School Board 101

  • 2018-19 School Board The Edina School Board is made up of seven citizens elected at large by voters in the District. Members are elected to four-year overlapping terms, with elections held every two years.

    The School Board members currently are: Leny Wallen-Friedman, chair; Erica Allenburg, vice chair; Matthew Fox, Treasurer, Sarah Patzloff, Clerk; Amir Gharbi, assistant treasurer; Owen Michaelson, assistant clerk; and Ellen Jones, assistant clerk. The Superintendent is an ex-officio member of the Board, who facilitates the work of the Board and is responsible to the Board for providing leadership to the District and carrying out Board directives.

    Meetings

    The School Board has several monthly meetings to accomplish the governance of the school district.

    • Regular meetings are held at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of each month. Meetings are held in room 349 of the Edina Community Center (5701 Normandale Rd, Edina).
    • The Board also holds work sessions at least once a month where they have more detailed discussions about projects.
    • The Board occasionally holds closed meetings, where the public is not present. Closed meetings can only be held for specific purposes listed under Minnesota state law, such as labor negotiations or to protect employee privacy or student data.

    Procedures

    • The School Board votes by simple majority.
    • Items needing Board approval are generally introduced as discussion items at a Board meeting, and return for approval by vote at the next regular Board meeting.
    • Items are often discussed in detail at a work session prior to a regular meeting.

     

Members of the School Board each participate in two of four district level committees that meet monthly to work on the related business of the district. The committees are: facilities and finance, human resources, teaching and learning and district policy.

Board members also serve as liaisons to each school, district affinity groups and outside organizations in order to better understand the issues of each organization and communicate what is happening on the board to each of these organizations. View the current list of committee representatives.

  • Establish policy. District administration implements policy and supervises school operations.
  • Employ and evaluate the Superintendent, the chief administrator who oversees all operations of the School District.
  • Advocate for students with lawmakers.
  • Establish and approve the annual budget.
  • Set the annual local school levy.
  • Work with the administration to determine the district’s educational goals.
  • Interpret the needs of the community regarding the educational program.
  • Communicate with stakeholders.
  • Ratify employee contracts.
  • Authorize development and revision of curriculum and student services.
  • Approve expenditures and ensure that proper facilities and equipment are available to support teaching and learning in Edina Public Schools.

Public and parents

    Primary educator of the child (parents)
    Elect School Board members on educational issues
    Vote on levy requests

School Board

    Hire, supervise and appraise one employee – the superintendent
    Develop policies that govern schools and create district mission/vision/values
    Engage with the public
    Approve budgets

Superintendent

    Manage and oversee operation of the school district through implementation of Board-approved policies

Principals and adminstrators

    Create school-based plans that align with district’s operational plans and vision
    Support the superintendent
    Implement policies and procedures

Staff

    Educate students
    Support the superintendent, principals and administration
    Implement policies and procedures

The Edina School Board is required to adhere to the requirements of the Minnesota Open Meeting Law. The Minnesota Supreme Court has articulated three purposes of the open meeting law:

  • To prohibit actions being taken at a secret meeting where it is impossible for the interested public to become fully informed about a public board’s decisions or to detect improper influences.
  • To assure the public’s right to be informed.
  • To afford the public an opportunity to present its views to the public body.

(Source: Information Brief - Minnesota House of Representatives) Read more about the Minnesota Open Meeting Law