Joining the School Board

  • Role of the Board

    The Board of Education is the governing body of the school district, responsible for developing policy to ensure the proper care, management and control of district affairs, and supporting the mission of educating our students to reach their full potential.  To that end, the Garwood Board of Education sets district policy which is then implemented by the superintendent and administrators.

    In addition to setting policy, the Board hires the superintendent; approves staff hiring’s, resignations, terminations and leaves of absence; reviews and adopts the district budget; approves expenditures; approves educational programs (curriculum), and otherwise ensures that proper facilities and equipment are available to support teaching and learning in the district.

    Board of Education members abide by the New Jersey Code of Ethics for School Board members. The Board of Education does not administer the school district; they ensure that it is run well. While Board members encourage communication from parents and local stakeholders, there is a chain of communication that should be followed. Community members should always direct questions to the most specific and appropriate level. This means beginning with a specific teacher or building administrator, then approaching a district administrator, and then moving to the central office and Superintendent before submitting it to the Board, either in writing to the President and or verbally at a Board meeting.

    Board of Education Meetings

    Every January the Board holds an organization meeting to elect officers and set committees and appointments. Board members are also appointed as liaisons to a variety of education-related and municipal organizations.

    District Mission Statement

    Our school is a place where every child is known, where joy and purpose are woven into our approach to learning. We value innovation in education. We expect high academic achievement for all students, and we foster lifelong learning as we help students find their own pathway to success.

    Our mission is to prepare all of our students to lead lives of joy and purpose as knowledgeable, creative and compassionate citizens of a global society.

    Open Public Meetings

    Board of Education meetings are typically scheduled on third Tuesday in the all-purpose room of the Lincoln School, 400 Second Avenue, Garwood, unless otherwise noted. All regularly scheduled meetings are noted in the district calendar, district website, announced to Garwood Borough, and published in the Union County Hawk. You may also call the district office, (908) 789-0331, for meeting schedules and updates.

    Executive Session Meetings

    The Board of Education may meet in Executive Sessions, which are sessions closed to the public.  Executive Sessions are noted on the Board of Education Meeting Agendas.  Executive Sessions are required for the Board members to discuss legal matters, items of confidential nature, personnel and legal negotiations. Executive Sessions are typically scheduled prior to Open Public Meetings and may also continue directly following an Open Public Meeting.  Executive Sessions may be scheduled at any time the board leadership determines this type meeting is required. Proper notices are posted for all Executive Sessions held by the Board of Education.

    Public Participation at Board of Education Meetings

    The Board of Education recognizes the value of public comment on educational issues and the importance of allowing members of the public to express themselves on school matters of community interest.  On a board agenda, the public may address the board during the ‘Citizens Address the Board’ agenda item.

    The meeting agenda will include the following language for this agenda item:

    This is the portion of our meeting reserved for public comment pursuant to N.J.S.A. 10:4-12(a), the Open Public Meetings Act. Members of the public are invited to address the Board according to the Board’s policy and bylaws.  Please be aware that this portion is your opportunity to comment, and is not a forum for the Board to respond to your comments. However, the Board will certainly give all comments appropriate consideration.

    Citizens are invited to address the Board of Education using the designated microphone(s) in the meeting room.  Citizens are requested to introduce themselves and should note that the comments are recorded and are incorporated into the audio recording.  Citizen comments are requested to be a maximum of three minutes in duration.  The Board reserves the right to limit public comments to three minutes per citizen and may limit the duration of the Citizens Address the Board section of the meeting.  The Board President will announce instructions at the beginning of each session.

    • Citizens Address the Board: First Opportunity to Speak

    The first opportunity to speak is early in the meeting under the Agenda Item “Citizens Address the Board.” At this time, we request that citizens limit their comments to Agenda Items only.

    • Citizens Address the Board: Second Opportunity to Speak

    The second opportunity is towards the end of the meeting. At that time, the public may address the Board on any concern.

    Board of Education Policies

    All policies of the Board of Education and the regulations of the School District are posted on the district website under the Board of Education, under Policies and Regulations (put link back to section)

    Audio Recordings & Meeting Agendas of Public Meetings

    Meeting agendas for all Open Public Meetings are maintained by the Board of Education on the district website.  How to Become a Board Member

    For more information about becoming a Board member, please visit:  New Jersey School Boards Association.

    • What are the requirements necessary to run for the Board of Education?

    Board candidates must meet specific legal qualifications. Candidates must also submit a notarized nominating petition endorsed and signed by ten (10) registered voters from within the Hampton Borough. For additional information, the New Jersey School Boards Association publishes a “School Board Candidate Kit,” which is available by contacting the NJSBA at (888) 886-5722.

    • What kind of time commitment should Board members anticipate?

    Board members can anticipate attending at least two Board meetings a month, several committee meetings, and various school functions. A significant amount of time for reviewing written materials is also required.

    • What happens if a member moves away or decides to step down from the Board?

    In the event of a mid-term vacancy, the public is invited to apply to fill the opening. The existing Board members interview the candidates and then appoint one candidate to the open seat.  The appointment to fill a vacancy is for the remainder of the calendar year.  In that year’s November general election, the position is open for election by the public.

    Need more information on the Board of Education?

    Citizens can contact the District Office, located at 400 Second Avenue, Garwood, (908) 789-0331, for more information about the Board of Education.