II. School Board Operations
2.1 Board Composition and Organization
2.1.1 Composition – The Auburn City Board of Education is composed of five members who are appointed to five year staggered terms by the Auburn City Council with the term of one (1) member expiring annually. Board members must be residents of the City of Auburn and may not be a member of the City Council, or the County Commission, or subject to the authority of the Board. Members will assume office at the next regular meeting of the Board in June following their appointment. A member shall serve on the Board until their successor assumes office. In the event a vacancy occurs in the membership of the Board, the Board will report the vacancy to the City Council who will appoint a person to fill the vacancy for the unexpired term.
[Reference: Ala. Code §§ 16-11-2, 3 (1975)]
2.1.2 Officers – The Board will elect from its members a president and vice-president at the annual meeting of the Board held in May of each year. The Superintendent will serve as both the Board’s chief executive officer and secretary. If the Superintendent’s position is vacant, the Board may appoint one of its members to act as secretary until such time as the Superintendent’s position is filled.
a. President – The President, in addition to the duties prescribed by law, will exercise such powers as properly pertain to the office. The President will:
1. Preside at all meetings of the Board.
2. Consult with the Superintendent in planning agendas.
3. Bring before the Board such matters as in his/her judgment require attention of the Board.
4. Be responsible for the orderly conduct of Board meetings.
5. Confer with the Superintendent on crucial matters which may occur between Board meetings.
6. Call special meetings of the Board as found necessary.
7. Appoint special committees, subject to approval of the Board.
8. Sign any written contracts that the School District may be a party.
9. Sign all official reports for the District except as otherwise provided by law.
b. Vice-President – In the absence of the President or in the event of the President’s death, or inability or failure to act, the Vice-President will perform the duties of the President and, when so acting, will have all the power of the President.
c. Ranking Member – If the President and Vice-President are absent from a meeting at which a quorum is present, the ranking member in terms of continuous service on the Board will preside.
d. Secretary – As secretary of the Board, the Superintendent shall conduct all correspondence of the Board, keep and preserve all of the Board’s records, receive all reports required by the Board, and see that such reports are in proper form, complete and accurate. The Superintendent shall attend all Board meetings and shall have the right to advise on any motion under consideration, but shall not have a vote. He/she shall keep, or cause to be kept, an accurate copy of all minutes in an official minute book reflecting all business of the Board conducted at regular or special meetings. In case the secretary is absent, the Board shall appoint some member of the Board or other school personnel in the schools under the jurisdiction of said Board to act as secretary for the time being. As secretary of the Board, the Superintendent shall see that copies of all minutes are provided to all Board members and that the official Board minutes are made available for public examination in accordance with state law.
[Reference: Ala. Code §§ 16-11-5, 16-12-3 (1975)]
2.1.3 Committees – The Board may divide itself into temporary, advisory, or special committees for the purpose of more efficiently conducting Board business, but no recommendation or action of any committee will bind the Board without the affirmative vote of a majority of the whole Board. The Board may create advisory committees on a temporary basis. When so created, such committees shall be appointed by the President and shall terminate upon completion of their assignments; or they may be terminated at any time by a majority vote of the Board. The Board President and Superintendent shall be ex-officio members of all committees.
[Reference: Ala. Code §§16-11-5, 9 (1975)]
2.2 Duties and Authority of Board Members
The Board has the authority and responsibility to administer and supervise the public schools that are located within the City of Auburn, Alabama, including the formulation and adoption of Board policies. Board authority will only be exercised collectively through action taken in accordance with applicable statutory and parliamentary procedures. Individual Board members have no authority to bind the Board or to act on behalf of the Board except when authorized to do so by official action of the Board.
2.3 Board Member Compensation
Board members may be reimbursed for expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties as authorized by law.
2.4 Board Member Training
The Board of Education or its designee shall see to the provision of orientation and ongoing training of its members.The Superintendent shall be responsible for providing a comprehensive orientation program for new Board members. New Board members also are encouraged to attend new board member orientation sessions conducted by the Alabama Association of School Boards.
Attendance at state or national school board association events addressing Board governance or operation or other Board member development opportunities relating to leadership development, Board governance or Board operations shall be encouraged.
The Board recommends the requirements of this policy be satisfied by participation in training provided by sources considered knowledgeable in school board governance and leadership and approved by the Board. Board members will provide a report to the Board about training experiences at the next available Board meeting.
[Ala.Code §16-1-41 (1975)]
2.5 Board Meetings
2.5.1 General Provisions – The Board will hold regular and specially called meetings in accordance with applicable statutory requirements and as dictated by the needs of the school system. All meetings of the Board will be open to the public except as may otherwise be required or permitted by law.
