Operating Protocol

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:

  1. ​​The board will represent the needs and interests of ALL the children in our district.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Communications between staff and the board are encouraged. Board requests of staff are to be directed to the superintendent.
  5. All personnel complaints and criticisms received by the board or its individual members will be directed to the superintendent.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. The board will consider research, best practice, public input and financial impacts in their decision making.
  9. The superintendent is the chief executive officer and should recommend, propose or suggest on items that go before the board.
  10. 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.
  11. Study sessions will be for in-depth discussion on one or two agreed-upon topics.
  12. When executive sessions are held, board members will honor the confidentiality of the discussions.
  13. The board commits itself to continuous improvement through a yearly board retreat.
  14. The board and superintendent will facilitate goal setting for the school district.
  15. The board will do their homework and improve their boardsmanship skills by attending board training and networking opportunities.
  16. 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.
  17. The board president or designee will be the board spokesperson.
  18. 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.
  19. The board will establish the vision, create policies and assure accountability. The superintendent will manage the schools.​​​​​

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