School District Policy 101

School policy is like a compass for your district, guiding operations and governance to exactly where they should be. That’s why adopting local policies is one of the school board’s most important jobs.

In this article and video, we’ll answer some basic questions to help you better understand your board policy manual and the policy development process.

Watch the video to get answers to basic policy questions, like:

  • What’s the difference between (LEGAL) and (LOCAL) policies?
  • Why do we need a (LOCAL) policy?
  • How does my district update policy?

What are the responsibilities of the superintendent versus the school board?

The superintendent will recommend policy to the school board and develop administration regulations to help manage district operations. They will also delegate responsibility to district staff based on policy.

The school board has the exclusive power to govern and oversee management of public schools. The board adopts policy and hires the superintendent.

Related: Basic Steps to Developing and Adopting School District Policy

What’s included in our district’s policy manual?

The policy manual is organized into seven sections, each with a focus on an area of operations:

  • A – Basic District Foundations
  • B – Local Governance
  • C – Business and Support Services
  • D – Personnel
  • E – Instruction
  • F – Students
  • G – Community and Governmental Relations

What’s a TASB Policy Service consultant?

Your school district has an assigned TASB Policy Service consultant. Your consultant will:

  • Answer questions
  • Draft policy language
  • Conduct training and workshops, like policy review sessions

What's a policy review?

Think of your school district’s policy manual as a car. To keep it in working condition, you have to take it in periodically for checkups. A policy review session is the regular review and checkup of your manual. Without a checkup, your policy manual may become out of sync with current practices.

TASB recommends review sessions every five to seven years. During the review, your consultant will help bring your manual up to date and prepare any changes for board consideration.


Take a deeper dive into school district policy

TASB Policy Service answers frequently asked questions from trustees, parents, and administrators.