FAQs

How often does the Springfield Board of Education Meet?

Generally, the Board holds a meeting on the first and third Monday of each month. Notification is sent each spring to newspapers, the Township Clerk, Sarah Bailey Civic Center and the Springfield Public Library as well as being posted in the Board Office at each school. Board meeting dates are communicated throughout the year on the district website,www.springfieldschools.com, in the district calendar and in the individual school calendars.

 

Where and when does the Springfield Board of Education hold its regularly scheduled meetings?

Regular Board Meetings are held in the Jonathan Dayton High School Media Center during the school year and once a month during July and August. Meetings start at 7:30 P.M.
On occasion, the Board may have to call an emergency or special session. Notification is sent to the media, the Township Clerk, and is posted at the Springfield Public Library, Sarah Bailey Civic Center, the Board Office, each school, Town Hall and on the BOE section of the springfieldschools.com website.


What sort of business takes place at a public Board of Education Meeting?

At these meetings, which are open to the public, the Board of Education can take official action on school business, discuss policy and hire personnel. 
At the BOE meetings, there are opportunities for discussion prior to voting on specific agenda items should the board members desire.
Following a vote, all Board Members must accept the outcome regardless of their position on the topic and actively support it.

 

Where and when can I get the meeting minutes from a Previous BOE Meeting?

Minutes for all public BOE meetings are available in the Springfield Library, Civic Center, Board Office, each school, Town Hall and are posted on the www.springfieldschools.com website.
Board minutes are presented for approval at the succeeding meeting and are usually voted into the public record at that time.

 

Where can I get a copy of an upcoming meeting agenda?

The most up-to-date agenda can be downloaded from the springfieldschools.com website on Monday afternoon prior to the meeting.

 

How and when may I address the Board during a regularly scheduled meeting?

Our Board generally seeks public comment twice during each meeting. The first opportunity is early in the meeting under the agenda item called “Comments on Agenda Items or Superintendent’s Report Only”. At this time, please restrict your comments to items on that meeting’s agenda including the Superintendent’s report.
Prior to adjournment, under “Open Public Session”, the public may address the Board on any topic of concern. When you wish to address the Board, simply proceed to the podium, give your name and address and begin your commentary. Please feel free to do so as we welcome your input.
Please Note: It is the policy of the Board that inappropriate comments regarding specific individuals should not be made during the public portion of a meeting. Members of the public should be advised that to the extent they defame any employee of this district or member of this community during the public meeting, the Board disclaims any liability if you are involved in a civil suit for defamation.

 

Why does the Board go into “closed sessions”?

The Springfield Board of Education usually meets in “Closed Sessions” preceding the Regular Board Meeting. In accordance with the New Jersey Open Public Meetings Act (the "Sunshine Law"), “Closed Sessions” are not open to the public. Although debate may be private, any action taken must be in public session.

 

What sorts of topics are discussed during “closed session” meetings?

  • Collective bargaining agreements/proposals and other contracts
  • Personnel issues
  • Matters confidential by law
  • Pending or anticipated litigation
  • Attorney-client privilege
  • Purchase or lease of real estate
  • Protecting public safety

If necessary, closed sessions may be held before the public meeting. If we do so, we will make every effort to start the public meeting on time at 7:30. At times, the Board of Education also meets in “closed session” following the regular meeting. The Board will indicate that “action may be taken” when they return to public session and before they adjourn.

 

The Role of Board Members and Superintendents

Understanding the role of and interaction between a Board of Education and its Chief School Administrator is fundamental in effectively addressing the issues and concerns of a school district. In Springfield, a nine member Board of Education oversees district operations and sets policy.

The following information explains the inter-related responsibilities of the Springfield School District Board of Education and the Chief School Administrator, and the role of each in community relations. We hope this will also help citizens understand school governance and communicate their expectations for board of education members.

 

How often does the Springfield Board of Education Meet?

Generally, the Board holds a meeting on the first and third Monday of each month. Notification is sent each spring to newspapers, the Township Clerk, Sarah Bailey Civic Center and the Springfield Public Library as well as being posted in the Board Office at each school. Board meeting dates are communicated throughout the year on the district website,www.springfieldschools.com, in the district calendar and in the individual school calendars.

 

Where and when does the Springfield Board of Education hold its regularly scheduled meetings?

