One of the most important roles of the school board is to create a cohesive board – superintendent leadership team. Respect, trust and being mindful of proper roles are critical in developing such a team.
As our district considers reopening schools, the superintendent is participating in pandemic-related meetings, considering recommendations of health experts, the DPI, legal advisers, other districts and superintendents, as well as his own administrative team. Assuming that the question is not if we should reopen, but rather, when and how we should reopen, it is the role of the superintendent to develop the plan. The board focuses on the goal – reopening schools – the superintendent focuses on how to make that happen in the safest way.
The board should not be left out of the process though; adequate communication between superintendent and board members will help build mutual trust and ensure the board has confidence in the plan.
Our community needs a school board that instills public trust in our superintendent. A good board is an asset to a school district – but an excellent board-superintendent relationship is absolutely critical to the success of a district.
We are in a pandemic. This is no time for politics or micromanagement. The board hired a capable and qualified interim superintendent. A display of confidence by full board support of the reopening plan that he and his team brings forward will be both unifying and assuring for our community.
(Pamela Charles is a former member of the Beloit Board of Education. WRB)