PREAMBLE: It is essential to the smooth and efficient functioning of the District that Board members thoroughly understand and adhere to their proper role, which is to govern and oversee the management of the District.  Board members may not attempt to exercise individual authority over the District, and members’ interactions with the Superintendent or staff must recognize the lack of authority vested in individuals except when explicitly board authorized.  Board members are prohibited from participating in the day to day operations of the school district.  The governance framework for Navarro ISD is set forth in Polices BA, BAA, BBB, BBE, BE, BEC, BED, in the Navarro ISD Board Code of Conduct and Board Operating Procedures.

In addition to and conjunction with the Board Code of Conduct, the following procedures will govern the conduct of the Navarro Board of Trustees.

  1. Developing the Board Meeting Agenda
    1. Who can place items on agenda and guidelines:
      1. Agendas are created by the Superintendent and Board President and presented to the Board on Tuesday prior to the Monday meeting.
      2. Board members must request in writing or verbally to the Superintendent or Board President at least ten (10) days prior to the Board meeting any item they desire to have placed on theA verbal request will be followed up by completion of an agenda item request form.
      3. In accordance with the Texas Open Meetings Act, no item can be placed on the agenda less than 72 hours in advance of the meeting, except in an emergency as defined by law.
      4. The Superintendent and Board President shall include on the agenda all trustee requested agenda items that have been timely submitted according to board operating procedures.
    2. Items that will not be heard in open session:
      1. All personnel issues unless an exception under the Texas Open Meetings Act applies.
      2. Anything that could violate an individual’s right to privacy.
        All exceptions as covered in the Texas Open Meetings Act.
    3. Use of Consent Agenda:
      1. Board members shall call the Superintendent with questions regarding consent agenda items prior to the meeting; if more discussion is warranted, that item may be pulled at the request of any board member and considered as an action item.  Consent items include:
        1. All routine items
        2. Annual renewals of Region 13, Shared Service Agreements, and TEA matters.
        3. Budget amendments
        4. Tax refunds less than $500
        5. Gifts, donations and bequests
        6. Financial information
        7. Minutes of regularly and called board meetings
        8. Updates of board policy
        9. Routine personnel items    
        10. Routine bid considerations
        11. Items recommended by the Superintendent
  2. Member Conduct During Board Meetings
    In addition to the following procedures, at all times board members shall adhere to the Board Code of Conduct.
    1. Patrons addressing the Board:
      1. Audience participation at Board meetings is limited to the portion of the meeting designated as Open Forum.  At all other times during a Board meeting, the audience shall not enter into discussion or debate on matters being considered by the Board, unless recognized by the presiding officer.  No presentation shall exceed five minutes.  Delegations of more than two persons shall appoint one person to present their views before the Board. 
      2. At regular meetings the Board shall allot a total of 30 minutes to hear persons who desire to make comments to the Board.  Persons who wish to participate in the Open Forum shall sign up with the presiding officer or designee before the meeting begins and shall indicate the topic about which they wish to speak.
      3. Persons addressing the Board in Open Forum shall be given 5 minutes.
    2. Board response to patrons addressing the Board:
      1. Board members can hear comments.
      2. Board president may direct administration to investigate item(s) and report back to the Board.
      3. Board members cannot respond or enter into discussion with the audience during the meeting as:
        1. Items on the agenda will be discussed as appropriate and scheduled on the agenda;
        2. Items not on the agenda do not permit Board members to respond or discuss except to make factual statements or refer to board policy.
      4. Board president may exercise discretion in allowing patron comments to exceed 5 minutes or to extend the 30 minute time allotted for Open Forum.
      5. Board members may request that the Board President extend the Open Forum times set out in this policy.
    3. Discussion of Employee/Student Issues
      1. The Board will not allow complaints regarding individual personnel in open session unless required by law.
      2. The Board will not allow complaints on individual students in public session unless required by law.
    4. Hearings and Presentments:
      1. The Board will conduct all hearings or presentments in accordance with the applicable board policies (e.g. DGBA, FNG, GF).
