Board Goals & Bylaws, Policies and Procedures

Board Goals

  • Increase student achievement for all students as measured by the accountability scoreboard
  • Efficient and effective use of district resources
    • Beating the county per pupil average in all major non-instructional expense areas
    • Maintaining a fund balance of 15% of the annual expense in the General and Food Service Funds
  • Develop and implement a comprehensive “yes” campaign that gives West Ottawa the best opportunity for success in the May 2019 bond election

Board Bylaws and Policies

Board of Education Bylaws, Policies & Administrative Guidelines Manual 

This manual was complete and current at the time it was placed on this site and contains the most up-to-date information available.  However, the Board of Education will continue to make changes based on the district’s needs, laws as they are passed by the Michigan Legislature or U.S. Congress, regulations as they are approved by the Michigan Department of Education, and new rulings as they are rendered by the courts.

Board Meetings & Minutes

Preparation for Meetings

Board members arrive at meetings ready to conduct business.  Board action is the final stage of a lengthy preparation and decision-making process which generally includes:

  • public discussions & observations
  • review of weekly administrative reports
  • monthly meetings with administrators in small groups known as Resource Teams (Instructional Services 6-12, Student Services & K-5 Instruction, Finance & Facilities, and Finance & Personnel) to review, discuss and deliberate all proposals, concerns, programs and services prior to Board meetings
  • input from staff, students, parents & the community
  • review of agenda & related materials prior to meeting
  • staff reports, background data, financial information & correspondence

Listening to the Community

The Board of Education is a representative body which strives to be responsive to its constituents, actively seeking feedback to better serve the community.  As a taxpayer you are part owner in the school system.  Your participation and input are encouraged and valued.

Individuals can express their concerns and opinions to Board members formally at meetings and by phone or written correspondence.  The ultimate indicator of one’s viewpoint, however, is your vote in school elections.

Additionally, the Board often appoints advisory committees for recommendations on specific issues such as building needs.  If you’d like to serve on a task force, contact the Superintendent’s office at (616) 786-2099.

 

 

 

 

Superintendent as Executive Officer

The Superintendent is a professional educator appointed by the Board of Education to function as its Chief Executive Officer.  It is the Superintendent’s responsibility to:

  • administer daily district operations & services,
  • implement programs & execute policies adopted by the Board of Education,
  • bring recommendations to the Board for action in carrying on the work of the school district,
  • advise the Board on matters concerning management of the schools,
  • keep the Board informed of district needs and up-to-date on the progress of school programs,
  • serve as a resource for educational expertise, and
  • provide direction for staff.

In preparation for Board meetings, the Superintendent and administrative staff put together recommendations and reports for Board consideration.  The Superintendent and Board President work together to prepare each meeting’s agenda, which is the formal order of business for the Board.

Communication Protocol

If you have a question or concern, please follow these steps of communication in order.  If you feel your question or concern has not been adequately addressed, proceed to the next level of administration.  When in doubt about how to proceed, contact the Superintendent’s office for guidance at (616) 786-2099.  Contact information such as email addresses and phone numbers can be found on the district website.

Steps of Communication with School Leaders on Matters Involving . . .

 

Instruction/Curriculum for Grades K-5

  1. Classroom Teacher
  2. School Principal
  3. Assistant Superintendent of Student Services & K-5 Instruction
  4. Superintendent
  5. Board of Education

Instruction/Curriculum for Grades 6-12

  1. Classroom Teacher
  2. School Principal
  3. Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services
  4. Superintendent
  5. Board of Education

Athletics

  1. Coach
  2. Athletic Director
  3. Superintendent
  4. Board of Education

Facilities & Grounds

  1. School Principal
  2. Facilities/Grounds Supervisor
  3. Associate Superintendent of Business Services
  4. Superintendent
  5. Board of Education

Transportation

  1. Bus Driver
  2. Assistant Director of Transportation
  3. Director of Transportation
  4. Associate Superintendent of Business Services
  5. Superintendent
  6. Board of Education

Food Services

  1. School Principal
  2. Food Services Director
  3. Associate Superintendent of Business Services
  4. Superintendent
  5. Board of Education

Board Meetings & Schedule

The Board of Education meets regularly, the 3rd Monday of each month at 7 p.m., to:

  • set or amend school policy
  • act on the Superintendent’s recommendations covering a wide range of school matters such as:
    • curriculum changes & textbook adoptions
    • personnel issues
  • to legally adopt an operating budget & tax rate
  • to authorize expenditures of budgeted funds
  • to hear staff reports on a variety of topics

During all Board of Education meetings:

  • the president presides
  • 4 members (a quorum) must be present to transact school business
  • at least 4 members must vote “yes” to pass any item of business presented in the form of a motion
  • minutes are taken & all votes recorded; these are kept permanently on file as public record and are available pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act.  The current year’s minutes are also available on the District’s website.

All meetings are open to the public.  Agendas are available prior to the meeting at the Administration Office, 1138 136th Avenue, Holland, MI.  Updated agendas are available at the meeting.  Whenever a special meeting is called or whenever there is a change of meeting date, time or location, the information will be posted at the Administration Office and on the District’s website at least 18 hours before the meeting.

