- School District and Board of Education Legal Status (Policy 1110)
- Board of Education Authority (Policy 1120)
- Number of Members and Terms of Office (Policy 1130)
- Board of Education Members: Qualifications (Policy 1210)
- Board of Education Members: Nomination and Election (Policy 1220)
- Reporting of Expenditures and Contributions (Policy 1230)
- Resignation and Dismissal (Policy 1240)
- Powers and Duties of the Board (Policy 1310)
- Nomination and Election of Board Officers (Policy 1320)
- Duties of the President of the Board of Education (Policy 1321)
- Duties of the Vice President of the Board of Education (Policy 1322)
- Appointments and Designations by the Board of Education (Policy 1330)
- Duties of the District Clerk (Policy 1331)
- Duties of the School District Treasurer (Policy 1332)
- Duties of the Tax Collector (Policy 1333)
- Duties of the External (Independent) Auditor (Policy 1334)
- Appointment and Duties of the Claims Auditor (Policy 1335)
- Duties of the Extraclassroom Activities Fund Treasurer(s) (Policy 1336)
- Duties of the School Attorney (Policy 1337)
- Duties of the School Physician/Nurse Practitioner (Policy 1338)
- Policy (Policy 1410)
- Execution of Policy: Administrative Regulations (Policy 1420)
- Regular Board Meetings (Policy 1510)
- Agenda Format (Policy 1511)
- Voting Time Limit (Policy 1512)
- Special Meetings of the Board of Education (Policy 1520)
- Annual District Meeting and Election/Budget Vote (Policy 1610)
- Business of the Annual District Election (Policy 1611)
- Annual Organizational Meeting (Policy 1620)
- Legal Qualifications of Voters at School District Meetings (Policy 1630)
- Absentee Ballots (Policy 1640)
- Submission of Questions and Propositions at Annual Elections and Special District Meetings (Policy 1650)
- Voting Machine (Policy 1660)
- Quorum (Policy 1710)
- Minutes (Policy 1720)
- Executive Sessions (Policy 1730)
The Constitution of New York State, as amended in 1894, instructs the Legislature to provide for a system of free common schools wherein all children of the State may be educated.
The Legislature of the State has implemented this constitutional mandate through the creation of school districts of various types. The Schoharie Central School District is governed by the laws set forth for Central School Districts in Article 37 of the Education Law, and by-laws relating to, or affecting, Union Free School Districts as set forth in Article 35 of the Education Law.
The School District constitutes a corporate entity that possesses all the usual powers of a corporation for public purposes, and in that name may sue and be sued, purchase, hold and sell personal property and real estate, and enter into such obligations as are authorized by law.
The Constitution of the State of New York places the responsibility for public education on the State Legislature, and directs the establishment of a State Department of Education for general supervision over the schools and headed by a Commissioner of Education. The New York State Constitution further provides that local public schools under the general supervision of the State Education Department shall be maintained, developed and operated by locally elected boards. Legally, local boards are instruments of the New York State Constitution, the New York Statutes and the regulations of the State Education Department and its Commissioner.
Board of Education Authority (Policy 1120)
As a body created under the Education Law of New York State, the Board of Education of the Schoharie Central School District has full authority, within the limitations of federal and state laws and the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education and interpretations of them, to carry out the will of the people of its District in matters of education.
In all cases where laws or regulations of the State Commissioner of Education do not provide, permit, or prohibit, the Board shall consider itself the agent responsible for establishing and appraising educational matters and activities.
Board members have no authority over school affairs as individuals. They have authority only when acting as a body duly called in session.
Number of Members and Terms of Office (Policy 1130)
The Board of Education of the Schoharie Central School District shall consist of seven (7) members elected by the qualified voters of the School District at the annual election as prescribed by law.
The Board of Education endorses the principle that the various geographical areas (Village of Schoharie, Town of Schoharie RD 1 and RD2, Sloansville, Wright, Esperance, and Central Bridge) be represented by Board membership.
Members of the Board of Education shall serve for three (3) years beginning July 1 following their election and each term shall expire on the thirtieth day of June of the third year.
Board of Education Members: Qualifications (Policy 1210)
A Board of Education member of the Schoharie Central School District must meet the following qualifications:
- A citizen of the United States;
- Eighteen (18) years of age or older;
- Able to read and write;
- A legal resident one (1) year prior to the election, (an individual must continue to reside in the District during the period of time he/she serves as a Board of Education Member);
- Cannot be an employee of the Schoharie Central School District;
- The only member of his/her family (that is, cannot be a member of the same household) on the Schoharie Central School District Board;
- May not simultaneously hold another, incompatible public office;
- Must not have been removed from a school district office within one (1) year preceding the date of appointment or election to the Board;
- Must not be a convicted felon.
Education Law Sections 2102, 2103 and -a, and 2502(7)
Board of Education Members: Nomination and Election (Policy 1220)
- Candidates for the office of member of the Board of Education shall be nominated by a petition directed to the Clerk of the School District which is signed by at least twenty-five (25) qualified voters of the District, or by two percent (2%) of the number of voters who voted in the previous annual election, whichever is greater. Petitions must state the residence of each signer, the name and residence of each candidate.
