Board » NWCSD School Board Home

NWCSD School Board Home

What Does A School Board Do?


Why do we elect a school board to govern our schools? In our democratic system, every governmental agency requires citizen oversight. Our system of oversight also provides several advantages in educating students. This system enables citizens to hold the school district accountable for the two valuable assets entrusted to it - the citizens' children and the citizens' money. Our students learn best if the community truly cares about education and communicates that value at every opportunity. The effective school board advocates on behalf of the district, the students and the importance of learning.

Because the school board serves the community, members must work with the public as they establish the mission and direction of education. It is up to the school board to engage the community in public education. A board member must be a skilled decision-maker, team player, a public-education advocate, a vital link between community and school, and a policy maker. As a public employer, the school board establishes policies that govern the recruitment, employment, supervision, evaluation and dismissal of employees.


Embedded in most district policies is the understanding that an individual board member has no authority. Only a majority of the board, meeting in public, has the authority to make decisions.


Below are some of the roles of the entire School Board, the School Board Chair and the Superintendent:


Board Roles

  • Hiring & supervising the superintendent.

  • Establish policies that govern the school district.

  • Establish the mission and direction of education.

  • Adopting a budget and aligning resources to priorities.

  • Public education advocate and vital link between the community and school district.

  • Approve contracts.

Board Chair Roles

  • Presiding at and ensuring the orderly conduct of all meetings of the board.

  • Working with the superintendent in planning the board's agendas.

  • Calling special meetings when required.

  • Appointing all committees and serving as ex-officio member of those committees, unless otherwise ordered by the school board.

  • Signing official documents that require the chair's signature.

  • Assuming other duties authorized by the board.

Superintendent's Roles

  • Managing the district's day-to-day activities.

  • Supervising all staff.

  • Creating action plans to meet the board's goals and priorities.

  • Establishing regulations and procedures.

  • Overseeing district expenditures.

  • Handling employee relations.

  • Reporting progress to the school board.

  • Collaborating with the school board in the establishment of goals, policies and the budget.

The Oregon School Boards Association has several resources and trainings available on their website, below are a few links available for new board members: