REACH Academy Charter School

Phone: (716) 248-1485   Main Office Fax: (716) 248-2833   Health Office Fax: (716) 852-2102 

REACH Academy Charter School By-Laws



(Section 1000)

ORGANIZATION OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

1.2 Board of Trustees Authority................................................................................................................................................................................ 1120

1.3 Number of Members and Terms of Office.......................................................................................................................................................... 1130

NOMINATION AND ELECTION BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEMBERS

2.1 Board of Trustees Members: Qualifications........................................................................................................................................................ 1210

2.4 Resignation and Dismissal.................................................................................................................................................................................. 1220

THE ROLE OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

3.1 Powers and Duties of the Board......................................................................................................................................................................... 1310

3.2 Nomination and Election of Board Officers......................................................................................................................................................... 1320

3.2.1 Duties of the President of the BOT.................................................................................................................................................................. 1321

3.2.2 Duties of the Vice President of the BOT.......................................................................................................................................................... 1322

3.3 Appointments and Designations by the BOT...................................................................................................................................................... 1330

3.3.1 Duties of the Board Clerk................................................................................................................................................................................. 1331

3.3.2 Duties of the Schools CFO .............................................................................................................................................................................. 1332

3.3.3 Duties of the Independent Auditor....................................................................................................................................................................1333

3.3.4 Duties of the Extra-classroom Activities Funds Treasurer............................................................................................................................... 1334

3.3.5 Duties of the School Attorney........................................................................................................................................................................... 1335

3.3.6 Duties of the School Nurse Practitioner........................................................................................................................................................... 1336

BOARD POLICY

4.1 Policy ................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 1410

4.2 Execution of Policy: Admin Regulations.............................................................................................................................................................. 1420

MEETINGS OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

5.1 Regular Board Meetings..................................................................................................................................................................................... 1510

5.1.1 Agenda Format................................................................................................................................................................................................ 1511

5.1.2 Preparation of Board Agenda.......................................................................................................................................................................... 1512

5.1.3 Levels of Responsibility.................................................................................................................................................................................... 1513

5.1.4 Code of Conduct for Board Members.............................................................................................................................................................. 1514

5.1.5 Five Filters for Decisions.................................................................................................................................................................................. 1515

5.2 Special Meetings of the Board of Trustees......................................................................................................................................................... 1520

MEETING OF THE SCHOOL

6.1 Annual Organizational Meeting........................................................................................................................................................................... 1610

RULES OF MEETING

7.1 Quorum............................................................................................................................................................................................................... 1710

7.2 Minutes............................................................................................................................................................................................................... 1720

7.3 Executive Session................................................................................................................................................................................................1730


INTERNAL OPERATIONS

(Section 2000)

INTERNAL OPERATIONS

1.1 Orienting New Board Members........................................................................................................................................................................... 2110

1.2 Use of Parliamentary Procedure......................................................................................................................................................................... 2120

1.3 Member Training on Financial Oversight Accountability and Fiduciary Responsibilities..................................................................................... 2130

BOARD OF TRUSTEES COMMITTEESS

2.1 Committees of the Board.................................................................................................................................................................................... 2210

BOARD OF TRUSTEES ACTIVITIES

3.1 Membership in Associations .............................................................................................................................................................................. 2310

3.2 Attendance by Board Members at Conferences,Conventions and Workshops .................................................................................................. 2320

3.3 Board Self-Evaluation......................................................................................................................................................................................... 2330

3.4 Board of Trustees Budget Appropriations........................................................................................................................................................... 2340


ADMINISTRATION

(Section 4000)

ADMINISTRATIVE OPERATIONS

2.5 Use of Committees............................................................................................................................................................................................. 4250

2.6 Evaluation of the Head of School & Other Administrative Staff............................................................................................................................4260

BUILDING ADMINISTRATION

3.1 Head of School of Schools ..................................................................................................................................................................................4310

3.2 Head of School – Board of Trustees Relations ...................................................................................................................................................4320


NON-INSTRUCTIONAL BUSINESS OPERATIONS

(Section 5000)

EXPENDURES

2.3 Acceptance of Gifts, Grants & Bequests to School .............................................................................................................................................5230


PERSONNEL

(Section 6000)

1.1 Code of Ethics for all School Personnel ..............................................................................................................................................................6110


ORGANIZATION OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES- Section -1100

SUBJECT: BOARD OF TRUSTEES AUTHORITY – Policy 1120

As a body created under the Education Law of New York State, the Board of Trustees of the REACH Academy Charter School has full authority, within the limitations of federal and state laws and the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education and interpretations of them, to carry out the will of the people of its School in matters of education.

In all cases where laws or regulations of the State Commissioner of Education do not provide, permit, or prohibit, the Board shall consider itself the agent responsible for establishing and appraising educational matters and activities.

Board members have no authority over school affairs as individuals. They have authority only when acting as a body duly called in session.

Education Law Sections 1604, 1701,1709, 1804, and 1805

SUBJECT: NUMBER OF MEMBERS AND TERMS OF OFFICE – Policy 1130

The Board of Trustees of the REACH Academy Charter School shall consist of five (5) to eleven (11) members nominated and elected by the qualified Founding Members of the Charter School or the current Board of Trustees when a vacancy exists or a member’s term has expired.

