Kent City Community Schools
Bylaws & Policies
 

0140 - MEMBERSHIP

0141

Number

 
 

The Board of Education shall consist of seven (7) members.

 
 

M.C.L. 380.11a

 

0141.1

Student-Body Representatives

 
 

The Board shall have one (1) representative(s) from the high school student-body selected by the Student Council.

 
 

A.

Each representative shall be allowed to participate in all Board discussions and attend committee meetings to which they may be assigned or invited. The student-body representative(s) shall not be allowed to vote or participate in closed sessions.

 
 

B.

The Superintendent shall arrange for a place on the agenda at which time the student-body representative(s) shall provide the Board with items of concern and/or interest to the student-body.

 
 

C.

The Superintendent shall approve any such items to be presented to the Board in its agenda.

 
 

D.

The student-body representative(s) shall be responsible for communicating Board questions or decisions pertaining to students to the student councils authorized by Policy 5820.

 
 

Adopted 6/18/12

 

0142

Election/Appointment

 

0142.1

Electoral Process

 
 

The number of members of the Board shall remain the same as before July 1, 1996 unless changed by the school electors at a regular or special school election. A ballot question for changing the number of Board members may be placed on the ballot by action of the Board or by petition submitted by school electors as provided under Michigan election law (M.C.L. 168.301 to 168.315).

 
 

Members of the Board shall be elected in the November even year general election (the first Tuesday after the first Monday) in a manner that is consistent with State law.

 
 

A special election may be called by the Board as provided under Michigan election law (M.C.L. 168.301 to 168.315).

 
 

Revised 12/9/96

 

Revised 6/18/12

 

0142.2

Qualifications

 
 

Each member of the Board shall meet the qualifications specified by law and courts of competent authority. M.C.L. 380.1101(1)

 

0142.3

Term

 
 

The term of each Board member shall be four (4) years.

 
 

At each regular school election, members of the Board shall be elected to fill the positions of those whose terms will expire. A term of office begins as provided by law (M.C.L. 168.302) and continues until a successor is elected and qualified.

 
 

At least one (1) School Board member for a School District shall be elected at each of the School District's regular elections. A School Board member's term of office begins January 1st, immediately following the November election.

 
 

M.C.L. 380.301 et seq.

 
 

Revised 6/18/12

 

0142.4

Oath

 
 

Each newly-elected Board member shall file an acceptance of office as well as an affidavit of eligibility and shall take an oath of office as well as other oaths required for transactions connected with or related to the educational program of the District.

 
 

Each newly-elected Board member shall file an acceptance of office as well as an affidavit of eligibility within ten (10) days after receiving a certificate of election and shall take an oath of office as prescribed by the Constitution of Michigan.

 
 

A ceremonial oath of office may be administered at the Organizational Meeting and may be administered by any Board member and/or the Superintendent.

 
 

M.C.L. 168.309, 168.310

 
 

Revised 12/9/96

 

Revised 6/18/12

 

0142.5

Vacancies

 
 

The membership of a Board member shall become vacant immediately upon the occurrence of any one (1) of the following events:

 
 

A.

the death of the incumbent, or the incumbent's being found mentally incompetent by the proper court

 
 

B.

the incumbent's resignation

 
 

C.

the incumbent's removal from office

 
 

D.

the incumbent's conviction of a felony

 
 

E.

the incumbent's election or appointment being declared void by a competent tribunal

 
 

F.

the incumbent's neglect or failure to file the acceptance of office, to take the oath of office, or to give or renew an official bond required by law

 
 

G.

the incumbent's ceasing to possess the legal qualifications for holding office

 
 

H.

the incumbent moving his/her residence out of the District

 
 

I.

the incumbent's residence being removed from the School District

 
 

If less than a majority of the offices of the District becomes vacant, the remaining members of the Board shall fill the vacancy immediately.

 
 

If the vacancy is not filled within thirty (30) days after it occurs, the Board of the Intermediate School District shall fill the vacancy by appointment.

 
 

If a majority of the offices are vacant at the same time, the remaining member or members of the Board shall immediately call a special election of the District to fill the vacancies. If the election is not called by the remaining member or members of the Board within thirty (30) days after the happening of the occurrence, or if all offices of the members of the Board are vacant, the Superintendent of the Intermediate School District shall call a special election of the District to fill the existing vacancies for the unexpired portions of the respective terms. The special election shall be held on a date approved by the county election scheduling committee in accordance with law.

 
 

A person elected or appointed to fill a vacancy on the Board shall file an acceptance of office and shall hold office until the next regular school election.

