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Our objectives:

To promote and encourage cooperation among the various


To develop greater understanding of the Chautauqua County Public Schools by the people of the County.


To provide an exchange of information on school affairs, and to hold conferences for the discussion of school affairs.


To assist its members in every practical way with their school board challenges. To assist the Boards of Education in the orientation of new members.


To promote and encourage cooperation among the various school boards in the interest of better education.


To provide a permanent organization that will voice the wishes of its members on legislation or other matters.

CCSBA supports our school districts in order to better serve our communities. 

What makes a good board member?

The legal requirements for board membership are few, but qualifications for effective service are many. The most effective board members possess most or all of these attributes:


  • Effective Communicator – Can describe what he or she wants and describe what others want; a good listener.

  • Consensus Builder – Capable of working toward decisions that all can support and willing to compromise to achieve that goal.

  • Community Participant – Enjoys meeting a variety of people, can identify the community’s key communicators and reaches out to fellow citizens.

  • Decision Maker – Knows his or her own as well as others’ decision-making styles, can support group decision-making.

  • Information Processor – Can organize priorities and schedules to handle large quantities of verbal and written information.

  • Leader – Willing to take risks, be supportive of board colleagues, district staff and community.

  • Team Player – Helps promote the board’s vision and goals.

What does a board member do?

With children always their ultimate focus, school board members act officially only at the board table, working with other board members to accomplish the following:

  • Create a shared vision. Set student performance standards.
  • Oversee development of assessment program based on those standards. Account for student achievement results.

  • Adopt the annual budget, aligning district resources to improve achievement.

  • Create a healthy environment for work and learning.

  • Build strategic partnerships. Sustain the district's progress through continuous improvement.

  • Adopt and maintain current policies in written format.

  • Hire and evaluate the superintendent. Ratify collective bargaining agreements.

  • Maintain strong ethical standards.

How do I become a board member?

School board members in New York State, except for those in the five largest cities – Buffalo, New York City, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers – receive no remuneration except the satisfaction that comes from rendering an indispensable public service.


Generally, school board candidates must be at least 18 years old, qualified voters in the school district and able to read and write. They must be residents of their districts continuously for one year (as little as 30 days or as long as three years in some city school districts) before the election. They cannot be employed by the board on which they serve nor live in the same household with a family member who is also a member of the same school board.


Local school board members in New York State are elected, except for those in New York City and Yonkers who are appointed. The method of election may vary from district to district. Check with your superintendent of schools or your district clerk to learn about the voting plan in your district.


With limited exceptions, school board members serve three-, four- or five-year terms. Terms are staggered so all board positions are never open at the same time. By state law, school board and budget elections, in all districts except Albany and the Big 5, must be held on the third Tuesday in May.

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