Serving on the Board

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 here.  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 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 who is 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.

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 Meeting 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 student's 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.