      2. During hearings or presentment, board members will seek legal counsel as deemed necessary.
    5. Board shall observe the parliamentary guidelines in Robert’s Rules of Order or Established Policy or Practice.  A summary of Robert’s Rules of Order will be provided to each Board member.
    6. Discussion of Motions:
      1. All discussions shall be directly solely to the business currently under deliberation.
      2. The Board President has the responsibility to keep the discussion to the motion at hand and shall halt discussions that do not apply to the business currently before the Board.
    7. The Board President shall recognize a Board Member prior to giving their comments.
  3. Voting:
    1. The Board President will vote on all action items.
    2. The Board President may make motions, second motions and enter into debate on all agenda items.
    3. In case of tie, the motion is defeated.
    4. In case of a less than unanimous vote, the Board will support the majority decision and go forward in harmony.
  4. Individual Board Member Request for Information or Report
    1. When acting in his or her official capacity, an individual board member has the right of access to all documents and records of the district, subject to the responsibility to comply with confidentiality requirements. This right does not extend to confidential student records.
    2. Board members will request information, or seek access to records, or request copies of records through the Superintendent.
    3. Individual members shall not direct or require District employees to prepare reports derived from an analysis of information in existing District records or to create a new record compiled from information in existing District records. Directives to the Superintendent regarding the preparation of reports shall only be made after discussion and vote in a board meeting held in compliance with the Open Meetings Act.
    4. Written information/reports will be disseminated through the Superintendent’s office and shared with all Board members.
  5. Citizen Request/Complaint to Individual Board Members

    The Board recognizes that as elected officials they will be presented requests and complaints from the public therefore strict adherence to this procedure is required.
    1. The Board member, who is presented with a request or complaint outside the board meeting, shall receive enough information in order to be able to understand the nature of the request or complaint. 
    2. The Board member shall then refer the citizen to the appropriate person/chain of command as appropriate. 
    3. The Board member shall not become individually and personally involved in the request for complaint.
    4. The Board member must remind the citizen of their role and that as a Board member they must remain impartial in the event the situation comes before the Board.
    5. The Board member shall notify the Superintendent as soon as possible of the request or complaint. (E.g. Even if board member refers the patron to the principal to resolve the complaint, the board member should advise the Superintendent of the referral).
    6. The Superintendent will ensure that the citizen is contacted in a timely manner.  Board members will be notified of the disposition of the complaint if appropriate as deemed by the Superintendent.
  6. Employee Request/Complaint to Individual Board Member

    The Board recognizes that as elected officials they will be presented requests and complaints from employees therefore strict adherence to this procedure is required.
    1. The Board member should hear the employee request or complaint to be sure they under the nature of the complaint.
    2. The Board member shall then refer the employee to the appropriate person/chain of command as appropriate. 
    3. The Board member shall not become individually and personally involved in the request for complaint.
    4. The Board member must remind the employee of their role and that as a Board member they must remain impartial in the event the situation comes before the Board.
    5. The Board member shall notify the Superintendent as soon as possible of the request or complaint. 
    6. The Superintendent will ensure that the employee’s request/concern is addressed in a timely manner. Board members will be notified if Superintendent deems appropriate.
  7. Board Member Visit to Campus
    1. All Board members are encouraged to visit all schools and school events. 
    2. All Board members must sign in with the principal’s office upon arrival at the building.
    3. Board members will not individually undertake to observe the performance of employees, including classroom teachers, for the purposes of “evaluating” a teacher’s performance.
  8. Communications
    1. The Superintendent will communicate regularly with all Board members via Board Packets and updates.
    2. If a Board member has a concern about any aspect of the Superintendent’s duties or performance, he/she should go to the Superintendent and discuss the problem.
    3. Board members will not reprimand or provide direction to staff.  Directives to the Superintendent shall be in the confines of a duly called Board meeting.
    4. Board members will not attempt to exert pressure or influence on the staff in order to coerce them into making particular recommendations or decisions.
    5. Board members will not individually conduct interviews with prospective employees.
    6. Individual Board members cannot speak in an official capacity for the Board outside the Board room unless otherwise authorized by the Board.
