Policy in Today's Challenging Environment
School boards face a difficult challenge in creating written policies for the governance of their school districts. A thorough set of written policies provides a legal record, establishing a legal basis for the daily actions and decisions of your district administrators and employees. They also create a framework for your board to focus on articulating district goals and establishing long-term continuity. While these policies describe the board's expectations for the operation of the district, they must also delegate authority and allow for the professional discretion of administrators and staff.
It is particularly useful for schools with new superintendents or new board members to revisit the district's governing principles. The discussion arising out of this process is crucial to setting priorities, clarifying roles, and creating a sense of teamwork. NASB's Board Policy Service will assist your leadership team in developing a practical set of policies that define and describe your school's decision-making processes.
If you've done any substantial policy writing and revision, you know it can be a time-intensive task. If your school policies are in need of a review, a revision or a complete policy customization we urge you to contact NASB soon so we can schedule work with your district's policy services during the coming year.
When reviewing your policies, think about these questions:
- Do your policies clearly reflect current district views on the issues?
- Are your policies tied to your school's educational goals and purposes?
- Are your policies consistent with each other?
- Do your policies comply with current state and federal laws and regulations?
Policy Update Service
This service is offered on an annual subscription basis. It will include a Policy Reference Manual consisting of sample policies with explanatory notes as needed, legal references and cross-references. The subscription also includes new or revised policies published during the year to address important changes at the state and federal levels, whether they are statutory, regulatory, caused by recent court decisions or due to changing best board practices. In addition, our Policy Service maintains a wide range of information and sample policy language that can be helpful as your district deals with a changing educational environment.
Policy Review & Customization Service
Board Policy Manuals in many districts contain outdated, obsolete, inaccurate or unnecessary information that needs to be corrected. We will evaluate a district’s existing policy manual, check for consistency and provide your board with a “road map” of policy areas requiring improvements and suggestions to build upon.
Through this process we will be able to highlight the areas that are presently omitted and add the policies that most experienced boards and administrators believe are necessary for setting out the basic expectations for the operation and governance of your district. When these new policies are brought into your reorganized and updated manual, they are reviewed with your administrators and board policy committee to ensure the language and intent is appropriate to your own district.
This process of reorganizing and updating your existing manual keeps the past decisions of your board in place, rather than replacing them by the adoption of a generic board policy manual. No other policy review service does this. Every district has a different history and has made numerous optional operating decisions differently than your neighboring districts.
The goal of the Customization Service is to create a completed, customized policy manual with legal referencing and indexing that reflects in writing how your particular district actually operates. If there is uncertainty whether recent board decisions were incorporated into your existing manual, we can compare your existing policy to the district’s employment contracts, handbooks, and board minutes for the last 3 years.
Cost may vary according to the scope of the particular Review and Customization. The process will normally require 5 to 7 months to complete and scheduled with the district.
For more information please contact:
Nebraska Association of School Boards
1311 Stockwell Street | Lincoln, NE 68502
402-423-4951 | 800-422-4572