The academic success and overall well-being of all students are the strongest variables we consider when making decisions.
Our policies provide for fair, reasonable, consistent, and objective treatment of issues.
We require the Administration to develop procedures and protocols with citations to appropriate Barrington Public Schools (BPS) policies and best practices.
BPS policies identify measurable outcomes or objectives, where appropriate, which assist us in appraising the work of the District. As such, we review our policies and protocols on an annual basis, while holding firm to decisions, policies, and protocols collaboratively developed and aligned to the strategic goals of the District.
We encourage full exploration of diverse viewpoints from the community to inform School Committee deliberations.
As School Committee members, we communicate frequently and regularly with residents in the community, maintaining public trust through full and open dialogue.
We advocate district positions on educational issues with legislators and other state and local political leaders and keep abreast of relevant state and national issues.
School Committee and Administration Relationship
The School Committee and the Administration work in partnership while respecting the clear distinction between the School Committee and Superintendent/Administration responsibilities.
We focus on strategic leadership and give direction through majority decisions of the full School Committee.
We refrain from performing management functions that are the responsibility of the Superintendent and staff. We do not give personal direction to any part of the district operational organization and we do not take unilateral action. Instead, we refer all concerns back to the Superintendent.
We embrace processes which create opportunities to support direct dialogue between the School Committee, staff, and Administration.
We work collaboratively with the Administration to formulate both annual and 5-year strategic goals, creating clear priorities for district time, energy, financial resources, and deliverable expectations. Responsiveness to issues arising outside of the Strategic Plan needs to be appropriately balanced with a commitment to a focused strategy.
The Administration and the School Committee will work collaboratively to clarify and restate discussions in order to strive for full understanding and reach consensus.
School Committee Governing Commitments
We recognize and respect differences of perspective on the School Committee and among staff, students, parents, and the community.
We act professionally and with respect for all. We keep confidential matters confidential.
We govern legally, assuring that all of our actions are consistent with state and federal laws and with our own policies. We avoid actions that would be considered a conflict of interest.
We communicate only explicitly stated School Committee decisions when speaking on behalf of the School Committee; and, when attending meetings, boards, or acting as a liaison from the School Committee, we speak only in our capacity as individuals. While we recognize the Chairperson as the official voice of the School Committee, we may express our individual views and opinions to the community and the media while clearly indicating that we speak only for ourselves.
As in Community Leadership, we have the obligation to bring constituent issues or new initiatives to the School Committee or the Superintendent. In consideration of those issues or initiatives, we are obligated to act in the best interest of the school district as a whole while maintaining the focus on our vision. This supersedes any obligations based on:
- Membership in specific advocacy or special interest groups which advocate for special advantage to an identifiable cohort of the population as opposed to the general welfare of a class of students;
- Membership on other boards or staff;
- Representation of a particular constituency or subset of the community;
- Personal or professional relationships.
And, in compliance with RI General Law § 36-14-6, “Statement of Conflict of Interest,” we recuse ourselves from taking any action or making any decision which would directly result in personal or family financial gain.
To build trust among members and to ensure an environment conducive to effective governance, we will:
- Focus on issues in support of our vision;
- Respect decisions of the full School Committee;
- Exercise honesty in all interactions;
- Recognize the positive and negative aspects of dissent;
- Not publicly disparage the Superintendent, staff, or members of the public;
- Model respectful meeting etiquette (e.g., not engage in side conversations, be prepared for the meeting, use technology only as required for the purposes of the meeting);
- And, make every reasonable effort to protect the integrity and promote the positive image of BPS, the School Committee, and one another.
As a School Committee, we take collective responsibility for our performance. We evaluate our performance on a semi-annual basis. We engage in School Committee development to assure continuous improvement in our capacity to govern effectively. We participate in professional development and commit the time and energy necessary to be informed and effective leaders.
We conduct a high‐quality Superintendent evaluation on a semi-annual basis.
We use our student achievement and wellness data, comparing it internally, with similar districts, and with aspirational districts, to evaluate district performance.
We communicate to the public the connection between our decisions, district performance, and our student data.