Members of the Board of Trustees shall serve for three (3) years beginning July 1st following their appointment and each term shall expire on the thirtieth day of June of the third year, except in the initial years of the charter, when various seats have a staggered length. If a Board Member has been appointed to fill a vacancy on the Board, the member’s term will commence after the New York State approval has been received after his/her appointment and will continue until the vacant seat’s term has expired.

Education Law Section 2105

NOMINATION AND ELECTION BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEMBERS – Section 1200

SUBJECT: BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEMBERS: QUALIFICATIONS – Policy 1210

A Board of Trustees member of the REACH Academy Charter School must meet the following qualifications: a citizen of the United States; eighteen (18) years of age or older; able to read and write; and a legal resident of the state of New York for a continuous and uninterrupted period of at least one (1) year prior to his/her appointment;

Education Law Sections 1804(1), 1950(9), 2101, 2102; 2103, 2103-a, 2130(1), and 2502(7)

Public Officers Law Section 3

Town Law Section


SUBJECT: RESIGNATION AND DISMISSAL – Policy 1220

Board members may resign at any Board meeting, at which time the resignation shall be automatically accepted and reflected in the Board minutes. A Board member may also resign by filing a written resignation with the Board Clerk.

The resignation shall take effect upon the date specified in the letter of resignation; however, if no effective date is specified, it shall take effect on the date of delivery to or filing with the Board Clerk. If an effective date is specified in the letter of resignation, such date shall not be more than thirty (30) days subsequent to the date of its delivery or filing.

It shall be the duty of each member of the Board of Trustees to attend all meetings of the Board and, if any member shall refuse to attend three consecutive meetings of the Board after having been regularly notified and a satisfactory cause for each non-attendance is not shown, the Board will proceed to declare that office vacant.

A Board member may be removed from office by the Commissioner of Education for willful violation of any provision of law, neglect of duty, or willfully disobeying any decision, order or regulation of the Commissioner. In the event of death, resignation, refusal to serve, or any disqualification of a Board member, the Board may appoint a new member to fill such a vacancy. If the Board chooses to fill the vacancy, it shall be only for a term ending with the balance of the unexpired term.

A Board member who has been removed from office shall be ineligible for appointment or election to any office in the school for a period of one year from the date of such removal.

Education Law Sections 306, 1706, 1709(17)(18), 2103(2), 2109, 2111, 2112, and 2113

Public Officers Law Sections 30, 31 and 35


THE ROLE OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES – Section 1300

SUBJECT: POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE BOARD Policy 1310

The Board of Trustees shall have powers and duties as set forth in New York State Education Law, principally Articles 35 and 37, and other applicable Federal and State laws and regulations. In general, the Board shall have in all respects the superintendence, management and control of the educational affairs of the School and shall have all the powers necessary to exercise these powers expressly granted to it by the laws of New York State and the Commissioner of Education.

Education Law Sections 1604, 1709 and 1804

NOTE: Refer also to Policy #6540 -- Defense and Indemnification of Board Members and Employees

SUBJECT: NOMINATION AND ELECTION OF BOARD OFFICERS – Policy 1320

Officers of the Board of Trustees shall be nominated and elected by the simple majority of the Board at its Annual Organizational Meeting for a term of one year. They will take their oath as officers at this meeting along with newly elected members. The elected officers of the Board of Trustees are: President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary and will make up the Executive Committee of the Board.

Education Law Sections 1701 and 2105(6)

SUBJECT: DUTIES OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES – Policy 1321

The President's duties include the following:

  1. Presides at all meetings of the Board;
  1. Calls special meetings as necessary or on request;
  1. Appoints members to all committees of the Board;
  1. Serves ex-officio as a member of all committees;
  1. Executes documents on behalf of the Board;
  1. Performs the usual and ordinary duties of the office.

Education Law Section 1701

SUBJECT: DUTIES OF THE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES – Policy 1322

The Board of Trustees may, in its discretion, elect one of its members Vice President who shall have the power to exercise the duties of the President in case of the absence or disability of the President. In case of vacancy in the office of the President, the Vice President shall act as President until a President is elected.

Education Law Section 1701

SUBJECT: APPOINTMENTS AND DESIGNATIONS BY THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES –Policy 1330

The Board is authorized to appoint individuals to positions, which will facilitate the meeting of its responsibilities to the State, the School, and the community. These appointments usually take place at the Annual Organizational Meeting.

The following shall be appointed annually; Board Clerk, Board Treasurer, External Auditor, School Human Rights Office, Extra classroom Activities and Account Treasurer.

The following must be appointed but need not be reappointed annually; School Physician/Nurse Practitioner, Supervisors of Attendance, Records Access/Management Officers, Title IX/Section 504/ADA Compliance Officer, Liaison for Homeless Children and Youth, Chemical Hygiene Officer, Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) Local Educational Agency (LEA) designee.

  • The following may also be appointed; School Attorney, Internal Claims Auditor, Bond Attorney, Internal Auditor, School Dentist, Attendance Officer, Insurance Consultant.
  • Designations

    The following designations shall be made by the Board of Trustees at the Annual Organizational Meeting in July; Petty Cash Fund(s), Official Newspaper(s), Official Bank Depositories, Purchasing Agent, Certifier of Payrolls, Official Bank Signatories, Designated Educational Official designated to receive court notification regarding a student's sentence/adjudication in certain criminal cases and juvenile delinquency proceedings, School Pesticide Representative;

    Reviewing Official, Hearing Official and Verification Official for participation in the federal Child Nutrition Program (the Hearing Official may not be the same person as the Reviewing and/or Verification Official), Legislative Representatives, Public Relations.