 
 

M.C.L. 168.310, 168.311

 
 

Filling a Board Vacancy

 
 

If the majority of the Board is still seated, the vacancy shall be filled by the Board using the following procedure:

 
 

A.

The Board shall seek qualified and interested candidates from the community through the news media, word of mouth, and contacts with appropriate organizations.

 
 

B.

All applicants are to submit a notice of their interest, in writing, to the Board President.

 
 

C.

The Board shall interview all interested candidates to ascertain their qualifications.

 
 

D.

Appointment by the Board to fill a vacancy shall be by majority vote of the full Board.

 
 

Revised 11/10/97

 

Revised 10/9/00

 

Revised 6/18/12

 

0142.6

Recall

 
 

Any member of the Board may be recalled pursuant to M.C.L. 168.951 et seq.

 

0142.7

Orientation

 
 

The Board believes that the preparation of each Board member for the performance of Board duties is essential to the effective functioning of the Board. The Board shall encourage each new Board member to understand the functions of the Board, acquire knowledge of matters related to the operation of the District, and learn Board procedures. Accordingly, the Board shall give to each new Board member no later than his/her first regular meeting as a Board member for his/her use and possession during the term on the Board the following items:

 
 

A.

a copy of the Board policy manual

 
 

B.

a copy of each current negotiated agreement

 
 

C.

the current budget statement, audit report, and related fiscal materials

 
 

The Board will provide and maintain a library of publications and reference materials for the use of Board members.

 
 

Each new Board member shall be invited to meet with the Board President, the Superintendent, and the Business Manager to discuss Board functions, policies, and procedures.

 
 

The Board shall encourage the attendance of each new Board member at orientation and training meetings.

 

0143

Authority

 
 

Individual members of the Board do not possess the powers that reside in the Board of Education. The Board speaks through its minutes and not through its individual members. An act of the Board shall not be valid unless approved at an official meeting by at least a majority vote of the members elected to and serving on the Board. M.C.L. 380.1201

 
 

No member of the Board shall be denied documents or information to which s/he is legally entitled and which are required in the performance of his/her duties as a Board member.

 
 

Access to District personnel records shall be subject to the following guidelines:

 
 

A.

Examination of school employee personnel records by the Board of Education shall be conducted in accordance with the Open Meetings Act.

 
 

B.

Personnel records shall, in their entirety, be returned to the custody of the Superintendent at the conclusion of the Board meeting.

 
 

C.

Information obtained from employee personnel records by members of the Board shall be used only for the purpose of aiding the members to fulfill their legal responsibilities in making decisions in such matters as appointments, assignments, promotions, demotions, remuneration, discipline, and dismissal or to aid the development and implementation of personnel policies, or for such other uses as are necessary to enable the Board to carry out its legal responsibilities.

 

0143.1

Public Expression of Board Members

 
 

The Board President functions as the official spokesperson for the Board.

 
 

From time to time individual Board members make public statements on school matters:

 
 

A.

to local media;

 
 

B.

to local officials and/or State officials.

 
 

Sometimes the statements imply, or the readers (listeners) infer, that the opinions expressed or statements made are the official positions of the Board. The misunderstandings that can result from these incidents can embarrass both the member and the Board. Therefore, Board members should, when writing or speaking on school matters to the media, legislators, and other officials, make it clear that their views do not necessarily reflect the views of the Board or of their colleagues on the Board.

 
 

"The Kent City Community School Board of Education, as a matter of policy, disclaims responsibility for any individual public statements by its members. The view expressed herein are those of the member and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Board or of the author's colleagues on the Board."

 
 
 

A.

This bylaw shall apply to all statements and/or writings by individual Board members not explicitly sanctioned by a majority of its members, except as follows:

 
 

1.

correspondence, such as legislative proposals, when the Board member has received official guidance from the Board on the matters discussed in the letter

 
 

2.

routine, not for publication correspondence of the Superintendent and other Board employees

 
 

3.

routine "thank you" letters of the President of the Board

 
 

4.

statements by Board members on nonschool matters (providing the statements do not identify the author as a member of the Board)

 
 

5.

personal statements not intended for publication

 
 

B.

Copies of this bylaw shall be sent annually to local media by the Board President.

 

0144

Operations

 

0144.1

Compensation

 
 

Board members shall receive $20.00 per regular Board meeting up to a total of twelve (12) meetings as compensation for their services. Expenses of a Board member shall be reimbursed when incurred in the performance of his/her duties or in the performance of functions authorized by the Board and duly vouchered.

