Adoption Date: 10/5/1972, Revised: 11/17/1975; 4/24/2002, 1/9/2012
B - Board Governance and Operations

BIA Orientation for New School Committee Members

Orientation for New School Committee Members

In accordance with the requirements of Massachusetts General Law Chapter 71:36A as amended on December 24, 2002, each new school committee member is required to complete, within one year of his/her election or appointment, at least eight hours of orientation training. This orientation shall include, but is not limited to, a review of School Finance, the Open Meeting Law, the Public Records Law, Conflict of Interest Law, Special Education Law, Collective Bargaining, School Leadership Standards and Evaluations, and the Roles and Responsibilities of School Committee Members.

School committee members and the superintendent shall assist each new member in understanding committee functions, as well as policies and procedures of the committee as soon after election as possible. Each new member shall be given the following materials:

A. A copy of the School Committee Policy Manual
B. A copy of the Open Meeting Law
C. A copy of the Conflict of Interest Regulations
D. A copy of the district budget
E. A copy of the collective bargaining agreement(s) and contracts

Each new member shall also receive any other materials the chair and/or the superintendent determine to be necessary.

Each new member will present to the committee secretary official certification of having sworn the oath before an officer duly qualified to administer oaths prior to entering on his/her official duties as a member of the committee. From the town clerk, newly qualified committee members – by law – receive and sign a receipt for a copy of the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law governing the conduct of committee meetings in general and executive sessions in particular.

The chair and/or superintendent shall also clarify the following:
A. Arranging visits to schools or administrative offices
B. Requesting information regarding school district operations
C. Responding to community requests/complaints concerning staff or programs
D. Handling confidential information

Whether appointed or elected, new members should be advised that they are also members of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, Inc., and should be encouraged to utilize the services and resources MASC provides by attending meetings or workshops specifically designed for new committee members. Their expenses at these meetings or workshops will be reimbursed in accordance with established school committee procedure.

LEGAL REF.: MGL Ch. 71:36A
Adopted October 5, 1972
Amended November 17, 1975
Amended April 24, 2002
Amended January 9, 2012