Role of the Board of Education (BOE)

The role of a Board of Education (BOE) is to ensure that a school district is well run through the creation and updating of policies. Board members function as policy makers.  These policies serve as a guide to the Superintendent and provide direction, a basis for decision-making, and an imperative for action. Concerns are placed on meeting agendas for discussion by the entire board or a board committee. The discussions can result in new, updated, or revised district policies.

The Riverdale BOE functions by committee to review recommendations by the Superintendent on the operation of the district, budget development, facilities management, curricula, etc.

The Riverdale BOE operates with the following six committees consisting of three board members and a district administrator:

  • Curriculum Instruction and Special Services (CISS)
  • Finance
  • Health & Safety
  • Personnel
  • Policy
  • Transportation Facilities & Technology

Board members are sworn to abide by the NJ School Board Member Code of Ethics, which define the parameters, under law, of the role of board members. As individuals, board members cannot make decisions for the board, take actions for the board, or speak for the board, unless authorized to do so.

Community members should not contact individual board members regarding personal issues. Board members will rightfully encourage community members to follow the chain of command—beginning with the classroom teacher and progressing through the hierarchy.  Simultaneously, the board member will alert the Superintendent.

When the chain of command is used properly by citizens and board members, it improves communication and permits the BOE to act as the final arbiter on issues that have not been resolved at other steps in the chain. To determine who best should handle a matter or question, ask yourself, “Who is closest to the problem?” Most often the answer is a staff member. Bring your concern to a teacher or principal, whoever is closer to the problem, and they will provide a prompt response. If this is not the case, the next step is to seek out the Superintendent. As a final step in this process, concerns can be brought before the board.

Board members are responsible for ensuring that the Riverdale Public School District provides its students the best education the community can afford. The collective responsibility is to listen to all citizens and make sure those with a special point of view understand the needs of the school system as a whole.

Additional information about the role of the Board is available in the link below from New Jersey School Boards Association titled "13 Things School Board Members Wish People Knew About Them."

Above all, board members are responsible for, and to, the students in our schools.

The Riverdale Public School Board of Education

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