From: The Cochrane-Fountain City School Board
Ed Callahan, Steve Scharlau, Jo Ressie, Larry Gabel, Charlie Krueger, Steve Willadsen and Barry Drazkowski
The C-FC school board believes the most efficient way to manage the school district is to empower our superintendent to use his experience, training and technical knowledge to organize his staff and allocate district revenue in the most efficient way possible. A school board cannot effectively make day-to-day decisions in the running of a school and when it attempts to do so it only serves to slow the work of the administration and make them less effective.
The current school board believes that it has three primary jobs:
•Set high level priorities that set goals for the administration and district.
•Communicate effectively with the community to better educate you about your school district and to receive guidance regarding the goals we set for the district.
•Monitor the performance of the district against the goals we have set.
It may seem obvious to you that this is how a school board should work, but many or most school boards, especially in rural school districts, spend the majority of their time worrying about issues that are probably the role of the administration (Should we buy a new truck? Is it time to buy new math books?) and not enough time setting direction, communicating and monitoring. It is difficult for many boards to hand off to administration responsibilities it has historically believed to be theirs. But we at the C-FC school board believe that micro-management by the school board only hinders efficiency. We choose to focus elsewhere, but monitor performance to ensure the school is run well. We seek to manage and communicate, not run the school directly.
Over the past year and a half, the board has shifted how it works and already micro-manages less and focuses at a higher level. During this time we have developed a new set of policies to codify these priorities. These policies will help ensure board time is spent more on communication, setting direction through additional policy and monitoring success while the administration is empowered to work as efficiently as possible. If you have heard the term “policy governance”, this framework is what that term refers to.
These new policies are scheduled to be put into effect at our February regular meeting. The policies are available for review at the district office. If you have questions or concerns about our direction, please contact a school board member. If you see public outreach meetings announced, please consider attending. For our school to succeed we need an involved and well-informed community.