Regular Board Meetings are held in the Jonathan Dayton High School Media Center during the school year and once a month during July and August. Meetings start at 7:30 P.M.
On occasion, the Board may have to call an emergency or special session. Notification is sent to the media, the Township Clerk, and is posted at the Springfield Public Library, Sarah Bailey Civic Center, the Board Office, each school, Town Hall and on the BOE section of the springfieldschools.com website.

 

What sort of business takes place at a public Board of Education Meeting?

At these meetings, which are open to the public, the Board of Education can take official action on school business, discuss policy and hire personnel. 
At the BOE meetings, there are opportunities for discussion prior to voting on specific agenda items should the board members desire.
Following a vote, all Board Members must accept the outcome regardless of their position on the topic and actively support it.

 

Where and when can I get the meeting minutes from a Previous BOE Meeting?

Minutes for all public BOE meetings are available in the Springfield Library, Civic Center, Board Office, each school, Town Hall and are posted on the www.springfieldschools.com website.
Board minutes are presented for approval at the succeeding meeting and are usually voted into the public record at that time.

 

Where can I get a copy of an upcoming meeting agenda?

The most up-to-date agenda can be downloaded from the springfieldschools.com website on Monday afternoon prior to the meeting.

 

How and when may I address the Board during a regularly scheduled meeting?

Our Board generally seeks public comment twice during each meeting. The first opportunity is early in the meeting under the agenda item called “Comments on Agenda Items or Superintendent’s Report Only”. At this time, please restrict your comments to items on that meeting’s agenda including the Superintendent’s report.
Prior to adjournment, under “Open Public Session”, the public may address the Board on any topic of concern. When you wish to address the Board, simply proceed to the podium, give your name and address and begin your commentary. Please feel free to do so as we welcome your input.
Please Note: It is the policy of the Board that inappropriate comments regarding specific individuals should not be made during the public portion of a meeting. Members of the public should be advised that to the extent they defame any employee of this district or member of this community during the public meeting, the Board disclaims any liability if you are involved in a civil suit for defamation.

 

Why does the Board go into “closed sessions”?

The Springfield Board of Education usually meets in “Closed Sessions” preceding the Regular Board Meeting. In accordance with the New Jersey Open Public Meetings Act (the "Sunshine Law"), “Closed Sessions” are not open to the public. Although debate may be private, any action taken must be in public session.

 

What sorts of topics are discussed during “closed session” meetings?

  • Collective bargaining agreements/proposals and other contracts
  • Personnel issues
  • Matters confidential by law
  • Pending or anticipated litigation
  • Attorney-client privilege
  • Purchase or lease of real estate
  • Protecting public safety

If necessary, closed sessions may be held before the public meeting. If we do so, we will make every effort to start the public meeting on time at 7:30. At times, the Board of Education also meets in “closed session” following the regular meeting. The Board will indicate that “action may be taken” when they return to public session and before they adjourn.

 

The Role of Board Members and Superintendents

Understanding the role of and interaction between a Board of Education and its Chief School Administrator is fundamental in effectively addressing the issues and concerns of a school district. In Springfield, a nine member Board of Education oversees district operations and sets policy.

The following information explains the inter-related responsibilities of the Springfield School District Board of Education and the Chief School Administrator, and the role of each in community relations. We hope this will also help citizens understand school governance and communicate their expectations for board of education members.

 

The Board Member as Representative

School board members are state officials, empowered by state law to govern the public schools at a local level. They are representatives of their community with oversight authority derived from the New Jersey Constitution and the legislature. The laws, rules and regulations governing public schools pass through the legislature to the State Board of Education. The State Board's staff, the Department of Education, has the authority to carry out the mandates created by those higher bodies. The board of education develops policies that govern school operation in compliance with state and federal laws and regulations.
The role of a board of education is to see that the school district is well run. The written policies of the board provide guidance and direction to the chief school administrator for making decisions and taking action. Well crafted policies minimize ambiguity between the board and its chief school administrator and promote the smooth operation of the school system.
Board members have no legal authority except when sitting with other board members in a legally constituted meeting. An individual board member cannot make decisions for the board, take action for the board or speak for the board unless the board has authorized him/her to do so.
Likewise, concerns of individuals in the community which are brought to the attention of a board member cannot be acted upon by that board member, but are referred through established channels, to the appropriate school staff, principal or the chief school administrator. When the chain-of-command is used properly by citizens and board members, communications are improved and the board of education can act as final arbiter on issues which have not been resolved at other steps in the chain. 
Above all, board members are responsible for and to the district's students. Every policy they approve and every action they take must be based on what is best for the education of those students.

