Administrator Attendance to Board Meetings

This question is directed to school districts that have multiple school buildings and multiple principals: do these districts ask principals to attend regular school board meetings? If so, is there a formal report to the board? What is their role at the meeting ­ formal, informal? Do all attend all the time or do they rotate duties?

  1. We area 3 school district – 2 middle schools and a high school. Until about a year ago, all principals and/or assistants attended each meeting and provided a written report to board members; at that time, in a n effort to streamline our meetings to make them more efficient and effective, we forewent the written reports and asked for 5 minute summaries with more information as needed. We rotate meeting sites among the 3 schools and very recently have asked only the host administrator to attend unless there is a reason for the others to be there – this seems to be working well and alleviates administrators – some of whom leave a distance away (30 +miles) – from having to come out for a meeting unnecessarily.

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  2. MY experience is that they are always welcome and there is an agenda item (report(s) by principal(s) should they have specific information to share. Usually principals forward a written report with the Board’s agenda//packet They always attended budget meetings.

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  3. Usually our principals prepare reports for the board. A few years ago we insisted that they prepare these reports enough ahead so that we could see them before the meeting. They typically all attend all the meetings, but it is a loose arrangement. Often they skip a meeting when other issues are pressing either school business or personal. That is fine with the board.

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  4. The building principals do attend and they make formal written reports to the board. They also are available as a resource during board meetings and participate informally. They also attend many of the board’s committee meetings.

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  5. We have 3 principals and they all attend our school board meetings. One meeting a month, they each provide a verbal update of events in their building and the other meeting a month, they provide a written calendar of events. We have a great working relationship with our principals so, while their participation is formal in role, it is casual in tone. Personally, I like their perspective on all things and could not imagine having a board meeting without their input and thoughtful comments.

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  6. We operate in a policy governance model and therefore the principals do not come on a regular basis in order to present. They may come from time to time to observe or assist the superintendent if appropriate for the monitoring report. From time to time we may ask them to come if we feel it would be helpful.

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  7. Prior to Policy Governance we did not require attendance by the principals. Under PG we only have one administrator responsible for reporting, the superintendent.

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  8. Whether you are under policy governance or not, the board must not micro manage the principals. Principals should only be present at the request of the superintendent.

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  9. Principals attend, no formal report…they answer questions informally.

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  10. In the Addison Central Supervisory Union, which includes the UD-3 middle and high schools (separate principals) in Middlebury, and seven separate elementary schools and boards, I am pretty sure that principals are NOT required to attend every meeting, but are asked for written reports ahead of a meeting (so as not to take up time with oral reports). Most, however, choose to attend.

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  11. We are a Union school district with two schools – the high school and a regional technical center. We have both principals attend all scheduled meetings. If either one cannot attend, a rep attends.

    I wasn’t around when the decision was made to have them attend but I find it very helpful to have them at the meeting. They add value that the superintendent would not be able to duplicate either because he does not know or something might be lost in translation. The principals both provide a report. We get a written report in the org notes then the principal will expand on sections of the report that demand more detail at the meeting. For instance, when NECAP results are available, it is part of the HS principal’s report. We know there will be lots of questions so he provides some verbal explanations to go along with the presentation slides in the org notes. He also leaves time for questions on anything in the written report that wasn’t covered in the presentation. So I would say that they have a formal role.

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  12. The two building principals do not attend the monthly board meetings. The district leader/principal works directly with the board. He does make a “Principal’s Report” each month. This includes information from teachers/grade levels and always art work from some students. At budget time the building principals do attend some meetings if they are presenting their budgets.

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  13. Our principal in our school attends meetings on a regular basis and I believe this happens in other schools also. Our principle gives us a formal report on what is going on within the school, test scores etc. They also give input on hiring of new personnel and upkeep of the school. They pretty much attend all the time. The principals also have their own association that has regular meetings and they attend our larger supervisory union meetings.

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  14. Request one monthly written report, expect one monthly formal report with most being written per principal. Attendance may depend on the agenda items and the frequency of your board meetings. If I were a principal I would want to make sure my lines of communication with my board were open, honest and ongoing.

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  15. Our school is only a PreK to 12 with one principal & one superintendent but.. Our past and present principal does a letter in our board packet prior to the meeting letting us know what is going on. He attends the meetings always and then will report on specific info as needed. The super also writes a little letter to board every time & does his report at the meeting.

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  16. When I was the chair I had four principals and I would require one principal a meeting to give a report so they only had to show up once every two months. (meetings bimonthly) I took the position because of the problems with assaults on the staff that the public not engage with the principals. I made them go through me as chair and as I said only one different one showed up every two weeks.

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  17. I would agree with the first answer to this question. The three principals in our district (elementary, middle level, and high school) all have formal roles at our board meetings which include giving regular principal’s reports as well as frequent presentations on a variety of topics including curriculum, assessment, budget development, student activities, etc. They often add important perspective for our board on other issues as well. We (the board and the principals) are in agreement that their regular attendance at our meetings is crucial, even if it makes for an extra long work day for them on meeting days.

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  18. We have all of our principals attend all our regular meetings and orally present early in the agenda an update (highlights/low lights). They stay for questions and collaboration. They also attend most other meetings to be available for questions and collaboration. This is also true of the Director of Early Ed.

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