A school board’s policy manual has many functions. In a broad sense, it describes how the school board wants the district to function. The policy manual expresses the district’s goals and desires for its students, it provides a legal basis and foundation for the actions of the board, and it also makes it clear to employees how they must act to be in compliance with applicable laws.

Policy manuals support stability and continuity in district oversight, and they help board members make decisions on questions that arise today, tomorrow, and perhaps for years to come.

Board members know that they don’t run schools, they see that schools and districts are well run by the administrators they hire for that purpose. The process of policy development and implementation is the key to effective oversight.

The New Jersey School Boards Association offers a number of policy services and resources to help guide school districts and charter schools.

Members-Only Policy Resources NJSBA members may log in to access the Critical Policy Reference Manual (CPRM), and the Policy Update List. Subscribers and policy-writing clients also have access to a policy alerts and resources page, featuring clean and marked-up versions of policy updates, sample regulations, discretionary policies, and other valuable tools to keep your policy manual up to date. Learn more online at www.njsba.org/policy.

Customized Policy Writing Service A district’s policy manual is crucial to the success of its schools. NJSBA offers a comprehensive Customized Policy Writing Service, which coordinates the policy manual with NJSBA’s dues-based policy resources. The Customized Policy Writing Service includes NJSBA’s Policy Alerts and Resources (PAR) service (valued at $995 annually). Through the PAR service, districts can easily apply all policy manual updates – at no extra cost. Learn more online at www.njsba.org/cpws.

Consultation NJSBA’s Policy Services provides telephone and email consultation to all members. Consultation services include investigation and research into board policy inquires, sample policies and regulations collected from New Jersey and other school districts, policy review and feedback and other resources related to policy development. To reach an NJSBA Policy Consultant, contact Steve McGettigan at [email protected] or Jean Harkness at [email protected].

The Wellness Check Available at no additional cost to local boards of education, NJSBA policy consultants will review policy manuals and report on the condition of each policy, as well as the manual as a whole. The Wellness Check helps ensure that a district’s policy manual is up to date and complies with federal and state requirements. To receive a Wellness Check, contact our Policy Services team.

The Critical Policy Reference Manual (CPRM) For local boards of education, the Critical Policy Reference Manual (CPRM), a dues-based service, provides legally sound model policies essential for effective district operations. Each policy topic is accompanied by a detailed reference document that explains the legal basis for the policy language. NJSBA also publishes a CPRM for participants in the Associate Membership Program for Charter Schools. Learn more online at www.njsba.org/cprm.

The Policy Update List As a benefit of NJSBA membership, local boards of education can access a month-by-month posting of CPRM policies that have been revised as a result of changes in state and federal law and regulation. Learn more online at www.njsba.org/policy.

BoardDocs Services Through BoardDocs, NJSBA offers two cost-effective, powerful, easy-to-use solutions that will allow your district to significantly improve the way they create and manage board packets, access information and conduct meetings: BoardDocs Pro and BoardDocs LT. Both products are fully supported on mobile devices and tablets. Learn more online at www.njsba.org/boarddocs.

Policy Alerts and Resources (PAR) NJSBA offers a Policy Alerts and Resources (PAR) service to give districts and charter schools access to all of the policy resources necessary to keep policy manuals up-to-date. The PAR service is included free with our Customized Policy Writing Service, or it can be purchased separately. Contact Lou Schimenti at [email protected] to learn more.

Policy Maintenance Manual Online Publication Service NJSBA offers an affordable policy maintenance and online publication service, allowing authorized users to update, revise, and create policies within the system. This service makes the updated policies public upon board approval and marks policies as “draft,” “approved” or “retired.” The publication service also allows schools and districts to host an unlimited number of manuals and handbooks, cross-reference policies, and locate key phrases in all manuals and handbooks through a single search. Contact Lou Schimenti at [email protected] to learn more.

The Manual for the Development of Job Descriptions (JD) A dues-based service, this manual provides qualifications, reporting structures, job goals, scope of responsibilities, and legal citations for many positions ranging from chief school administrator (superintendent or lead person) to buildings and grounds supervisor. Learn more online at www.njsba.org/policy.

NJSBA’s Policies and Positions on Education The Manual of Positions and Policies on Education represents NJSBA’s beliefs on the role of the federal and state governments in public education, board of education responsibilities, school district operations, and other critical areas. Learn more online at www.njsba.org/policy.