BH-BL Board of Education members are volunteers elected to serve a three-year term of office at no pay. Two or three of the seven members of our board are elected each May.
Under state law, school board members must be registered voters, at least 18 years old, and have lived in the school district for at least one year. They cannot be a school employee, cannot reside in the same household as another school board member and must be able to read and write English.
Collectively the Board of Education has legal responsibility for the operation of the entire district. The Board establishes the policies under which the school district is operated, and the Superintendent of Schools is responsible for administering the school program within the context of these policies.
The Board’s powers and duties are derived from the State Constitution, the laws of New York State, and rulings of the State Commissioner of Education. The Board’s four main areas of responsibility are to:
The Board encourages parents and residents who have a concern about school matters to try first to resolve the problem at the level most directly involved, which is usually the classroom teacher or the principal. If a satisfactory solution cannot be reached at this level, contact Superintendent of Schools Patrick McGrath.
If the matter can only be resolved by a change in district policy or some other action of the Board of Education, residents are welcome to communicate their concerns to the Board by letter, phone call, or a statement under "Privilege of the Floor" at one of the Board’s meetings.
Board members are kept informed about programs and activities in the district through weekly informational packets and various other means. Our tradition is also that each member of the school board serves as a liaison with one of the five school PTAs on a rotating basis, with the board president liaising with PTA Council. Typically the vice president is focused on developing the new school budget and chairing the Board's Finance Committee rather than meeting with a PTA.
Board members also receive extensive training through the district's own Board Development materials and through workshops sponsored by the New York State School Boards Association. Board members also use local groups like the Capital District School Boards Association to study topics of interest.