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8000 Board Operations & Bylaws

Click below to view policies regarding Board Bylaws.

8100 Purpose of the Board of Education

In accordance with the General Statutes and Town Charter, the West Hartford Board of Education is the duly constituted authority of the Town of West Hartford in all matters relating to the organization and operations of the schools.

The Board of Education shall act as a policy-making and appraisal body, delegating all administrative functions to the Superintendent of Schools and her/his staff. The Board of Education shall have the following responsibilities: 

  • Identify and interpret the needs and values of the community for the Superintendent.
  • Adopt an annual budget.
  • Select, review, compensate and if necessary, dismiss the Superintendent.
  • Establish broad board policy.
  • Engage in periodic long-term district-wide planning.
  • Affirm or amend district mission framework regularly.
  • Affirm or amend district goals and related indicators regularly.
  • Review the programs and performance of the schools.
  • Recommend capital improvements to the Town Council.
  • Educate and engage the community in the life of the schools.
  • Other actions as required by law or regulation.
  • Advocate with legislators, Town Council, and other policymakers on behalf of the West Hartford Public Schools.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes:
1-200 Definitions (“Public Agency”)
10-186  Duties of local and regional boards of education . . .                                    
10-220  Duties of boards of education
10-221  Boards of education to prescribe rules, policies and procedures
10-240  Control of schools
10-241  Powers of school districts Bylaws 8100, 8110, & 8370: 

Adopted October 1987
Combined and Revised to create new Bylaw 8100: June 3, 2014

8120 Limits of Authority

The Board of Education shall act as a committee of the whole. No individual board member may make a commitment on behalf of the Board, except when expressly permitted to do so when executing an assignment requested by the Board. 

Board members, either as a whole or individually, shall not:

  • exercise any administrative responsibility with respect to the schools or the district, 
  • command the services of any school district employee, or
  • perform any routine or clerical duties which may be assigned to an employee. 

Adopted: October 5, 1987
Revised: June 3, 2014

8130 Number of Members; Terms of Office

Number of Members 

The Board of Education shall consist of seven members.

Terms of Office 

The term of office of a school board member shall be four years (Charter of the Town of West Hartford, Chapter II, Section 4) 

Members take office on the 2nd Tuesday after they have been elected to office. Terms are staggered such that four members are elected in the municipal election that takes place the year AFTER a Presidential election, and three members are elected in the municipal election that takes place the year BEFORE a Presidential election year.
  
Legal Reference:
Charter of the Town of West Hartford, Chapter II, Section 2

Adopted:    October 5, 1987
Reviewed:  May 6, 2014  

8131 Filling Vacancies

Any vacancy on the Board of Education shall be filled within ninety days from its occurrence by appointment by the Board of Education for the unexpired portion of the term or until the next biennial election, whichever shall be sooner; provided that, when the person vacating the office shall have been elected as a member of a political party, such vacancy shall be filled by the appointment of a member of the same political party upon nomination by a Board of Education member of the same political party, if any.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes:
10-219 Procedure for filling vacancy on local Board of Education Charter of the Town of West Hartford, Ch.II, §7

Adopted: October 5, 1987
Reviewed: February 6, 2018

8132 Resignation/Removal from Office

If for reasons of health, change in domicile, or any other compelling reason a member does decide to terminate service, the Board requests earliest possible notification of intent to resign so that the Board may plan appropriately for this exigency.

Whenever a member of the Board of Education shall cease to be bona fide resident of the Town of West Hartford, membership on the Board shall immediately cease.

A chairperson or vice-chairperson of the Board of Education who shall refuse to perform a duty imposed upon him/her by law may be removed from that leadership position by a majority vote of all of the members of the Board, and the Board shall within 30 days thereafter fill the vacancy for the unexpired term.

Adopted: October 5, 1987
Reviewed: February 6, 2018

8140 Officers and Auxiliary Personnel

The officers of the Board of Education shall be the chairperson, vice-chairperson, secretary, and two financial examiners, no more than one from any political party. They shall be selected by the members of the Board at the first regular meeting of the newly-elected Board in an election year and at the first meeting in November in a non-election year.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes
10-218  Officers. Meetings  

Adopted: October 5, 1987
Reviewed: March 19, 2013 

8141 Chairperson

The chairperson of the Board shall preside at all Board meetings, sign legal documents and contracts for the Board, and perform such other duties imposed by state statute.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes
10-218  Officers. Meetings

Adopted: October 5, 1987 
Reviewed: March 19, 2013  

8142 Vice-Chairperson

The vice-chairperson shall serve in the absence of the chairperson, and in the performance of this service shall exercise all powers of the chairperson.

