Did You Know? The School Board Edition

It would be difficult to be unaware of the presidential election that takes place next month. It might be difficult to miss the fact that we'll be electing a new Governor, and state and federal legislators, too. But many people might not be aware that our November elections now include the selection of local school board candidates.

In Plainfield, our Board of School Trustees (their legal name) consists of five members, each elected to four-year terms. On November 8th, Plainfield voters will see five names on the ballot, and three openings. Of the five candidates, three are incumbents while two people are running for the first time.

So with that in mind, we thought it might be a good time to provide some background on the responsibilities of a school board member.

  • School boards are expected to function in a nonpartisan fashion, with an open-minded approach to the entire school district that overrides racial, religious, geographic, economic, social, civic or any other type of special interest.
  • School boards adopt clearly defined written policies based on a thorough understanding of the educational process.
  • School boards conduct the business of the district they represent in open session, except as provided by law, and do everything possible to inform the public of their actions.
  • School boards enlist citizen groups to assist and counsel them, and
  • School boards seek to improve their own understanding and procedures, and should encourage the ongoing learning that supports the goal of improving their abilities as a trustee of the school district.

In addition to these official responsibilities, school board members attend monthly school board meetings, visit our schools and classrooms each semester, and conduct a great amount of reading and study outside of meetings.

If you'd like to learn more about this year's candidates for Plainfield School Board, we hope you're planning to attend the Candidate Forum on Wednesday, November 2nd. PHS "We the People" students will moderate the event which will be held in the PHS Auditorium.