West Ottawa Public Schools will provide necessary and reasonable auxiliary aids and service at all Board meetings, such as signers for hearing-impaired persons and audio tapes of printed materials for visually-impaired persons, upon receipt of seven (7) days prior notice.  Disabled persons requiring such auxiliary aids or special accommodations should so notify West Ottawa Public Schools by contacting the Office of Student Services, 1138 136th Avenue, Holland, MI  49424, (616) 786-2053.

Meeting Location:

Administration Office Training Room*

1138 136th Avenue
Holland, MI  49424

(616) 786-2050

*NOTE:  The Administration Office Building shares an entrance drive off 136th Avenue with Pine Creek Elementary School.

2019 Meeting Dates:

Third Monday (* indicates change in regular schedule)

  • January 21
  • February 18
  • March 18
  • April 22*
  • May 20
  • June 19 (Tues.)*
  • July 1 at 5:30 p.m.*
  • August 19
  • September 16
  • October 21
  • November 18
  • December 16
  • January 20, 2020

Resource Teams Meeting Schedule 2019 – revised 7/22/19

The Agenda

  1. Roll Call – 7 p.m.
  2. Routine Business
  3. Recognition
  4. Information Items
  5. Communications from the Audience (regarding items on the agenda)
  6. Action Items
  7. Communications from the Audience (regarding items NOT on the agenda)
  8. Communications from the Board
  9. Next Meeting
  10. Adjournment

Agendas are available the Friday prior to each meeting at the Administration Office, 1138 136th Avenue, Holland, MI  49424.  Updated agendas are available at the meeting.  Whenever a special meeting is called or whenever there is a change of meeting date, time or location, the information will be posted at the Administration Office and on the District’s website at least 18 hours before the meeting.  All meetings are open to the public.

How to Formally Address the Board During Meetings

Community members are invited to publicly comment on any school-related topic during an open meeting, whether or not it appears on the agenda.  The agenda of each regular meeting designates a time for individuals or groups wishing to address the Board entitled, “Communication from the Audience.”

For the sake of order, we ask that public statements, presentations, or reports be made only during this time in the meeting.  Please step up to the microphone and clearly state your name; address; and, if applicable, group affliliation for the record.  The presiding Board officer will make all decisions related to the public communications period.  The Board of Education can modify the rules for public statements for all or part of a meeting with a two-thirds majority roll call vote.

For items listed on the agenda: time shall be limited to two (2) minutes per individual, with time allocated to no more than five (5) individuals on the same agenda item.

For items not listed on the agenda:  time shall be limited to two (2) minutes per individual, with time allocated to no more than two (2) individuals on the same item.

Board Response to Communications

While the Board is directly accountable to the people they represent, their primary obligation is to ensure students’ needs are identified and met.  Answers to inquiries and decisions addressing concerns are deferred in accordance to Board policy.

  1. all comments are noted
  2. additional information is gathered
  3. further input is sought
  4. existing policy is reviewed
  5. issue is deliberated
  6. individual rights are protected
  7. answer is determined/decision reached as quickly as possible and concerned persons are notified

Open Meetings/Closed Sessions

The Open Meetings Act requires that meetings of a quorum be open to the public.  All Board of Education action must be taken in open session.

Periodically, closed sessions are held as permitted by the Open Meetings Act.  Closed sessions may be called during an open meetings by a two-thirds majority roll call vote:

  • to discuss purchase/lease of real property up to the time & option to purchase/lease is obtained
  • to consult with attorneys regarding settlement or trial strategy connected to specific pending litigation only when open meeting would detrimentally affect litigation or settlement position financially
  • to consider material exempt from discussion or disclosure by State or Federal Statute
  • to review the specific contents of an application for employment or appointment to public office when the candidate so requests.  [All interviews conducted by a public body for employment or appointment to public office must be held in open session.]
  • to consider security planning to address existing or potential threats to the safety of students and staff

The Board must return to open session to adjourn.

The Board may also conduct a closed hearing to consider dismissal, suspension, or disciplining of, or to hear complaints or charges brought against an employee or student, only if so requested by employee, student, or student’s parent(s)/guardian(s) and for strategy sessions relative to a collective bargaining agreement when so requested.

Board Meeting Minutes

West Ottawa Public Schools will provide necessary and reasonable auxiliary aids and service at all Board meetings, such as signers for hearing-impaired persons and audio tapes of printed materials for visually-impaired persons, upon receipt of seven (7) days prior notice.  Disabled persons requiring such auxiliary aids or special accommodations should so notify West Ottawa Public Schools by contacting the Office of Student Services, 1138 136th Avenue, Holland, MI  49424, (616) 786-2053.

2019 Board Meeting Minutes

January 21, 2019

February 18, 2019

March 18, 2019

April 22, 2019

May 20, 2019

May 30, 2019 – Special Meeting

June 18, 2019

July 1, 2019

August 19, 2019 – Special Work Session

August 19, 2019 – Regular Meeting

September 16, 2019

October 21, 2019

November 18, 2019

December 16, 2019

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Requests

Written Summary of Procedures & Guidelines

Procedures & Guidelines

Fee Itemization