The heart of Bronxville Village is the Bronxville School. A key factor in the continued excellence of the school is an outstanding Board of Trustees. This May, the Bronxville School District will hold elections to fill three open board seats for three-year terms. The Committee for Non-Partisan Nomination and Election of School Trustees (“NPC”) is seeking qualified candidates who would make a valuable contribution to the School Board. The NPC will then nominate three candidates (one for each open seat) to be placed on the ballot for the district-wide election in May.
Trustees set the broad policy for the direction of the school. They provide leadership and direction to the school’s administrators and make important decisions and judgment calls on many subjects.
The School Board may address a wide array of topics, including:
- Strategic Planning and Setting Priorities: How will the Board work with the school administration to implement the strategic plan?
- Curriculum: How should the curriculum be reviewed and evaluated? What should the respective roles of the Board, administration, faculty, and community be in setting priorities?
- Technology: Where do we want to be in three, five, and ten years? How should the school move forward on the recommendations of the strategic plan?
- Personnel Issues: How can the school make improvements in hiring, nurturing, and retaining talented faculty and administrators?
Budget – how can the Board and administration prepare an appropriate budget that meets the school’s strategic goals and is acceptable to the community? Will voter resistance negatively affect school budget growth? Are there alternative sources of revenue that the school could pursue?
Tax Certiorari Claims – How will tax certiorari claims affect the budget in the coming years?
Funding – What level of support can the district expect in the future from the state and federal governments? Are there other sources of funding?
Construction: How can the Board best manage current and future projects?
- Facilities: What is the strategy for capital improvements – plan for renovating the old part of the building? What additional capital projects need to be considered?
- Student Body: How should the school stay tuned-in to their needs and interests?
- Demographics: Do the estimated enrollment numbers allow for additional tuition students? How can the school best manage the rise in elementary student enrollment?
- Community Relations: How can the school and the School Board improve communication with the residents of the district?
The ideal Board Member is:
- Strong in decision-making skills, especially group decision-making.
- Capable of taking a leadership position as part of a team.
- Possessed of excellent judgment, based on penetrating thinking.
- Knowing when to seek additional information to help solve a problem
- Willing and able to devote considerable time and energy.
- Willing and able to make a meaningful contribution quickly.
- Able to distinguish between setting policy, oversight, and micromanagement.
- Experienced in strategic planning.
- Fiscally responsible.
- An articulate and effective speaker.
- Informed about the needs of the school and the concerns of the public.
- Approachable and committed to the concept of openness with the public.
- Sensitive to those with different opinions but capable of taking a firm stand against popular opinion or request.
- Recognizes, and can deal with, the possible conflicts between the welfare of the district and the welfare of his/her children.
DETAILS AND TIME COMMITMENT
The Trustee commitment is substantial and includes:
- Monthly Board meetings held from September through June, plus 2 – 3 meetings over the summer. Generally, the meetings are held on Thursday nights. In addition, from time to time, special Board meetings are called. The Board votes on the BOCES budget at a special meeting on the third Tuesday in April and also holds a special meeting on the third Tuesday in May to discuss the budget vote and the election of School Board members.
- Executive sessions are held before each board meeting. Periodically, additional executive sessions will be held to discuss personnel and litigation issues. Moreover, executive sessions are held between the months of February and April to discuss probationary faculty and staff.
- An annual workshop in September. A midyear workshop is usually scheduled in January.
- An organizational meeting for new Trustees in July.
- Participation in either the Finance or Personnel Committee, which generally meet once a month early in the morning.
- Liaison to one or more school, community, regional, or state organizations such as special education, staff development, the three school councils, the PTA, the Bronxville School Foundation, and the Westchester-Putnam School Boards Association.
- Participation on other special or ad hoc committees as needed, such as Technology, Construction Management, Communications, and Policy Review.
Each Trustee has a different perspective on the amount of time participation on the Board requires. Conversations with board members suggest an average of 10 to 12 hours a month, though actual hours can vary greatly depending on tenure and position.
New York State law requires that a school board member must have the following qualifications:
- Be able to read and write
- Have been a resident of the school district for at least one year prior to election
- Be a qualified voter of the school district (18 years old & U.S. citizen)
- Not be an employee of the Board of Education
- Not have been removed from a school district office in the past year
- Not be the family member of a current Trustee
In addition, it is the policy of the NPC that a candidate nominated by the NPC shall not be:
- An elected official of the Village of Bronxville
- A former Trustee who has not been off the Board for more than two years
- The spouse of a faculty member or employee of the Board of Education
- A retired member of the NPC who has not been off the NPC for more than one year
- The spouse of a member of the NPC
THE PROCESS IF YOU ARE INTERESTED
- You should contact any member of the NPC as soon as possible to indicate your interest.
- You need to complete an application and submit it to the NPC by March 2, 2020.
- You will be scheduled for a one-hour group interview with the 21 members of the NPC where you will present your qualifications.
- You may have one or two meetings with a small group of NPC members.
- Due diligence will be conducted by the NPC by contacting references you submitted.
- You will be contacted by a member or members of the Application Administration Committee of the NPC who will serve as point persons throughout the process to answer questions, provide information, etc.
- Information about you will be published in the local paper.
- If you are nominated, you may be asked to present your qualifications in a taped session to be aired on local TV.
- If you are nominated, you will be asked to attend an informal “meet the candidate” session tentatively scheduled on Wednesday Apr 22, 2020.
REFERENCE CHECK PROCEDURES
NPC members have an obligation to conduct due diligence on all candidates for nomination to the school board. This includes checking references provided by candidates and searching out information and feedback from all members of the community.
Reference checks will be conducted as follows:
The NPC will ask candidates for nomination to submit the names of three individuals as references. These individuals should have knowledge of the candidate in a professional or volunteer capacity. The NPC is most interested in speaking with people who have served with the candidate on committees or boards, have worked with the candidate as a volunteer in the community, and/or who have seen in action the candidate’s commitment to education.
The NPC may contact members of the Bronxville community who are not listed as references. Professional references not submitted by the candidate will be contacted only with prior notification to the candidate. Active BOE Trustees are not permitted as references.
Please note: All members of the NPC have signed a confidentiality agreement stating that all discussions and information acquired in the course of due diligence will be held in the strictest confidence.