About the Board of Education
Legal control of Unified School District No. 232 is vested in the seven member Board of Education, elected to staggered four-year terms. Any registered voter who resides within the boundary lines of the school district may run for election to the board. Six board members are elected to represent one of three geographic areas within USD 232. Each member must reside within those districts. The seventh position is designated at-large. School board elections are held every two years in November.
Members of the Board of Education invite you to become involved with your school system and welcome your questions and comments. Use this webpage as a beginning guide in understanding the purpose of the Board of Education, its role, and how patrons can interact with the board. Requests for additional information may be directed to the clerk of the board.
Board Duties & Responsibilities
Board members are responsible for developing and adopting policies that will guide the superintendent and staff as they provide for the education needs of the students, parents, and patrons of the district. Other duties include the following:
- Setting goals for the district
- Establishing operating policies for schools
- Hiring and evaluating the superintendent
- Authorizing the appointment of district staff
- Authorizing curriculum development & revision
- Establishing the operating budget for the district
All policies established by the board must be consistent with the laws covering public education in the state of Kansas and must follow the guidelines of the Kansas State Board of Education.
Board members receive no financial compensation for their service to the school district.
Board meetings are held for the purpose of setting or amending school policies, acting on recommendations by the superintendent on matters including personnel, maintenance of facilities, adopting an operating budget, and authorizing the spending of district funds. An agenda is prepared by the superintendent and board president in advance of each meeting. The agenda is available on the Board of Education webpage prior to the scheduled meeting. Official minutes are available on the district website once they have been approved by the board. You are encouraged to attend Board of Education meetings, as the board actively seeks input from patrons.
The agenda and how to address the board
Regularly scheduled meetings follow an agenda which is created using a basic outline:
- Consent Agenda
- Good News
- Action Items
- Discussion Items
- Patron Input
- Alerts (written reports indicating items that may require future action by the board)
- FYI Reports (written reports to keep the board informed on a range of topics)
- Executive Session
The consent agenda includes the adoption of the current meeting agenda, approval of the minutes from the prior meeting, approval of the payment of bills, approval of the transfer of funds, and any action items specified on the meeting agenda.
Patron Input (public comment)
Patron input is accepted at all regularly scheduled Board of Education meetings. This takes place during the patron input time on the agenda and announced by the board president. Individuals will be asked to state their name and address, and to limit comments to a specific period of time. Complaints about individuals and other matters not suitable for a public forum will be referred to appropriate personnel and not heard at a board meeting. Patrons may also contact board members outside of regular meetings in order to share their thoughts and concerns.
Who may speak?
- Any individual - speaking for yourself or representing a group.
When is public input accepted?
- At all regularly scheduled Board of Education meetings.
- During the public input time on the agenda.
Before you speak
- We ask that you please fill out a Request to Speak form prior to the meeting and return it to the clerk of the board. The form will be available at the site of the scheduled board meeting.
- The Board president will announce the patron input time and, in turn, call the names of all who have submitted Request to Speak forms.
- When your name is called, come forward to the speaker’s podium. Relax. The Board is happy to hear from you!
- Give your name and address.
- Make your remarks and try to be brief and to the point.
- Except as authorized by the board president, comments shall not exceed 5 minutes per speaker.
- During an open session, the board shall not hear personal attacks or rude or defamatory remarks of any kind about any employee or student of the school district, or any person connected with the school district.
- The board shall not hear public comments containing vulgar or obscene language.
- Any individual wishing to lodge a complaint regarding school personnel shall submit the complaint in writing to the superintendent of schools. If the complaint involves the superintendent, then the letter shall be submitted to the president of the board.
- The Board president will stop any speaker who does not follow guidelines or use good taste and judgement.
- In most cases, the Board will not respond to your remarks during the meeting. Later, it may gather more information and/or pursue your issue in a variety of ways.
- If you have asked a question or requested an inquiry, the district may send you a response at a later time.
- If you do not receive a follow-up letter, you can assume your remarks have been heard and placed on file for review.
Open Meetings & Executive Sessions
The public is invited to attend all open meetings. Occasionally, executive sessions may be held. Kansas statute limits the items that may be discussed in executive session to the following:
- Non-elected personnel issues, in order to protect privacy rights
- Attorney-client issues
- Matters related to employer / employee negotiations
- Confidential data related to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trusts, and individual proprietorships
- Preliminary discussions related to acquisition of real property
- Matters affecting a student
- Matters relating to security of a public body or agency, building or facility, or the information system of a public body or agency, if the discussion at an open meeting would jeopardize the security of such body or system.
Any board action on any item discussed in executive session must be taken in public session.
Special meetings may be called at any time. Agendas and meeting locations will be available prior to a scheduled meeting. This information is available from the office of the board clerk and the district website. Meetings, unless otherwise noted, are held at the Board of Education, Administrative Offices - 35200 West 91st Street, De Soto, KS.