HUUSD reviews new operating protocols

The Harwood Unified Union School District (HUUSD) Board discussed new operating protocols around board and community communication.

At the board's September 11 meeting, board members reviewed a draft of operating protocols which was adapted from the Vermont School Board Associations Recommended Protocols.

Board members discussed the protocols. Moretown representative Gabe Gilman said this was a slippery slope and questioned the practicality of them. Gilman added that some of the protocols are inconsistent with the First Amendment and wondered what the protocols would solve that Robert’s Rules, another set of board guidelines, wouldn't.

The draft operating protocols suggest that only the board chair or designee will be the board spokesperson and asks that board members’ decision-making and discussion process be respectful.

The draft calls for individual board members to copy the board chair on any emailed responses to constituents and asks that board members be supportive of board decisions even when they have voted against those decisions.

“Disagreements with other board members should be raised privately (one to one), brought to the board chair or raised at the board table,” reads one proposed protocol.

Under protocols for meetings appears a proposal that reads, “Surprises to the board or superintendent will be the exception, not the rule.”

The protocols have suggestions to how board members engage with each other. The board reviewed the draft and will revisit and revise it at a later meeting.