Board of Education members have a responsibility to the district it serves as well as the state. According to Mooney (2012) “board of education members have a dual status, serving both as town officers and serving as agents of the state to implement the educational interests of the state” (p. 23). This was evident as I glanced at the agenda of the meeting I attended on March 11, 2014. On the agenda were issues that represented the district/town such as, district highlights, a public session, report of the superintendent, and committee updates. Seven different policies ranging from student use of district computers, social media and use of private technology devices were on the agenda too. There were seven out of nine board members present, superintendent, associate superintendent, as well as a student representative.
It was apparent even before the meeting began there was a sense of energy in the room. “The meeting began with a song, “I Believe I Can Fly,” performed by members of the Unified Theater program hosted by the Middletown Recreation and Community Services. The group, which brings together children, ages 10-18 with and without disabilities” (Gecan, March 12, 2014) recently put on a performance in February. Parents, teachers, principals were in attendance to support the students. At this point I counted about ninety five people in attendance. After the students presented the attendance dropped down to seventy-five people.
Then the i-CARE (Intervening with Children At-Risk Early) support system at Bielfield Elementary School presented. The program funded by the CT Health Foundation is to identify, assess and intervene early with students who present behavioral and/or mental health issues. Teachers spoke of the program’s success and it was an uplifting presentation. After their presentation attendance went down to about thirty people who stayed for the remainder of the meeting until the Superintendent’s report. I then counted fifteen people who stayed to the end of the meeting. It seemed to me people were present for what they were invested in on the agenda. I could not identify any additional community members in attendance other than a reporter.
Analysis of Board Processes, Activities, and Member Duties
An agenda is followed with each monthly meeting and as the Chair moves through the agenda each item is motioned for approval. The board has many subcommittees in which the Chair delegates a board member to be a part of. They include policy, communications, budget, facilities and curriculum. These subcommittees report out at each monthly meeting. The Board also selects members to participate in interview committees, work in collaboration with the superintendent to review the vision and mission of the district and to set goals as to how it can move the district forward.
Enza Macri (associate superintendent) believes “the roles and responsibilities of the board are to set policies and make sure they are followed in...