Last revised: November 28, 2011
January 8, 1979
Meetings of the Board
- Meeting — A meeting is a gathering in person or by electronic means, formal or informal, of a majority of the members of the Board or a Board-appointed committee where there is deliberation or action upon any matter within the scope of the Board’s or a Board-appointed committee’s policy-making duties.
- Regular Meetings — Unless otherwise stated and advertised, the regular meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held in the Board of Education Office at 1002 West First Street on the second and fourth Mondays of each month, commencing at 7:00 P.M. If the regular meeting is still in session at 11:00 P.M. and it can be seen that the suggested agenda will require more than fifteen additional minutes, the board may vote for adjournment. The material not covered will form the agenda for the next regular meeting unless a special meeting is called.
- Special Meetings — Special meetings may be held as determined by the Board, or called by the president, or by the secretary upon the written request of a majority of the members of the Board, upon notice specifying time and place, delivered to each member in person, or by registered letter, but attendance shall be a waiver of notice.
- Work Sessions — The Board, as a decision making body, is confronted with a continuing flow of problems, issues and needswhichrequireaction. WhiletheBoardisdeterminedtoexpediteitsbusiness,itisalsomindfuloftheimportance of planning, brainstorming and thoughtful discussion without action. Therefore, the Board may schedule work sessions inordertoprovideitsmembersandtheadministrationwithsuchopportunities. TheBoardhastheauthoritytohirean outside facilitator to assist them in work sessions. Topics for discussion and study will be announced publicly, and work sessions will be conducted in open session. No board action will take place at the work session.
- Public Meetings — Regular meetings, special meetings, and ad hoc committee meetings are open to the public. Citizens should have the right to be present at any such meeting. However, any public agency may make and enforce reasonable rules for the conduct of its meetings to assure those meetings are orderly, and free from interference or interruption by spectators.
- Notice of Meetings — The notice shall state the time, date, and place of the meeting and its tentative agenda. The notice shall be given to the media who have filed a request with the board secretary, and the notice shall be posted on the bulletin board at the central administration office. Usually such notice shall be at least 24 hours prior to the meeting unless otherwise provided by law. If a meeting is held on shorter notice, as much notice as is reasonably possible shall be given, and the nature of the good cause justifying departure from normal requirements shall be stated in the minutes. Notice of regular and special Board of Education meetings shall be given by the board secretary. Notice of all committee meetings shall be given by the officially appointed board designee.
- Minutes — The Board and the duly appointed committees shall keep minutes of all of their meetings showing the date, time and place, and members present, and the action taken at each meeting. The minutes at a minimum, should contain the motion, the second, and the vote by individual members on each issue. The minutes of open meetings will be kept on file as the permanent official records of school legislation. The secretary will act as custodian of the minutes and will make them available to any citizen to examine during the district’s office hours.
- Closed Session — Closed sessions take place as part of an open meeting. The item for discussion in the closed session will be listed as part of the tentative agenda on the public notice. The motion for a closed session, stating the purpose for the closed session, will be made and seconded during the open meeting. A minimum of two-thirds of the board, or all of the board members present, must vote in favor of the motion on a roll call vote. Closed sessions will be audio recorded and have detailed minutes kept by the board secretary. Final action on matters discussed in the closed session will be taken in an open meeting. The minutes and audio recording will restate the motion made in the open meeting, the roll call vote, the members present, and the time the closed session began and ended. The board has complete discretion as to whom may be present at a closed session Reasons for the board entering into a closed session from an open meeting include, but are not limited to, the following:
* To review or discuss records which are required or authorized by state or federal law to be kept confidential, or be kept confidential as a condition for continuation of federal funds; * To conduct hearings to suspend or expel a student, or to discuss whether to conduct such a hearing, unless an open session is requested by the student or a parent or guardian of the student if the student is a minor; if an open session is held, consent shall be obtained from the individual to discuss the individual’s confidential records; * To evaluate the professional competency of an individual whose appointment, hiring, performance, or discharge is being considered when necessary to prevent needless and irreparable injury to that individual’s reputation and that individual requests a closed session; 1. If an open session is held, consent shall be obtained from the individual to discuss the individual’s confidential records. 2. A teacher termination hearing per Chapter 279.15(2), a meeting to hear the superintendent’s recommendation on teacher termination per Chapter 279.16, and a private hearing upon the question of the termination of an administrator’s contract per Chapter 279.24 are not subject to Chapter 21, the open meetings law. * To discuss strategy with counsel in matters that are presently in litigation or where litigation is imminent where its disclosure would be likely to prejudice or disadvantage the position of the governmental body in that litigation; * To discuss the purchase or sale of particular real estate, but only when premature disclosure could be reasonably expected to increase the price the board would have to pay for the property, or in case of a sale reduce the price the board could receive for the property. * Other exceptions in the Iowa Code relate to letters patent, law enforcement, licensing examinations, and state agency administrative hearings. The detailed minutes and recording of a closed session shall be sealed and shall not be public records open to public inspection. Access to these documents will be available only to board members, appropriate administrative personnel and/or judicial review. The sealed records are to be kept for a period of at least one year from the date of the closed session. The board secretary is authorized to destroy the minutes and erase the recording after one year from the date of the closed meeting. Minutes and records of a closed session involving real estate purchase are open to the public when the transaction is completed.
- Exemptions to the Open Meetings Law — Board meetings at which a quorum is not present, or gatherings of the board for purely ministerial or social purposes when there is no discussion of policy or no intent to avoid the purposes of the open meetings law, are exempt from the open meetings law requirements. Since gatherings of this type are exempt from the open meetings requirements, they can be held without public notice, be separate from an open meeting, be held without taping the gathering or taking minutes, and be held without a vote or motion. The board may also hold an exempt session for the following:
- negotiating sessions, strategy meetings of public employers or employee organizations, mediation and the deliberative process of arbitration;
- to discuss strategy in matters relating to employment conditions of employees not covered by the collective bargaining law;
- to conduct a private hearing relating to the recommended termination of a teacher’s contract. The private hearing however, in the teacher’s contract termination will be recorded verbatim by a court reporter; and
- to conduct a private hearing relating to the termination of a probationary administrator’s contract or to review the proposed decision of the administrative law judge regarding the termination of an administrator’s contract.
Date of Adoption
July 11, 1977
Date of Revision
January 8, 1979
January 9, 1989
September 16, 1996
September 23, 2002
November 13, 2006
November 28, 2011