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Understanding the Superintendency - The Role of the School Board: A Basic Overview

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In recognition of School Board Member Appreciation Day last week, here is a primer on what it means to be a school board member.
As a superintendent I have a single supervisor that consists of 7 people. These 7 volunteers are elected to serve as representatives of the community. As community members indicate they are interested in serving as Board members, before they run for a 4-year term, I share this document with them: “What it Means to Serve on the Board” that serves as an introduction to the role. I also meet with them and share my experiences as a superintendent, but also as a former board member. Most of this information I provide is from the Illinois Association of School Boards, the professional organization that supports school board members in Illinois. The IASB outlines 6 main responsibilities of a school board: Clarifies the district's purpose Connects with the community Employs a superintendent Delegates authority Monitors performance Takes responsibility for itsel…

Understanding the Superintendency: Snow/Cold Day Process

I am returning to my blog to begin a periodic narrative of what a superintendent actually does and some of the decision making that goes into this role. Since we are already into snow season here is a quick description of what goes into calling off school for cold or snow in my role.


It usually begins with a series of conference calls in the day or days before a potential emergency weather event  with DuPage County and the Office of Emergency Management. At the same time, I am discussing what we are learning with our local elementary school districts and other high school districts in DuPage County. There are several calls or emails between these groups and this continues throughout the day leading up to an emergency event. We follow our processes outlined on the District’s Emergency Closing Information page.  If we can make a call the night before, we try to before 9PM. Otherwise superintendents across DuPage County are monitoring the situation all night. We are in communication with …