    Authorizations

    1. Approval of attendance at conferences, conventions, workshops, and the like;
    1. Head of School to approve budget transfers within limits prescribed by Commissioner's

    Regulation Section 170.2 and Board guidelines;

    1. Head of School to apply for Grants in Aid (State and Federal) as appropriate;
    1. Establish mileage reimbursement rate;
    1. Substitute Rates
    1. Reserve Funds
    1. Other(s) as deemed appropriate/necessary.

    McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act, Section

    722, as reauthorized by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

    Education Law Sections 305(31), 1709 and 2503

    29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Section 1910.1450

    SUBJECT: DUTIES OF THE BOARD CLERK – Policy 1331

    The Board Clerk will be appointed by the Board at its Annual Organizational Meeting and will serve for a period of one (1) year.

    The Clerk's duties include the following: attends all meetings of the Board and keeps a record of its proceedings and records, by name, those in attendance, prepares minutes of the meetings of the Board, obtains approval of the minutes by the Board at the next meeting and forwards copies of the minutes to each member of the Board of Trustees, sends notices of special meetings to members of the Board; contacts and communicates with members as required, sees that the proper legal notices and announcements are published on all specifications and items out on bid, in accordance with state law, maintains an up-to-date record of Board policies and by-laws, delivers to, and collects from, the President (or Vice President) such papers for signature as may be necessary, distributes notices to the public announcing availability of copies of the budget to be presented at the annual School meeting in compliance with the requirements of the State Education Law, administers oaths of office, as permitted by Section 10, Public Officers Law, gives written notice of appointment of persons to the Board of Trustees to the New York State Educational Department, calls all meetings to order in the absence of the President and Vice President, assumes other duties customary to the office.

    The above duties of the Board Clerk are not intended to be complete but should serve as a comprehensive guide in undertaking the duties of this office. The Board Clerk shall perform such other duties as may be assigned from time to time by the Board.

    Education Law Section 2121

    Public Officers Law Section 104

    SUBJECT: DUTIES OF THE SCHOOL’S CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER – Policy 1332

    The CFO is appointed by the Board of Trustees at the Annual Organizational Meeting and will be covered by a blanket bond. In addition to the routine duties of accounting, filing, posting and preparing reports and statements concerning School finances, the CFO shall perform other specific tasks as follows: acts as custodian of all moneys belonging to the School and lawfully deposits these moneys in the depositories designated by the Board, pays all authorized obligations of the School as directed, maintains proper records and files of all checks, and approved payment of bills and salaries, makes all such entries and posts all such financial ledgers, records and reports as may be properly required to afford the School an acceptable and comprehensive financial accounting of the use of its moneys and financial transactions, and assumes other duties customary to the office.

    Duties-Education Law Section 2122

    Bond-Education Law Section 2130, Part 5

    8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations

    (NYCRR) Section 170.2(o) and (p)

    SUBJECT: DUTIES OF THE INDEPENDENT AUDITOR – Policy 1333

    The Board by law shall obtain an annual audit of its records by an independent certified public accountant or an independent public accountant, and a copy of the certified audit in a form prescribed by the Commissioner must be accepted by the Board and furnished annually to the State Education Department.

    Education Law Section 2116-a

    8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations

    (NYCRR) Sections 170.2 and 170.3

    SUBJECT: DUTIES OF THE EXTRACLASSROOM ACTIVITIES FUNDS TREASURER – Policy 1334

    The Extra classroom Activities Funds Treasurer is appointed by the Board of Trustees and is responsible for the supervision of the extra classroom activities funds.

    The Treasurer's duties include the following: Countersigns all checks disbursing funds from the Extra classroom Activities Account, Provides general supervision to insure that all receipts are deposited and that disbursements are made by check only, Maintains records of all receipts and expenditures, Submits records and reports to the Board as required, Assumes other duties customary to the position.

    8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Part 172

    SUBJECT: DUTIES OF THE SCHOOL ATTORNEYS - Policy 1335

    The Board of Trustees shall appoint School Attorneys who will be responsible to the Board of Trustees for guidance in all affairs, which are of a legal nature.

    Upon the Board of Trustees and/or its representative’s request, the duties shall include the following: attend regular Board meetings and such special meetings as the Board may direct, and advise the Board upon legal matters as they arise at such meetings, represent the Board of Trustees at all hearings relating to students or employees, present written or oral reports as requested and within time limits set by the Board of Trustees or Head of School pertaining to questions of legal nature, review, as requested, contracts with vendors or such people or corporations doing business with the school. prepare legal notices, act as local or general bond counsel, provide legal services for real estate sale or acquisition represent the School in all court cases (when such legal services are not provided for by school’s insurance carrier), undertake all other legal and related services as assigned by the Board of Trustees or the Head of the School.

    The Board reserves the right to employ additional legal counsel which may include, but not be limited to, negotiation of collective bargaining agreements.

    SUBJECT: DUTIES OF THE SCHOOL PHYSICIAN/NURSE PRACTITIONER –Policy 1336

    The school physician/nurse practitioner shall be appointed by the Board of Trustees.