 

How is the Board of Education selected?

Members are elected to three-year terms by the local voters. Normally, three seats are up for election each spring. If any vacancies occur between elections, the current Board selects a new board member. This additional seat or seats are filled at the next election. Currently, elections are held on the third Tuesday in April. New members take their seats within two weeks.

 

What are the legal requirements to become a Board Member?

To become a member of a local Board of Education in New Jersey, you must:

  • Be able to read and write
  • Hold U.S. citizenship and one year’s residency in the school district
  • Have no interest in any contract with, or claim against the Board
  • Not hold office as mayor or member of the municipal government body, or in the case of county school districts, the county governing body
  • Be registered to vote in the district

 

The Role of the Chief School Administrator/Superintendent 

The relationship between the board and the superintendent is one of the most critical factors in determining how well a school system operates. The board must trust its superintendent, have respect for his/her professional training and experience, be confident in his/her ability to administer the district, and request his/her recommendations on issues under discussion. The superintendent, in turn, should give the board his/her loyalty; his/her best advice on matters under advisement, and provide the most competent management of the schools. In working together, both the board and the superintendent must be clear on their respective responsibilities.

The superintendent's responsibilities are divided into three areas. He/she is the chief advisor to the board of education, the executive officer of the school district, and the educational leader of the community.
As the chief advisor to the board, the superintendent briefs the board on district problems or issues and is consulted for background information, alternatives, suggestions, and recommendations before decisions are made. He/she keeps the board current on district operations, matters which require board discussion and may ask other district staff to attend board meetings to give reports on particular items. As the top education professional, the superintendent continually evaluates and assesses how policies are being implemented, keeping aware of those which are working well, those which need changing, and those areas which need new policies. All issues on an agenda for board action are accompanied by the superintendent's recommendation. In most instances, he/she is passing on the results of staff input and study. He/she acts in this capacity as the liaison to the board for all the district employees.

As the executive officer of the school district, the superintendent is responsible for administering the policies adopted by the school board. He/she is, responsible for running the school system and is accountable to the board regarding how well it is run. By personal action, delegation, and supervisory activities, he/she directs appropriate staff in the following areas:

  • Development, expansion and evaluation of the education program
  • Recommendations for hiring of new staff and renewal or non-renewal of non-tenured staff
  • Recommendations for disciplinary action for those tenured staff members not performing at expected levels
  • Development of in-service programs for training and improvement of staff
  • Development of sound evaluation procedures for staff
  • Preparation of a district budget which provides the best education possible within a community's ability to support it
  • Monitoring of all expenditures and the establishment of control systems for purchasing and accounting
  • Maintenance of all school facilities and equipment
  • Development of safety rules and regulations for staff and students
  • Development of all necessary transportation systems
  • Awareness of legal mandates relevant to the public schools
  • Establishment of good lines of communication to community leaders and citizens

In all of these areas, he/she must provide progress updates to the board including emergent problems as well as what actions the board should be taking to ensure a smoothly functioning system.
Finally, the superintendent is the educational leader of the community. He/she is active in professional education organizations, is familiar with current trends in education and takes the initiative in bringing worthwhile ideas to the attention of the board and the townspeople.
To insure that the board and superintendent, in carrying out their respective duties, maintain the best relationship, each partner should follow some basic guidelines. For the board, these are:

  • Not taking action without consulting the superintendent and getting his/her recommendations
  • Recognizing the superintendent as the district's education leader and listening to him/her as such
  • Not confusing the role of setting policy for the district with that of running the schools
  • Not surprising the superintendent

For the superintendent, these are:

  • Keeping the board fully informed at all times
  • Implementing policies of the board in the most effective and efficient manner and evaluating the results
  • Communicating and conveying Board decisions to staff

 

If I have a question or concern, who do I contact?

If you have a concern, in most cases it is helpful to talk first with the teacher or principal, next the department supervisor, then the assistant superintendent, next the superintendent. Should the superintendent be unable to resolve a problem, and it has to do with the matters of policy, school board meetings and agenda items, budgetary matters, or requests for specific courses or programs, the school board is the final step in the process. Please remember that all personnel items should be referred to the administration.

 

What are the best ways to communicate with the Springfield Board of Education?

