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Fayette School Board goes to school for boards

The Fayette County Board of Education got a little education of its own Jan. 29 at a retreat sponsored by the Georgia School Boards Association. Organization Director of Field Services and former Fulton County Board of Education member Zenda Bowie essentially provided a primer on the roles and responsibilities of both school board members and the superintendent.

Bowie used the planning session occasion to discuss various aspects of “general boardsmanship” that highlighted the roles and responsibilities of school board members and superintendents across the state.

On several occasions during the four and one-half hour workshop, and drawing a distinction between board members and school system staff, Bowie stressed that, “school boards do not run schools, they see that the system is well-run.”

Bowie also noted the personal characteristics of school board members and addressed the need for continuing professional development and maintaining confidentiality.

“Nobody speaks for the board unless authorized by the board,” Bowie said, adding that, “The superintendent responds to the board and the board responds to the citizens.”

Pertaining to board meetings, Bowie said that board members with questions about agenda items should communicate those questions to the superintendent prior to the meeting so he will have sufficient time to get the answers.

Bowie in the presentation also addressed the variables involved in the overall effectiveness of a school board and aspects of timely and effective interactions between a school board and a superintendent.

Bowie at the meeting also noted the need for board members to obtain training from approved vendors such as the Georgia School Boards Association.

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