School Board reviews governance standards

(Graham Jaehnig/Daily Mining Gazette) The Hancock School Board on Monday adopted the Michigan Association of School board’s Board of Education Governance Guidelines after Superintendent Steve Patchin introduced them at the December meeting.

HANCOCK — On Monday, the Hancock School Board approved the recommendation of Superintendent Steve Patchin to approve Board of Education Governance

Guidelines as outlined by the Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB), that were introduced at the December regular monthly meeting.

The Michigan School Board Governance Standards are intended for use by local and intermediate school boards, as well as individual school board members. They were developed by school board members for school board members to provide a shared framework for effective school district governance. The standards established what the MASB refers to as Guiding Principles of the Board of Education, which include accountability, commitment to learning, inclusivity, stewardship, transparency, as is vision-driven.

The guiding principles of the board are:

• The board, in cooperation with the superintendent and stakeholders, establishes and commits to a vision for the school district that emphasizes high expectations for achievement of all students and quality instruction.

• The board governs in a manner that is dignified and worthy of trust.

• The board is accountable to the school district and community.

• The board holds the superintendent accountable for creating the outcomes identified in the school district plan.

The guidelines also govern individual board members in the areas of advocacy, civility, courage, empathy, enquiry, integrity, regard for authority of the board as a unit, and selflessness, and states the following four points:

• The individual member is motivated by, and focuses on, what is in the best interest of all students.

• The individual member believes in the importance of, and actively engages in, lifelong learning.

• The individual member understands and respects both the authority and the responsibilities of the board as a unit.

• The individual member approaches school governance work with the spirit of inquiry.

At last month’s meeting, Patchin told the board that the common practice that the MASB is in creating these guidelines to create and add continuity.

“I don’t know about you folks,” Patchin said, “but I’m very interested in having some very clear expectations.”

Patching said he brought up the topic, because the governance standards are very basic, yet having guidelines and expectations is advantageous, particularly because the standards were created for school boards, both large and small.

The adoption of the standards, he said, includes the questions: What are we looking for, and who are we responsible for.