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Series 204 - School Board Meetings

1. Open Meetings – The board will comply with all requirements of the Minnesota Open Meeting Law. All meetings of the board will be open except as permitted or required by state statute and court rulings.

2.       Notice of School Board Meetings

2.1     Notices of all School Board meetings shall be posted at the District Office, forwarded to local media and included on district and school calendars posted on websites.

2.2     If the time, date or location of a regular meeting is changed, or if a special meeting (other than an emergency meeting) is called, a notice of the meeting will be posted at the District Office at least three days before the date of the meeting.

2.3     In addition to posting, notice of special meetings shall also be mailed or otherwise delivered to each person who has filed a written request for notice of special meetings with the school board.

2.3.1  The notice shall be mailed or delivered at least three days before the date of the meeting.

2.3.2  A person filing a request for notice of special meetings may limit the request to notification of meetings concerning particular subjects.

2.3.3  Requests for notices of special meetings expire on June 30th and require refiling of the request once each year. Not more than 60 days before the expiration date of a request for notice, the school district shall send notice of the refiling requirement to each person who filed during the preceding year.

2.4     Posted or published notice of an emergency meeting is not required. The school district shall make good faith efforts to provide notice of an emergency meeting to each news medium that has filed a written request for notice if the request includes the news medium's telephone number. Notice shall be provided to each news medium which has filed a written request for notice as soon as reasonably practicable after notice has been given to the members. Notice of the emergency meeting shall be given by telephone or by any other method used to notify the members of the school board. Notice shall include the subject of the meeting.

2.5     Notice of electronic meetings shall be in accordance with Minnesota Statute 13D.02 or 13D.021, as applicable.

3. Regular Meetings - The time, date and location of regular meetings of the board shall be set annually. This schedule shall be kept on file and posted at the District Office and available on the district website. Changes in board meeting times, dates and/or places shall be publicized through regular communication channels.

4. Special Meetings – Special meetings may be called by the superintendent or designee, chairperson, vice chairperson, clerk or any three board members, with a three-day notice.

5. Emergency Meetings - An emergency meeting is a special meeting called because of circumstances that, in the judgment of the school district, require immediate consideration by the school board. If matters not directly related to the emergency are discussed or acted upon at an emergency meeting, the minutes of the meeting shall include a specific description of the matters.

6.Conducting Business on Holidays – The district may conduct business and hold meetings on Columbus Day and the Friday after Thanksgiving per Minnesota Statute 645.44, subd. 5, Words and Phrases Defined, and by a resolution to conduct public business approved by the School Board on September 28, 2009.

7. Rules of Order

7.1     Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised shall be used to govern board deliberations.

7.2     Rules may be amended at any meeting by agreement of a majority of those present.

7.3     A majority (four) of the board members constitutes a quorum for transacting official business of the district.

8. Meeting Agendas

8.1     The superintendent shall confer as needed with other administrators, the chairperson and district staff to prepare an agenda that allows the board to conduct business in a thorough yet efficient manner.  

8.2     Whenever possible, meeting agendas and exhibits will be provided to board members in advance of the board meeting. Any specific exhibits which require revision will be provided to board members at or before the board meeting.

8.3     At least one copy of any printed materials relating to the agenda items of the meeting shall be available in the meeting room for inspection by the public while the board considers the subject matter.

8.4     The following will be the order of business at regular meetings of the School Board:

8.4.1            Call to Order

8.4.2            Pledge of Allegiance (Following the pledge, the board may take a moment to remember district students and employees who have recently passed away.)

8.4.3            Approval of Agenda

8.4.3.1         Individual board members may move to revise the agenda by adding a new topic or removing a topic.

8.4.3.2         If the board approves adding a topic to the agenda, that topic will be taken up at the end of the agenda, after Other Action. The addition of a topic to the agenda shall not necessarily result in board action on that topic at that or any other meeting.

8.4.4            Recognition – The board members and superintendent may recognize the special accomplishments or actions of students, staff or community members.