We invite your participation. Attend the board's regular monthly meeting and special meetings and share your ideas during the public discussions. Write a letter to the board president, which will be shared with other board members or contact a Board member. Working together we can ensure the best education for the children of Springfield.

 

Summary 

Board members are their community's representatives. They are responsible for ensuring that the education provided to the students is the best the community can afford. The chief school administrator is the educational expert, responsible for advising the board, managing the staff and keeping the community informed.

In carrying out their separate responsibilities cooperatively, the board and the chief school administrator aid each other in the effective management of the school system. Citizens who understand the differences in the responsibilities of the board and the chief school administrator will be better able to have their concerns addressed.

 

What Are The Main Roles, Responsibilities and Expectations of Board Members? 

The board of education adopts policies under which the school district operates; oversees the budget; approves the curriculum; hires and evaluates the superintendent; represents the public during contract negotiations; and serves as a communications link between the community and the school system.

School board members must remember that they have no authority except that which results from participation in decisions of the board during an official meeting. Actions, promises or commitments made by  individual board members are without legal basis and have no binding commitment upon the district. Board members should be aware that they are elected to represent the entire district in all matters pertaining to education, and not any one segment.

Following a vote, all Board Members must accept the outcome regardless of their position on the topic and actively support it.

 

What Is the Relationship Between The Board And Superintendent? 

The function of the school board is not to run the schools, but to see that they are run effectively. The board establishes school district policy and goals and communicates those goals to the superintendent. The superintendent is accountable to the board, and all other staff members are accountable to the superintendent. Teamwork between the board and superintendent is essential. Board members should look to the superintendent for leadership and guidance on educational procedures.

School board members are state officials, empowered by state law to govern the public schools at a local level. They are representatives of their community with oversight authority derived from the New Jersey Constitution and the legislature. The laws, rules and regulations governing public schools pass through the legislature to the State Board of Education. The State Board's staff, the Department of Education, has the authority to carry out the mandates created by those higher bodies. The board of education develops policies that govern school operation in compliance with state and federal laws and regulations.
The role of a board of education is to see that the school district is well run. The written policies of the board provide guidance and direction to the chief school administrator for making decisions and taking action. Well crafted policies minimize ambiguity between the board and its chief school administrator and promote the smooth operation of the school system.
Board members have no legal authority except when sitting with other board members in a legally constituted meeting. An individual board member cannot make decisions for the board, take action for the board or speak for the board unless the board has authorized him/her to do so.
Likewise, concerns of individuals in the community which are brought to the attention of a board member cannot be acted upon by that board member, but are referred through established channels, to the appropriate school staff, principal or the chief school administrator. When the chain-of-command is used properly by citizens and board members, communications are improved and the board of education can act as final arbiter on issues which have not been resolved at other steps in the chain. 
Above all, board members are responsible for and to the district's students. Every policy they approve and every action they take must be based on what is best for the education of those students.

 

How is the Board of Education selected?

Members are elected to three-year terms by the local voters. Normally, three seats are up for election each spring. If any vacancies occur between elections, the current Board selects a new board member. This additional seat or seats are filled at the next election. Currently, elections are held on the third Tuesday in April. New members take their seats within two weeks.

 

What are the legal requirements to become a Board Member?

To become a member of a local Board of Education in New Jersey, you must:

  • Be able to read and write
  • Hold U.S. citizenship and one year’s residency in the school district
  • Have no interest in any contract with, or claim against the Board
  • Not hold office as mayor or member of the municipal government body, or in the case of county school districts, the county governing body
  • Be registered to vote in the district

 

The Role of the Chief School Administrator/Superintendent 

The relationship between the board and the superintendent is one of the most critical factors in determining how well a school system operates. The board must trust its superintendent, have respect for his/her professional training and experience, be confident in his/her ability to administer the district, and request his/her recommendations on issues under discussion. The superintendent, in turn, should give the board his/her loyalty; his/her best advice on matters under advisement, and provide the most competent management of the schools. In working together, both the board and the superintendent must be clear on their respective responsibilities.

The superintendent's responsibilities are divided into three areas. He/she is the chief advisor to the board of education, the executive officer of the school district, and the educational leader of the community.
As the chief advisor to the board, the superintendent briefs the board on district problems or issues and is consulted for background information, alternatives, suggestions, and recommendations before decisions are made. He/she keeps the board current on district operations, matters which require board discussion and may ask other district staff to attend board meetings to give reports on particular items. As the top education professional, the superintendent continually evaluates and assesses how policies are being implemented, keeping aware of those which are working well, those which need changing, and those areas which need new policies. All issues on an agenda for board action are accompanied by the superintendent's recommendation. In most instances, he/she is passing on the results of staff input and study. He/she acts in this capacity as the liaison to the board for all the district employees.

