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BIA - New School Committee Member Orientation

Policy BIA

Adopted: October 5, 2006
Amended: January 10, 2019

In accordance with the requirements of Massachusetts General Law Chapter 71, Section 36A as amended on December 24th, 2002, new School Committee members are required to complete, within one year of his or her election or appointment, at least eight hours of MASC orientation training.

The School Committee and Superintendent should help each new member to understand the Committee’s functions, policies and procedures of the Committee as soon after election as possible.  Each new member should be given access to the following materials:

  1. School Committee policies
  2. Open Meeting law
  3. Conflict of Interest Regulations
  4. The district’s current budget documents
  5. Collective bargaining agreements and contracts
  6. Student and staff handbooks
  7. The District Strategy document and School Improvement Plans (SIPs)
  8. The School Committee Meeting Norms
  9. State On-line Ethics Training

Each new member should also receive any other materials the Chair and/or the Superintendent determine to be necessary.

The Chair and/or Superintendent should also clarify practices regarding:

  • arranging visits to schools (including an introductory guided tour) or administrative offices
  • requesting information regarding school district operations
  • responding to community requests/complaints concerning staff or programs
  • handling confidential information
  • filling a liaison role

Whether appointed or elected, new members should be advised that they are also members of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, Inc., and should be encouraged to use the services and resources MASC provides by attending meetings or workshops specifically designed for new Committee members.  Their expenses at these meetings or workshops will be reimbursed in accordance with approved School Committee budget line items.

Legal References:

MGL 71:36A

Procedure Reference:

New Member Orientation Suggested Checklist BIA-1

School Committee Policies