New Board Member Orientation


Maine School Administrative District No. 31


In order that newly elected Board members may cast informed votes and function
effectively as board members, the Board and Superintendent will extend to them the
fullest measures of courtesy and cooperation, and will make every reasonable effort to
assist newly elected Board members in understanding the Board’s functions, policies,
procedures and current issues.

In the interim between a new member’s election or appointment and his/her
            assuming office, the Board, through the Superintendent, will invite newly
            elected members to attend meetings, except those held in executive session,
            and provide newly elected members with agenda, minutes and reports
            applicable to those meetings. During the time between election or
            appointment and the assumption of office, the status of the future-member
            remains that of a private citizen and not that of an elected or appointed

The Board, through the Superintendent, will provide new members with
            copies of appropriate publications, such as the Board policy manual,
            student handbook(s), collective bargaining agreements, and current budget

The Board Chair [or designee] will remind Board members of their
            obligation to complete, not later than the 120th day after the date of taking
            the oath of office, training on the requirements of Maine’s Freedom of
            Access Law. The Chair [or designee] will provide Board members with
            information regarding available training options. Each Board member shall
            attest by means of a written or electronic record that he/she has completed
            the training and provide a copy of such record to the Superintendent’s
            Office. To facilitate documentation of training, the Superintendent will
            make available to Board members copies of the State’s sample
            Certification of Completion of Freedom of Access Training form.

The Board will encourage new members to attend appropriate in-district
            and out-of-district orientation and/or boardsmanship workshops.
            Reimbursement for such activities must be approved in advance by the
            Board Chair, in consultation with the Superintendent, and is subject to the
            availability of funds.

The Chair and Superintendent will schedule and arrange for an orientation
            session for new Board members as soon as practicable after election or
            appointment. A reasonable amount of time will be provided for discussion

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                1. The roles and responsibilities of the Board and individual members;
                2Basic operational procedures of the Board;
                3.  Placement of items on the agenda;
                4. The role of committees, subcommittees and advisory committees;    
                5. How and why executive sessions may be held;
                6. What is considered confidential or privileged information;
                7. Appropriate responses of an individual member when a request or
                    complaint is made directly to him/her by a student, parent or
                    member of the community;
                8. How the Board responds to complaints involving personnel;
                9. General information about the school system and its resources;
               10. How Board members, in fulfilling their duties, may request
                    information concerning schools and District operations, finances and
               11. How Board members may make arrangements to visit schools and
                    the protocol for such visits;
                12. Protocol for dealing with the media; and
                13. Other relevant topics.

All Board members will be invited to the orientation session and encouraged to attend.
The orientation is intended to serve as a useful review of basic boardsmanship concepts
for experienced members, as well as an opportunity to provide information and counsel to
new Board members.

Legal Reference:
1 M.R.S.A. § 412
Cross Reference: BIC – Board Member Freedom of Access Law Training

First Reading:
Second Reading: 07/15/2009

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