Operating Agreement

South Lane School District
2018-2019 School Board Operating Agreement



Children Come First

Always Learning, Teaching, Caring

Safe, Respectful, and Inclusive Schools and Community


A school board member has no legal powers unless participating at a legally scheduled school board meeting, or acting on behalf of the school board after the board formally grants authority to do so. Thus, it is essential that every school board member work as a member of the broader leadership team to perform board duties and act in a manner consistent with all applicable rules, laws, polices and agreements.


Board members can demonstrate personal commitment to the Agreement by signing this document signifying agreement to uphold the principles of the Agreement, both in letter and in spirit.


Many school boards post a copy of the signed Agreement in prominent locations throughout the district. This public display of district leadership sends a powerful message and sets the tone for how the business of education will be conducted.



  •     Maintain a priority focused on increasing student achievement and student success, and ensure the efficient use of education resources.
  •      Attend all regularly scheduled board meetings, insofar as possible, and review advance materials about the issues to be considered on each agenda. Ask for additional or clarifying information from staff prior to the board meeting if at all possible.
  •      In consultation with the superintendent, set education goals for the district.
  •      Maintain confidentiality of privileged information and discussion conducted on behalf of the district and in executive session.
  •      Review essential facts, consider others’ ideas, and the presented opinions during board deliberations but, once the vote has been taken, support board decisions regardless of how individuals voted.
  •       Act only as a member of the board and do not assume any individual authority when the board is not in session, unless otherwise authorized and directed by a board vote. Understand the Board makes decisions as a team. Individual board members may not commit the Board to any action.
  •       Rely on district policies that are continually updated and aligned with state and federal education laws, and guidance from the superintendent, when making board decisions.
  •      Request recommendations from the superintendent and seek legal counsel when required for full and informed board consideration of issues requiring legal expertise.
  •      Expect that an equitable amount of board meeting time be spent both learning about educational programs and conducting the business of the board.



  •      Voice opinions respectfully and maintain good relations with other board members, administrators, school staff and members of the public.
  •      Retain independent judgment and as a board refuse to surrender that judgment to individuals or special interest groups.
  •      Maintain respectful etiquette and decorum even when discussing and disagreeing on specific issues.



  •     Be informed about educational issues through individual and group study and by participating in board development opportunities offered through OSBA and other education organizations.
  •     Support and mentor new school board members by sharing your experience and knowledge.
  •     Ensure that adequate board orientation and team building opportunities are available for board members.
  •     Work to develop a network with board members from other districts to discuss issues and collaborate on district improvement initiatives.



  •     Represent the entire community without fear or favor.
  •     Represent the right of the public to be informed about district decisions and school board operations as allowed by law.
  •     Perform a liaison role between the community and the district by interpreting the consensus attitudes, desires and needs of both the community and the district.
  •     Consider the needs of the entire community and vote for what is best for all students.
  •     Encourage and provide opportunities for collaboration between the school and community.



  •     Do not solicit or receive directly or indirectly any gift or compensation in return for making a recommendation or casting a vote.
  •     Follow all state ethics statutes and district policies regarding financial gain or avoidance of a detriment for yourself or family members (Policy BBF Board Member Ethics).
  •     Adhere to the school board conflict of interest policy regarding the appearance of conflicts of interest (Policy BBFA Board Member Ethics and Conflicts of Interest). 


I agree to abide by the principles outlined in the School Board Agreement and will do my part to work as a productive member of the leadership team.


As citizens of the United States, board members have certain Constitutional rights, including freedom of speech that cannot be taken away whether or not they choose to sign this document. The only sections of this Agreement that require legal compliance are the “conflict of interest” and “act only as a member of the board.” All other sections represent effective practice.

_______________________________________      _______________________________________
Board Chair Alan Baas                                                Superintendent Larry Sullivan
_______________________________________      _______________________________________
Board Member Tammy Hodgkinson                            Board Member Sherry Duerst-Higgins
_______________________________________      _______________________________________
Board Member Merlene Martin                                    Board Member Gary Mort
_______________________________________      _______________________________________
Board Member Jerry Settelmeyer                               Board Member Taylor Wilhour