8.4.4.1         The board will publicly recognize students who have:

8.4.4.1.1      Won a state competition or a substantive multi-state competition, or

8.4.4.1.2      Won or placed highly in national or international competition.

8.4.4.2         The board will publicly recognize district employees who have:

8.4.4.2.1      Been chosen to represent the state in a national or international program, or

8.4.4.2.2      Won a state, national or international competitive award.

8.4.4.3         The board may recognize community members who have performed extraordinary service for a school or the school district.

8.4.4.4         The superintendent may recognize staff or students who have an outstanding accomplishment in the community and, if they are in the audience, may ask them to stand and be recognized.

8.4.5            Special Communication Request – Up to ten district stakeholders, as defined in section 9, may address the board for up to four minutes on topics not on the board agenda, excluding complaints about specific district personnel or other individuals. Requests must be submitted in writing to the secretary to the School Board no less than five working days before the board meeting at which they wish to speak. For more information, see Administrative Regulation 204.8AR, Special Communications Request.

8.4.6            Consent – Items on the Consent agenda do not require discussion before board action.

8.4.6.1         Any board member may request that any item on the Consent agenda be withdrawn for independent consideration. These items will be moved to the end of the regular agenda, after Other Action and before any new topics added to the agenda under Approval of Agenda, to be discussed and acted on.

8.4.6.2         Items of Consent are approved en masse by one vote of the board.

8.4.7            Reports – Reports are presented for the information of the board; no board action is required. These include reports from consultants and persons working with district employees and/or programs and district employees.

8.4.8            Old Business – Items of Old Business were previously presented to the board as items of New Business that have been brought back for board action.

8.4.9            New Business – Items of New Business require board action at a subsequent board meeting.

8.4.10          Other Action – Items of Other Action are discussed and acted on at the same board meeting.

8.4.11          School Board Member and Superintendent Updates – Board members and the superintendent have the opportunity to comment on topics or events not included on the board agenda.

8.4.12          Adjournment – Meetings shall be adjourned after four hours unless a majority of the board members present agree to continue the meeting.

8.5       The board may depart from the order of business with the consent of the majority of members present. New items may not be added to the agenda of a special meeting.

9.    Public Participation at School Board Meetings – District residents, district property or business owners, district employees, current students and their parents/guardians, district contractors, bidders on district contracts that are open for bidding or awarded but not completed and authorized representatives of the above-identified stakeholders may participate in regular board meetings during the Special Communication Request portion of the agenda (see sections 8.4.5), and by addressing items under Reports, Old Business, New Business and Other Action. Comments offered by members of the public or individual school board members do not necessarily represent the views of the School Board.

9.1       The number of people who speak to each agenda item under Reports, Old Business, New Business and Other Action is limited to seven, as recognized by the chairperson. When recognized by the chairperson, the speaker may speak one time per agenda item for up to two minutes.

9.2       Special Communication Requests are not available at special or emergency meetings.

9.3       Speakers addressing agenda items, as well as speakers under Special Communication Request are expected to adhere to applicable time limits and the requirements in Administrative Regulation 204.8AR. A speaker who is ruled out of order by the chairperson may not speak at future meetings for a six-month period of time.

9.4       Speakers addressing agenda items, as well as speakers under Special Communication Request may not allot their time to another speaker. Speakers may not combine their time and speaking slots are not transferable. If a speaker is joined in their presentation by another person(s), the other person(s) must also be a stakeholder or a stakeholder’s representative and the speakers will not receive additional time to present their joint comments.

10.   Voting Procedure at School Board Meetings

10.1      The majority vote of the board is the legal and official action of that body and should be supported by the members as such. However, a member voting in opposition to the majority has a legal right to have his or her vote recorded in the minutes.

10.2      A roll call vote will be taken if requested by any board member and must be taken during any meeting that is conducted electronically pursuant to Minnesota Statutes 13D.021 and 13D.02 or if a roll call vote is specifically required by statute for a particular action.

11.     Minutes – The minutes of board meetings shall be drafted following the meeting by the Executive Assistant to the Superintendent and the School Board and approved by board members at the next regular meeting. A summary of the minutes will be published in the district’s official newspaper and on the district’s website.