- The notice of the annual District meeting must state that petitions nominating candidates for the Board of Education must be filed with the Clerk of the District not later than the thirtieth (30) day preceding the election at which time the candidates so nominated are to be elected.
- Voting will be by machine, and provision shall be made for the election by “write-in-vote” of any candidate not previously nominated. The position of candidates on ballots shall be determined by lot at a drawing conducted by the District Clerk on the day after the last filing. Candidates or their proxies may be present for the drawing.
- The hours of voting shall be as indicated by Board resolution.
- The candidates receiving the largest number of votes shall be declared elected in accordance with Education Law.
- At least ten (10) days prior to the election, the Board shall appoint at least two (2) inspectors of election for each voting machine, and set their salary.
- The District Clerk shall attend the election and record the name and legal residence of each voter. The Clerk shall give notice immediately to each person declared elected to the Board, informing him/her of the election and his/her term of office.
- Only qualified voters as determined by Education Law (Section 2012) may vote at any District meeting or election.
- No electioneering will be allowed within one hundred (100) feet of the polling place.
- When a term of office expires at the end of a school year and the office has become vacant at the time of election, the person elected to fill the new full term vacancy also fills the remaining days of the previous term, beginning his/her term of office immediately upon election.
Reporting of Expenditures and Contributions (Policy 1230)
Each candidate for the position of member of the Board of Education whose expenses and/or contributions received exceed five hundred dollars ($500) must file a statement accounting for his/her campaign expenditures and contributions with the District Clerk and an additional statement with the Commissioner of Education. In the event the expenses do not exceed five hundred dollars ($500) and the aggregate amount of all contributions made to the candidate do not exceed $500, then a sworn statement to that effect must only be filed with the District Clerk.
Required contribution statements shall include:
- The dollar amount and/or fair market value of any receipt, contribution or transfer which is other than money;
- The name and address of the transferor, contributor or person from whom received;
- If that transferor, contributor or person is a political committee as defined in Section 14- 100 of the Election Law;
- The name and political unit represented by the committee;
- The date of receipt;
- The dollar amount of every expenditure;
- The name and address of the person to whom the expenditure was made, or the name of and political unit represented by the committee to which it was made; and
- The date of the expenditure.
The times for filing the statements are as follows:
- The first statement on or before the thirtieth day preceding the election to which it relates;
- A second statement on or before the fifth day before the election;
- A third statement within twenty days after the election.
Any contribution or loan in excess of $1000 received after the close of the period covered in the last statement filed before the election (b above) but before the election itself shall be reported within 24 hours after receipt.
All statements must be sworn before a notary public, a commissioner of deeds, a lawyer or a public official authorized by New York State law to administer oaths.
Education Law Sections 1528 and 1529 Election Law Section 14-100(1)
Resignation and Dismissal (Policy 1240)
Board members may resign at a District meeting of residents (i.e., the annual meeting, not a regular Board of Education meeting) or by filing a written resignation with the District Superintendent of the Supervisory District who must endorse his/her approval and file the resignation with the District Clerk.
Alternatively, a Board member may resign under Public Officers Law Section 31 by filing a written resignation with the District Clerk. The Clerk must then notify the School Board and the State Board of Elections.
A resignation may be withdrawn only with the consent of the person to whom the resignation was delivered (i.e., the District Clerk or BOCES District Superintendent). The School Board has no authority to act upon a request to withdraw a resignation.
The resignation shall take effect upon the date specified in the letter of resignation; however, if no effective date is specified, it shall take effect on the date of delivery to or filing with the District Clerk. If an effective date is specified in the letter of resignation, such date shall not be more than thirty (30) days subsequent to the date of its delivery or filing. A Board member who has resigned is not eligible to participate in the selection of his/her successor.
It shall be the duty of each member of the Board of Education to attend all meetings of the Board and, if any member shall refuse to attend three (3) consecutive meetings of the Board after having been regularly notified and a satisfactory cause for each non-attendance is not shown, the Board will proceed to declare that office vacant.
A Board member may be removed from office by the Commissioner of Education for willful violation of any provision of law, neglect of duty, or willfully disobeying any decision, order or regulation of the Commissioner. The Board of Education may also remove a Board member for misconduct relating to the exercise of authority as a Board member. A written copy of all charges made of such misconduct must be served upon the Board member at least 10 days before the time designated for a hearing on the charges; and the Board member shall be allowed a full and fair opportunity to refute such charges before removal.
In the event of death, resignation, removal from office or from the School District, refusal to serve or any disqualification (for example, acceptance of the Office of Town Supervisor) of a Board member, the District has the power and duty to fill the vacancy. If the Board chooses to fill the vacancy by appointment, the appointment requires a majority vote of the full Board and shall be only for a term ending with the next annual election of the School District at which time such vacancy shall be filled in a regular manner for the balance of the unexpired term.
The Board, at its own option, may instead call a special election within ninety (90) days to fill the unexpired term. If not filled by Board appointment or special election, the District Superintendent of the Supervisory District may appoint a competent person to fill the vacancy until the next annual election. Alternatively, the Commissioner of Education may order a special election for filling a vacancy. When such special election is ordered, the vacancy shall not be otherwise filled.
