The Board benefits from, and seeks, communication from the district's stakeholders on any and all subjects of concern.
Opportunities include presentations at the "Open Discussion" portions of regular Board meetings as well as the special community forum Board meetings in the schools expressly for that purpose. Individual Board members may also be contacted by e-mail, phone, letter or in person.
However, the Board's primary responsibility to the communities it serves requires that it devote most of its time and thought to district policy, long range planning, and goals.
For this reason, as well as sound administrative relations between the Board and Superintendent, the Board has delegated to the Superintendent the authority to administer the District consistent with its policies. This includes the Superintendent's responsibility to investigate and resolve any disputes involving district stakeholders' disagreements with administrative decisions.
This Board practice in no way limits the opportunity of District stakeholders to present their concerns to the Board in the ways indicated above. Indeed, to repeat, such communications are one of many useful ways Board members have of learning about what's going on within the District. Moreover, such communications may motivate the Board to initiate a review of its policies, or take such communications into account when it evaluates the Superintendent's performance.
However, stakeholders should be aware that, with extremely rare exceptions, the Board will most likely not involve itself with a review of administrative actions or the Superintendent's resolution of administrative disputes -- unless they raise a significant issue of Board policy. A policy issue might be involved because of (a) inconsistency between an administrative decision and clear Board policy, (b) the need for a repeal or revision of a Board policy, or (c) the need for a new Board policy.
Thus, in the event a stakeholder does wish to propose that the Board address, and resolve, an appeal from a decision of the Superintendent, the following procedure will be the most helpful for Board and stakeholder alike:
1. Prepare a written statement. One copy is enough. Legible handwriting is adequate. Try to limit it to one page.
2. Provide your name, address, phone, and the date.
3. Briefly state the nature and history of your concern or complaint, including your efforts to have it resolved administratively.
4. To the best of your ability explain why you believe your concern involves a significant issue of Board policy.The Board's policies are available at the Central Administrative Office, the Iowa City Public Library, the media resource centers in the schools, and on the Web.5. Deliver your statement to the Board Secretary at the district Central Administration Office. He or she will prepare a copy of if for each Board member and include it with the agenda materials for the next regular Board meeting.
One or more Board members may be able to detect the policy issues involved from your statement. So you may request a hearing without first having researched the Board's policies. But it will serve your interest to do so, because this portion of your presentation is the most important in persuading the Board to hear your policy appeal.
6. Each Board member will make an individual judgment as to whether he or she believes the policy issue involved is of sufficient significance to warrant the meeting time required for a formal Board hearing.
7. If three of the seven Board members vote to hold a hearing you will be notified of your opportunity to appear before the Board at its next meeting.(Although three is not a majority of seven, the Board believes if as many as three members think a hearing should be held that the issue is sufficiently important to warrant its being addressed.)8. If your policy appeal involves an administrative decision please note that a Board member's vote for a hearing is not an expression that the decision was a violation of policy -- only that a hearing should be held on the issue. Similarly, a Board member's failure to vote for a hearing is not a vote supporting the decision (although that may be its effect so far as you are concerned). It is simply his or her judgment that, whether or not it is what they would have decided were they the Superintendent, it was a decision within the Superintendent's administrative discretion.
9. If a hearing is held, the Board will later issue a reasoned statement of its conclusions regarding the policy issues involved.