What is the function of the Board of Education?
    The New Jersey Constitution mandates, “The Legislature shall provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of free public schools for the instruction of all children in the State.” The Board of Education is created by statute to perform a state function at a local level. The Board, within the powers delegated to it by law, is charged with governing the School District and is the policy making, legislative branch of the School District.

    What is a Board of Education meeting?
    It is a meeting of your school district for the transaction of the business of the district. It must be conducted in a specified manner because laws and regulations require certain procedures. Board members, as elected State officials, must make sure that they take all the actions required of them at each meeting.

    Who are the Board of Education members?
    School Board members are unpaid officials elected by qualified voters. They are empowered by the state to govern the public schools at the local level. Board members have no legal status except when sitting with other board members in a legally constituted meeting. Board members are elected to three-year terms in annual school elections, which occur in November. The board president and vice president are elected annually by members of the Board of Education.

    Who are the other officials present?
    The Superintendent of Schools, an ex-officio member of the board, and the Business Administrator/Board Secretary are seated with members of the Board of Education at public meetings. These school officials advise the Board of Education members concerning school and educational issues. They do not vote on matters before the Board of Education.

    What is the agenda?
    The agenda is the order of business for the meeting. Based on board policy and procedures, the agenda allows for the efficient conduct of the board’s business. It also provides for public information and general information on the issues, as well as progress and accomplishments within the district.

    When may the public speak at meetings?
    Comments from the public regarding action items may be addressed to the Board President at the beginning of the meeting as noted on the agenda. Comments on all other matters are reserved for later in the meeting at the second Hearing from the Public. When recognized by the Board President, one should rise, state his/her name and address for the record, keep comments or statements to no more than three minutes. The Chair may, at its discretion, limit by time the discussion from the floor by individuals. The Board of Education welcomes and encourages comments from members of the community within an appropriate time limit.

    What are open and closed (private) sessions?
    All meetings of the Board of Education will be open to the public unless the matter under consideration falls under one of the categories specifically exempted under statute, i.e., personnel or contract negotiations. Exempt matters may only be discussed in closed session, but final action must be taken at a public session.

    What is the difference between a work session and a regular public meeting?
    Work sessions are planning meetings where the Board receives reports and information regarding the management of the school district from the Superintendent. Agendas and supporting documents are sent to the Board trustees in advance of the meeting dates to allow the Board to study and review the information. During work sessions Board members have the opportunity to study and discuss specific topics in depth. Work sessions are open to the public. Action may be taken at a work session. The Board votes at Regular Public Meetings. During the Public Meeting it may appear as if some items are being voted upon with little or no discussion. However, this is not usually the case, since items may have appeared on a previous agenda, or may have been discussed at length at a work or executive session.

    How can you contact the Montvale Board of Education?
    The School Board welcomes your opinions and communications.Correspondence may be addressed to:
    Montvale Board of Education
    Fieldstone Middle School
    47 Spring Valley Road
    Montvale,NJ 07645

    What is a typical meeting agenda?
    OPENING OF MEETING - Call to order by Board President, roll call, reading of the Open Public Meetings Law, comments by the Board President.
    SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT - Items presented to the board regarding programs, issues, updates or highlights about different aspects of the curriculum, program or school district in general.
    HEARING FROM THE PUBLIC - Comments from the public regarding items on the agenda are welcome at this time. When recognized by the Board President, one should rise, state his/her name and address for the record. Speak only to the action items before the board and keep statements to no more than three minutes. Comments on all other matters are reserved for later in the meeting.
    APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES - For the previous meeting’s minutes to be placed on file and be considered official, a motion must be made and passed for their approval. The approved minutes are available from the Board office and are posted on our website and at Borough Hall and the Montvale Library.
    ACTION ITEMS – Motions are presented to the Board for decision. Many of these items were discussed and reviewed at the board’s work session and placed on the agenda.
    INFORMATION ITEMS - These include reports of committees and other information that do not require action by the board in the form of a motion. The Board may choose to discuss particular items of correspondence, old business or new business.
    HEARING FROM THE PUBLIC on non-agenda items.
    PRIVATE SESSION (if needed)