    The duties of the school physician/nurse practitioner shall include, but are not limited to, the following: performs professional medical services in the examination and care of school children, performs routine examinations of school children to detect the presence of contagious diseases and physical defects, reports to the Board on school health services, coordinates scheduling for physical examinations to all students participating in interscholastic athletics, develops the program of health service in accordance with policies approved by the Board and as directed by the Head of School, conducts physical exams for employees (instructional and non-instructional) in determination of employment related medical issues, conducts a medical evaluation on any employee at the request of the Board of Trustees.

    Education Law Sections 902 and 913

    BOARD POLICY– Section 1400

    SUBJECT: POLICY - 1410

    The Board of Trustees shall be guided in its decision making by policies.

    Definition of Policy

    Policy is defined as a basic plan of action. It establishes limits within which freedom of judgment can be exercised.

    Policy is the wise governing principle of management. It is a statement, which has an effect on the interests of those who come under its jurisdiction. A policy may originate from the constitution, from statute, and/or from customary patterns of formal behavior.

    Policies should accomplish the following: reflect the general environment in which the school organization operates, include direction for their implementation either by implication or broad explication, be impartial to deal uniformly with all whom they touch, omit non-relevant details that might need to be changed from time to time, grant authority to act and responsibility of completion thereof.

    Formulation of Policy

    The Board of Trustees shall reserve to itself the function of providing guides for the discretionary action of those to whom it delegates authority. These guides for discretionary action shall constitute the policies governing the operation of the school. A policy should be capable of being applied equitably in all circumstances to which it refers.

    The formulation and adoption of these written policies shall constitute the basic method by which the Board of Trustees shall exercise its leadership in the operation of the school. The study and evaluation of reports concerning the execution of its written policies shall constitute the basic method by which the Board of Trustees shall exercise its control over the operation of the school system.

    Adoption of Policy

    The adoption of a written policy shall occur only after the proposal has been moved, discussed and voted on affirmatively at two separate meetings of the Board of Trustees (i.e., the "first reading" and the "second reading"). The policy draft may be amended at the second meeting. By a majority vote, the Board may waive the "second reading" and complete the adoption of the proposed policy at its "first reading."

    The formal adoption of written Board policy shall be recorded in the official minutes of the Board. Such written Board policy shall govern the conduct and affairs of the School and shall be binding upon the members of the educational community in the School.

    The formal adoption of policies shall be recorded in the minutes of the Board of Trustees. Only those written statements so adopted and so rescinded shall be regarded as official Board policy. Any policy or amendment shall require a majority vote of all members of the Board of Trustees.

    Communication of Policy

    Every effort shall be made to inform personnel and citizens of the REACH Academy Charter School of Board of Trustees policy. The school staff shall be kept informed of Board of Trustees policy and changes as they occur.

    Review of Policy

    It shall be the Board's responsibility to keep its written policies up-to-date so that they may be used consistently as a basis for Board action and administrative decision. The Head of School with support of the Erie 1 BOCES Board Policy Development Department, is given the continuing commission of calling to the Board's attention to all policies that are out-of-date or for other reasons appear to need revision.

    At the last meeting of the Board of Trustees in June of each year, each Board member shall give his/her copy of the policy manual to the Head of School. The Head of School shall make all necessary revisions in the manual. Following the Annual Organizational Meeting, each member of the Board shall be provided an updated copy for use during the ensuing year.

    Education Law Sections 1604(9) and 1709(1) and (2)

    SUBJECT: EXECUTION OF POLICY: ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS – Policy 1420

    The Board shall delegate to the Head of School the function of specifying required actions and designing the detailed arrangements under which the school will be operated. These rules and these detailed arrangements shall constitute the administrative regulations governing the schools. They must in every respect be consistent with the policies adopted by the Board. The Board shall be kept informed periodically of changes in administrative regulations.

    MEETINGS OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES– Section 1500

    SUBJECT: REGULAR BOARD MEETINGS – Policy 1510

    All Board of Trustees meetings must be open to the public except those portions of the meetings which qualify as executive sessions. A "meeting" is defined as an official convening of a public body for the purpose of conducting public business and a "public body" is defined as an entity of two (2) or more persons, which requires a quorum to conduct public business, including committees and subcommittees.

    Whenever such a meeting is to take place, there must be at least seventy-two (72) hours advance notice in accordance with the provisions of the Open Meetings Law. Notice of other meetings shall be given as soon as is practicable in accordance with law.

    If videoconferencing is used to conduct a meeting, the public notice for the meeting shall inform the public that videoconferencing will be used, identify the locations for the meeting, and state that the public has the right to attend the meeting at any of the locations.

    Regular meetings of the Board of Trustees of REACH Academy Charter School shall take place on the day and time designated by the Board at the Annual Organizational Meeting, except as modified at subsequent meetings of the Board.

    It is the responsibility of the Head of School and Board Clerk to prepare the agenda and review it with the Board President for each meeting of the Board. The agenda for each meeting shall be prepared during the week prior to the meeting. The agenda shall be distributed to Board members no later than the Friday before such regular meeting. Whenever the President or other members of the Board wish to bring a matter to the attention of the Board, such request should be made to the Head of School so that the same can be placed on the agenda. Whenever individuals or groups wish to bring a matter to the attention of the Board, such request shall be addressed to the Head of School. The Head of School shall present such matter to the Board.