 
 

M.C.L. 380.11a, 380.1254

 
 

The following guidelines have been established by the Board of Education to ensure appropriate and proper reimbursement of expenses for Board members.

 
 

A.

Expenses will be reimbursed only for activities authorized by the Board.

 
 

B.

Reimbursement for mileage will not exceed the current rate established by the Internal Revenue Service.

 
 

C.

Attendance at Board-approved conferences should be at the location closest to the District.

 
 

D.

When attending a Board-approved conference, all fees, parking, mileage, meals, and housing will be reimbursed. The maximum reimbursable expenses are as follows:

 
 

Housing - $100 per night

 
 

Meals

 
 

Breakfast - $10

 
 

Lunch - $14

 
 

Dinner - $18

 
 

E.

When the Board attends a community or school-related event as a Board function, or a Board member attends as the designated representative of the Board, any incurred expenses, including mileage, will be reimbursed by the Board. If a Board member attends such events as a private citizen, any incurred expenses are to be paid by the Board member.

 
 

F.

No entertainment expenses or purchases of alcoholic beverages are reimbursable.

 
 

A voucher detailing the amount and nature of each expense must be submitted to the Board for approval at a Board meeting after the expenses have been incurred and prior to reimbursement.

 
 

Board members may use District credit or debit cards only in accordance with Board Policy 6423 and the accompanying administrative guidelines.

 
 

Revised 2/8/99

 

Revised 3/22/10

 

0144.2

Board Member Ethics

 
 

As members of the Board of Education, Board members will strive to improve public education and to that end they will:

 
 

A.

attend all regularly scheduled Board meetings insofar as possible, and become informed concerning the issues to be considered at those meetings;

 
 

B.

recognize that they should endeavor to make policy decisions only after full discussion at publicly held Board meetings;

 
 

C.

render all decisions based on the available facts and independent judgment, and refuse to surrender that judgment to individuals or special interest groups;

 
 

D.

encourage the free expression of opinion by all Board members, and seek systematic communications between the Board and students, staff, and all elements of the community;

 
 

E.

work with the other Board members to establish effective Board policies and to delegate authority for the administration of the District to the Superintendent;

 
 

F.

communicate to other Board members and the Superintendent expressions of public reaction to Board policies and school programs;

 
 

G.

inform themselves about current educational issues by individual study and through participation in programs providing needed information, such as those sponsored by the State and National School Boards Association;

 
 

H.

support the employment of those persons best qualified to serve as school staff, and insist on a regular and impartial evaluation of all staff;

 
 

I.

avoid being placed in a position of conflict of interest, and refrain from using their Board positions for personal partisan gain;

 
 

J.

take no private action that will compromise the Board or administration, and respect the confidentiality of information that is privileged under applicable law;

 
 

K.

remember always that their first and greatest concern must be for the educational welfare of the students attending the public schools.

 
 

Source: Board of Directors, National School Boards Association.

 

0144.3

Conflict of Interest

 
 

Board members shall perform their official duties in a manner free from conflict of interest. To this end:

 
 

A.

No Board member shall use his/her position as a Board member to benefit either himself/herself or any other individual or agency apart from the total interest of the School District.

 
 

B.

When a member of the Board determines that the possibility of a personal interest conflict exists, s/he should, prior to the matter being considered, disclose his/her interest (such disclosure shall become a matter of record in the minutes of the Board), and thereafter shall abstain from participation in both the discussion of the matter and the vote thereon.

 
 

C.

A member of the Board is presumed to have a conflict of interest if the member or his/her family member has a financial interest, or a competing financial interest, in the contract or other financial transaction or is an employee of the School District.

 
 

Having a child in the District does not alone constitute a conflict of interest or financial interest in a contract or other financial transaction of the School District.

   
   

"Family member" means a personís spouse or spouseís sibling or child; a personís sibling or siblingís spouse or child; a personís child or childís spouse; or a personís parent or parentís spouse, and includes these relationships as created by adoption or marriage.

 
 

1.

A Board member is not considered to have a financial interest in any of the following instances:

 
 

a.

A contract or other financial transaction between the School District and any of the following:

 
 

1)

A corporation in which the individual is a stockholder owning one percent (1%) or less of the total stock outstanding in any class if the stock is not listed on a stock exchange or owning stock that has a present market value of $25,000.00 or less if the stock is listed on a stock exchange.

 
 

2)

A corporation in which a trust, if the individual is a beneficiary under the trust, owns one percent (1%) or less of the total stock outstanding in any class if the stock is not listed on a stock exchange or owns stock that has a present market value of $25,000.00 or less if the stock is listed on a stock exchange.

