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.

A.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


B.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


C.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.

D.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.

E.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;

2. Basic 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: 06/17/2009

Second Reading: 07/15/2009

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