(Grayson County, KY) - Like corporations and businesses across the country, school districts are run by a Board. Just as directors in the corporate boardroom set the vision and goals for their company, so a school board does for its district. Boards set policy and provide oversight. They hold the company, or district, accountable for results to stakeholders. They deal in the big picture while leaving the day-to-day operations to administration, or management.
A school board establishes a vision for its community's schools that closely mirrors a consensus of the board and its many stakeholders - teachers, staff, parents, students, employers and the community in general. Through the school board all constituencies can find expression. A lofty ideal, perhaps, but recently proven during the district’s reaccreditation process, as the AdvancED review team found communication and a sense of “family” to be one of the district’s strongest assets.
Like a company, a school board is focused on moving its “business” - educating children - forward. With a big picture view of education it considers how all the pieces come together to make a better school system and a better community. As it sets the district’s vision and goals, it also measures the success of the district and superintendent against those goals.
Whatever the vision may be, it's up to the school superintendent to implement it, which makes the hiring of the superintendent one of the board's most crucial decisions. Contrary to popular belief, this is the only hiring decision a Board is responsible for within a district. All other hires are made by the superintendent and/or the local schools and their site-based decision making council. In fact, while the school board may create general job descriptions it is, by Kentucky law, strictly prohibited from being involved in hiring teachers or other staff.
While some assume that school board service occurs at just a monthly meeting, board members are an ever-present link between district, schools and community. Like students, they must do their homework, whether sifting through complicated test data and financial reports or keeping up-to-date on the latest state and federal government requirements.
Boards adopt a fiscally sound district budget. Locally they oversee a $35 million annual budget that funds everything from buildings and buses to computers and salaries, balancing the community’s tax revenues and the district’s financial needs, all during a time when state funding for education is not keeping pace with those growing demands.
Whether in curriculum or finance, programs or facilities, the Grayson County School Board continually seeks to do more for students whether offering new career opportunities such as machining, or seeking grants to provide more services for students and parents.
An energy system overhaul has lowered costs through conservation; a new state-of-the-art elementary school and High School athletic building have been added in recent years, as has a Middle School volleyball program. The district has for several years been 100% tobacco-free, and better nutrition standards were implemented locally long before the federal mandate this past summer.
Our School Board works as a team. They are focused on student achievement and those policies that will ensure success for all students. They are driven by a passion for education and the difference it makes in lives. In fact, Board, district and school recognition for a “commitment to student advocacy and uncommon desire to build relationships that last a lifetime” was another positive highlighted during the AdvancED review.
Grayson County School Board members demonstrate on a daily basis an unwavering commitment to students, to teachers, and to finding the resources needed to foster an excellent learning atmosphere. Together and individually, they devote countless hours to making sure our district is helping every child successfully learn in school and beyond, as they leave our classrooms for college and career
They communicate their actions to the community and keep the public informed of the district's progress and challenges. They are committed to using their vision and their voice, knowing that their actions and decisions affect the present and the future lives of our children and our community.
A successful school district, like a successful business starts with a strong Board - one with vision, and the confidence in its leaders to achieve and surpass goals. It also takes quality teachers and staff committed to building strong relationships with parents and students. Add an involved and supportive community such as Grayson County’s, and you have an exceptional partnership committed to “Guiding Children to Succeed”.
To learn more visit graysoncountyschools.com and follow us on Twitter @gcboe.