Governance of the School District
The Role of the School Board
The Willis Independent School District Board of Trustees meets monthly on the second Wednesday of each month, unless otherwise noted, at 6:00 p.m. in the Board Room of the Cargill Educational Support Center, located at 204 West Rogers Street in Willis.
No person or group of people may act in the name of the Board of Trustees, and the authority of an individual trustees exists ONLY during a legally-called meeting.
It takes four school board members to constitute a quorum. An item of business must come before the Board in the form of a motion in order for it to pass - regardless of the number of board members present.
School Board members receive no salary or other compensation for their services to the community.
The Board has control over local school matters, subject only to limitations imposed by state law, regulations of the State Commissioner of Education, and the will of local residents as expressed in school district elections. There are several key roles and responsibilities vested in the Board of Trustees. Some of those roles and responsibilities include:
- Exercise educational leadership and draft policies for the operation of local schools.
- Hire and evaluate the superintendent and delegate all administrative responsibilities.
- Authorize the appointment of teachers and other district staff members.
- Determine educational standards and goals. Evaluate outcomes.
- Approve curriculum.
- Secure money for school operational needs and building programs and authorize expenditures.
- Approve the school district budget.
- Express and represent the views of the community in matters affecting education.
- Interpret the educational programs and needs of the community in order to discharge their responsibility as a school board member.
- Call on the consultative resources available in the community and the professional district staff.
- Communicate with the community.
The Superintendent as Executive Officer
The Superintendent of Schools is appointed by the Board of Trustees and acts as its Executive Officer in administering its policies in the operation of Willis ISD schools. He/She acts as an advisor in keeping the Board informed of the needs and progress of the schools. The Superintendent serves as a professional resource to the Board, and his/her recommendations normally precede action taken by the Board on questions relating to recruitment and supervision of professional staff, selection of textbooks and instructional materials, and development of curriculum.
Citizens may sign up to address the Board during the Open Forum section of the regular monthly Board wordshop. A time limit of three minutes will be placed on citizen presentations. Written comments will be accepted in lieu of, or in addition to, an oral presentation.
The School Board must hold open meetings in order to comply with the Open Meetings Act. Meetings of the Willis Independent School District Board of Trustees are open for the public to hear discussions. In most instances, the public may listen, but not participate, in Board discussions.
There are, by law, provisions for the Board of Trustees to meet in executive session after a meeting is properly called and posted. Executive sessions, which are closed to the public, are limited to the following reasons:
- Exclusion of a witness (or witnesses) from a hearing during the examination of another witness.
- Discussion of purchase, exchange, lease, of real property and negotiated contracts, prospective gifts, or donations.
- Consideration of the appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline, or dismissal of a public officer or employee.
- Consideration of the discipline of a public school child.
- Consideration of the deployment or specific occasions for implementation of security personnel or devices.
- Consideration of the standards, guidelines, and terms or conditions the Board will follow or will instruct its representatives to follow in consultation with representatives of employees groups in connection with consultation agreements provided for by Section 13.901 of the Texas Education Code.
Should any final action, decision, or vote be required regarding matters considered during executive session, the Board will either return to the Open Session immediately following the closed session or designate a subsequent open meeting to take action.
When and how are school board members elected?
School Board elections are held semi-annually on even numbered years in November. Trustees serve staggered, four-year terms so that the entire School Board is never up for election at the same time. In order to be elected, the candidate must receive a plurality of the votes cast. All registered voters who reside within the District's boundaries are eligible to vote in any school board trustee election. There are no run-off elections.
Who is eligible to serve as a school board member?
A local school board candidate must: (1) a registered voter in the school district; (2) be a resident of the Willis ISD for six months before the filing deadline; and (3) be a resident of Texas for 12 months prior to the filing deadline.
What type of training must trustees complete?
School Board trustees are required by law to participate in training activities accredited by the Texas Education Agency. These courses build on the skills and knowledge necessary for trustees to ensure a quality education for the children in the school district they serve.
Are citizens allowed to participate in school board meetings?
There are several provisions in school board policy that allows citizens to address the Board.
Board policy BED
permits citizens to register to address the Board on matters of general interest or concern. Patrons will observe a three-minute time limit when making these presentations.
Board policy GF
relates to public complaints which allows citizens to appeal certain decisions to the Board that have been made at campus or administrative levels.