Role of the Board of Education (BOE)
The role of the Board of Education (BOE) is to ensure that the District is well run through the creation and updating of policies. These policies serve as a guide to the Superintendent and provide direction, a basis for decision- making, and the basis for BOE action. The BOE does not administer the day to day operations of Wall Township Public Schools.
In its function as a policy making body, concerns that are brought to the board’s attention on matters affecting the District as a whole, are placed on a meeting agenda for discussion by the entire board or a board committee, and can result in new or revised District policies.
Board members are sworn to abide by the NJ School Board Member Code of Conduct, which defines the parameters under which board members function. As individuals, board members cannot make decisions for the board, take actions for the board, or speak for the board, unless the board has authorized them to do so.
The BOE in Wall Township is organized by committee. The committees meet monthly to review recommendations that are being made by the Superintendent and upper administration as follows:
Policy: The committee meets monthly with the Superintendent to discuss the needs of the District, and any changes in New Jersey Administrative Code, statute or case law that have an impact on the policies of the district. The committee reviews these changes and makes recommendations for changes to policy, or the creation of new policy, as needed. Policies are presented at Board meetings twice for BOE action prior to implementation.
Finance and Facilities: The committee meets monthly with the Superintendent, the Business Administrator, and the Operations Manager to discuss issues related to facility needs, budget, contracts, bids, and proposals.
Personnel: The committee meets monthly with the Superintendent to discuss recommendations related to Human Resources. This includes, but is not limited to: employee requests for leaves of absence, recommendations for hire, and recommendations for renewal or non-renewal, issues related to employee discipline, and staffing projections.
Curriculum and Instruction: The committee meets monthly with the Superintendent, the Director of Curriculum and Instruction, and the Director of Special Services to discuss issues related to curriculum and instruction, including but not limited to: professional development, assessment, student achievement, textbook adoptions, curriculum revisions, proposals for new courses and any other matters that affect curricular and extracurricular opportunities.
The Wall BOE typically has one business meeting a month. This is a combined meeting that includes a ‘workshop’ portion where they hear committee reports and recommendations from the committees and then holds the business (action) portion of the meeting where they take action on those recommendations.
Sometimes, community members contact individual board members regarding their concerns on issues affecting the District as a whole. These concerns typically fall into categories that are associated with the committees under which the BOE operates. Simultaneously, the Board Member will alert the Superintendent about the issue. The Superintendent will follow up on the concern and might put the issue on the agenda for the appropriate committee to discuss.
Sometimes, community members contact individual board members regarding their concerns on issues of a personal nature. Board members will encourage the community member to follow the chain of communication —beginning at the level closest to the program and progressing through the hierarchy. See the website for more information on the Chain of Communication. When the Chain of Communication is used properly by citizens and board members, it improves communication and leaves the Board of Education free to act as final arbiter on issues that have not been resolved at other steps in the chain. To determine who best should handle a matter or question, ask yourself, “Who is closest to the problem?” Most often the answer is a staff member. Bringing your concern to a teacher or principal will quickly get a response. If this is not the case, the next step is to seek out the Superintendent. As a final step in this process, concerns can be brought before the BOE.
Board members are responsible for ensuring that Wall Township Public Schools fulfills its mission. They consider the needs of the community, the constraints of the budget, and the recommendations of the administration when taking action. Ultimately, BOE members work collectively on behalf of the students in our schools.