RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS
MONROE LOCAL BOARD OF EDUCATION
Minutes of February 26, 2009 Board Retreat
The Board of Education of the Monroe Local School District in the County of Butler, State of Ohio,held its board retreat on the 26th day of February 2009 in the Monroe Board Office, located in Monroe, Ohio.
Mr. Tom Leeds, President, called the meeting to order at 6:36 p.m.
The Treasurer, Mrs. Kelley Thorpe, recorded the minutes.
Roll Call — showed the following members present: Mr. Mike Irwin, Mr. Mike Lane, and Mr. TomLeeds. Mr. Tom Birdwell and Mr. Chris Snyder were absent. Also present were Superintendent,
Dr. Elizabeth Lolli, Treasurer, Mrs. Kelley Thorpe, and guests as listed in Appendix “A”, which isattached and becomes an official part of these minutes.
A recording of this meeting on Compact Disk is available in the Treasurer’s Office for review,reference recording # 090226.
All presentations/documents presented to the Board are available in the Treasurer’s Office, as
referenced in the body of these minutes.
Ms. Cheryl Ryan, Education Management Consultant for Ohio School Boards Association, gave an OSBA Customized Workshop for the board entitled “Working Toward Success.” A binder of information including a copy of the presentation was provided to each board member. A copy of this binder is available in the Treasurer’s office as an attachment to these minutes. Topics discussed by Ms. Ryan included the Leadership Triangle between the board, the superintendent,
and the treasurer. She explained that the role of the board is to be policy maker for the district, to perform self-evaluations, hire and evaluate the treasurer and superintendent, and to evaluate district programs. The superintendent’s role should be that of a Chief Executive Officer. The role of the treasurer is to serve as the Chief Financial Officer. Ms. Ryan stressed that the Board of Education should develop and approve policies, but depend on the superintendent to implement them.
Ms. Ryan discussed the role of the superintendent as the educational leader of the district and the treasurer as the financial leader. She also recommended that the treasurer implement a finance advisory committee for assistance. Mrs. Thorpe requested for Ms. Ryan to send her information on the formation and role of a finance committee.
According to Ms. Ryan, one characteristic of a good board member is the knowledge that he is only a board member when the board is in session. She stated that the average community member does not realize this fact and it is very easy for board members to slip into the role of board member when in the community. She further stated that a good board member does not make administrative decisions nor second-guess district administrators. Ms. Ryan stressed that board decisions should be made in the best interest of all students and that board members should support the majority decision.
Ms. Ryan led the board in active discussion between members. They discussed several possible scenarios and discussed the appropriate response of a board member. According to Ms. Ryan, effective boards are: committed to education, are ethical and open, make informed decisions, keep a cooperative spirit, focus on the issues and interests, brainstorm for creative options, evaluate objectively, and encourage open communication. Board protocol should include: using the chain of command, modeling collective decision making, and agreeing to no surprises for administration or other members. Ms. Ryan recommended that the board conduct a self assessment and implement board goals. The board requested that Ms. Ryan provide them with sample board goals; she indicated that this information would be emailed to Dr. Lolli for dissemination among the board. Ms. Ryan also discussed the use of meeting agendas and executive session. She stressed the need to comply with the sunshine laws.
Ms. Ryan recommended that in instances of concern, the superintendent and/or treasurer may want to form committees with no more than two board members. A committee has more freedom with discussion and is not bound by sunshine laws. The committee format is an excellent way to get community members involved as well. Ms. Ryan recommended that if the treasurer sets up an audit committee, that she involve a number of community members in order to educate more members of the community on school finances.
Ms. Ryan led a board discussion on the district chain of command and strongly encouraged board members to not micro-manage the school administration. According to Ms. Ryan, board members should leave daily decisions to the superintendent. Board member should focus on policies and not processes. She shared several examples with the board.
Communication between school administration and the board was also discussed. Ms.Ryan stated that it should be the practice for the superintendent and treasurer to communicate directly with the board president. It is then up to the president to disseminate that information on to the other board members. Dr. Lolli explained that Monroe now has a board broadcast system that informs the entire board of a situation with one phone call.
Resolution No. 09-032 Adjournment
Mr. Leeds moved and Mr. Irwin seconded the motion to adjourn the meeting at
ROLL CALL: AYES: (3) Mr. Irwin, Mr. Lane, Mr. Leeds
ABSENT: (2) Mr. Birdwell, Mr. Snyder
The president declared the motion carried.