    The Head of School shall notify the members of the Board of Trustees in advance of each regular meeting. Such notice, in writing, shall include an agenda and the time of the meeting.

    In the event that a meeting date falls on a legal holiday, interferes with other area meetings, or there is an inability to attend the meeting by Board members to the extent that a quorum would not be present, the Board shall select a date for a postponed meeting at the previous regular meeting, and shall direct the Head of School to notify all members.

    Any meeting of the Board may be adjourned to a given future date and hour if voted by a majority of the Board present.

    SUBJECT: REGULAR BOARD MEETINGS – Policy 1510

    The Head of School and members of his/her staff at the Head of School's discretion shall attend all meetings of the Board. The Head of School shall attend all executive session meetings of the Board except those that concern his/her evaluation and salary determination. The Board may request the attendance of such additional persons as it desires.

    Public Officers Law Article 7

    Education Law Section 1708

    NOTE: Refer also to Policy #1520 -- Special Meetings of the Board of Trustees

    SUBJECT: BOARD OF TRUSTEES AGENDA FORMAT – Policy 1511

    For special and emergency meetings, the regular meeting agenda format shown above may be shortened and/or adapted to fit the purpose of the meeting.

    Education Law Section 1606

    Public Officers Law, Section 104(2)

    SUBJECT: PREPARATION OF BOARD AGENDA – Policy 1512

    The Head of School, the Board Clerk and the Board President shall be responsible for the preparation of the Board Agenda.

    SUBJECT: LEVELS OF RESPONSIBILITY – Policy 1513

    In an efficient, effective and publicly sensitive school, there must be a means of dealing with questions, inquiries, complaints, communication, decision-making and problem solving at their appropriate organizational level of responsibility. Therefore, the REACH Academy Board of Trustees declares that all such matters shall be referred to the appropriate level of responsibility for response and/or resolution.

    Matters are referred to the appropriate level of responsibility (Board of Trustees, administration, supervisor or staff) to allow the responsible individual(s) to understand the matter and seek an acceptable resolution prior to review by the next higher level of responsibility. This demonstrates respect for the responsible individual, encourages good communication, conserves the time and energy of those in the school community who are not directly responsible for resolution of a particular matter, and allows the person(s) with a concern to obtain resolution, or seek review at the next higher level of responsibility.

    All matters brought before the entire Board of Trustees by an individual or group shall be addressed by the Board of Trustees, or if appropriate, referred to the responsible school individual(s) for resolution. Only those matters that are obviously the Board's concern or that have proceeded through the appropriate levels of responsibility shall be reviewed by the Board of Trustees.

    In like manner, it is the responsibility of every School employee and each individual board member to refer such matters to the appropriate level of responsibility for review and/or resolution.

    SUBJECT: CODE OF CONDUCT FOR BOARD MEMBERS – Policy 1514

    Members of the REACH Academy Board of Trustees shall represent the public interest in education by adhering to the following commitments:

    Representing all schools constituents honestly and equally, and refusing to surrender responsibilities to special interest and partisan political groups, avoiding any conflict of interest or the appearance of impropriety that could result from his/her position, avoiding the use of Board membership for personal gain or publicity, recognizing that a board member has no legal authority as an individual and that decisions can be made only by a majority vote of the Board at a regular or special meeting, taking no private action that might compromise the Board or administration, respecting the confidentiality of privileged information, abiding by majority decisions of the Board while retaining the right to seek changes such decisions through ethical and constructive channels, encouraging and respecting the free expression of opinion by fellow board members, being involved and knowledgeable about local educational concerns, and state and national issues.

    SUBJECT: FIVE FILTERS FOR DECISIONS – Policy 1515

    The Head of School and Board of Trustees can set a tone and establish methods of operation that determine and support the culture of the School. A culture that is solid, accepting, understanding, and focused on children, is a worthy goal, journey and destination. One way to establish that culture is to operate with an agreed set of references-approved, adopted, monitored and enforced by all.

    Five Filters for Decisions:

    1. We will make decisions in the best interest of children/students.

    2. We will not tolerate any action or circumstance that denigrates any individual.

    3. We will not employ any individual who does not demonstrate excellence.

    4. We will not allow limiting statements to interfere with our growth.

    5. We will understand and involve all stakeholders.

    SUBJECT: SPECIAL MEETINGS OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES – Policy 1520

    Special meetings of the Board shall be held on call by any member of the Board. A reasonable and good faith effort shall be made by the Head of School or the Board President, as the case may be, to give every member of the Board twenty-four hours notice of the time, place and purpose of the meeting. All special meetings shall be held at a regular meeting place of the Board and/or in accordance with provisions of the Open Meetings Law as may be applicable.

    In an emergency, the twenty-four hour notice may be waived by having each Board member sign a waiver-of-notice form. Public notice of the time and place shall be given, to the extent practicable, to the news media and shall be conspicuously posted in one or more designated public locations at a reasonable time prior to the meeting.

    Public Officers Law Sections 103 and 104

    NOTE: Refer also to Policy #1510 -- Regular Board Meetings

    MEETING OF THE SCHOOL– Section 1600

    SUBJECT: ANNUAL ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING – Policy 1610

    The Annual Organizational Meeting of the Board of Trustees shall be held during the first board meeting in July.

