Board of Education

What is the Board of Education?

The Board of Education is the governance body of the school district that monitors fiscal and employment practices.The Board of Education is made up of nine district residents elected by the community. Members serve three-year terms and are not paid for their service.

Who Can Be a Board Member?

Must be at least 18 years old and meet the other legal requirements as specified in the Board Candidate Information Sheet
Must be able to speak and write English
Must be a resident of the school district for at least one year prior to the election
Cannot be employed by the school district

What are the Responsibilities of the Board of Education?

All board members are expected to attend all regular meetings, special meetings and work sessions – at least one meeting a month, sometimes more.
Regular meetings are usually held on Wednesdays and can last up to four hours.
Board members are expected to read all relevant materials provided by the Superintendent.
Board members are expected to serve on at least one board subcommittee and are encouraged to serve on more.
Board members are expected to attend school functions and monthly school visits as often as possible.
New board members are required to attend the New York State School Boards Association’s (NYSSBA) conference for new Board members. They should stay current on education issues by reading NYSSBA publications, other trade journals and articles.

What is the Role of a Board Member?

The Board of Education makes decisions as a body; no individual has the authority to set policy or make directions. The board works closely with the Superintendent of Schools on all decisions. Board members are expected to represent the best interests of the district. Board members should be motivated by a desire to serve the community. Board members may face criticism from members of the community with opposing views. A successful board member is able to communicate and support the board’s decisions. Board members may also receive questions and concerns from parents or community members. A successful board member will refer these individuals to the Superintendent. The average commitment is approximately 8 to 10 hours per week.

What Are the Board Sub-Committees?
Board subcommittees meet regularly outside of the regular Board meeting schedule. These committees include Board members, District employees, and community members, and participation is voluntary.

Athletic Facilities Sub-Committee
Audit and Finance Committee
Building and Grounds Committee
Community Schools Committee
Policy Committee


What Makes a Good Board Member?

The legal requirements for board membership are few, but qualifications for effectiveness are many. The most effective Board members possess these attributes:

Effective communicator – can explain his or her thoughts clearly and is a good listener.

Consensus builder – capable of working toward decisions that best serve the district’s students; ability to compromise to achieve common goals.

Community participant – enjoys meeting a variety of people, can identify the community’s key communicators and reaches out to fellow community members.

Decision maker – knows his or her own as well as others’ decision-making styles; can support group decision-making and a consensus model. Information processor – can organize priorities and schedules to handle large quantities of verbal and written information.

Leader – willing to take risks and be supportive of Board colleagues, District staff, and the community.

Team player – helps to promote the Board’s vision and goals.

Interested in Becoming Involved?

Elmira City School District residents interested in seeking a seat on the Board of Education may pick up information packets and petitions from the District Clerk at the address below:

Elmira City School District Board of Education Administrative Offices
430 W. Washington Avenue
Elmira, NY 14901
607-735-3010