Board of Education Questions
- What are the responsibilities of the Board?
- When does the Board meet?
- Are Board meetings open to the public?
- What are the typical procedures for a Board meeting?
- What type of issues are discussed in closed session?
- What is the consent agenda?
- How do I communicate with the Board?
- What are the qualifications for serving on the Board?
What are the responsibilities of the Board?
The River Trails School District 26 Board of Education consists of seven members who are elected to serve four-year terms. Members may also be appointed by the Board to fill a vacant seat but would be required to run in the next scheduled election. Members of the Board are non-partisan and volunteer (unpaid). Board members are representatives for the entire community, including families with and without students in the district.
One of the most important functions of the Board is to employ the superintendent of schools. The Board is also responsible for developing and adopting policies, curriculum and the budget with recommendations from the district's administration.
When does the Board meet?
The Board typically holds its regular meetings on the third Tuesday of each month. There are some months in which they hold two regular meetings. You can find the full schedule of upcoming meetings by visiting our calendar. The schedule of each year's regular meetings is announced and approved by the Board in May. All regular meetings begin at 7:00 p.m. unless an alternate starting time is posted.
In addition to regular meetings, there are various committee meetings and community engagement events scheduled throughout the year. Please be aware that dates and times for these are subject to change. You can always find the most up-to-date committee meeting and community engagement schedule on our calendar.
Are Board meetings open to the public?
Yes, all regular and committee meetings are open to visitors as dictated by the state's Open Meetings Act. The Board may go into a closed session to discuss sensitive matters, but any action (vote) related to a closed session must be conducted in an open session.
What are the typical procedures for a Board meeting?
Regular board meetings follow an established agenda that includes a call to order, pledge of allegiance, roll call, consent agenda (more information below), visitor comments, and various information items.
Discussion may occur during informational or new business agenda items. Action (votes) on items may also be taken after a recommendation from board committees or the administration. These votes can occur at various points throughout the meeting and will be listed on the agenda.
The Board abides by Robert's Rules of Order, the standard for parliamentary procedure in the United States.
What type of issues are discussed in closed session?
Issues discussed in closed sessions are typically of a sensitive nature. This can include topics such as student discipline, personnel matters or litigation. A closed session will always be listed on a meeting agenda and is typically near the end of a meeting. The Board president will declare prior to a closed session if potential action (vote) will take place when the Board returns to the open session. All action must be conducted in an open session.
What is the consent agenda?
The consent agenda is utilized by the Board to streamline meeting procedures by collecting routine, procedural or non-controversial items into a group. These items are then passed with a single motion and vote. This can include the approval of board meeting minutes, staff hires, payroll, or other items that have previously been discussed by the Board in a prior meeting. Any member of the Board can request that a particular issue be removed from the consent agenda so that it can be discussed or voted on by itself.
Consent agendas are used so the Board can focus on substantive issues during a regular meeting.
How do I communicate with the Board?
There are various methods for communicating with the Board.
At meetings, there are two opportunities for "visitor comments." To address the board, you are asked to fill out a form prior to making comments. The board is not permitted to respond directly to visitor comments but can follow up after a meeting if visitors are willing to leave their contact information. Follow-up can also come from a member of the district's administration if the issue at hand is within their purview.
What are the qualifications for serving on the Board?
A Board member must be, on the date of election or appointment:
- A United States citizen
- At least 18 years of age
- A resident of Ilinois and the district for at least one year immediately preceding the election
- A registered voter