Partial Policy Suspension for November 1, 2022 through July 31, 2023:
On October 26, 2022, the Seattle School Board voted to suspend the requirement for standing committees, with limited exceptions outlined below, until July 31, 2023. The Board will retain an Audit Committee and retains the authority of the Board President to establish an ad hoc committee from time to time.
Portions of this policy suspended are as indicated with strikeouts. During this partial suspension of this policy, the following will be in effect:
Board Committee Principles
Board committees support the policy and oversight work of the Board and shall promote unity of action by the Board as a whole by preparing policy alternatives, implications, or recommendations for Board consideration. Committees shall provide oversight, review and recommendation on policy and oversight issues defined within their charters below.
The committees may not interfere with the delegation of authority from the Board to the Superintendent. Committees may not exercise authority over the Superintendent or staff. Any direction to the Superintendent related to a committee recommendation will come from the full Board.
There are four standing committees of the Board: Executive Committee; Audit & Finance Committee; Operations Committee; and Student Services, Curriculum & Instruction Committee. Each committee shall consist of three Board Members. After the election of officers and prior to the first meeting in January, the Board President, in consultation with the rest of the Board, shall determine the membership and chair of each Board committee; provided that Executive Committee membership shall be elected by the full Board in December.
The Board President shall determine the committee assignments for each school board student member in consultation with the student members. School board student members are non-voting advisors and will not make or second motions or vote during committee or other meetings of the Board. Board Directors assigned to each committee will endeavor to act as a mentor for the school board student members assigned to their Board Committee. The Committee Chairs will be assigned as the official board member mentor to the school board student members assigned to their committees, unless another Board Director wishes to assume that role.
The Superintendent shall designate a lead staff person to support each committee. The Committee Chair for each committee shall work closely with the designated lead staff person for their committee to develop committee agendas and ensure committee agendas and materials are circulated to Board Members, the Superintendent, and relevant staff in advance of the meeting.
All regularly scheduled, monthly Board committee meetings are generally open to the public, though an executive session may be called as part of a committee meeting. The regularly scheduled, monthly committee meetings are generally conducted as Board Special Meetings guided by the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) and Board Policy No. 1400, Meeting Conduct, Order of Business and Quorum.
Committees will generally not take public testimony or comments, but testimony or comments may be allowed at the discretion of the Chair.
Minutes of each committee meeting shall be kept that identify all of the recommendations of a majority of the committee members and all requests of a majority of the committee for follow-up work by the Superintendent or staff. (See also Board Policy Nos. 1440, Minutes, and 1620, Board-Superintendent Relationship.) Minutes shall be timely forwarded to all Board members, the Superintendent, and relevant staff.
Audio recordings of committee meetings are not generally made, but are permitted to be made by Directors, staff, or the public under state law. As a courtesy, the Chair should make an announcement to all present whenever the Chair is aware that a recording is being made. If a member of the public is recording the meeting, the Chair has the discretion to request that the staff also record the meeting for district archives, to assure the accuracy of recordings.
Generally, items must be recommended by a majority of a committee to move forward to the full Board for its consideration and action. If there is an urgent item that is unable to go through the typical committee process, the item may be added to a regular Board meeting agenda with the approval of the Board President and Superintendent.
Only committee members may vote on items before the committee. However, if a committee member is unable to attend a meeting, a substitute Board member may be recruited to participate and vote in that meeting. If a committee member is absent and a substitute member has not been arranged for or is not present, then visiting Board members shall be designated to vote on issues on the agenda, in the order of the visiting Board members’ arrival, in the order such issues appear on the agenda, until three Board members are present. Proxy votes are not permitted. All visiting Board members, whether or not permitted to vote, may participate in discussion.
The Board President may establish an ad hoc committee
and committees of the whole from time to time. For committees of the whole, only the three members of the origin committee shall have the authority to vote on items, unless a committee member is absent and another Board member has been designated to vote under the rules of this policy.
Standing Committees, Charter of Responsibility
The charter for each standing committee shall be as follows:
Executive Committee The Executive Committee shall consist of the president, vice president, and member-at-large. The charter of the Executive Committee is to:
& Finance Committee
Three Board members shall serve on the committee as determined and selected by the Board president. The charter of the committee is to:
Ensure the leveraged use of Board Policy No. 0030, Ensuring Educational and Racial Equity
At the discretion of the Chair of the Audit
& Finance Committee, one or more “public advisors” may be added as non-voting advisors to the Committee. The position of public advisor shall be publicly advertised. The advertisement shall include the responsibilities and the term of service for the public advisor position, as determined by the Audit & Finance Committee. Operations Committee Three Board members shall serve on the committee as determined and selected by the Board president. The charter of the committee is to: Student Services, Curriculum & Instruction Committee Three Board members shall serve on the committee as determined and selected by the Board president. The charter of the committee is to:
The president may appoint Board members to external Board committees and Board task forces as appropriate.