Regular meetings: The Board shall hold such regular meetings monthly at a time, date and place determined by the Board. Such monthly meetings shall be open to the public, and the Board shall transact such business at these meetings as shall be properly brought before it. An agenda shall be prepared by the Superintendent with the advice of the President. A request to be considered for a place on the agenda shall be filed in writing with the Superintendent or the President at least five days prior to the scheduled meeting.
Special Meetings: The Board may hold special meetings when statutorily required or for any purpose or purposes upon the call of the President, the Superintendent, or either of them at the written request of any two members of the Board. Board members will be given such advance notice of specially called meetings as is practical under the circumstances. Only business dealing with the purpose or purposes for which the special meeting was called can be transacted unless otherwise unanimously agreed by the members present.
Executive Sessions: The Board may vote to retire to executive session for any purpose provided by law including, but not limited to, discussion of the general reputation and character of an individual. Only members of the Board, the Superintendent and persons designated by the Board shall attend such sessions. All in attendance shall treat all discussions confidentially and no minutes shall be taken. If a formal vote on the disposition of a matter is necessary, said vote must be taken in an open meeting.
Work Session: Periodically, the Board may deem it necessary or desirable to convene work sessions. These meetings shall be open to the public.
[Reference: Ala. Code §36-25A-1, et seq. (1975)]
2.5.2 Time and Place – The times and places for regularly scheduled monthly meetings will be established by the Board at the annual meeting held in May of each year, provided that the Board may modify its meeting schedule in the exercise of its sound discretion. Public notice of the dates, times, and places of meetings of the Board will be given in the manner prescribed by law.
7 day notice: For all prearranged meetings required by law to be held at a certain time or place.
1 day notice: For all prearranged Board meetings to exercise the Board’s powers to possess or approve the expenditure of public funds, or to deliberate matters the Board members expect to come before the body at a later date or time.
1 hour notice: For all meetings for which 1 day notice is “prevented by emergency circumstances requiring immediate action to avoid physical injury to persons or damage to property,” or the meeting is held solely to accept the resignation of a public official or employee.
[Reference: Ala. Code §§ 16-11-5, 36-25A-1, et seq. (1975)]
2.5.3 Rules of Order – Board meetings will be conducted in accordance with the most recently revised edition of Robert’s Rules of Order. A majority of the whole Board will constitute a quorum for purposes of transacting Board business except as may otherwise be provided by law.
2.5.4 Public Participation – The Board encourages citizen participation at meetings for the purpose of communicating matters important to the improvement of the school district. At no time, however, shall the remarks of any person be focused as a personal attack. If such an attack occurs, the President or presiding officer of the Board shall proceed to terminate the citizen’s time on the agenda.
2.5.5 Voting Method – There shall be no representation by proxy of any member of the Board at any time. All members present are authorized to speak on issues, offer and second motions, and vote. The voting method shall be determined by the Board, as appropriate, i.e., show of hands or voice. Any member may request a roll call vote. A roll call vote may be taken at the discretion of the presiding officer.
[Reference: Ala. Code § 16-11-5 (1975)]
2.6 Superintendent’s Responsibilities, Qualifications, and Appointment
2.6.1 Role, Responsibilities, Qualifications, and Term – The Superintendent serves as the chief executive officer of and secretary to the Board. The Superintendent may exercise such prerogatives and duties as are prescribed by statute, as are delegated or specified in an employment contract, or as are otherwise lawfully assigned by the Board. The Superintendent must possess the minimum qualifications for the position that are established by law and such other qualifications as may be specified by the Board. The term of the Superintendent’s appointment will be established by contract which will set the Superintendent’s compensation and benefits.
[Reference: Ala. Code §16-12-3 (1975)]
2.6.2 Scope of Executive and Administrative Authority – The execution and implementation of Board policies will be the function of the Superintendent. In addition to specific grants of authority set forth in particular Board policies, the Superintendent is authorized to develop and implement such lawful and reasonable rules, regulations, operating procedures, administrative directives, or like measures as are directed to compliance with legal requirements or attainment of the objects of Board policy.
2.7 Recordkeeping and Retention of Board Records
Board records will be maintained by the Superintendent in the manner and for the length of time required by law. Otherwise, records will be retained and disposed of in accordance with procedures that will include a records retention and destruction schedule to be prepared and promulgated by the Superintendent and approved by the Board.
2.8 Association Membership
The Board shall maintain membership in the Alabama Association of School Boards. The Board recognizes that some of the best sources of continuing insights into good boardmanship are provided through membership in the association, and it encourages individual members to participate to the extent possible in the activities offered. Authorization to include the required dues and expenses to attend meetings of the association shall be included in the annual budget.
2.9 Board Attorney
The Board shall have the right to retain and utilize legal counsel at the Board’s expense.