A person elected or appointed to fill a vacancy shall take office immediately upon filing the oath of office.
A Board member who has been removed from office shall be ineligible to appointment or election to any office in the District for a period of one (1) year from the date of such removal.
Powers and Duties of the Board (Policy 1310)
The Board of Education shall have powers and duties as set forth in New York State Education Law, principally Articles 33, 35 and 37, and other applicable Federal and State laws and regulations. In general, the Board shall have in all respects the superintendence, management and control of the educational affairs of the District and shall have all the powers necessary to exercise these powers expressly granted to it by the laws of New York State and the Commissioner of Education.
Education Law Sections 1604, 1709 and 1804
Nomination and Election of Board Officers (Policy 1320)
Officers of the Board of Education shall be nominated and elected by the simple majority of the Board at its Annual Organizational Meeting for a term of one (1) year. They will take their oath as officers at this meeting along with newly elected members.
The elected officers of the Board of Education are:
- Vice President.
Duties of the President of the Board of Education (Policy 1321)
The President’s duties include the following:
- Presides at all meetings of the Board;
- Calls special meetings as necessary or on request;
- Appoints members to all committees of the Board;
- Serves ex-officio as a member of all committees;
- Executes documents on behalf of the Board;
- Performs the usual and ordinary duties of the office;
- Has the right, as other members of the Board, to offer resolutions, to discuss, question, and to vote thereon;
- Acts as temporary chair of the Annual Meeting.
Duties of the Vice President of the Board of Education (Policy 1322)
The Board of Education may, in its discretion, elect one (1) of its members Vice President who shall have the power to exercise the duties of the President in case of the absence or disability of the President. In case of vacancy in the office of the President, the Vice President shall act as President until a President is elected.
Appointments and Designations by the Board of Education (Policy 1330)
The Board is authorized to appoint individuals to positions which will facilitate the meeting of its responsibilities to the State, the School System, and the community. These appointments usually take place at the Annual Organizational Meeting.
The following shall be appointed annually:
- District Clerk;
- District Treasurer;
- Deputy Treasurer;
- Tax Collector and Deputies;
- External (Independent) Auditor;
- Treasurer, Extraclassroom Activities Account.
The following must be appointed but need not be reappointed annually:
- Census Enumerator and assistants;
- Director of School Health Services (District Physician/Nurse Practitioner);
- Supervisors of Attendance;
- Committee on Special Education and Committee on Preschool Special Education;
- Records Access/Management Officer;
- Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) Local Educational Agency (LEA) designee;
- Title IX/Section 504/ADA Compliance Officer;
- Liaison for Homeless Children and Youth;
- Chemical Hygiene Officer.
The following may also be appointed:
- School Attorney;
- Claims Auditor;
- Internal Auditor;
- Insurance Advisor.
The following designations shall be made by the Board of Education at the Annual Organizational Meeting in July:
- Petty Cash Fund(s);
- Official Newspaper(s);
- Official Bank Depositories;
- Official Bank Signatories;
- Purchasing Agent;
- Certifier of Payrolls;
- Educational Official designated to receive court notification regarding a student’s sentence/adjudication in certain criminal cases and juvenile delinquency proceedings;
- School Pesticide Representative.
- Approval of attendance at conferences, conventions, workshops, and the like;
- Superintendent to approve budget transfers within limits prescribed by Commissioner’s Regulation Section 170.2 and Board guidelines;
- Superintendent to apply for Grants in Aid (State and Federal) as appropriate;
- Establish mileage reimbursement rate;
- Other(s) as deemed appropriate/necessary.
McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act, Section 722, as reauthorized by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
Education Law Sections 305(31), 1709 and 2503 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1910.1450
Duties of the District Clerk (Policy 1331)
The District Clerk will be appointed by the Board at its Annual Organizational Meeting and will serve for a period of one (1) year. The Clerk’s duties include the following:
- Attends all meetings of the Board and keeps a record of its proceedings and records, by name, those in attendance;
- Prepares minutes of the meetings of the Board, obtains approval of the minutes by the Board at the next meeting, signs the minutes to signify their official standing and forwards copies of the minutes to each member of the Board of Education;
- Sends notices of special meetings to members of the Board; contacts and communicates with members as required;
- Sees that the proper legal notices and announcements are published on all specifications and items out on bid, in accordance with state law;
- Maintains an up-to-date record of Board policies and by-laws;
- Delivers to, and collects from, the President (or Vice President) such papers for signature as may be necessary;
- Distributes notices to the public announcing availability of copies of the budget to be presented at the annual District meeting in compliance with the requirements of the State Education Law;
- Administers oaths of office, as required by Section 10, Public Officers Law;
- Gives written notice of appointment to persons appointed as inspectors of election;
- Calls all meetings to order in the absence of the President and Vice President;
- Assumes other duties customary to the office.
The above duties of the District Clerk are not intended to be complete but should serve as a comprehensive guide in undertaking the duties of this office. The District Clerk shall perform such other duties as may be assigned from time to time by the Board.
