About the Board

What is a Board of Education?

Legal control of the Battle Creek Public Schools is vested in the seven members of the Board of Education, elected to staggered four-year terms by school district residents. Any registered voter who resides within the boundaries of the school District of the City of Battle Creek may run for election to the Board. School elections are held annually in May.

Welcome to a Meeting

Board meetings are held for the purpose of setting or amending school policies. Other responsibilities include acting on recommendations by the superintendent on matters ranging from personnel to facility maintenance, adopting an operating budget and tax rate for the district, and authorizing the spending of budgeted funds.

An agenda is prepared and studied by individual Board members in preparation for each meeting. All votes are recorded and minutes are kept on permanent record. Because Board members actively seek the advice and counsel of district residents, citizens are encouraged to attend Board meetings.

The Agenda

1. Call to Order and Roll Call

2. Approval of Agenda/Consideration of Additions or Deletions

3. Above & Beyond Award

4. Educational Plan Reports

5. Consideration and Approval of Consent Agenda Items

6. Public Comments

7. New Business

8. Superintendent Comments

9. Board Member Comments

10. Executive/Closed Session (if necessary)

11. Adjournment

Consent Calendar

Typical of any large organization, the BCPS Board of Education faces numerous routine tasks at each meeting. The Consent Agenda portion of the agenda allows for quick resolution of matters such as approval of minutes from previous meetings, purchases, routine personnel matters and other detail work.

Use of the Consent Agenda is not intended to remove items from public review. Board members have the right to have any consent items placed in the New Business section of the Agenda if they feel public discussion is necessary.

The consent calendar makes for a more efficient and effective meeting, permitting Board members to focus more time and attention on matters not already covered by specific policies and procedures.

How to Address the Board

Thank you for taking the time to address the Board of Education of your Battle Creek Public Schools. Your ideas and suggestions can help us in our mission of being a world-class system providing a quality education that prepares all students to be productive and responsible citizens.

There are two ways to express your thoughts at a Board meeting. First, there is a specific section of the agenda permitting people to address the Board. This is the best time to speak if you would like to discuss something that does not appear on the agenda.

Secondly, you may speak during the public discussion time set aside during any agenda item. This is the time to make your view known about the item(s) being discussed.

If you wish to address the Board, please complete a comment card and indicate whether your comments are best heard during the public comment time or during a specific agenda item. Please limit your remarks so that others will have an opportunity to address the Board. Public Comment time is limited to three minutes per person and ten minutes per group addressing a common agenda item. When you speak, please give your name, address, and state whether you are speaking as an individual or for an organization.

The public participation portion of the meeting cannot be used to make personal attacks against a Board member or District employee. The Board shall not hear complaints at an open meeting about named District personnel.

In general, problems, complaints, or concerns are best solved at the classroom or individual school level. Others may require involvement of appropriate central office staff. It is the hope of the Board that these avenues have been pursued before a concern is presented to the Board. Please contact the Office of the Board of Education (965-9466) to set up a meeting regarding your concern.

Open Meetings/Closed Sessions

The public is invited to attend all open meetings of the BCPS Board of Education. Occasionally, however, closed sessions may be held. A two-thirds majority roll call vote of the Board is necessary to convene a closed session to consider items such as the purchase or lease of real property, to consult with attorneys on trial or settlement strategy, or to review the specific contents of an application for employment when a candidate so requests.

The Board may also meet in closed sessions to consider negotiation strategy or the dismissal, suspension, or discipline of an employee. Closed sessions may also be held to review complaints or charges against an employee at the employee's request and to consider the dismissal, suspension, or discipline of a student when requested by the student or their parent or legal guardian.

Board Response to an Issue

Issues require review and deliberation by the Board if good decisions are to be made. Immediate answers cannot always be rendered. The Board will listen to you and answer your question and make a decision on your concern as soon as possible. However, Trustees need to review all available information regarding the matter. When a decision has been reached or the answer determined, you will be notified.

Compensation

Board members receive no compensation.

The Role of the Superintendent

The Superintendent is a professional educator employed by the Board and serves as the District's Chief Executive Officer. The Superintendent administers all district operations and carries out Board polices. Besides advising the Board on matters related to the management of the school district, the Superintendent is responsible for giving direction to the staff. The President of the Board of Education and the Superintendent prepare an agenda for each meeting, which outlines the formal order of business.

Board Duties and Responsibilities

Board of Education Trustees are responsible for developing and adopting policies that will guide the superintendent and staff as they provide for the educational needs of the students, parents, and citizens of the school District. Other duties include:

  • Setting goals for the District
  • Establishing the operating budget for the District
  • Establishing operating policies for local schools
  • Hiring and evaluating the superintendent
  • Authorizing the appointment of District staff

All policies established by the Board must be consistent with the laws covering public education in the state of Michigan and must follow the guidelines established by the Michigan Board of Education.

Learning About Your Schools

If you have further questions or need additional information about the Board of Education or the Battle Creek Public Schools, please contact:

Gloria Wilkerson
Executive Assistant
Board of Education
Phone: 269-965-9465
gwilkerson@battle-creek.k12.mi.us