    The schedule for the regular business meetings of the Board for the ensuing year shall be established at this meeting.

    Education Law Section 1707

    RULES OF MEETING– Section 1700

    SUBJECT: QUORUM – Policy 1710

    The quorum for any meeting of the Board shall be more than 50% of the current board size. No formal action shall be taken at any meeting at which a quorum is not present. When only a quorum exists, the Board shall act by unanimous vote unless otherwise required by the laws of the State of New York.

    General Construction Law Section 41

    SUBJECT: MINUTES – Policy 1720

    The minutes are a legal record of the activities of the Board of Trustees as a public corporation having the specified legal purpose of maintaining a charter school. The minutes of all meetings shall be kept by the Clerk or, in his/her absence, by the Head of School or his/her designee. The minutes shall be complete and accurate and stored in a minutes file. However, minutes of executive sessions need not include any matter which is not required to be made public by the Freedom of Information Law.

    The minutes of each meeting of the Board of Trustees shall state: the type of meeting, the date, time of convening, and adjournment, board members present and absent, board members' arrival and departure time, if different from opening or adjournment times, all action taken by the Board, with evidence of those voting in the affirmative and the negative, and those abstaining, the nature of events that transpire, in general terms of reference.

    Communications and other documents that are too long and bulky to be included in the minutes shall be referred to in the minutes and shall be filed in the School Office.

    All Board minutes shall be signed by the Board Clerk when approved and stored in a locked room or locked file cabinet. Unless otherwise provided by law, minutes shall be available to the public within two (2) weeks following the date of a meeting; draft copies, so marked, are acceptable, subject to correction.

    Minutes of Executive Sessions

    Minutes shall be taken at executive sessions of any action that is taken by formal vote. The minutes shall consist of a record or summary of the final determination of such action, the date and the vote. However, such summary need not include any matter which is not required to be made public by the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL).

    If action is taken by a formal vote in executive session, minutes shall be available to the public within one (1) week of the date of the executive session.

    Public Officers Law Section 106

    SUBJECT: EXECUTIVE SESSIONS – Policy 1730

    Upon a majority vote of its total membership, taken in an open meeting pursuant to a motion identifying the area or areas of the subject or subjects to be considered, the Board of Trustees may conduct an executive session for discussion of the below enumerated purposes only. For all other purposes, the action by formal vote shall be taken in open meeting and properly recorded in the minutes of the meeting.


    • Matters that will imperil the public safety if disclosed;
    • Any matter that may disclose the identity of a law enforcement agent or informer;
    • Information relating to current or future investigation or prosecution of a criminal offense that would imperil effective law enforcement if disclosed;
    • Discussions regarding proposed, pending or current litigation;
    • Collective negotiations pursuant to Article 14 of the Civil Service Law;
    • Medical, financial, credit or employment history of any particular person or corporation, or matters leading to the appointment, employment, promotion, demotion, discipline, suspension, dismissal or removal of any particular person or corporation;
    • Preparation, grading or administration of examinations;
    • Proposed acquisition, sale or lease of real property or the proposed acquisition of securities, or sale or exchange of securities, but only when publicity would substantially affect the value thereof.

    Matters discussed in executive sessions must be treated as confidential; that is, never discussed outside of that executive session.

    Public Officers Law Article 7

    Education Law Section 3020-a

    INTERNAL OPERATIONS– Section 2100

    SUBJECT: ORIENTING NEW BOARD MEMBERS – Policy 2110

    The Board and its staff shall assist each new member to understand the Board's functions, policies, and procedures before he/she takes office and is awaiting approval from the New York State Education Office, by the following methods:

    • The member may be invited to attend Board meetings and to participate in its discussions;
    • The Head of School's secretary shall supply material pertinent to meetings and shall explain its use;
    • The new member shall be invited to meet with the Head of School and other administrative personnel to discuss services, procedures and protocol;
    • A copy of the Board's policies and by-laws shall be given to the new member by the Clerk;
    • All new Board members may and are encouraged to attend a Board Member orientation program and the cost born by the School.

    SUBJECT: USE OF PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURE Policy 2120

    The business of the Board of Trustees shall be conducted in accordance with the authoritative principles of parliamentary procedure as found in the latest edition of Robert's Rules of Order.

    Commissioner's Decision Numbers 8018 and 8873

    General Construction Law Section 41

    SUBJECT: BOARD MEMBER TRAINING ON FINANCIAL OVERSIGHT, ACCOUNTABILY AND FIDUCIARY RESPONSIBILITIES – Policy 2130

    Within the first year of election, re-election or appointment, each Board member is encouraged to complete a minimum of six hours of training on the financial oversight, accountability and fiduciary responsibilities of a school board member. The curriculum and provider of this training should be approved by the Commissioner of Education.

    Upon completion of the required training, the Board member should file a certificate of completion with the Board Clerk.

    Education Law Section 2102-a

    BOARD OF TRUSTEES COMMITTEESS– Section 2200

    SUBJECT: COMMITTEES OF THE BOARD - Policy 2210

    The Board and/or the President of the Board may at its discretion establish committees for the purpose of undertaking a specific task in connection with Board activity. These committees, however, cannot make legal decisions for the entire Board.