Education Law Section 2121 Public Officers Law Section 104
Duties of the School District Treasurer (Policy 1332)
The Treasurer is appointed by the Board of Education at the Annual Organizational Meeting and will be covered by a blanket bond. In addition to the routine duties of accounting, filing, posting and preparing reports and statements concerning District finances, the District Treasurer shall perform other specific tasks as follows:
- Acts as custodian of all moneys belonging to the School District and lawfully deposits these moneys in the depositories designated by the Board;
- Pays all authorized obligations of the District as directed;
- Maintains proper records and files of all checks, and approved payment of bills and salaries;
- Makes all such entries and posts all such financial ledgers, records and reports as may be properly required to afford the District an acceptable and comprehensive financial accounting of the use of its moneys and financial transactions;
- Signs all checks drawn on District fund accounts provided that the District’s Internal Claims Auditor has attested to the authority to issue the check based upon proper evidence of a charge against District funds;
- Assumes other duties customary to the office.
Duties: Education Law Section 2122 Bond: Education Law Section 2130, Part 5 8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 170.2(o) and (p)
Duties of the Tax Collector (Policy 1333)
The Tax Collector is appointed annually by the Board of Education and shall be covered by a bond. It shall be the responsibility of the District Tax Collector to perform the following duties:
- Prepares and mails tax notices;
- Uses suitable printed tax receipt forms as prescribed by the State Tax Commission;
- Collects taxes in the amount of the warrant, upon the issuance of the tax warrant by the Board of Education and penalty fees in accordance with the terms of such warrant;
- Turns over daily to the School District Treasurer all money collected by virtue of any tax list and warrant issued;
- Submits a report, certified by him/her to the Board of Education, showing the amount of taxes and fees collected along with the unpaid listing. The combination of taxes collected and uncollected shall equal the amount of the warrant;
- Turns over to the County Treasurer, prior to November 15, a list of unpaid taxes;
- Carries out such other duties of the position as prescribed in the Real Property Tax Law.
Education Law Sections 2126 and 2130
Real Property Tax Law Sections 922, 924, 1322, 1330, and 1338
Duties of the External (Independent) Auditor (Policy 1334)
The Board by law shall obtain an annual audit of its records by an independent certified public accountant or an independent public accountant. The audit shall also include all extraclassroom activity funds. The independent accountant shall present the report of the annual audit to the Board and provide a copy of the audit to each Board member. The Board shall adopt a resolution accepting the audit report and file a copy of the resolution with the Commissioner. The District will also file the audit report with the Commissioner for a specific school year by October 15th of the following school year. In addition to the annual audit, the District shall be subject to State audits conducted by the State Comptroller.
In addition, the independence and objectivity of the auditor may be enhanced when the Board of Education and Audit Committee perform an oversight role with respect to the hiring and performance of the auditor, as required by law.
Request for Proposal Process
In accordance with law, no audit engagement shall be for a term longer than five (5) consecutive years. The District may, however, permit an independent auditor engaged under an existing contract for such services to submit a proposal for such services in response to a request for competitive proposals or be awarded a contract to provide such services under a request for proposal process.
Duties and Responsibilities
The independent auditor must conduct the audit in accordance with Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS) issued by the Comptroller General of the United States. Standards of GAGAS are organized as general, fieldwork, and reporting.
Below are some important considerations the District shall expect of the auditor in preparing the audit; however, they should not be considered all-inclusive or a substitute for the auditor’s professional judgment.
- Independence: The auditor must document that he/she is independent of the District and free of personal and external impairments. The auditor must establish an internal quality control system to identify any personal and external impairment and assure compliance with GAGAS independence requirements.
- Internal Quality Control System: The auditor must document that his/her internal quality control processes adequately demonstrate compliance with government auditing standards. He/she must establish an organizational structure, policies and procedures to provide reasonable assurance of complying with applicable standards governing audits.
Internal Controls: The auditor must obtain a sufficient understanding of the District’s internal controls and document such understanding covering the five interrelated components: the control environment, risk assessment, control activities, information and communication, and monitoring.
Planning and Supervision: The auditor’s work is to be properly planned and supervised and consider materiality in order to provide reasonable assurance of detecting misstatements resulting from direct and material illegal acts and material irregularities to financial statements. The auditor should also be aware of the possibility that indirect illegal acts may have occurred.
Audit documentation: In order to meet the GAGAS requirements, the audit documentation should provide a clear understanding of its purpose, the source, and the conclusions the auditor reached. It should be organized to provide a clear link to the findings, conclusions, and recommendations contained in the audit report.
Reporting on Internal Controls and Compliance: The auditor must report on and present the results of his/her testing of the District’s compliance with laws and regulations and its internal controls over financial reports in light of irregularities, illegal acts, other material noncompliance, significant deficiencies, and material weaknesses in internal controls.
Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS) Sections 3.50-3.54, 4.03, 4.19-4.24, and 5.07-5.20
Education Law Sections 1709(20-a), and 2116-a General Municipal Law Sections 33 and 104-b
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 170.2, 170.3 and 170.12
Appointment and Duties of the Claims Auditor (Policy 1335)
The Board may adopt a resolution establishing the appointment of a Claims Auditor who shall hold the position subject to the pleasure of the Board and report directly to the Board on the results of audits of claims. The Board may require that the Claims Auditor report to the Clerk of the District or the Board, or to the Superintendent for administrative matters such as workspace, time and attendance.
