Operating Protocol

For the purpose of enhancing teamwork among members of the Board and between the Board and the administration, we the members of the Sharyland Independent School District Board of Trustees, do hereby publicly commit ourselves collectively and individually to the following operating protocol:

  1. Place children's interests first. The Board reaffirms our commitment to represent the needs and interests of all the children in our District.

  2. Encourage and solicit community input. The Board shall promote opportunities to assess public opinion and shall respect the right of the public to express viewpoints regarding issues faced by the District.

  3. Limit discussions to items on the agenda. Surprises to the Board or the Superintendent shall be the exception, not the rule. We agree to ask the Board President or the Superintendent to place an item on the agenda instead of bringing it up unexpectedly at the meeting. Facts and information needed from the administration shall be referred to the Superintendent.

  4. Respect and listen to all discussions. There should be no use of cell phones unless for an emergency.

  5. Encourage communication between the staff and the Board. While appropriate communication between staff and Board is encouraged, Board requests that require considerable time or that may have political implications shall be placed on the agenda for Board consideration.

  6. Follow the chain of command. We agree to follow the chain of command and shall insist that others do so. While the Board is eager to listen to its constituents and staff, each inquiry shall be referred to the person who can properly and expeditiously address the issue.

  7. Practice the governance role. The Board shall emphasize planning, policymaking, and communication rather than becoming involved in the management of the schools.

  8. Conduct a self-assessment/evaluation annually. The Board shall monitor its behavior by yearly self-evaluation and by addressing itself to any individual problems, such as poor meeting attendance or leaks of confidential information.

  9. State goals clearly. The Board shall set clear goals for itself, the Superintendent, and for the Sharyland Independent School District.

  10. Consider CEO input. The Superintendent is the chief executive officer and should make recommendations, proposals, or suggestions on most matters that come before the Board.

  11. Act only as a Board. Individual Board members do not have authority; only the Board as a whole has authority. We agree that an individual Board member shall not take unilateral action. The Board President shall communicate the position(s) for the Board on controversial issues.

  12. Discuss the issues. Conduct at Board meeting is important. We agree to avoid words and actions that create negative impressions of an individual, the Board, or the District. While we encourage the expression of differing points of view, we shall do it with care and respect in order to avoid unnecessary escalation of negative impressions or incidents.

  13. Practice efficient decision-making. To be efficient and effective, long Board meetings should be the exception and not the rule. If a Board member believes he or she doesn't have enough information or has questions, either the Superintendent or the Board President is to be called prior to the meeting.

  14. Maintain Confidentiality of closed sessions. Board members shall be sensitive to the legal ramifications of their closed sessions and the confidentiality of the topics discussed.