Resources > How to Join The School Board
Why Serve on a school board?
We serve our community for many different reasons. A common thread, however, is that we want all children to have excellent, meaningful educational experiences so that they can become engaged and productive members of thriving communities, whether here at home or around the globe.
We have always expected a lot from our schools. As education in Vermont continues to face numerous challenges, such as declining enrollment and high property taxes, school board members can perform a critical role in providing community-based leadership on educational issues and decisions.
- Under the age of 18
- Not a resident in the school district in which the individual is seeking office
- A resident of an unorganized town, grant or gore
- Regularly employed by the school district he or she serves or by a school district within the supervisory union
- The holder of a simultaneous position as an auditor, first constable, collector of taxes, town treasurer, town agent, or town manager
- The spouse of a school board member may not be the town auditor
Officers & Committees
Each board has three officer positions that assume additional responsibilities as well as committee memberships to fill:
- Board Chair: Responsible for leading at meetings of the board and ensuring the integrity of the board's process (See Governance Policy #5 (GP 5) for full job description)
- Board Vice Chair: Responsible for leading meetings in the Chair's absence and other duties as assigned by the board.
- Board Clerk: Responsible for official school board documentation
- Member: Responsible for attending all meetings, reading all materials in advance, engaging with community and being an active, voting member on the school board.
In addition, school board members will likely at one time or another serve on one or more committees in order to support larger, more in-depth projects of the board or supervisory union.
Getting Elected or Appointed
When there is a vacancy, the school board can appoint a qualified person by majority vote to fill a vacancy until an election at a special or annual meeting is held.
Since we are a union school district, school board members are nominated and elected into office at each member town's annual school district meeting, which historically have been on town meeting day.
Candidates that are elected must be sworn in by the town clerk before attending their first meeting as a school board director. Additionally, members are required to attend specific events. For example, OSSU hosts a school board director training annually to help new board members get up to speed on their role, responsibilities, and current topics in their district and the supervisory union.