Essex-Westford School Board
Governance Norms & Protocols
September 2, 2021
We agree to employ the following norms in all our interactions:
- The board will represent the needs and interests of ALL the students in our district, and do so in a manner that provides excellent return on investment for taxpayers.
- The board will establish the Global Ends Policy, create policies, and assure accountability. The superintendent will manage the schools. We will be focused on our work as a board and not interfere with the day-to-day operations of the school system, which is the responsibility of the superintendent.
- The board will lead by example. We will voice opinions respectfully and speak and act with positive intent toward other board members, administrators, school staff, the EWSD, and members of the public; while we encourage debate and differing points of view, we will do so with care and respect.
- We will hear each opinion, but ultimately act as one. We will speak candidly and courteously to each other and listen to dissenting or different viewpoints with an open mind. We will help each other to depersonalize disagreements. Once we reach a decision or compromise as a board, we will each support the will of the board in word and deed.
- The chair (or designee) will speak as the official voice of the board. A single board member will not represent the board without the consent of the board, and board members making personal statements (in any format, including speeches, articles, social media posts, etc.) should clearly state that these statements are their opinion and not the position of the board.
- We will be mindful of the different roles and responsibilities throughout the school system and maintain a focus on policy and governance.
- We will be aware of the different roles that we play as individuals (board member, citizen, parent, student, etc.).
- We will maintain open communication with each other, the administration, and the community-at-large. Information shared with one board member will be shared with all members. If considerable work or time is required to generate data, the full board must endorse the request, ensuring that the request falls within the responsibilities and authority of the board.