    At the request of the Board, the President shall appoint temporary committees consisting of fewer than a quorum for special purposes. These committees shall be discharged on the completion of their assignment. The President of the Board and Head of School shall be an ex-officio member of such committees.

    The Board of Trustees recognizes that it may be necessary from time to time to authorize advisory committees for the purpose of enlisting opinions and counsel of the general public. Such committees shall be appointed by the Board of Trustees.

    Visitation Committees

    The Board of Trustees shall appoint one or more committees, to visit the school and every department at least once annually, and report on their conditions at the next regular meeting of the Board.

    Education Law Section 1708

    BOARD OF TRUSTEES ACTIVITIES– Section 2300

    SUBJECT: MEMBERSHIP IN ASSOCIATIONS – Policy 2310

    The School may be a member of the board Associations. Additionally, the Board may maintain membership and participate cooperatively in other associations.

    Education Law Section 1618

    Comptroller's Opinion 81-255

    SUBJECT: ATTENDANCE BY BOARD MEMBERS AT CONFERENCES, CONVENTIONS AND

    WORKSHOPS – Policy 2320

    The Board believes that continuing in-service training and development are important for its members. The Board, therefore, encourages the participation of all members at appropriate school board conferences, conventions and workshops which are believed to be of benefit to the School. However, in order to control both the investment of time and funds necessary to implement this policy, the Board establishes the following guidelines:

    • A calendar of school board conferences, conventions and workshops shall be maintained by the Head of School's secretary.
    • Funds for participation at such conferences, conventions, workshops and the like will be budgeted for on an annual basis. The amount budgeted for conference attendance shall be determined annually based on budget allocations for the Board. When funds are limited, the Board will designate which members are to participate at a given meeting.
    • Reimbursement to Board members for all actual and necessary registration fees, expenses of travel and lodging, and all necessary tuition fees incurred in connection with attendance at conferences and the like will be in accordance with established regulations for expense reimbursement.
    • When a conference, convention or workshop is not attended by the full Board, those who do participate will be requested to share information, recommendations and materials acquired at the meeting.
    • Each Board member attending a conference, convention or workshop shall receive reimbursement at the current U.S. General Services Administration rate for the city that the event is held. For partial days of attendance, a Board member shall receive a prorated share.

    The authorization for Board members to attend a conference, convention, workshop and the like shall be by Board resolution.

    General Municipal Law Section 77-b and 77-c

    Education Law Section 2118

    SUBJECT: BOARD SELF-EVALUATION – Policy 2330

    The Board shall review the effectiveness of its internal operations at least once annually and will formulate a plan for improving its performance.

    The Head of School and others who work regularly with the Board may be asked to participate in this review and to suggest ways by which the Board can improve its functioning as a legislative body.

    SUBJECT: BOARD OF TRUSTEES BUDGET APPROPRIATIONS – Policy 2340

    The Board officers after consultation with the entire Board shall be responsible for the preparation of the Board of Trustee’s annual Expenditure Budget. Sufficient monies shall be allocated annually so the Board may fulfill their duties and responsibilities as established by Education Law 1903.

    Monies shall be allocated for contractual services, stipends, local travel, attendance at conferences, conventions and workshops (including associated costs), supplies and materials necessary for the board to conduct business and Board Policy development services.

    Education Law Section 1903

    ADMINISTRATIVE OPERATIONS – Section 4200

    SUBJECT: USE OF COMMITTEES Policy 4250

    Standing and/or ad hoc committees may be appointed to study and to recommend courses of action in response to department, school needs. These committees may be appointed by the Board of Trustees, the Head of School or other administrators, with the knowledge of the Head of School, and in accordance with the range of responsibilities of the appointing body or administrator to whom the committee shall report. The composition of each committee shall reflect its purpose and each committee shall have a clear assignment.

    SUBJECT: EVALUATION OF THE HEAD OF SCHOOL AND OTHER ADMINISTRATIVE

    STAFF – Policy 4260

    Head of School

    The Board of Trustees shall conduct annually a formal performance evaluation of the Head of School. The formal procedures used to complete the evaluation to be filed in the School Office, and to be made available for review by any individual, no later than August 1st of each year.

    The formal performance procedures shall include written criteria, a description of the review procedures, provisions for post-conferencing, and methods used to record results of the evaluation. The Head of School shall be granted the opportunity to respond to the evaluation in writing.

    Evaluation of Administrative Staff

    The Board shall direct the Head of School to conduct an evaluation of all administrative personnel.

    The purposes of this evaluation are:

    • To determine the adequacy of administrative staffing;
    • To improve administrative effectiveness;
    • To encourage and promote self-evaluation by administrative personnel;
    • To provide a basis for evaluative judgments by the Head of School and the Board;
    • To make decisions about continued employment with the school.

