hand, avoid negative and personal comments, and be prepared to compromise, understanding that the goal of debate is not to prevail, but to arrive at the best decisions for the district.  In debates, members must confine themselves to the question before the Board. 

Board meetings shall begin with the Pledge of Allegiance followed by a restatement of the Board’s mission statement.  Copies of materials and handouts will be made available to the public so that they can better follow the proceedings.

 

Search, Selection, and Appointment of Superintendent

The Board of Education is responsible for the appointment of the Superintendent of Schools.  When conducting a search for a superintendent, the Board may vote itself as the personnel search committee.  If so, it may meet as the personnel search committee without public notice of its meetings or without a requirement to allow the public to attend.  The search for, and selection of, a superintendent is one of the most weighty decisions for a Board of Education.  Accordingly, this process should be thoughtful and informed and should be made with a clear understanding of the needs of the school district.   Although each search process is unique, the Board would be well advised to consult with the public and other informed individuals, both in and outside the district, when conducting a superintendent search.

Superintendent’s Responsibilities

The Superintendent of Schools, pursuant to state law, is the CEO of the Groton Public Schools.  He/she is responsible for leading and managing the school district, hiring and supervising personnel, developing and administering the budget, and advising the Board on educational developments, board policies, and applicable laws.  The Superintendent of Schools shall regularly communicate to the Board the status of student learning and the district’s progress in meeting its stated goals.  The Superintendent of Schools, or his/her designee, attends meetings of the Board and works closely with the Board in developing and implementing   goals and initiatives.

Superintendent Evaluation

In that the Superintendent of Schools is the only school district employee directly supervised by the Board of Education,  the Board is responsible for evaluating the his/her performance and for making decisions concerning contractual terms of employment, such as compensation and length of service.  Following the conclusion of the school year, the Board shall conduct an evaluation of the superintendent’s performance, through a process applying standards of performance that have been agreed upon in advance with the Superintendent of Schools.  An informal mid-year review shall be held.

 

Glossary

Common Core State Standards

The Common Core is a set of high-quality academic standards in mathematics and English language arts/literacy (ELA).  These learning goals outline what a student should know and be able to do at the end of each grade.  The standards were created to ensure that all students graduate from high school with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college, career, and life, and regardless of where they live.  Forty-three states, the District of Columbia, four territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) have voluntarily adopted and are moving forward with the Common Core.

Connecticut Achievement Performance Test

The Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT) is the standard assessment of science administered to students in Grade 10.  Students are assessed in the content areas of reading, mathematics, writing, and science.

Connecticut Association of Boards of Education

The Connecticut Association of Boards of Education serves local and regional boards of education.  It is a membership organization made up of Connecticut boards of education, including 151 school districts representing 90% of the state’s public school population.

Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents

The Association of Public School Superintendents is a statewide, nonprofit, educational administration organization whose membership includes Connecticut public school superintendents, assistant superintendents, central office administrative personnel, state department of education officials, and college and university professors.

Connecticut Mastery Test

The Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT) is the standard assessment of science administered to students in grades 5 and 8. 

Data Driven Decision Making

Data driven decision making uses student assessment data and relevant background information to make informed decisions related to planning and implementing instructional strategies at the district, school, classroom, and individual student levels.

District Reference Groups

To assist in reporting and analyzing school district data, the State department of education developed District Reference Groups, which are designed to compare groups of districts that have similar characteristics.  The state’s 166 school districts and 3 academies have been divided into 9 groups, based on socioeconomic status, indicators of need, and enrollment.  Groton is in DRG-G.  The other districts also in this DRG are Bloomfield, Bristol, East Haven, Hamden, Killingly, Manchester, Middletown, Naugatuck, Plainfield, Putnam, Stratford, Torrington, Vernon, Winchester, Gilbert School, and Norwich Free Academy.

Freedom of Information Act

The Freedom of Information Commission was created by the General Assembly in 1975 with the passage of the Freedom of Information Act.  The Act provides the public with rights of access to records and meetings of public agencies.

