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Policy Governance

Getting Down to What’s Really Important

Policy Governance® is a fundamental redesign of the role of the board, emphasizing values, vision and the empowerment of both board and staff.  It is designed to create a clear structure for a board of directors to be accountable to the community that they serve. 

This model enables the board to:

  • Focus on the larger issues,
  • Clearly delegate authority,
  • Direct management’s job without interfering, and
  • Rigorously evaluate what is accomplished.



Board/Superintendent Relationship

The “Board/Superintendent Relationship” defines the connection between the Board and the Superintendent, directs the Board to acts as a Unit, creates accountability of the Superintendent, delegation to the Superintendent, and monitoring Superintendent performance.


The Ends

The “ends” are the results the school board expects, including how much they expect those results to cost. The school board creates policies that define the “ends.” In this way, the board provides strategic leadership by clearly defining what is to be accomplished, for whom and with what worth, cost or priority.


Executive Limitations

The superintendent doesn’t have complete freedom in making decisions about how to accomplish the ends. “Executive limitations” are policies that define what methods cannot be used to get the expected results. In essence, the school board is pre-approving all means that have not been expressly prohibited. This gives the superintendent the power to make decisions that create the desired ends.


Governance Process

The board sets “board means.” These are the policies that describe the board’s job and how it directs the superintendent to achieve the “ends.” These also are referred to as the “governance process.”

Frequently Asked Questions