 Adopted: October 5, 1987
Reviewed: March 19, 2013 

8143 Secretary of the Board

The secretary shall certify the minutes of meetings and perform such other duties as are required by General Statutes.

(cf. 8145 – Clerk)
Legal References: Connecticut General Statutes
10-218 Officers. Meetings
10-224 Duties
10-225 Salaries of secretary and attendance officers

Adopted: October 5, 1987
Revised: April 2, 2013

8144 Financial Examiners

The Board’s two financial examiners shall review and report the state of the district’s finances to the Board monthly during the academic year.

The financial examiners may, at their discretion, request a special Board meeting to consider any proposed expenditure that is not included in the budget or to consider a reduction in the budget.

Adopted: October 5, 1987
Revised: November 5, 2014

8145 Clerk

A clerk appointed by the Board of Education shall record and publish the minutes and, when necessary, certify the minutes as legitimate.

Adopted: October 5, 1987
Revised: April 2, 2013

8146 Attorney

The Board of Education may retain external legal counsel to provide legal services related to the official duties of the Board of Education.  All interaction between the Board and external legal counsel will occur through the Chairperson of the Board of Education. The Chairperson may, at her or his discretion, include the full Board in discussions with legal counsel. 

The administration may, but is not required to, hire the same external legal counsel to represent the district in routine matters related to litigation, negotiations, labor disputes, personnel actions, general counsel, and other legal services. 

Any member of the Board may engage the Town of West Hartford’s Corporation Counsel at any time on any matter.  

Adopted: October 5, 1987
Revised: June 3, 2014

8151 Ad Hoc Committees/Advisory Committees

Ad hoc committees may be appointed by the chairperson with the approval of the Board. When a committee’s specific assignment has been completed, it may be discharged by a majority vote of the Board. Committees may advise the Board but not determine policy.

Adopted: October 5, 1987
Reviewed: March 19, 2013

8160 Negotiations

The Board of Education designates the Superintendent of Schools (or her/his designee) as the official representative of the Board in all labor relations matters, including negotiations. However, final authority for all labor contracts rests with the Board of Education, and each labor contract must be approved by the Board of Education at a regularly held meeting and signed by the Board Chairperson upon ratification.

Adopted: October 5, 1987
Revised: June 3, 2014

8210 Orientation of New Board Members

The Board of Education and the administrative staff shall assist each newly-elected board member in her/his orientation regarding the authority, limitations, functions, policies, procedures, and operations of the Board of Education as well as the entire school system. The following methods are among those that may be employed in this effort: 

  1. The incoming board member(s) shall be provided with an up-to-date copy of board policies and administrative procedures.
  2. The incoming board member(s) shall be invited to meet with the superintendent and other administrative personnel to discuss the work they perform for the system on behalf of the Board.
  3. The incoming member may attend, at school system expense, workshops for newly-elected board members as approved by the Board, such as, but not limited to, seminars held by the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education. New members are also encouraged to attend the next available CABE/CAPSS convention, or partake in other gatherings of professional development for board members during the year.

Adopted: October 5, 1987
Revised: June 3, 2014

8220 Remuneration and Reimbursement

Remuneration

A member of the Board of Education shall receive no compensation for his/her service.

Reimbursement

Out-of-State Travel

Board members authorized to travel on Board-related business shall be reimbursed for reasonable expenditures, in addition to transportation to and from the destination and registration fees. Board members must have approval in advance from the Board of Education.         

Adopted: October 5, 1987
Reviewed: March 19, 2013  

8230 Conflict of Interest

No member of the Board of Education, or officer, or employee shall have an interest in any contract with the school system with which the member, officer, or employee is affiliated unless such interest is specifically permitted by statute.

“Interest” shall mean pecuniary or material benefit accruing to a Board of Education member, officer, or employee or their relatives resulting from a contractual relationship with the school system.

