A. POLICY DEVELOPMENT
The School Committee will develop policies and put them in writing so
that they may serve as guides for the discretionary action of those to
whom it delegates authority.
The formulation and adoption of these written policies will
constitute the basic method by which the School Committee will exercise
its leadership in providing for the successful and efficient functioning
of the school system. Through the study and evaluation of reports
concerning the execution of its policies, the School Committee will
exercise its control of school operations.
The School Committee accepts the definition of policy set forth by the National School Boards Association:
“Policies are principles adopted by a school committee to chart a
course of action. They tell what is wanted; they may include why and
how much. Policies should be broad enough to indicate a line of action
to be followed by the administration in meeting a number of problems;
narrow enough to give clear guidance. Policies are guides for action by
the administration, who then sets the rules and regulations to provide
specific directions to school district personnel.”
The policies of the School Committee are framed, and are meant to be
interpreted, in terms of state law, regulations of the Massachusetts
Board of Education, and other regulatory agencies of the various levels
The School Committee will develop the process that the School Committee will use for policy formulation and adoption.
B. POLICY ADOPTION
Adoption of new policies or changing existing policies is solely the
responsibility of the School Committee. Policies will be adopted and/or
amended only by the affirmative vote of a majority of the School
Committee members present when such action has been scheduled on the
agenda of a regular or special meeting. A quorum must be present for
the School Committee to take any vote. A majority of the School
Committee will constitute a quorum.
To permit time for study of all new policies or amendments to
policies and to provide an opportunity for interested parties to react,
proposed policies or amendments will be presented as an agenda item to
the Regional School Committee for discussion at a regularly scheduled
meeting. Except to meet emergency conditions, no vote will be taken by
the Regional School Committee to approve the proposed policies or
amendments until the following regularly scheduled meeting or at a
special meeting established for that purpose.
To meet emergency conditions, the School Committee may dispense with
the above sequence by a vote of two thirds of those members present. A
quorum must be present for the School Committee to take any vote.
Because the three School Districts are strongly connected with each
other, policies usually will be consistent across the three districts.
Except when the topic of a policy is not relevant for all three school
districts, a proposed policy will be brought before all three School
Committees for a vote. A policy becomes effective for the school
district as soon as the School Committee has voted approval, unless the
School Committee specifies a later date for the policy to take effect.
If a policy will not apply to all three districts, then the pertinent
School Committee may adopt a policy for its School District by
discussing the proposed policy as an agenda item at a regularly
scheduled meeting and by voting to approve the policy. Except in
emergency conditions, no vote will be taken until the following
regularly scheduled meeting or at a special meeting established for that
Policies will be effective upon the date set by the Regional School
Committee or by the pertinent School Committee. This date will ensure
that affected persons have an opportunity to become familiar with the
requirements of the new policy prior to its implementation.
C. POLICY REVIEW AND EVALUATION
In an effort to keep its written policies up-to-date so that they can
be used consistently as a basis for School Committee action and
administrative decision, the Committee will review its policies on a
The Committee will evaluate how the policies have been executed by
the school staff and will weigh the results. It will rely on the school
staff, students, and the community for providing evidence of the effect
of the policies it has adopted.
The Superintendent is given the continuing commission of calling to
the Committee’s attention all policies that are out of date or for other
reason appear to need revision.
The School Committee directs the Superintendent to periodically
recall all policy and regulations manuals for administrative updating
and Committee review.
D. SUSPENSION OF POLICIES
The operation of any section or sections of School Committee policies
not established by law or contract may be temporarily suspended by a
two-thirds vote of a quorum of Committee members present at any regular
or special meeting. Any action to suspend policy must be reviewed at
the next scheduled meeting and will be so noted on the agenda for that
E. ABSENCE OF POLICY
In the absence of policy, the Chairperson may speak for the
Committee, and the Superintendent of Schools may act for the Committee.
Both would do so with the understanding that such actions are subject
to review by the entire Committee and approval by them.
Region Voted to Approve: 7/11/06 amended 11/25/08
Amherst Voted to Approve: 8/15/06 amended 12/9/08
Pelham Voted to Approve: 9/7/06 amended 12/4/08
Effective Date: 12/9/08