No. 01 Section A School District Organizations
- AA - School District-School Board Legal Status and Authority
- ABB - Role of the Board of Education
- ABC - Board Member Legal Status
- ACA - School District Goals and Objectives
- ACAA - School District Planning
- ACB - Evaluation of School District
- AD - School Attendance Areas
- AEA - School Calendar
- AF - School Day
- AFC - Emergency Closings
- AFCA - Teleworking During Emergencies
- AG - School Grade Level
Issued Date: 11/1/95
The legal basis for education in Tennessee is expressed in the state Constitution and state statutes, as interpreted by the courts. Boards are instruments of the state, and members of the Board are state officers representing local citizens and the state in the management of the public schools.1
The governing body shall be the Board of Education, serving residents within the boundaries of the school system and non-residents under conditions specified by state law and the Board.2
All powers of the Board lie in its action as a group; therefore, individual board members exercise their authority over school system affairs only as they vote to take action at an official meeting of the Board.
In other instances, an individual board member, including the chairman, shall have power only when specified by state law or when the Board, by vote, has delegated authority to him/her.
- TCA 49-1-101; TCA 49-1-102; TCA 49-1-103.
- TCA 49-6-3104.
Issued Date: 08/09/01
The Board will be guided by the general mandatory powers and duties of the Board as defined through statute1 which state or imply that a local Board of Education has full power to operate the local public schools as it deems fit in compliance with state and federal mandates. The Board functions only when in session.
The Board sees these as its required functions:
- Policy Oversight:2 The Board will develop policy and employ a chief school administrator who shall carry out its policies through the development and implementation of administrative procedures. The Board will evaluate the effectiveness of its policies and their implementation. This includes setting and evaluating goals in educational and financial areas.
- Educational Planning:3 The Board will require reliable information from responsible sources, which enable it and the staff to work toward the continuous improvement of the educational program.
- Provision of Financial Resources:4 The Board will adopt a budget to provide the necessary funding in terms of buildings, staff, materials and equipment to enable the school system to carry out its functions.
- Interpretation: The Board will keep the local community informed about the school and keep itself informed about the wishes of the public. The Board will build public support for the school by involving the public in the planning process.
The Board will provide, within the financial limitations set by the community, the best educational opportunities possible for all children.
The Board shall exercise its powers through the legislation of policies for the organization and operation of the school district. The Board will delegate the administration of the schools to the Director of Schools.
- TCA 49-2-203
- TCA 49-2-207
- TCA 49-1-302 (a) (3); TRR/MS 0520-2-1-.01
- TCA 49-2-203 (a) (11)
Issued Date: 9/12/96
The legal status of board members shall be as follows: 1
The Board is composed of six (6) members.
Members of the Board shall be residents of and elected on a non-partisan basis from districts of substantially equal population,1 and shall be citizens of recognized integrity, intelligence, and ability to administer the duties of the office. To qualify as a candidate, an individual must show proof of graduation from high school or receipt of a G.E.D. No member of the local legislative body or any other local governmental official shall be eligible for election as a member of the Board of Education.2
Terms of Office
Members of the Board shall serve four (4) year terms.1
Vacancies shall be declared to exist on account of death, resignation, removal from the district which elected him, removal from the school system,4 or through due process proceedings.2
When a vacancy occurs, the unexpired term shall be filled at the next regular or special meeting of the local legislative body.4 Such appointment shall continue until the next regular election.5
1. TCA 49-2-201.
2. TCA 8-47-101.
3. TCA 49-2-202 (a).
4. TCA 49-2-202 (e).
5. Tennessee Constitution, Article VII, Section 2.
Issued Date: 11/1/95
The Board is charged, on behalf of the public, with the responsibility for determining the educational goals of the school system. In discharging that responsibility, the Board has adopted the following goals in four primary areas: instruction, personnel, students and operations.
The Board shall develop policies to implement the goals within each area and shall annually review these goals and revise them as necessary so that each program will at all times support the stated goals.
1. To promote a plan for the organized improvement of school curriculum, including the articulation between elementary and secondary schools;
2. To provide offerings which explore a wide range of career and service opportunities;
3. To promote an integration of academic, physical, social and emotional growth experiences for each student; and
4. To promote the recognition of achievement in all endeavors (i.e. academics, athletics).
1. To structure the overall instructional program to provide sufficient alternatives to meet a variety of individual needs and aspirations;
2. To ensure that each student’s interests, capacities and objectives are considered in his/her learning program;
3. To develop a comprehensive program for handicapped students providing the least restrictive programs; and
4. To help students gain understanding of themselves, as well as skills and techniques in living and working with others and being responsible citizens.
1. To provide high quality performance by the staff, including both professional and support;
2. To establish acceptable performance standards for all personnel;
3. To provide in-service training and professional growth experiences for teachers and administrators; and
4. To maintain an evaluation system for the improvement of the instructional system.
1. To make every effort to secure adequate funding for the educational program in supports of the stated goals;
2. To maintain an adequate system of fiscal and business management;
3. To develop plans for the efficient use of school facilities; and
4. To ensure appropriate communications between the Director and the Board.
Issued Date: 11/1/95
The Board shall develop comprehensive, long-range plans based on the following:
- Identifying and analyzing the major factors that affect what and how students learn;
- Developing and implementing a written five-year plan to include a mission statement, goals, objectives and strategies;1
- Establishing annual program improvement objectives, including major activities, expected outcomes, time-lines, responsible persons and required resources; and
- Basing major budget decisions on long-range plans.