No member of the Board of Education may be employed for compensation by the West Hartford Public Schools.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes
10-232 Restrictions on employment of members of the Board of Education

Adopted: October 5, 1987
Reviewed: March 19, 2013  

8240 Code of Ethics

8310 Formulation, Adoption, Amendment of Policies and Bylaws

The Board of Education shall formulate and adopt general policies for the operation and improvement of the schools.

New policies and bylaws will require two readings at public sessions of the Board of Education. Non-substantive amendments of said policies and bylaws may be made after one public reading of the proposed change, while substantive amendments of policies and bylaws shall be made only after a second public reading of the proposed change. Policies and bylaws shall be effective when adopted unless otherwise required by statute.

Bylaw 8310 adopted: October 5, 1987
Bylaw 8310 revised: November 22, 2005
Bylaw 8320 adopted: October 19, 1987
Bylaws 8310 & 8320 combined and revised: February 27, 2013

8330 Regulations

The Board sets policy. The administration develops regulations to carry out said policies. The Board may review regulations at its discretion.

Policies, bylaws, and Board-adopted regulations may be suspended for a specified purpose, and for a limited time, by a 2/3 vote of the entire Board of Education.

Bylaws 8330 and 8340: Adopted October 5, 1987
Combined and Revised to create new Bylaw 8330: November 5, 2014

8350 Meetings

Regular meetings of the Board of Education will be held at least once a month from September through June. The agenda of regular meetings will be made available to the public at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting. Only items on the agenda can be discussed. Items can be added during the meeting by a two-thirds vote of the entire Board of Education. A calendar of regular meetings will be approved by the full board in the previous school year.

Special meetings of the Board of Education can be called between regular meetings by the chairperson, and shall be called upon the request of the superintendent, or upon the request of two or more members of the Board of Education. The agenda for a special meeting will be made available to the public at least 24 hours in advance. The meeting may only address topics on the agenda.

Emergency meetings of the Board of Education can be called between regular meetings by the chairperson, upon the request of the superintendent, or upon the request of two or more members of the Board of Education. An agenda for an emergency meeting must be established, but need not be made available to the public in advance of the meeting. The meeting may only address topics on the agenda. The minutes of the meeting must clearly indicate the nature of the emergency.

All regular, special, and emergency meetings of the Board of Education will be open to the public. A quorum is required for votes at regular, special, and emergency meetings to be binding.

The Board of Education may convene into Executive Session at any time by a two-thirds vote of Board of Education members present, so long as the topic or topics of discussion of the Executive Session are announced at the time the vote to enter into Executive Session is taken, and if the topic of the meeting meets the legal criteria for Executive Session privilege, which are, generally, as follows:

  1. Personnel matters.
  2. Pending claims and litigation.
  3. Security devices.
  4. Real estate.
  5. Collective bargaining strategy.
  6. Confidential documents.

Executive Session discussions will be strictly limited to the topics that were communicated at the time of the vote to enter into Executive Session. Any votes on topics discussed in Executive Session must be taken in open session.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes:
1-200 Definitions.
1-206 Denial of access of public record or meetings.  Appeals.  Notice.  Orders.  Civil Penalty.  Services of process upon commission. Frivolous appeals.
1-210 Access to public records. Exempt records.
1-226 Recording, broadcasting or photographing meetings.
1-227 Mailing of notice of meetings to persons filing written request. Fees.

Bylaws 8350, 8351, 8352: Adopted October 1987
Combined and Revised to create new Bylaw 8350: November 5, 2014

8354 Agenda Construction; Posting of Agenda

Agenda Construction 

The superintendent in cooperation with the chairperson of the Board of Education shall prepare an agenda for each regular meeting. The agenda shall be sent to all members of the Board in advance of the meeting.

Upon timely (no later than 48 hours prior to the legally required public posting of the agenda) receipt of a written request from any Board member, the superintendent and the chairperson shall place on the agenda of the next Board meeting any motion (i.e.  any item calling for a vote of the Board) under the “New Business” section of an agenda.

Any timely (not later than 48 hours prior to the legally required public posting of the agenda) written request from any two (2) Board members for the inclusion of any item on an agenda that does not require the vote of the Board (e.g. any request for information) shall be treated as follows:

(a) The item shall be included on the agenda under the “Request for Future Agenda Items” section of the agenda.

(b) The item shall be addressed by motion directing the superintendent to prepare an oral presentation to be included on a future agenda.