    8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations

    (NYCRR) Sections 801.1 and 100.2(o)(2)

    BUILDING ADMINISTRATION– Section 4300

    SUBJECT: HEAD OF SCHOOLS – Policy 4310

    • As Chief Executive Officer of the Board of Trustees, he/she shall attend all regular, special, and work meetings of the Board except that the Head of School may be excluded when his/her employment contract or performance is discussed in executive session.
    • He/she shall administer all policies and enforce all rules and regulations of the Board.
    • He/she shall constantly review the local school situation and recommend to the Board areas in which new policies seem to be needed.
    • He/she shall be responsible for organizing, administering, evaluating, and supervising the programs and personnel of all school departments, instructional and non-instructional.
    • He/she shall recommend to the Board the appointment of all instructional and support personnel.
    • He/she shall be responsible for the preparation and recommendation to the Board of the annual School budget in accordance with the format and development plan specified by the Board.
    • He/she shall determine the need and make plans for plant expansion and renovation.
    • He/she shall be responsible for recommending for hire, evaluating, promoting, and dismissing all professional and non-professional staff personnel.
    • He/she shall prepare or supervise the preparation of the teacher's handbook, staff bulletins, and all other School-wide staff materials.
    • He/she shall plan and coordinate the recruitment of teachers and other staff to assure the school of the best available personnel.
    • He/she shall plan and conduct a program of supervision of teaching staff that will have as its goal the improvement of instruction, and, at the same time, will assure that only the teachers found to be of a high degree of competence will work for the school.
    • He/she shall continually strive to distinguish for all concerned between the areas of policy decisions appropriate to the Board and management decisions appropriate to the school's administrative personnel.
    • He/she shall, when necessary and/or desirable, transfer such personnel as he/she anticipates will function more effectively in other positions. These transfers shall be made within the guidelines of state laws, School policies and negotiated contracts.
    • He/she shall submit the data from the School Report Card and/or other such reports of student/School performance as prescribed by and in accordance with requirements of the Commissioner of Education.

    Education Law Sections 1711 and 3003

    8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations

    (NYCRR) Section 100.2(m)

    SUBJECT: HEAD OF SCHOOL - BOARD OF TRUSTEES RELATIONS – Policy 4320

    The Board of Trustees is accountable for all pursuits, achievements and duties of the School. The Board's specific role is to deliberate and to establish policies for the organization. The Board delegates the necessary authority to the Head of School who, acting as chief executive officer, is held accountable to the Board for compliance with its policies.

    • With respect to School goals and objectives, the Board will establish broad guidelines to be observed in the development of further policy and action. The Board reserves the right to issue either restrictive or general policy statements.
    • Generally, the Head of School will be empowered to assign and use resources; employ, promote, discipline and deploy staff; to translate policies of the Board into action; to speak as agent of the Board; to organize and delegate administrative responsibilities; and to exercise such other powers as are customary for chief executives.
    • The Head of School may not perform, cause, or allow to be performed any act that is unlawful, in violation of commonly accepted business and professional ethics; in violation of any contract into which the Board has entered; or, in violation of policies adopted by the Board that limit the Head of School's authority.
    • Should the Head of School or his/her designee consider it unwise or impractical to comply with an explicit Board policy, the Head of School will inform the Board of that determination. The Board will decide whether such judgment was warranted.
    • When law or other authority calls for Board approval of decisions that the Board has delegated to the Head of School, Board approval will be routinely given if those decisions have been made within the limits of Board policies.

    Education Law Section 1711

    EXPENDURES – Section 5200

    SUBJECT: ACCEPTANCE OF GIFTS, GRANTS AND BEQUESTS TO THE SCHOOL – Policy 5230

    The Board may accept gifts, grants and/or bequests of money, real or personal property, as well as other merchandise which, in view of the Board, add to the overall welfare of the School, provided that such acceptance is in accordance with existing laws and regulations. However, the Board is not required to accept any gift, grant or bequest and does so at its discretion, basing its judgment on the best interests of the School. Furthermore, the Board will not accept any gift, grant or bequest which constitutes a conflict of interest and/or gives an appearance of impropriety.

    At the same time, the Board will safeguard the School, the staff and students from commercial exploitation, from special interest groups, and the like.

    The Board will not accept any gifts or grants which will place encumbrances on future Boards, or result in unreasonable additional or hidden costs to the School.

    The Board of Trustees will not formally consider the acceptance of gifts or grants until and unless it receives the offer in writing from the donor/grantor. Any such gifts or grants donated to the Board and accepted on behalf of the School must be by official action and resolution passed by Board majority. The Board would prefer the gift or grant to be a general offer rather than a specific one. Consequently, the Board would suggest that the donor/grantor work first with the school administrators in determining the nature of the gift or grant prior to formal consideration for acceptance by the Board. However, the Board, in its discretion, may direct the Head of Schools to apply such gift or grant for the benefit of a specific school program.

    The Board is prohibited, in accordance with the New York State Constitution, from making gifts/ charitable contributions with School funds.

    Gifts and/or grants of money to the School shall be annually accounted for under the trust and agency account in the bank designated by the Board of Trustees.

    All gifts, grants and/or bequests shall become School property. A letter of appreciation, signed by the President of the Board and the Head of School, may be sent to a donor/grantor in recognition of his/her contribution to the School.

    Gift Giving

    The Board of Trustees recognizes that gift giving, especially during the holiday season, may be a common practice for many School employees. While the giving or exchanging of gifts may be acceptable among staff members, the Board strongly encourages School employees and students to show appreciation through written notes or greeting cards.

    SUBJECT: ACCEPTANCE OF GIFTS, GRANTS AND BEQUESTS TO THE SCHOOL

    Additionally, all business contacts will be informed that gifts exceeding $75 to School employees will be returned or donated to charity.

    New York State Constitution Article 8, Section 1

    Education Law Sections 1709(12) and (12-a) and 1718(2)

    General Municipal Law Section 805-a