As the executive officer of the school district, the superintendent is responsible for administering the policies adopted by the school board. He/she is, responsible for running the school system and is accountable to the board regarding how well it is run. By personal action, delegation, and supervisory activities, he/she directs appropriate staff in the following areas:

  • Development, expansion and evaluation of the education program
  • Recommendations for hiring of new staff and renewal or non-renewal of non-tenured staff
  • Recommendations for disciplinary action for those tenured staff members not performing at expected levels
  • Development of in-service programs for training and improvement of staff
  • Development of sound evaluation procedures for staff
  • Preparation of a district budget which provides the best education possible within a community's ability to support it
  • Monitoring of all expenditures and the establishment of control systems for purchasing and accounting
  • Maintenance of all school facilities and equipment
  • Development of safety rules and regulations for staff and students
  • Development of all necessary transportation systems
  • Awareness of legal mandates relevant to the public schools
  • Establishment of good lines of communication to community leaders and citizens

In all of these areas, he/she must provide progress updates to the board including emergent problems as well as what actions the board should be taking to ensure a smoothly functioning system.
Finally, the superintendent is the educational leader of the community. He/she is active in professional education organizations, is familiar with current trends in education and takes the initiative in bringing worthwhile ideas to the attention of the board and the townspeople.
To insure that the board and superintendent, in carrying out their respective duties, maintain the best relationship, each partner should follow some basic guidelines. For the board, these are:

  • Not taking action without consulting the superintendent and getting his/her recommendations
  • Recognizing the superintendent as the district's education leader and listening to him/her as such
  • Not confusing the role of setting policy for the district with that of running the schools
  • Not surprising the superintendent

For the superintendent, these are:

  • Keeping the board fully informed at all times
  • Implementing policies of the board in the most effective and efficient manner and evaluating the results
  • Communicating and conveying Board decisions to staff

 

If I have a question or concern, who do I contact?

If you have a concern, in most cases it is helpful to talk first with the teacher or principal, next the department supervisor, then the assistant superintendent, next the superintendent. Should the superintendent be unable to resolve a problem, and it has to do with the matters of policy, school board meetings and agenda items, budgetary matters, or requests for specific courses or programs, the school board is the final step in the process. Please remember that all personnel items should be referred to the administration.

 

What are the best ways to communicate with the Springfield Board of Education?

We invite your participation. Attend the board's regular monthly meeting and special meetings and share your ideas during the public discussions. Write a letter to the board president, which will be shared with other board members or contact a Board member. Working together we can ensure the best education for the children of Springfield.

 

Summary 

Board members are their community's representatives. They are responsible for ensuring that the education provided to the students is the best the community can afford. The chief school administrator is the educational expert, responsible for advising the board, managing the staff and keeping the community informed.

In carrying out their separate responsibilities cooperatively, the board and the chief school administrator aid each other in the effective management of the school system. Citizens who understand the differences in the responsibilities of the board and the chief school administrator will be better able to have their concerns addressed.

 

What Are The Main Roles, Responsibilities and Expectations of Board Members? 

The board of education adopts policies under which the school district operates; oversees the budget; approves the curriculum; hires and evaluates the superintendent; represents the public during contract negotiations; and serves as a communications link between the community and the school system.

School board members must remember that they have no authority except that which results from participation in decisions of the board during an official meeting. Actions, promises or commitments made by  individual board members are without legal basis and have no binding commitment upon the district. Board members should be aware that they are elected to represent the entire district in all matters pertaining to education, and not any one segment.

Following a vote, all Board Members must accept the outcome regardless of their position on the topic and actively support it.

 

What Is the Relationship Between The Board And Superintendent? 

The function of the school board is not to run the schools, but to see that they are run effectively. The board establishes school district policy and goals and communicates those goals to the superintendent. The superintendent is accountable to the board, and all other staff members are accountable to the superintendent. Teamwork between the board and superintendent is essential. Board members should look to the superintendent for leadership and guidance on educational procedures.

Contact Us
Springfield Public Schools
139 Mountain Avenue
Springfield, NJ 07081
Phone: 973-376-1025

Disclaimer