Posting of Agenda

At least 24 hours prior to the time of the regular meeting, the items on which action may be taken shall be included in an agenda which will be posted in a place readily available to parents and teachers. Items to be included on the agenda of a special meeting shall be posted at least 24 hours prior to the time of the special meeting.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes:
1-225   Meetings of government agencies to be public. Recording of votes. Schedule and agenda of certain meetings to be filed and posted on web sites. Notice of special meetings.  Executive sessions.

Revised bylaw adopted: March 3, 1998
Reviewed:  October 21, 2014 

8355 Meeting Conduct

Each member of the public wishing to speak may address the Board for three minutes at the beginning and three minutes at the end of each meeting for a total of six minutes. The public may speak on items both on and off the agenda. A maximum of twenty-one minutes shall be allowed to each subject matter.

While this policy does not limit comments members of the public wish to make, except as specially provided herein, formal charges or formal complaints against an employee of the Board of Education must be initiated in writing in accordance with Board Policy #1230.

While the Board will not respond to comments made in public session, it will consider such comments in its policy deliberations and, where appropriate, will refer comments to school department personnel for their review as part of their administrative functions.

Adopted: December 19, 1994
Reviewed: December 19, 2006
Reviewed: February 6, 2018

8356 Quorum

A majority of the members of the Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

Adopted: October 5, 1987
Reviewed: October 21, 2014

8357 Agenda, Minutes, and Reports--Order of Business

The Board will dispense with the reading of the minutes of the previous meetings. Copies of the minutes, the agenda, and a detailed financial statement shall be mailed to each member of the Board on the Friday preceding the regular meeting. Items not appearing on the agenda shall be considered by the Board only with the consent of 2/3 of the Board members present and voting. The minutes of preceding meetings shall be approved by the Board and signed by the chairperson and secretary. The minutes shall be bound and kept in the office of the superintendent of schools.

Order of Business. The order of business at each regular meeting of the Board of Education shall include the following:

I. Call to Order
II. Student Participation
III. Comments from Visitors
IV. Recommended Actions—Old Business
V. Recommended Actions—New Business
VI. Staff Communications and Presentations
VII. Recommended Actions—Routine Matters
         A. Approval of Minutes
         B. Approval of Financial Statement
VIII. Information and Proposals
         A. From Board Members
              1. Reports from Representatives of 
                   Other Boards or Organizations
              2. Other Information and Discussion
IX. Future Business
         A. Announcement of Meeting Dates
         B. Request for Future Agenda Items
X. Comments from Visitors
XI. Executive Session
XII. Adjournment

The order of business may be rearranged by a majority vote of the members in attendance at the meeting.

Adopted: December 5, 1994
Revised: March 3, 1998
Reviewed: December 19, 2006
Revised: January 17, 2012

8357.1 Parliamentary Procedure

Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the proceedings of the Board, except when those rules are in conflict with the Board’s adopted bylaws.

Amendments, alterations, corrections or repeal of the rules of order may be made, or their operation may be suspended for the meeting, at any regular or special meeting of this Board, by a vote of a majority of all members of the Board.

Bylaws 8357.1 & 8357.2
Adopted: October 5, 1987
Combined and Reviewed: March 19, 2013

8358 Minutes/Taping/Broadcasting

All formal actions of the Board of Education shall be recordedThe votes of each member upon any issue shall be reduced to writing and made available for inspection within forty-eight hours, excluding any Saturday, Sunday, legal holidays, or any day on which the board office is closed

The minutes shall be kept on file as a permanent official record of all board action and shall be available for public inspection both on-line and as a hard copy at all reasonable times.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes:
1-206 Denial of access to public records or meetings. Appeals. Notice. Orders. Civil Penalty. Service of process upon commission. Frivolous appeals.
1-225 Meetings of government agencies to be public. Recording of votes. Schedule and agenda of certain meetings to be filed and posted on web sites. Notice of special meetings. Executive sessions.
1-226  Recording, broadcasting or photographing meetings

Adopted: October 5, 1987
Reviewed: October 21, 2014

8360 Board Records

We support the goal of the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act that Board of Education records should be accessible to the public. Board of Education documents, in whatever format, are part of the public record unless they are exempt by state law.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes:
1-200 et seq. Freedom of Information Act

Adopted: October 19, 1987
Revised: January 20, 2015

8380 Policy Statement of Racial Balance