Board Operating Procedures

Harmony ISD

Board of Trustees

Operating Procedures

A meeting of the Harmony ISD Board of Trustees is a business meeting in which the Board will, to the best of their ability, make decisions which will be in the best interest of the students of Harmony ISD. These guidelines are designed to explain to you some of the procedures used during the meeting as well as a review of Board practices.

1. Developing the Board Agenda

The Board meeting agenda is typically developed by the Superintendent and Board President the week before the meeting. Board members may request to the Board President or Superintendent any item they wish to have considered for placement on the agenda. In accordance with the Texas Open Meetings Act, no member can place an item on the agenda less than 72 hours in advance of the meeting, except in an emergency.

2. Board Agenda Format

The Board meeting agenda is formatted to include citizens comments, a consent agenda, discussion items, action items, and information items.

3. Addressing the Board

There are two items on the agenda for citizen's input: (1) Delegation - by notifying the Superintendent or President the week before the meeting, a citizen may schedule to present information to the Board during the delegation portion of the meeting. Click here and fill out the form to be placed on the school board agenda. (2) Open Forum - citizens may fill out a sheet at the meeting to notify the President that they wish to address the Board. Rules governing Open Forum are:

    • At regular meetings the Board shall allot 30 minutes to hear persons who desire to make comments to the Board.
    • No presentation shall exceed three minutes.
    • If a group wishes to speak on the same topic, one person shall be appointed by the group to present their views before the Board.
    • Board members will hear comments, but may not enter into a discussion on matters not on the agenda. Specific factual information or recitation of existing policy may be furnished in response to inquiries.
    • The President may direct the Superintendent to investigate the matter and report back to the Board.
    • The Board may not hear comments on individual personnel or students in open forum.

4. Meeting Procedures and Information

    • The Board shall observe Robert's Rules of Order parliamentary procedures.
    • The Board President will vote on all action items.
    • In the case of a tie vote, the motion fails.
    • The Board President will recognize each member prior to any question or discussion on the agenda topic.
    • No Board member has authority outside the Board meeting.
    • No Board member can direct employees in regard to the performance of their duties.

5. General Information

    • Board members may request any legally available information concerning the district, students, or personnel. The person providing the information shall inform the Superintendent.
    • Before visiting a campus, Board members should notify the building principal of their visit. Board members may not go into teachers' classrooms or individual buildings for the purpose of evaluation.
    • Board members will evaluate the Superintendent during closed session each year in January.
    • Closed session is restricted to the items listed on the closed session agenda and as limited by law. The information presented in closed session is confidential.
    • All voting will be done in open session. Anonymous phone calls or letters will not receive Board attention, discussion, or response and will not result in directives to the administration.
    • Board officers are elected in November in even numbered years.

6. Communications

  • The Superintendent will communicate with the Board via weekly Board Notes.
  • The Superintendent will communicate information in a timely fashion to all Board members, if such information needs to be reported prior to mailing of the weekly Board Notes.
  • The Board will keep the Superintendent informed via telephone, e-mail, and fax.
  • The Board President or Superintendent shall be the official spokesperson for the Board on media issues.

Individual Board members cannot speak in an official capacity outside of the Board meeting.

7. Procedures for Patron Request or Complaint to an Individual Board Member

The Board member should hear the citizen's request or complaint for full understanding of persons involved, date, and place. Then:

  • Describe the chain of command to the patron
  • Refer the patron to the appropriate person or to the Superintendent.
  • Remind the citizen of appropriate policy and that the Board member must remain impartial in case the situation is later considered by the Board.
  • Inform the patron that the Superintendent or designee will respond in a timely fashion

8. Procedures for Employee Request or Complaint to an Individual Board Member

  • The Board member should hear the employee's request or complaint for full understanding of persons involved, date, and place. Then:
  • Describe the chain of command to the employee.
  • Refer the employee to the appropriate person or to the Superintendent.
  • Remind the employee of appropriate policy and that the Board member must remain impartial in case the situation is later considered by the board
  • Inform the employee that the Superintendent or designee will respond in a timely fashion unless the employee requests no contact from the Superintendent.

9. Review of Operating Procedures

These Standard Operating Procedures will be reviewed and updated by the Board of Trustees as needed at the July meeting.