The Claims Auditor must have the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively audit claims including experience with purchasing, bidding and claims. The Claims Auditor must be bonded prior to assuming his/her duties.
No person shall be eligible for appointment to the office of Claims Auditor who shall be:
- A member of the Board;
- The Clerk or Treasurer of the Board;
- The Superintendent or official of the District responsible for business management;
- The Purchasing Agent;
- Clerical or professional personnel directly involved in accounting and purchasing functions of the District or under the direct supervision of the Superintendent;
- The individual or entity responsible for the internal audit function (the Internal Auditor);
- The External (Independent) Auditor responsible for the external audit of the financial statements;
- A close or immediate family member of an employee, officer, or contractor providing services to the District. A “close family member” is defined as a parent, sibling or nondependent child; an “immediate family member” is a spouse, spouse equivalent, or dependent (whether or not related).
The Claims Auditor is not required to be a resident of the District and shall be classified in the civil service exempt class.
The Board may delegate this claims audit function by using inter-municipal cooperative agreements, shared services through a Board of Cooperative Educational Services, or independent contractors, providing that the individual or organization serving as independent contractor meets the following standards for independence between the Claims Auditor and the District:
- Has no other responsibilities related to the business operations of the School District;
- Has no interest in any other contracts with, and does not provide any goods or services to, the School District; and
- Is not a close or immediate family member of anyone who has responsibilities related to business operations of the School District, or has an interest in any other contracts with the District. A “close family member” is defined as a parent, sibling or nondependent child; an “immediate family member” is a spouse, spouse equivalent, or dependent (whether or not related).
Valid claims against the District shall be paid by the Treasurer only upon the approval of the Claims Auditor. The Claims Auditor shall certify that each claim listed on the warrant was audited and payment was authorized. He/she shall:
- Examine all claim forms with respect to the availability of funds within the appropriate codes and adequacy of evidence to support the District’s expenditure;
- Substantiate receipts or other revenues or expenditures;
- Meet such other requirements as may be established by the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education and/or the Comptroller of the State of New York.
Education Law Sections 1604(35), 1709(20-a), 2526 and 2554(2-a)
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 170.12(c)
Duties of the Extraclassroom Activities Fund Treasurer(s) (Policy 1336)
The Extraclassroom Activity Fund Treasurer is appointed by the Board of Education and is responsible for the supervision of the extraclassroom activity fund.
The Treasurer’s duties include the following:
- Countersigns all checks disbursing funds from the Extraclassroom Activity Account;
- Provides general supervision to ensure that all receipts are deposited and that disbursements are made by check only;
- Maintains records of all receipts and expenditures;
- Submits records and reports to the Board as required;
- Assumes other duties customary to the position.
The Extraclassroom Activity Fund Faculty Auditor is appointed by the Board of Education and is responsible for auditing of all financial transactions of the fund.
The Auditor’s duties include:
- Examine the statement of accounts from the Central Treasurer once each month;
- Audit the ledgers kept by student treasurers at least twice per year;
- Examine transactions and procedures to determine if correct;
- Certify the accuracy of entries posted and available balances listed;
- Investigate instances when Central Treasurer’s report and club ledgers do not agree; and
- Prepare year end report summarizing the financial condition of each activity and submit to Principal and Board of Education.
Duties of the School Attorney (Policy 1337)
The Board of Education shall employ a School Attorney who shall be responsible to the Board of Education for guidance on all affairs which are of a legal nature, including, but not limited to:
- Negotiation of all legal charges and processes for each bond issue and construction and/or reconstruction of new buildings;
- Legal counsel on matters referred to him/her to determine legality of procedure;
- Matters related to “due process” hearings or procedures.
Duties of the School Physician/Nurse Practitioner (Policy 1338)
The School Physician/Nurse Practitioner shall be appointed by the Board of Education. The duties of the School Physician/Nurse Practitioner shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Performs professional medical services in the examination and care of school children;
- Performs routine examinations of school children to detect the presence of contagious diseases and physical defects;
- Serves as an on call member on the Committee on Special Education;
- Reports to the Board on school health services;
- Coordinates scheduling for physical examinations to all students participating in interscholastic athletics;
- Develops the program of health service in accordance with policies approved by the Board and as directed by the Superintendent of Schools;
- Conducts physical exams for all bus drivers and substitutes annually as well as prior to employment;
- Conducts physical exams for all new employees (instructional and non-instructional);
- Conducts a medical evaluation on any employee at the request of the Board of Education.
Education Law Sections 902 and 913
Policy (Policy 1410)
The Board of Education shall reserve to itself the function of providing guides for the discretionary action of those to whom it delegates authority. The Superintendent shall act as an advisor to the Board in the adoption and approval of written Board policies. The Board shall seek input from the staff and community where appropriate. These guides for discretionary action shall constitute the policies governing the operation of the School System.
The formulation and adoption of these written policies shall constitute the basic method by which the Board of Education shall exercise its leadership in the operation of the School System. The study and evaluation of reports concerning the execution of its written policies shall constitute the basic method by which the Board of Education shall exercise its control over the operation of the School System.
