New York State School Boards Association

What Does a School Board Member Do? UNUSED

These are challenging times for public education. School boards are seeking men and women who find excitement and satisfaction in confronting tough challenges and working collegially to overcome them.

The board of education is a uniquely American institution. It keeps the country's public schools flexible and responsive to the needs of their local communities. A member of a board of education in New York State takes on one of the most important responsibilities that can be assigned to any citizen: helping to plan the education of the community's youth.

As a school board member you hold positions as:

  • An individual school board member
  • A member of the district governance team composed of school board members and the superintendent
  • A member of a board made of other members

The Board focuses on ENDS - vision, goals, and policy

What? Why? How Well? How Much?

The Superintendent (as CEO) focuses on MEANS - objectives, plans, actions, recommendations

How? When? Where? By Whom?

In other words, the board oversees the education of students and is responsible for school district operations, but does not directly run the district’s day-to-day operations.


Your major roles as board member are:

  • Representative - of the entire community
  • Steward - of the district’s resources
  • Leader - of the district
  • Advocate - for public education

To represent well, to fulfill public trust, to lead…

Your major board responsibilities are:

  • Set the District’s Direction - drawing upon the community, the board describes a shared vision, and established goals, standards and strategy to transform vision into reality.
  • Ensure Alignment - of strategy, resources, policies, programs, and processes with district goals
  • Assess & Account for Progress - using comprehensive data, thorough deliberation, and open communication
  • Continuously Improve - the district - accentuating and reinforcing the positive, and correcting the negative
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