12.   Recording of Meetings

12.1      The open portions of all regular School Board meetings will be live streamed and will also be recorded and the recordings retained for at least one year. Recordings of regular meetings of the School Board will be broadcast on the district cable television channels and available to view on demand via the district’s website.

12.2      Closed meetings, except those closed as permitted by the attorney-client privilege, must be recorded. Unless otherwise provided by law, the recordings must be preserved for at least three years after the date of the meeting.

12.2.1          Labor negotiations strategy recordings must be preserved for two years after the contract is signed and shall be made available to the public upon request after all labor contracts are signed by the school board for the current budget period.

12.2.2          Purchase or sale of real or personal property recordings must be preserved for eight years after the date of the meeting. The real or personal property that is the subject of a closed meeting must be specifically identified on the recording.

12.2.3          Security briefings and/or emergency response recordings must be preserved for at least four years. In describing the subject to be discussed at the meeting, the board must refer to the facilities, systems, procedures, services or infrastructures to be considered during the closed meeting.

13.   Closed Meetings – Before closing a meeting, the School Board shall state on the record the specific grounds permitting the meeting to be closed and describe the subject to be discussed. Closed meetings, except those closed as permitted by the attorney-client privilege, must be recorded.

13.1      Meetings must be closed if the following types of data are discussed:

13.1.1          Data that would identify alleged victims or reporters of criminal sexual conduct, domestic abuse or maltreatment of minor or vulnerable adults;

13.1.2          Educational data, health data, medical data, welfare data or mental health data that are not public data;

13.1.3          An individual's medical records governed by Minnesota Statutes sections 144.291 to 144.298, or

13.1.4          Preliminary consideration of allegations or charges against an individual subject to School Board authority. A meeting must be open at the request of the individual who is the subject of the meeting.

13.2      Meetings may be closed if the following types of data are discussed:

13.2.1          To consider strategy for labor negotiations or developments or discussion and review of labor negotiation proposals. The time of commencement and place of the closed meeting shall be announced at the public meeting and a written roll of school board members and all other persons present at the closed meeting shall be made available to the public after the closed meeting;

13.2.2          To evaluate the performance of an individual who shall be identified prior to closing a meeting. At its next open meeting, the board shall summarize its conclusions regarding the evaluation. A meeting must be open at the request of the individual who is the subject of the meeting;

13.2.3          If the closure is expressly authorized by statute or permitted by the attorney-client privilege;

13.2.4          To determine the asking price for real or personal property to be sold by the government entity;

13.2.5          To review confidential or nonpublic appraisal data;

13.2.6          To develop or consider offers or counteroffers for the purchase or sale of real or personal property. An agreement reached that is based on an offer considered at a closed meeting is contingent on approval of the school board at an open meeting. The actual purchase or sale must be approved at an open meeting and the purchase price or sale price is public data, or

13.2.7          To receive security briefings and reports, to discuss issues related to security systems, emergency response procedures, security deficiencies in or recommendations regarding public services, infrastructure and facilities, if disclosure of the information would pose a danger to public safety or compromise security procedures or responses. Financial issues related to security matters must be discussed and all related financial decisions must be made at an open meeting. In describing the subject to be discussed at the closed meeting, the board must refer to the facilities, systems, procedures, services or infrastructures being considered.

14.   Electronic Meetings - Electronic meetings, including meetings conducted by interactive TV, telephone or other electronic means may only be conducted as authorized by Minnesota Statutes 13D.02 or 13D.021.

References:

  • Minnesota Statute Chapter 13D, Minnesota Open Meeting Law
  • Minnesota Statute 123B.09, Boards of Independent School Districts
  • Minnesota Statute 331A.01, Definitions
  • Minnesota Statute 645.44, subd. 5, Words and Phrases Defined, Holiday
  • Resolution to Conduct Public Business, District 196 School Board Meeting, September 28, 2009 Exhibit D2

Policies/204/6-29-21

Adopted: May 1983
Revised: June 2021