    7. Board members will not give unsolicited recommendations for candidates for jobs throughout the district.
    8. Board members will not direct personnel to consider vendors other than those recommended through the competitive bidding or proposal process.
    9. Board members will not communicate through email or in any other medium with each other in a manner that is not in compliance with the Texas Open Meetings Act
  9. Communication with Legal Counsel
    1. The Board authorizes the Superintendent to contact legal counsel on behalf of the district.
    2. Board members are authorized to contact legal counsel on behalf of the district.
    3. Board members who contact legal counsel are to advise the Board President of the nature of the contact with legal counsel.
  10. Evaluation of the Superintendent
    1. The Superintendent and Board shall function as a “Team of Eight”.
    2. Board members will receive training on a locally developed process for Superintendent performance evaluation.
    3. A summative evaluation will be conducted in January and formative evaluation will be conducted in June.
    4. Each Board member will complete and deliver to the Board President, the approved appraisal instrument at least two (2) weeks prior to the summative conference.
    5. Evaluation of the Superintendent will be conducted in executive session unless the Superintendent requests the evaluation be done in open session.

      Ratings and comments on the Superintendent’s evaluation will be determined by Board consensus.
  11. Evaluation of the Board
    1. The Superintendent and Board function as a “Team of Eight”.
    2. A formal Self-evaluation of the Board shall be conducted annually using an instrument approved by the Board.
    3. The formal self-evaluation will be conducted every December addressing:
      1. Is the Board following the Board Code of Conduct?
      2. Is the Board following Board Operating Procedures?
      3. Is the Team of Eight Functioning Appropriately and Effectively?
      4. Were the goals set effective and were they accomplished?
    4. The evaluation will be used to determine team-building training needs and such training will be conducted annually.
    5. As deemed necessary, the Board shall utilize closed session under Texas Government Code 551.074 to evaluate and discuss the roles and responsibilities of board members as allowed by law.
    6. As deemed necessary, the Board shall utilize closed session under Texas Government Code 551.074 to hear complaints about public officials as allowed by law.
    7. Board members may request that a discussion of the performance of the Board as a body corporate or the performance of individual board members be placed on a properly posted agenda for discussion and possible action.
    8. The Board may develop as it deems appropriate discussion items that address governance issues, board policy issues and the Board Code of Conduct and Operating Procedures. 
  12. Criteria and Process for Selecting Board Officers
    1. No board member can hold office without one year’s experience as a Board member.
    2. Officer elections will be held in May of each year at the first regular meeting following the May trustee election.
    3. Election of officers will be conducted according to the attached plan (see Procedure for Officer Election).
  13. Role and Authority of Board Members and/or Board Officers
    1. No Board member or officer has authority outside of the Board meeting unless otherwise delegated by the Board.
    2. No Board member shall direct employees in regard to their performance of their duties.
    3. The Board supervises and evaluates the Superintendent.
    4. PRESIDENT:
      1. Presides at all Board meetings;
      2. Appoints Committees
      3. Shall call special meetings;
      4. Signs all legal documents required by law;
      5. Along with the Superintendent, sets the Board’s agendas.
    5. VICE PRESIDENT:
      1. Acts in the capacity of the President in his/her absence.
    6. SECRETARY:
      1. Keeps accurate record of Board meetings;
      2. Acting in absence of President and Vice President, Secretary shall call meeting and election for President Pro-tem.
    7. ASSISTANT SECRETARY:
      1. Acts in the absence of the Secretary.
    8. OFFICE VACANCY:
      1. The Vice President shall fill a vacancy in the Presidency and a new Vice President shall be elected.
      2. A vacancy among officers of the Board other than the President shall be filled by a majority action by the Board.
  14. Role of Board in Executive Session Media Inquires to the Board 
    1. The Board can only discuss those items listed for executive session agenda and allowed by law.
    2. The Board must vote in open session.
    3. Information discussed during executive session shall remain confidential.
  15. Media Inquires to the Board
    Board members should direct medial calls to the Board President and District Spokesperson and notify the Board President and Superintendent of the call.
