The responsibility of the Board of Education
The main responsibility of the board of education is to establish policy for the management of the school district. The superintendent of schools, who is the chief executive officer of the district, is responsible for the administration of these policies.
Board of education members are volunteers and serve three-year terms of office. Each May, either two or three board members are elected.
Under New York state law, school board members must be:
- a U.S. citizen;
- at least 18 years old;
- a qualified voter in the school district;
- able to read and write English;
- a resident of the district continuously for one year.
They cannot be employed by the board on which they serve or live in the same household with a family member who is also a member of the same school board.
Other duties of the board of education include:
- selecting the superintendent of schools;
- appointing all school district personnel;
- establishing terms and conditions of employment for all employee groups through negotiations;
- adopting goals and objectives for the district, and monitoring and evaluating district progress toward those goals;
- deciding on the best use of district resources, and establishing the annual budget consistent with educational needs and district resources;
- communicating the needs and progress of the district to the community, educational governing boards, and legislators.
Board members receive extensive training through workshops sponsored by the New York State School Boards Association and other educational entities.
Duties of the superintendent
The superintendent of schools is the chief executive officer of the board of education and is responsible for implementing the educational program in accordance with board established policies and goals. The superintendent advises the board of education on all matters concerning the management of the district.
How school board meetings are conducted
School board meetings are generally held on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month and start at 7 p.m. The first meeting of the month is held in the Pine Bush High School cafeteria. The second meeting is held in the library of the Circleville Middle School. Meeting dates are published in the school calendar, posted on the outdoor bulletin boards at Crispell Middle School and Pine Bush High School, and displayed on the main entrance doors of each of our schools. School board meetings are held in public and conducted by the board of education under the legal authority of the State of New York. The meetings provide time for the board to carry out the tasks for which it is responsible. Typically, each meeting is composed of the following:
Copies of the agenda are available to the public at each meeting. The agenda outlines the order of business for each meeting. Agendas and supporting documentation are delivered to board members in advance of the meeting date to allow the board to study and review the information provided to them by the superintendent. The documentation is also available on BoardDocs.
The public is invited to address the board of education during the public participation portion of the meeting. Community members who choose to speak are asked to state their name and address and, when appropriate, identify any organization they might be representing. The presiding officer usually confines the remarks of each speaker to a certain period of time in order to give everyone who wishes to address the board an opportunity to speak. This also ensures that the board has time to complete its business. Speakers are cautioned during this forum not to address issues that are personal in nature or that identify specific personnel. Such issues should be discussed privately with the superintendent, school staff, or school board members.
The board encourages parents/guardians and residents who have a concern about school matters to try to resolve issues at the level involved, usually the classroom teacher, principal or coach. If a satisfactory solution cannot be reached at this level, it is recommended to contact the superintendent of schools.
The board of education also meets in executive session. Executive sessions are closed to the public since they relate to personnel matters, labor negotiations, legal issues, and other topics defined as confidential under the Open Meeting Law of the State of New York. The board of education, however, is not permitted to vote on resolutions while it sits in executive session.
Attending a board of education meeting
Your interest in school board meetings indicates your concern for the education of the children in our schools. The seven members of the board of education who conduct these meetings have been elected by our community to carry out the important responsibilities that have been delegated to them under the laws of New York State. The decisions made by the board greatly affect the education of our children and, consequently, the well-being of our community. Your attendance at school board meetings offers you an opportunity to see how the board carries out its responsibilities. It also allows you the opportunity to share your aspirations, concerns, and points-of-view as well as raise questions about any aspect of our schools that you wish to address. We encourage you to attend school board meetings frequently.
Let’s hear from you!
There are many additional ways to make your opinions known to board members and district personnel. The school board welcomes your communication by mail, by phone, or in person on any issue of concern. Correspondence may be addressed to Pine Bush Central School District Board of Education / P.O. Box 700 / Pine Bush NY 12566. To phone a school board member or the superintendent, call (845) 744-2031, Ext. 4023. Contact information for each board member is also available on the “About the Board” webpage, or you can click here to email the entire board and the superintendent.