Excellence in the classroom begins with excellence in the boardroom.

Governance is the process by which the Northshore School Board, acting on behalf of the community, conducts their work to lead the district. The model used in Northshore is called Policy Governance®. In this model, the school board is responsible for:

  • Setting the board’s annual strategic agenda and work plan for the year;
  • Determining the board’s professional development needs;
  • Determining the board’s operating rules and roles;
  • Hiring and evaluating the superintendent;
  • Approving the budget, as well establishing the limits of the superintendent’s authority to budget, administer finances and compensation, establish programs, and otherwise lead and manage the organization;
  • Establishing the results required, the intended recipients of the results and the acceptable worth and priority for those results (including approving curriculum);
  • Examining monitoring data and determining whether the superintendent has used a reasonable interpretation of board-stated policy criteria.


Policy Governance® Structure

Policy Governance® includes four kinds of policies. This creates a very clear structure that helps the board fulfill their duties. These policies also provide clear roles between the school board and the superintendent.


Goal policies outline the outcomes we seek for our students.

Superintendent Parameter

These policies provide detailed guidelines on how the district is to operate.

Board Structure & Process

This kind of policy outlines how the board is organized, what their collective and individual responsibilities are, and how meetings are to be structured and run.

Board/Superintendent Roles

Policies for roles provide a clear definition of accountability and the expectations for the superintendent, and the monitoring of district performance.


How Policy Governance® Works

Step 1: School Board Sets Goals

  • With input from multiple parties, the board sets goals for student learning.
  • The board provides responsible district governance of district resources and creates conditions for student and staff success.

Step 2: Board and Superintendent Create Reasonable Interpretations

The school board and superintendent discuss the Goal Policies and Superintendent Parameter Policies. From these discussions they create reasonable interpretations.

  • The superintendent documents their interpretation and what performance measures are required by the board.
  • These interpretations are discussed annually by the board and superintendent to ensure alignment across the organization.

Step 3: Superintendent Manages the District

The superintendent manages the district according to the direction set by the Goal Policies and the Superintendent Parameters Policies. The school board continues to conduct meetings and manages its responsibilities according to the Board Structure & Process Policies and Board/Superintendent Role Policies.

Step 4: Superintendent Provides Annual Monitoring Reports

The superintendent provides annual detailed reports on each Goal Policy and Superintendent Parameter Policy.

  • The monitoring reports include details on the policy, what interpretation was agreed upon through the Reasonable Interpretation process, the data produced by the performance measures, and any additional relevant context.
  • The presentation of the monitoring reports is conducted during a board meeting. The content of the report is published for transparent public review.
  • The board votes on whether the superintendent is in compliance with the policies, and provide reason why they came to that decision.
  • If found non-compliant, the superintendent must create an action plan to move the district into compliance.

Periodic Events

Some events may require the review of the administration and staff’s work under the Goal Policies and Superintendent Parameter Policies. When required, the board can review district performance, require the superintendent produce a report on performance, and/or edit any policy to ensure the district is operating correctly. The board may ask for a report on any policy even if it is not on the calendar.


Monitoring Reports