The adoption of a written policy shall occur only after the proposal has been moved, discussed and voted on affirmatively at two (2) separate meetings of the Board of Education (i.e., the “first reading” and the “second reading”). The policy draft may be amended at the second meeting. By a majority vote, the Board may waive the “second reading” and complete the adoption of the proposed policy at its “first reading.”
The formal adoption of written Board policy shall be recorded in the official minutes of the Board. Such written Board policy shall govern the conduct and affairs of the District and shall be binding upon the members of the educational community in the District.
It shall be the Board’s responsibility to keep its written policies up-to-date so that they may be used consistently as a basis for Board action and administrative decision.
The Superintendent is given the continuing commission of calling to the Board’s attention all policies that are out-of-date or for other reasons appear to need revision.
Execution of Policy: Administrative Regulations (Policy 1420)
The Board shall delegate to the Superintendent the function of specifying required actions and designing the detailed arrangements under which the schools will be operated. These rules and these detailed arrangements shall constitute the administrative regulations governing the schools. They must in every respect be consistent with the policies adopted by the Board. The Board shall be kept informed periodically of changes in administrative regulations.
Regular Board Meetings (Policy 1510)
All Board of Education meetings must be open to the public except those portions of the meetings which qualify as executive sessions. A “meeting” is defined as an official convening of a public body for the purpose of conducting public business and a “public body” is defined as an entity of two (2) or more persons which requires a quorum to conduct public business, including committees and subcommittees.
Whenever such a meeting is to take place, there must be at least seventy-two (72) hours advance notice in accordance with the provisions of the Open Meetings Law. Notice of other meetings shall be given as soon as is practicable in accordance with law.
It is the policy of the Board to announce in advance whenever possible through the official newspaper, and such other means as may appear appropriate, (such as the sign on the front lawn), the date, time and place of all regular and special meetings and the major topics to be discussed thereat.
If videoconferencing is used to conduct a meeting, the public notice for the meeting shall inform the public that videoconferencing will be used, identify the locations for the meeting, and state that the public has the right to attend the meeting at any of the locations.
Regular meetings of the Board of Education of Schoharie Central School District shall take place on the day and time designated by the Board at the Annual Organizational Meeting, except as modified at subsequent meetings of the Board.
It is the responsibility of the Superintendent to prepare the agenda and review it with the Board President for each meeting of the Board. The agenda for each meeting shall be prepared during the week prior to the meeting. The agenda shall be distributed to Board members no later than the Friday before such regular meeting. Whenever the President or other members of the Board wish to bring a matter to the attention of the Board, such request should be made to the Superintendent so that the same can be placed on the agenda. Whenever individuals or groups wish to bring a matter to the attention of the Board, such request shall be addressed in writing to the Superintendent. The Superintendent shall present such matter to the Board.
The District Clerk shall notify the members of the Board of Education in advance of each regular meeting. Such notice, in writing, shall include an agenda and the time of the meeting.
In the event that a meeting date falls on a legal holiday, interferes with other area meetings, or there is an inability to attend the meeting by Board members to the extent that a quorum would not be present, the Board shall select a date for a postponed meeting at the previous regular meeting, and shall direct the Clerk to notify all members.
Any meeting of the Board may be adjourned to a given future date and hour if voted by a majority of the Board present.
The Superintendent and members of his/her staff at the Superintendent’s discretion shall attend all meetings of the Board. The Superintendent shall attend all executive session meetings of the Board except those that concern his/her evaluation and salary determination. The Board may request the attendance of such additional persons as it desires.
Public Officers Law Article 7 Education Law Section 1708
Agenda Format (Policy 1511)
For regular Board meetings, the following format is used:
Schoharie Central School District Board Of Education Meeting
- Approval of Minutes
- Review Agenda and Calendar
- Privilege of the Floor
- Board of Education Report
- Superintendent’s Report
- Personnel – Instructional
- Personnel – Non-Instructional
- Next Meeting Date
- Executive Session
For special and emergency meetings, the regular meeting agenda format shown above may be shortened and/or adapted to fit the purpose of the meeting.
Voting Time Limit (Policy 1512)
The Board of Education agrees that no vote be taken by the Board of Education at a regular meeting after 10:30 p.m. except to enter executive session or return to regular session unless there is unanimous consent of those present.
Special Meetings of the Board of Education (Policy 1520)
Special meetings of the Board shall be held on call by any member of the Board. A reasonable and good faith effort shall be made by the Superintendent or the Board President, as the case may be, to give every member of the Board twenty-four (24) hours notice of the time, place and purpose of the meeting. All special meetings shall be held at a regular meeting place of the Board and/or in accordance with provisions of the Open Meetings Law as may be applicable.
In an emergency, the twenty-four (24) hour notice may be waived by having each Board member sign a waiver-of-notice form.
Public notice of the time and place shall be given, to the extent practicable, to the news media and shall be conspicuously posted in one (1) or more designated public locations at a reasonable time prior to the meeting.