 
 

3)

A professional limited liability company organized pursuant to the Michigan limited liability company act, if the individual is an employee but not a member of the company.

     
 

b.

A contract or other financial transaction between the School District and any of the following:

 
 

1)

A corporation in which the individual is not a director, officer, or employee.

 
 

2)

A firm, partnership, or other unincorporated association, in which the individual is not a partner, member, or employee.

 
 

3)

A corporation or firm that has an indebtedness owed to the individual.

 
 

c.

A contract between the School District and the intermediate school district.

 
 

d.

A contract awarded to the lowest qualified bidder, upon receipt of sealed bids pursuant to a published notice for bids if the notice does not bar, except as authorized by law, any qualified person, firm, corporation, or trust from bidding. This does not apply to any amendments or renegotiations of a contract or to additional payments under the contract that were not authorized by the contract at the time of award.

     
 

2.

If the financial interest pertains to a proposed contract with the District, the following requirements must be met:

   
 

a.

The Board member shall disclose the financial interest in the contract to the Board with such disclosure made a part of the official Board minutes. If his/her direct financial interest amounts to $250 or more or five percent (5%) or more of the contract cost to the District, the Board member shall make the disclosure in one of two (2) ways:

   
 

1)

In writing, to the Board president (or if the member is the Board president, to the Board secretary) at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting at which the vote on the contract will be taken. The disclosure shall be made public in the same manner as the Board's notices of its public meetings. (See Bylaw 0165.)

   
 

2)

By announcement at a meeting at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting at which a vote on the contract is to be taken. The Board member must use this method of disclosure if his/her financial interest amounts to $5000 or more.

     
 

b.

Any contract in which there is a conflict of interest as defined by this bylaw and the related statute (M.C.L. 380.1203) must be approved by a majority vote of the full Board without the vote of any Board member with a financial interest.

   
 

However, if a majority of the members of the Board are required to abstain from voting on a contract or other financial transaction due to a financial interest, then for the purposes of that contract or other financial transaction, the members who are not required to abstain constitute a quorum of the board and only a majority of those members eligible to vote is required for approval of the contract or financial transaction.

   
 

c.

The official minutes of the Board disclose the name of each party involved in the contract, the nature of the financial interest, and the terms of the contract including the duration, financial consideration between the parties, facilities or services of the District included in the contract, and the nature and degree of assignment of District staff needed to fulfill the contract.

   
 

d.

A Board member with a conflict of interest in a contract may not participate in the discussion of nor vote on the contract.

   
 

3.

Board members shall not solicit or accept gratuities, favors, or anything of monetary value from contractors or parties to subcontracts involved with Federal grant funds. A Board member may, however, accept a gift of unsolicited items of "nominal value" from a contractor or party to subcontracts that do not involve Federal grant funds. For purposes of this section, "nominal value" means that the gift has a monetary value of $56 or less.

   
 

4.

Board members must disclose any potential conflict of interest which may lead to a violation of this policy to the full Board.

   
 

M.C.L. 15.183, 15.323, 380.1203

   
 

See also, Policy 6420, Conflict of Interest - Legal Counsel, Advisors, or Consultants.

 
 

Revised 6/06

 

Revised 4/13/09

 

Revised 6/27/13

 

Revised 11/18/13

 

Revised 11/16/15

 

Revised 7/18/16

 

0144.4

Indemnification

 
 

The Board may hold harmless, indemnify, pay, settle, or compromise a judgment against a Board member to the extent allowed under the law.

 
 

M.C.L. 691.1408

 

0145

Discriminatory Harassment

 
 

The Board of Educationís intent is to provide an environment that fosters the respect and dignity of each person. To this end, the Board is committed to maintaining an environment free of harassment and intimidation.

 
 

Sexual harassment includes all unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and verbal or physical contacts of a sexual nature whenever submission to such conduct is made a condition of employment of a basis for an employment decision. Other prohibited conduct includes that which has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, discriminatory, or offensive environment on the basis of gender, religion, race, color, national origin or ancestry, age, disability, height, weight, marital status, and/or any other legally protected characteristic.

 
 

The harassment of a student, staff member, or third party (e.g. visiting speaker, athletic team member, volunteer, parent, etc.) is strictly forbidden. Any person who is found to have violated this policy will be subject to discipline in accordance with law.

 
 

M.C.L. 380.1300a

 
 

Adopted 4/12/99

 

Revised 10/9/00

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