Seattle Public Schools

1005 Responsibilities and Authority of the Board


The purpose of this policy is to define the authority, duties and powers of the Board in carrying out its mission. 

General Statement 

It is the duty and responsibility of the Board to set policy for, and provide governance and oversight of, the Seattle School District. The Board shall exercise those powers that are expressly provided by law, and those essential to the declared purposes and goals of the district.  All powers not expressly delegated are reserved to the Board.  

Acting on behalf of the people of Seattle, the Board will fulfill the following functions: 

Vision: The Board, with participation of the community, shall establish core beliefs and create a vision for the future of the district, formulate and adopt a theory of action for academic change, and shall formulate the goals and define policies and outcomes that set the course for the district. 

Structure: The Board’s primary role is to develop a structure to fulfill the vision of the district, adopt a strategic plan, approve the financial plan and annual district budgets, and employ a Superintendent who is charged with the day-to-day operations of the district.  The Board shall develop and approve policies, set academic performance goals, set expectations for staff and students, and nurture a climate conducive to continuous improvement.  

Accountability: The Board is accountable to the community for the success of the district and will adopt a system for district oversight and accountability. The Board will monitor student performance, evaluate Board, Superintendent and staff performance, support school district initiatives and suggest corrections where appropriate, and keep the public informed about district programs and progress. 

Advocacy: The Board shall serve as an advocate on behalf of the district, its students and schools, building the civic capacity of the district and supporting leadership transition planning.