Education Law Section 1606(3)
Public Officers Law Sections 103 and 104
Annual District Meeting and Election/Budget Vote (Policy 1610)
Pursuant to law, the Annual District Meeting and Election/Budget Vote for the School District will be held on the third Tuesday in May. At this time, the District’s registered voters will elect members of the Board of Education and will also vote on the District Budget for the upcoming school year. However, in the event that the third Tuesday in May conflicts with a religious holiday, the School Board may petition the Commissioner of Education to obtain permission to hold the Annual Meeting and Election/Budget Vote on the second Tuesday in May. Such request from the Board of Education must be certified and received by the Commissioner no later than March 1.
The District Clerk shall give notice of the time and place of holding the Annual Meeting and Election/Budget Vote by publishing such notice four (4) times within seven (7) weeks preceding the meeting. The first publication of the notice must be at least forty-five (45) days prior to the meeting. Such notice must appear in two (2) newspapers, if there are two (2) newspapers which have a general circulation within the District, or one (1) newspaper, if there is one (1) newspaper with a general circulation within the District. The notice shall also contain such other information as required by law.
Copies of the proposed annual operating budget for the succeeding year to be voted upon at the Annual Meeting and Election shall be available to District residents, on request, in each District school building during certain designated hours on each day other than a Saturday, Sunday or holiday during the fourteen (14) days preceding such Annual Meeting. The availability of this budget information shall be included in a legal notice of the Annual Meeting; and such copies of the proposed budget will also be available to District residents at the time of the Annual Meeting and Election.
Education Law Sections 1608, 1716, 1804(4), 1906(1),
2003(1), 2004(1), 2017(5) and (6), 2022(1), and 2601-a(2)
Business of the Annual District Election (Policy 1611)
The Board of Education will appoint a qualified voter as chairperson of the Annual District Meeting and Election/Budget Vote.
The chairperson will call the Annual District Meeting to order and proceed to the following order of business:
- Designation of District Clerk as clerk of the election and assistant clerks;
- Designation of tellers and/or inspectors of election as previously appointed by the Board;
- Reading of notice of call of the election by the Clerk;
- Opening of the booths for voting;
- Closing of the booths;
- Receiving the report of the Clerk of the results of the elections;
Annual Organizational Meeting (Policy 1620)
The Annual Organizational Meeting of the Board of Education shall be held on the first Tuesday in July of each year, unless that day is a legal holiday, in which event it shall be held on the first Wednesday in July.
The Board may pass a resolution, however, to hold its Annual Organizational Meeting at any time during the first fifteen (15) days of July.
Legal Qualifications of Voters at School District Meetings (Policy 1630)
A person shall be entitled to register and vote at any school meeting for election of members of the Board of Education, and upon all matters which may be brought before such meeting, who is:
- A citizen of the United States;
- Eighteen (18) years of age or older;
- A resident within the District for a period of thirty (30) days next preceding the meeting at which he/she offers to vote.
Any person who would not be qualified to register or vote under the provisions of Sections 5-100 and 5-106 of the Election Law shall not have the right to register for or vote in an election.
Absentee Ballots (Policy 1640)
The Board of Education authorizes the District Clerk or a Board designee (the latter only if the District does not provide for the personal registration of voters) to provide absentee ballots to qualified District voters. Absentee ballots shall be used for the election of School Board members, School District public library trustees, the adoption of the annual budget and School District public library budget and referenda.
A District voter must request in advance an application for an absentee ballot. The voter must complete the application and state the reason he/she will not be able to appear in person on the day of the District election/vote for which the absentee ballot is requested. The application must be received by the District Clerk or Board designee at least seven (7) days before the election/vote if the ballot is to be mailed to the voter, or the day before the election/vote if the ballot is to be delivered personally to the voter.
Pursuant to the provisions of Education Law, a qualified District voter is eligible to vote by absentee ballot if he/she is unable to appear to vote in person on the day of the School District election/vote because:
- He/she is or will be a patient in a hospital, or is unable to appear personally at the polling place on the day of the election/vote because of illness or physical disability;
- He/she has duties, occupation or business responsibilities, or studies which require being outside of the county or city of residence on the day of the School District election/vote;
- He/she will be on vacation outside of the county or city of residence on the day of such District election/vote;
- He/she will be absent from the voting residence due to detention in jail awaiting action by a grand jury or awaiting trial, or is confined in prison after conviction for an offense other than a felony; or
- He/she will be absent from the School District on the day of the School District election/vote by reason of accompanying spouse, parent or child who is or would be, if he/she were a qualified voter, entitled to apply for the right to vote by absentee ballot.
Statements on the application for absentee ballot must be signed and dated by the voter.
An absentee ballot must reach the office of the District Clerk or Board designee not later than 5 p.m. on the day of the election/vote in order that his/her vote may be canvassed.
A list of all persons to whom absentee ballots have been issued shall be maintained in the office of the District Clerk or Board designee and made available for public inspection during regular office hours until the day of the election/vote. Any qualified voter may, upon examination of such list, file a written challenge of the qualifications as a voter of any person whose name appears on such list, stating the reason for such challenge. The written challenge shall be transmitted by the District Clerk or Board designee to the election inspectors on the day of the District election/vote. In addition, any qualified voter may challenge the acceptance of the absentee voter’s ballot of any person on such list by making his/her reasons known to the election inspector before the close of the polls.