Military Child Education Coalition

The Military Child Education Coalition’s goal is to serve as a model of positive leadership and advocacy for ensuring inclusive, quality educational opportunities for all military-connected children. Their Mission is to ensure inclusive, quality educational experiences for all military-connected children affected by mobility, family separation, and transition.

Net Current Expenditure Per Pupil

Net current expenditures are calculated as defined in Connecticut General Statutes Section 10-261(a) (3).  Net Current Expenditure includes all current public elementary and secondary expenditures from all sources, excluding reimbursable regular education transportation, tuition revenue, capital expenditures for land, buildings and equipment, and debt service.  The information for determining Net Current Expenditure is provided from the End of Year School Report (ED001).

Regional Educational Service Centers

Connecticut is divided into 6 independent Regional Educational Service Centers (RESCs).  These centers are composed of towns from within the service center’s region.  A town’s choice to join the Regional Educational Service Center is voluntary.  Each service center tries to provide a variety of special services that address the educational needs of their cooperating towns.  Each Regional Educational Service Center is maintained by state and federal funds and through membership dues.  Groton’s affiliation is with Project LEARN, located in Old Lyme.

Robert’s Rules of Order

Robert’s Rules of Order is designed as a parliamentary guide and it is the most commonly adopted parliamentary authority among societies in the United States.  It is a codification of the present-day, general parliamentary law.

Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC)

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium assessments are the state-wide tests aligned to the Common core State Standards (CCSS) in English language arts/Literacy (ELA/literacy) and mathematics for grades 3-8 and 11.

Strategic School Profile

The Connecticut General Assembly passed Section 10-220(c) of the Connecticut General Statutes, an act concerning the reporting of school and district strategic profile reports, in May 1990.  The law provides that:  “….each local and regional board of education shall commit to the commissioner of education a strategic school profile report for each school under its jurisdiction and for the school district as a whole.  Each profile report will contain information on measures of student needs, school resources, and student and school performance.”  Reports will be available annually on November 1st.

 

Acronyms

AYP – Adequate Yearly Progress

CABE – Connecticut Association of Boards of Education

CAPSS – Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents

CAPT - Connecticut Academic Performance Test

CAS – Connecticut Association of Schools

CEA – Connecticut Education Association

CCSS – Common Core State Standards

CIAC – Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference

CMT – Connecticut Mastery Test

DRG – District Reference Group

ECS – Educational Cost Sharing

ELL – English Language Learners

ESL – English as a Second Language

ESOL – English for Speakers of Other Languages

FAPE – Free Appropriate Public Education

FERPA – Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

FOIA – Freedom of Information Act

FOIC – Freedom of Information Commission

GED – General Educational Development

IDEA – Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

IEP – Individualized Education Program

MCEC – Military Child Education Coalition

NCLB – No Child Left Behind

NEASC – New England Association of Schools and Colleges

NESDEC – New England School Development Council

NSBA – National School Board Association

PBIS – Positive Behavior Intervention and Support

PPT – Planning and Placement Team

RESC – Regional Educational Service Center

RTI – Response to Intervention

SBAC – Smarter Balanced Assessments Consortium

SIT – School Improvement Team

SRBI – Scientific Research-Based Intervention

TEAM – Teacher Education and Mentoring Program

 

Resources

Robert’s Rules of Order, 10th Edition

A Practical Guide to Connecticut School Law, Thomas B. Mooney, 6th Edition

See You in Court – The Annals of the Nutmeg Board of Education, Thomas B. Mooney

“CABE/CAPSS Governance Statement”, February 2004

“School Boards and Student Achievement,” Iowa Association of School Boards

“The Lighthouse Inquiry,” Iowa Association of School Boards

Becoming a Better Board Member, National Association of School Boards

Berlin Board of Education – Member Handbook, October 2011

www.cabe.org

www.nsba.org

www.sde.ct.gov