Our Commitment to You
For the purpose of enhancing teamwork among members of the board and between the board and the administration, we, the members of the Tacoma School Board, do hereby publicly commit ourselves collectively and individually to the following operating protocol:
- The board will represent the needs and interests of ALL the children in our district.
- The board will lead by example. We agree to avoid words and actions that create a negative impression on an individual, the board, or the district. While we encourage debate and differing points of view, we will do it with care and respect.
- Surprises to the board or the superintendent will be the exception, not the rule. We agree to ask the board chair or the superintendent to place an item on the agenda instead of bringing it up unexpectedly at the meeting.
- Communications between staff and the board are encouraged. Board requests of staff are to be directed to the superintendent.
- All personnel complaints and criticisms received by the board or its individual members will be directed to the superintendent.
- The board will encourage others to follow the board policy on complaint procedures and present their concerns, problems or proposals to the person who can properly and expeditiously address their issue.
- To be efficient and effective, long board meetings must be avoided. If a board member needs more information, either the superintendent or board chair is to be called before the meeting. Audience participation protocol will be consistently practiced.
- The board will consider research, best practice, public input and financial impacts in their decision making.
- The superintendent is the chief executive officer and should recommend, propose or suggest on items that go before the board.
- The board will speak to the issues on the agenda, not engage in inappropriate debate. Facts and information needed from the administration will be referred to the superintendent.
- Study sessions will be for in-depth discussion on one or two agreed-upon topics.
- When executive sessions are held, board members will honor the confidentiality of the discussions.
- The board commits itself to continuous improvement through a yearly board retreat.
- The board and superintendent will facilitate goal setting for the school district.
- The board will do their homework and improve their boardsmanship skills by attending board training and networking opportunities.
- Individual board members do not have authority. Only the board as a whole has authority. We agree that an individual board member will not take unilateral action.
- The board president or designee will be the board spokesperson.
- When board members serve on various committees or attend committee meetings, their role shall be as liaison to the board and when addressing the committee, shall be as an individual.
- The board will establish the vision, create policies and assure accountability. The superintendent will manage the schools.
There are several ways to follow School Board meetings and TPS news.
We post links to the current month meeting notices, agendas and minutes throughout each month on the home page. Prior board meeting information can be found on the Prior Meetings page.
Subscribe to the RSS feed for changes to the School Board website:
You will enter a little bit of your information to subscribe to the RSS "Really Simple Syndication," and whenever we make an update to the School Board home page you will get a notification. It eliminates the need for you to keep coming back and checking the page for updates. You will need to download an RSS reader to consume this feed. Feedly is a popular free choice or you can search for another RSS reader.
STEPS: Download your RSS Reader of choice. Copy/Paste this URL into your RSS Reader app: feed://www.tacomaschools.org/board/_layouts/15/listfeed.aspx?List=%7b7AEA6D6F-57BC-44E9-9850-9D066F0BD248%7d
Use a monitoring service to track changes to the School Board website:
There are third-party web services available that users can subscribe to and they will check our website for you and notify you when something changes. Visualping.io will check a website twice a day for free and email a notification when something changes, or you can search for another web monitoring service.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel:
We post videos of our School Board meetings to YouTube, along with other videos about our students and staff doing great things. On our channel home page, you can subscribe and also choose to be notified as new videos are posted.
Follow TPS on social media:
We are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Follow us to stay in the loop.
Below is important information about serving on the Tacoma Public Schools Board of Directors. The Washington State School Directors' Association provides additional resources for those considering this service on their website. Access the WSSDA publication "Serving on your local School Board."
Qualifications: Board Policy provides that citizens seeking appointment to the Board of Directors must be United States citizens and qualified voter residents of the school district. These are at-large positions, meaning they represent the entire geographic area of Tacoma Public Schools.
Meetings: School Board meetings begin at 6:00pm and are held in the 4th Floor Auditorium at the Central Administration Building at 601 South 8th Street in Tacoma, unless otherwise posted. Business Meetings are the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month, except for once monthly meeting in July/August/December. Study Sessions are the 3rd Thursday of the month, as needed. Each board member shall review the agenda and any study materials distributed prior to the meeting and be prepared to participate in the discussion and decision-making for each agenda item.
Compensation: A board member is eligible to receive compensation at the rate of fifty dollars ($50) per day, or for a portion of a day, for approved activities, not to exceed four thousand eight hundred dollars ($4,800.00) for a fiscal year, plus reasonable expenses incurred for travel, meals and lodging.
Term: The candidate selected for appointment will serve on the Board until the next odd-numbered year general election, which will be November 2021, and then run for election for the remainder of the unexpired term, November 2023.
Except as otherwise provided by law, board members shall hold office for terms of six years and until their successors are elected and qualified. Terms of board members shall be staggered as provided by law.
Expectations: Serving as a school board director requires approximately 20-30 hours per month. Board members are expected to represent the District at school and community events, participate in governmental relations, complete required training on Open Public Meetings Act and Open Public Records Act, serve on committees as needed, and other various obligations on behalf of the District.
Key Functions of the Board: Acting on behalf of the people of the community, the school board will fulfill the following functions:
Vision: The board, with participation by the community, shall envision the future of the school district's educational program and formulate goals, define outcomes and set the course for the school district. This will be done with a commitment to educational excellence and equity for all students.
Creating Conditions for Student and Staff Success: To achieve the vision, the board will establish a structure which reflects local circumstances and creates an environment designed to ensure all students the opportunity to attain their maximum potential through a sound organizational framework. The board's primary role is to employ a superintendent who is charged with the day-to-day operations of the district. The board develops and approves policies, adopts budgets, establishes expectations for staff and students, and nurtures a climate conducive to continuous improvement.
High Expectations for Student Learning: The board will continuously articulate the belief that all students can learn and that students' learning can improve regardless of existing circumstances or resources. The board will act as leaders of a vision of shared learning that is supported by individual schools and the community.
Accountability for Student Learning: The board's accountability to the community will ensure a system of assessment of conditions affecting education and progress towards goals. The public will be kept informed about programs and progress. Staff and board training will be provided to ensure continuous improvement of student achievement.
Advocacy: The board shall serve as education's key advocate on behalf of students and their schools. The board will work to advance the community's vision for its schools, pursue the district's goals, encourage progress and energize systemic change.