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Understanding the Policy System

 

Board Policies - Understanding the Policy System

Policies are principles adopted by the school board to chart a course of action. They tell WHAT is wanted and may include also WHY and HOW MUCH. They should be broad enough to indicate a line of action to be taken by the administration in meeting a number of problems day after day; they should be narrow enough to give the administration clear guidance.

Rules are the detailed directions that are developed by the administration and staff to put policy into practice. They tell HOW, WHEN, WHERE and BY WHOM things are to be done.

This philosophy was incorporated into thinking that produced the model and guided the board and the district's staff in developing the final, adopted policies and rules.

There is one binder containing thirteen sections of policies and rules. These sections are as follows:

A -- SCHOOL DISTRICT ORGANIZATION
B -- SCHOOL BOARD OPERATIONS
C -- GENERAL SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION
D -- FISCAL MANAGEMENT
E -- BUSINESS MANAGEMENT
F -- FACILITY EXPANSION PROGRAM
G -- PERSONNEL (certified and noncertified)
H -- NEGOTIATIONS
I -- INSTRUCTIONAL PROGRAM
J -- STUDENTS
K -- GENERAL PUBLIC RELATIONS
L -- INTERORGANIZATIONAL RELATIONS
M -- RELATIONS WITH OTHER EDUCATION AGENCIES

This type of classification system is designed for computer use and con-forms to sound principles of information storage and retrieval, to sound principles of school governance and also to the mandates of practicality. The system's ultimate success or failure will depend on the extent of its day-to-day usefulness as a management tool to facilitate school and board operations.

Basic to the system is the vocabulary of policy development descriptors. This vocabulary includes more than 1,000 discreet terms, e.g., "Underground Newspapers", "Psychological Testing", "Nepotism", etc. These terms set forth specific issues and concerns for possible school board action at the policy development level.

The coding or "tracking" of terms is by letter rather than by number. Letter (alpha) encoding offers two major advantages over number coding. A letter system offers more flexibility. The code has available 26 separate letters to use compared to only ten digits. A letter system requires no decimal points. This tends to reduce the likelihood of errors in reproduction and filing.

At first glance, letter codes may look strange compared to the more familiar decimal system. Yet it takes but a moment for a code-user to appreciate the logic and simplicity of letter coding.

Board Policies