Submission of Questions and Propositions at Annual Elections and Special District Meetings (Policy 1650)
Questions and Propositions at Annual District Elections
The following rules and regulations shall apply to the submission of the questions or propositions at the annual elections or special district elections of this School District.
- Questions or propositions shall be submitted by petition directed to the Clerk of the School District and shall be signed by twenty-five (25) qualified voters, or five percent (5%) of the registered voters of the District who voted in the previous annual election of Board members, whichever is greater.
- A separate petition shall be required for each question or proposition.
- Each petition shall be filed with the Clerk of the School District. Petitions relating to an Annual Election must be filed not later than thirty (30) days preceding the election at which the question or proposition is to be voted upon.
- Questions or propositions submitted in accordance with these rules and accepted will be printed on the ballot for the voting machine.
- The Board of Education shall cause the rules and regulations set forth in this policy to be distributed within the District.
- Nothing herein contained shall affect the nominations of candidates as set forth in the Annual District Election notice pursuant to Section 2018 of the Education Law.
Questions or Propositions to be Submitted at Special District Meetings
The procedure for requesting the Board of Education to call a Special District Meeting to vote on a question or proposition shall be in accordance with subdivision 2 of Section 2008 of the Education Law.
Voting Machine (Policy 1660)
Voting machines shall be used for recording the votes on all elections, budget votes, and votes on special propositions. The only exception to the use of voting machines shall be an emergency situation whereby the machines are unavailable due to a mechanical failure or state or local law prohibiting their use. If this should arise, paper ballots will be used.
Each voting machine shall have at least one clerk appointed by the Board in attendance during all voting hours. It shall be the duty of each clerk to keep a poll list containing the names, signatures, and legal residence of each person before such person is permitted to vote.
Entering a voting machine with another person is prohibited, except upon request from a voter, in which case an election inspector shall be allowed to enter the voting machine with that voter for the sole purpose of assisting that person in the actual manipulation of the voting machine. The election inspector shall not advise or induce such voter to vote on any proposition or candidate, and the election inspector shall never reveal the vote(s) recorded by the voter to any other person at any time.
Write-in ballots are permissible when applicable, by utilizing the write-in device provided with the voting machine. The writing in, with a black lead pencil, of a name in the blank space so provided, will sufficiently indicate a vote. It will not be necessary for a voter to place any other mark beside the name of a write-in candidate.
Quorum (Policy 1710)
The quorum for any meeting of the Board shall be four (4) members. No formal action shall be taken at any meeting at which a quorum is not present. When only a quorum exists, the Board shall act by unanimous vote unless otherwise required by the laws of the State of New York.
Minutes (Policy 1720)
The minutes are a legal record of the activities of the School Board as a public corporation having the specified legal purpose of maintaining public schools. The minutes of all meetings shall be kept by the Clerk or, in his/her absence, by the Superintendent or his/her designee. The minutes shall be complete and accurate and stored in a minutes file. However, minutes of executive sessions need not include any matter which is not required to be made public by the Freedom of Information Law.
The minutes of each meeting of the Board of Education shall state:
- The type of meeting;
- The date, time of convening, and adjournment;
- Board members present and absent;
- Board members’ arrival and departure time, if different from opening or adjournment times;
- All action taken by the Board, with evidence of those voting in the affirmative and the negative, and those abstaining;
- The nature of events that transpire, in general terms of reference.
Communications and other documents that are too long and bulky to be included in the minutes shall be referred to in the minutes and shall be filed in the District Office.
All Board minutes shall be signed by the District Clerk when approved and stored in a locked room or locked file cabinet. Unless otherwise provided by law, minutes shall be available to the public within two (2) weeks following the date of a meeting; draft copies, so marked, are acceptable, subject to correction. If action is taken by a formal vote in executive session, minutes will be taken and shall be available to the public within one (1) week of the date of the executive session.
Executive Sessions (Policy 1730)
Upon a majority vote of its total membership, taken in an open meeting pursuant to a motion identifying the area or areas of the subject or subjects to be considered, the Board of Education may conduct an executive session for discussion of the below enumerated purposes only, provided, however, that no action by formal vote shall be taken except on an Education Law Section 3020-a probable cause finding. For all other purposes, the action by formal vote shall be taken in open meeting and properly recorded in the minutes of the meeting.
- Matters that will imperil the public safety if disclosed;
- Any matter that may disclose the identity of a law enforcement agent or informer;
- Information relating to current or future investigation or prosecution of a criminal offense that would imperil effective law enforcement if disclosed;
- Discussions regarding proposed, pending or current litigation;
- Collective negotiations pursuant to Article 14 of the Civil Service Law;
- Medical, financial, credit or employment history of any particular person or corporation, or matters leading to the appointment, employment, promotion, demotion, discipline, suspension, dismissal or removal of any particular person or corporation;
- Preparation, grading or administration of examinations;
- Proposed acquisition, sale or lease of real property or the proposed acquisition of securities, or sale or exchange of securities, but only when publicity would substantially affect the value thereof.
Matters discussed in executive sessions must be treated as confidential; that is, never discussed outside of that executive session.
Public Officers Law Article 7 Education Law Section 3020-a