Welcome, New Public School Academy Board Member

Saginaw Valley State University welcomes you as a new member of a Public School Academy Board of Directors. You are among the dedicated pioneers of innovation who are striving to improve education. As a board member, your contributions are vital to this effort and your willingness to serve is deeply appreciated.

Unlike traditional school systems, which have the structure for board and school operations in place, Public School Academy boards frequently learn their duties while simultaneously creating and implementing policy for a school that is often just beginning to operate.

Your main responsibilities as a board member are to:

  • set policy, then delegate implementation of policy to school personnel,
  • monitor the implementation of policy and procedures,
  • assure the mission and goals of the school are being achieved,
  • monitor to see that contract obligations to SVSU are fulfilled,
  • work as a team with other board members and the school staff, and
  • consistently serve the best interests of students and parents.

The Saginaw Valley State University Board of Control authorizes Public School Academy charters and appoints board members to each of our schools. The board of each academy we authorize has a contract with SVSU that outlines the obligations they must fulfill. Once the school is in operation, the School/University Partnership Office ensures that the school complies with all state and federal regulations governing public school academies. The Partnership Office also provides training for new board members.

The board’s mission is to demonstrate leadership in service to the school. It achieves this by setting goals and by collaborating with each other, the parents, students, and staff. As a new Public School Academy board member, it is important to remember that your school belongs to the school community. As such, you may see your personal ideas about education altered. Some board members find that policies governing schools may slow what they personally hoped to accomplish. Individually, and as a group, school boards may be the target of criticism from parents and/or staff. Mistakes may be magnified in the eyes of the public and are sometimes reported that way by the media. Sometimes being a board member can be a thankless job. So why then do board members serve? They are dedicated to playing an important role in providing deserving students with a quality educational experience that will positively impact the rest of their lives. This kind of service is its own reward for board members who can embrace the challenges. You will experience extreme pride in seeing students learn and achieve, knowing you played a significant part in making it possible.

The purpose of this training manual is to assist you in carrying out your responsibilities as an effective board member.


Joseph Rousseau
Director