First, let me explain the difference between policies and procedures, because it can sometimes be confusing and people often use the words improperly.
In the most basic form, a government agency is guided by their policies, but must follow their procedures.
Policies are a guideline.
Procedures are specific instructions for accomplishing a task.
For some reason, Colville does not have a policy or procedure for hiring a superintendent. In this case, the procedure for hiring falls back on employee/staff or administrator hiring procedures. Our school board did not follow their own procedures in the hiring of Mr. Pete Lewis if they treated his hiring as an employee or as a principal which is the closet thing to hiring a Superintendent.
It is the responsibility of the School Board to Write Policies and Procedures, it is also their responsibility to follow those procedures, though, there is no penalty if they don’t. The only thing I can really do is share this information with the public to better inform people of what goes on in our district.
Here is the applicable text in the Colville School Board policies and procedures documents. While you are reading through them, check off how many of these things our school district did in the hiring process of our Superintendent:
Staff Selection Procedure
Principal Selection Procedure
D. Says to share information with all groups
A. States they need to establish a screening committee
A3. States the committee gives recommendations to superintendent
B2. States the committee develops interview questions
B3. States the committee interviews the candidates
Did our school board follow their own procedures for hiring an administrator?
– If no, then why didn’t they feel it necessary to follow their own procedures?
Is it legal for them to use different procedures? (As I stated above, there is is no penalty for not following the schools written procedures.)
One of the Superintendent’s duties as Secretary of the Board is to guide the school board in the process of following their own policies and procedures as well as to make sure they are following applicable laws. My question is if Mr. Lewis thinks it’s ok to shirk the responsibilities of following our own procedures, then can we trust him to follow the laws?
Even if this was a one time thing to allow himself to be hired – can we trust him on everything else? Anything else?
What proof has Mr. Lewis given us that he is trustworthy?
What proof has our school board given us that they are trustworthy?
Other Schools Superintendent Hiring procedures
For anyone who is curious, I did a quick search online to find school procedures for superintendent hiring. Here are the links:
Links to Colville Policies and Procedures:
Colville School District Policy Manual: http://www.boarddocs.com/wa/colsd/Board.nsf/public
Colville School District Procedures Manual: (click on above link, then click arrow on “Book”)
Colville School District Staff Selection Procedure: http://www.boarddocs.com/wa/colsd/Board.nsf/files/9H4VYK6FD915/$file/5000P.pdf
Colville School District Principal Selection Policy: http://www.boarddocs.com/wa/colsd/Board.nsf/files/9H532B72FB5B/$file/5007.pdf
Colville School District Principal Selection Procedure: http://www.boarddocs.com/wa/colsd/Board.nsf/files/9H536B731DED/$file/5007P.pdf