The Board shall plan by means of an annual retreat with the Director and staff. The purpose of the retreat shall be to review progress on the implementation of priorities, initiatives, and long-range plans, to determine which goals have been achieved, whether any new efforts are needed, and to review major issues that may affect the future. The Board shall also consider annual objectives and strategies proposed by the Director. An annual status report on these plans shall be submitted to the Commissioner of Education by September 1 of each year in the required format.1
The Director shall develop necessary procedures, forms or other measures to implement the goals of this policy.
A planning coordinator may be designated by the Director to help coordinate system-wide planning efforts, establish and coordinate an issues management process, aid district staff in developing specific plans, and monitor implementation schedules.
1. TRR/MS 0520-1-3.03(15).
Issued Date: 11/1/95
At least once each year, the Board shall assess the productivity within each area of responsibility and establish standards for each area.
The basic features of the assessment shall be as follows:
- The form for self-assessment of each area of responsibility shall be designated to indicate strengths and weaknesses;
- All resources, including personnel, shall be used in the process;
- Each evaluation shall be reported to the Board for its approval;
- Board-approved reports shall become goals and objectives for each department for the forthcoming year.
Issued Date: 11/1/95
The Board shall establish school attendance areas and periodically review boundary adjustments. The Director shall enforce these areas as established by the Board.
The primary considerations of governing the establishment of a school attendance area are:
- The educational opportunity afforded students;
- The capacity of each school; and
- The geographic location of each school in relationship to the surrounding student population.
Students who use the school bus service must attend the school in the zone in which they reside. Students who use transportation other than the school bus service shall be permitted to attend any school, which is appropriate for their level, except West, Hickory Creek and Bobby Ray Memorial Elementary where students from outside the zone will be allowed to attend up to enrollment caps.
When more than one bus passes in front of the students’ residence, he may ride either bus.
Issued Date: 11/1/95
No later than March 31, the Board will adopt, upon the recommendation of the Director, an official school calendar for the succeeding school year. The calendar will identify holidays, vacation days, summer sessions and other extensions of the school year. The Board may revise the calendar. The first full day of school shall be determined by the Board.
The regular school year shall be 200 days1 and scheduled as follows:
A minimum of 180 student attendance days;
A minimum of five (5) days; in-service education for all certificated personnel;
One (1) day for parent-teacher conferences;
Ten (10) days paid vacation for all certificated personnel; and
Four (4) discretionary days.
Extended contracts shall include twenty (20) days for each additional month employed.
The Director shall plan each year’s program accounting for a 200-day year and shall recommend it to the Board for approval. The calendar shall be distributed to the school staff at the opening of the school term.
STUDENT ATTENDANCE DAYS
When schools are closed due to emergencies or unforeseen circumstances such as epidemics or inclement weather, the time lost shall be made up to the required minimum unless otherwise approved by the State Department of Education.
Each day of in-service education included in the school calendar shall be equivalent to not less than six (6) hours of planned activities.2
Four (4) discretionary days shall be included in the calendar and may be designated by the Board as student attendance days, in-service days or administrative days, which may be used by administrators, faculty and staff for commencement of classes, record keeping, grading examinations, parent-teacher conferences and other classroom functions.1
- TCA 49-6-3004.
- State Board of Education Guidelines for Planning Approvable In-service Education Activities, March 7, 1984
Issued Date: 11/1/95
The minimum length of the school day for students shall be six and one-half (6 ½) hours total for all grades.1 If stockpiling is used, the minimum day shall be seven (7) hours for students.
All teachers shall be on duty at least seven (7) hours and such additional time as the administrative organization requires.2 If stockpiling is used, all teachers shall be on duty at least seven and one-half (7½) hours and such additional time as the administrative organization requires.
1. TRR/MS 0520-1-3-.02 (1) (a).
2. TRR/MS 0520-1-3-.03 (1)
Issued Date: 4/23/20
The Board authorizes the Director of Schools to close schools in the event of hazardous weather, a public health emergency, or any other emergency which presents a threat to the safety of students, staff members, or school property.1
As soon as the decision to close schools is made, the Director of Schools will notify the public media and request that an announcement be made.
If school is not in session or is dismissed early due to snow or inclement weather, the Director of Schools in consultation with the principal(s) of the impacted school(s) shall determine if all scheduled activities in which students are involved shall be postponed or cancelled.
In the event of an emergency that requires closure of a school building, group of schools, or the entire district, the Director of Schools is authorized to continue to pay employees who are not able to physically report for duty as a result. These employees shall receive their regular wages. Such payments shall not exceed the number of days budgeted for each employee.
During such emergencies, the Director of Schools may designate certain employees as essential. Such employees shall work as directed by the Director of Schools, whether that is by physical appearance at work or teleworking under Policy AFCA-Teleworking During an Emergencies. Essential employees must use leave to be excused from work absent special permission as determined by the Director of Schools/designee.
1. TCA 49-6-3004(e)(1); TRR/MS 0520-01-03-.02(1)(b)
Issued Date: 4/23/20
Teleworking is a work arrangement where designated employees are allowed to perform their normal duties and responsibilities through the use of hardware and software at an alternate location from their normal work site.
The Director of Schools may require an employee to telework if the duties and responsibilities of the position are required during times of emergency. An employee’s participation in the program will be determined by the length and duration of the emergency and will be both initiated and ended at the discretion of the supervisor and/or the Director of Schools.
Employees approved for telework shall maintain a dedicated and safe work environment.
An employee who teleworks shall not allow anyone other than district employees to utilize district provided services or equipment. Employees shall keep remote work and information confidential, in accordance with district policies, procedures, and applicable privacy laws.