School Board Policies

Governing Policies

Governing policies enable the board to effectively lead, direct, inspire and control the outcomes and operations of the district through a set of very carefully crafted policy statements and effective monitoring of them.

The policies are grouped into four categories, each serving a distinct purpose. The four categories are:

GOVERNANCE PROCESS: We defined our own work and how it will be carried out. These policies clearly state the expectations the board has for individual and collective behavior.

BOARD-SUPERINTENDENT RELATIONSHIP: We have defined in policy how authority is delegated by us to our point of connection – the superintendent - and how the superintendent’s performance will be evaluated.

OPERATIONAL EXPECTATIONS: These policies define both the non-negotiable expectations and the clear boundaries within which the superintendent and staff must operate. They articulate the actions and decisions the board would find either absolutely necessary … or totally unacceptable.

RESULTS: These are our statements of student achievement outcomes for ALL students in Ferndale School District. The Results policies become the superintendent’s and the organization’s performance targets and form the basis for judging organizational and superintendent performance.
Governing Policies offer a logical process for the Ferndale Board to govern well.  The board is committed to using them well in order to:

  1. Eliminate confusion between board and superintendent roles;
  2. Focus on the Student Achievement results;
  3. Free the superintendent and staff to do their jobs without the board's intrusion into day-to-day management decisions;
  4. Attain more control over operational decisions in a manner that retains the board’s role at the governance level. 

Operating Policies

Under a policy governance model, administrative policies and procedures that describe how the school district operates are set by the superintendent per policy 1310. However, some operational policies related to the board of directors are legally required and are not covered by governance policies.

To access the policies, please visit

Policies vs. Procedures

Policies are set by the board and impose legal requirements on the district. Policies normally go through a public reading and comment process before they are adopted. New policies and policy changes require board approval.

Procedures are established by the district administration. Procedures do not require board approval. Procedures that are expected to be controversial may go through a public comment process, but that is not required.

Policies and procedures are related because administrative procedures are needed to implement most board policies. If a board policy changes, administrative procedures may need to be changed to reflect the change in policy.

Ongoing Policy Review

Washington State School Directors Association publishes a bi-monthly policy update newsletter Policy News that describes changes in the law, court cases, and attorney general rulings that affect school district policies. Each issue describes the specific policies that are affected by policy number and recommended changes to the WSSDA reference policies.

If you have any questions regarding policies, please call the superintendent’s office at 360.383.9207 or email.