  16. Medial Inquires to Individual Board Members
    Individual statements and responses by Board members are only individual statements and not representative of the entire Board and any individual board member making statements to the press will emphasis they are not speaking for the Board.
  17. Phone Calls/Letters
    The NAVARRO ISD Board of Trustees encourages input and the Board should refer appropriate calls and letters to the administration pursuant to the proper channels and board policies.  If a Board member receives an anonymous complaint, the Board member should encourage the person to identify themselves and the nature of their complaint so the person can be referred to the appropriate administrator to handle the complaint/concern.
  18. Response to Signed Letter Requests or Complaints
    The NAVARRO ISD Board of Trustees encourages input.  A signed letter will be forwarded to the Superintendent who will send acknowledgment to the originator of the letter. The Superintendent will respond and address the request/concern.
  19. Required Board Member Training
    1. Board members are required to complete training as specified in Texas Education Code § 11.159 and Policy BBD according to assessed needs.
    2. New Board members shall participate in a local orientation session within 60 days before or after their election or appointment. Three (3) additional hours or orientation to the Texas Education Code are to be completed within the first year of service.
    3. New Board members shall also complete ten (10) hours of continuing education during the first year of service.
    4. Sitting board members shall receive three (3) hours of orientation to the Texas Education Code and relevant legal obligations and at least (5) hours of continuing education each year following the first year.
    5. As soon as possible after the May election, the entire Board along with the Superintendent shall annually participate in at least three (3) hours of team building training, facilitated by a registered provider.
  20. Board Members as Parents

    While Board members have no authority over staff members, it is often difficult for staff members to view the board member as a parent rather than as a board member.  Board members are encouraged to:
    1. Make it clear that they are acting as parents;
    2. Board Members should not request nor accept extraordinary consideration for their children.
  21. Reimbursable Expenses
    1. Board members shall be reimbursed for reasonable expenses for:
      1. Carrying out the business of the Board at Board request;
      2. Attending meetings and conventions as official representatives of the Board.
      3. Mileage, commercial transportation, parking, lodging, meals and other incidental expenses.
    2. Board members shall not be reimbursed for:
      1. Expenses of family members who travel with Board members.
      2. Alcoholic beverages
  22. Campaigning for Election or Re-election
    1. Board incumbents running for re-election shall not request or accept support from District employees during work time.
    2. Board member shall not utilize District equipment or materials for campaign.
  23. Goal Setting
    1. A goal setting workshop will be conducted annually to develop long and short term plans for the district.
    2. Superintendent priorities will be based on goals each year.
  24. Procedure for Election of Board Officers
    1. The Board will properly post on the agenda for the nomination and election of board officers.  Board officers are President, Vice President, Secretary and Assistant Secretary.
    2. The Board President will facilitate the nomination and election of board officers at a board meeting.
    3. No Board member may hold office without a one year minimum Board experience.
  25. Violations and Sanctions
    1. Upon inclusion on the agenda and public posting in accordance with the law, the Board may convene in executive session to discuss a violation of the Navarro Code of Conduct and Board Operating Procedures, or other board policies, so long as the deliberation is confined to the duties, discipline, or complaint against a board member.
    2. The board member may request that the deliberation be conducted in open session.
    3. As a consequence of these deliberations, the Board may elect to do nothing, may reconvene in open session and vote to: (1) Publicly reprimand the board member; (2) Recommend additional training for the board member; (3) Authorize the Board President to remove the board member from leadership positions in the district. Leadership positions include board officer positions and membership on any district or campus level committee.  The Board may utilize any or all of these sanctions as allowed by this section.
    4. Nothing provided herein shall be construed to alter, modify, or limit in any way the rights of school district personnel and members of the public to file complaints against the board or board members under applicable board policies.
  26. Board Review of Code of Ethics and Board Operating Procedures
    1. The Board will annually review the Board Code of Ethics and Operating Procedures.
    2. Each new board member will be given a copy of the Board Code of Ethics and Operating Procedures prior to or at the new board member’s first board meeting.