The charter school board leads through implementing the vision and mission of the school. Typically this is done with a strategic plan that is updated annually and communicated with regularly with constituents. On a monthly basis, the board leads through what is discussed, and accomplished, at its board meetings.
The board president usually develops the agenda along with the lead administrator. The agenda should reflect the vision and mission of the school. Some boards read the vision and mission statements at the beginning of the meeting; others have these statements written on the agenda.
The board meets in public to conduct business. Commonly charter boards have difficulty drawing the line between what is healthy parental interaction and when that interaction distracts from the board's meeting purpose. There usually aren't too many parents who attend charter school board meetings; until there is a problem and then there could be hundreds in the audience!
A few tips for charter school boards include:
* Make it clear when an item on the agenda requires action or just discussion.
* Use the consent agenda whenever possible for routine items.
* Put the most important decision items at the beginning of the agenda or if parents are interested in a particular subject, put it at the beginning of the agenda so they don't have to stay late into the evening.
* Make sure the agenda conveys the school's vision and mission. If the school's priority is academic achievement, how often does the board discuss that issue?
* Periodically get feedback from individual board members to continually improve board performance.
* If there is strong disagreement on a decision item, consider postponing the decision until the next meeting.
* Clearly designate action items as a result of the meeting and make sure individuals follow up on their responsibilities prior to the next meeting.