Superintendents have all kinds of duties. One of the bigger duties is to enforce all policies that are passed by the Board of Education. Let me go on the record right now; it’s not easy, and it’s surely not fun.
For the most part, incidents create policy. While knee-jerk reactions typically don’t become policy, but folks who persistently present a cause tend to have policy implemented over a period of time. In my current district, there is a new wellness policy.
The policy was a result of wellness committee meetings for over two years. From what I understand, it started over concerns brought forth by parents over what was being brought into schools for celebrations and what was being sold in the cafeteria. Many hours of meetings, policy drafts, and commentary later, a policy and regulation was adopted. It was introduced at my first meeting, and adopted at the second. It covers a whole lot, ranging from what is considered foods of “minimal nutritional value” down to when a class celebration can commence. Not that big of a deal…until…
Class parties are in the horizon, and folks started to read the policy. Folks started to ask questions. Lots of questions. Good questions, silly questions… But one thing was clear. Everyone wanted a list of what’s OK and not OK to bring in.
I did a ton of research online (mainly federal and state websites) on what is good and what is not. I composed a list of around 70 items and a “do not bring” list. I let the board take first crack, then the entire staff. There was tons of great feedback. I then sent it home and also placed it on the district Facebook page. And that’s when the assault started.
Parents were not pleased. I totally understood; it’s very different from when we were in school. I also understood the parents and board members taking the healthy eating & allergies stance. It’s problematic and needs to be addressed.
The biggest factor for me: it doesn’t matter what I think. It’s not my policy. It is my job, however to enforce the policy that the board adopts. I could love it, I could loathe it, but in the end, my opinion does not matter.
So, if you come across a policy that you really hate, don’t blame the Superintendent. The superintendent is merely the enforcer of the policy. Don’t blame the parents, don’t blame the board, don’t blame anyone! Rather, do something about it. Your input can certainly influence policy; that’s the beauty of democracy.
Trick or Treat! No tricks here… Just some fresh fruit.