Letter: Open letter to new BOE candidates
Deciding to run for the Shelton Board of Education is not an easy decision to make. Hopefully, you realize that you have the time, commitment, sound and fair judgment, a willingness to share ideas and collaborate as well as a sincere interest in public education in Shelton.
You need to come prepared for meetings, be involved on a focused and clear vision for the district, work as a team in a respectful manner especially if presented with a dissenting decision or vote, focus on what is best for all students, and perhaps most importantly hire and evaluate the superintendent measuring his success against the set goals. It is also imperative to adopt a fiscally sound school budget, paying attention to finances and regularly monitoring the fiscal health of the district.
In addition to the regularly scheduled monthly school board meetings, you will also be assigned to no more than two standing committees. These committees include Teaching & Learning, Policy and Finance. There may also be additional ad hoc committees for specific identified purposes.
If you are available, you may be asked to participate in expulsion or residency hearings. These hearings usually occur during the hours of the school day. You may also be asked to serve on negotiation committees. There are presently six unions, and their contracts are up for renewal approximately every three years (but the negotiations begin before the last year is up). These sessions are generally spread out and are not all handled within a given year. Two board members are assigned to the negotiating team by the chairman of the board.
The busiest months for board members are at the beginning of the school year whereby board members make every effort to be at “back to school” meetings. The other busiest time is around the beginning of the new year when board members work on establishing and setting an annual budget for the next school year. Of course, there are many programs, concerts, plays and club activities that a board member will be invited to, but attending these events is a personal decision, depending on your availability.
The rewards of being on the board are many but the commitment is paramount to its success.
Kate Kutash (D), chairman
Kathy Yolish (R), vice chairman