Policy 204: Meeting of the Board

204.1 Regular Meetings:
Regular meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held on the second Monday of each month.  
All meetings shall be held in the meeting place officially designated by the Board, which shall be at the high school media center, unless otherwise approved by the Board in regular session.  Regular meeting start time shall be determined at the annual organizational meeting.

Date of Adoption:  July 21, 1972 

Reviewed:  Aug. 12, 1991; Feb. 10, 1992; March 14, 1994; Oct. 11, 2004; Dec. 11, 2000; April 14, 2008; Nov. 12, 2012; Mar. 13, 2017

Amended:  July 13, 1982; March 18, 1985; April 9, 1990; August 12, 1991; April 11, 1994; Mar. 13, 2017

 
 
204.2 Special Meetings:
It may be necessary for the board to conduct a special meeting in addition to the regularly scheduled board meeting.  Special meetings may be called by the president of the board or by the board secretary at the request of a majority of the board.  Should a special meeting be called, public notice will be given. 
If the special meeting called is an emergency meeting and the board cannot give public notice in its usual manner, the board will give public notice of the meeting as soon as practical and possible in light of the situation.  Emergency meetings will only be held when an issue cannot wait twenty-four hours necessary for a special meeting.  The reason for the emergency meeting and why notice in its usual manner could not be given will be stated in the minutes. 
Only the purpose or issue for which the special meeting was called may be discussed and decided in the special meeting.  The board will strictly adhere to the agenda for the special meeting and action on other issues will be reserved for the next regular or special board meeting. 

Legal Reference: Iowa Code §§ 21.3, .4; 279.2 (2003).   1980 Op. Att'y Gen. 148.        

Date of Adoption:  January 21, 1972   

Reviewed:  Feb. 10, 1992; Dec. 11, 2000; Oct. 11, 2004;  April 14, 2008; Nov. 12, 2012; Mar. 13, 2017   

Amended:

 
 
204.3 Closed Sessions:
Generally, board meetings will be open meetings, unless law provides for a closed session or exempt meeting.  The board will hold a closed session or exempt meeting in the situations stated below. 
Exceptions to the Open Meetings Law 
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 tape-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 the tape 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 tape recordings and the written minutes will be kept for one year from the date of the meeting.  Real estate related minutes and tapes would be made public after the real estate transaction is completed. 
The detailed minutes and tape recording will be sealed and will not be public records open to public inspection.  The minutes and tape recording will only be opened upon court order in an action to enforce the requirements of the open meetings law.  The board has complete discretion as to who 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:  
  1. To review or discuss records which are required or authorized by state or federal law to be kept confidential or to be kept confidential as a condition for the board's possession or receipt of federal funds.  
  2. To discuss strategy with legal counsel in matters presently in litigation, or where litigation is imminent, if disclosure would be likely to prejudice or disadvantage the board.  
  3. To discuss whether to conduct a hearing for suspension or expulsion of a student, unless the student or the parent of the student requests an open meeting.  
  4. To evaluate the professional competency of an individual whose appointment, hiring, performance, or discharge is being considered when a closed session is necessary to prevent needless and irreparable injury to that individual's reputation and that individual requests a closed session.  
  5. To discuss the purchase 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. 
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:  
  1. Negotiating sessions, strategy meetings of public employers or employee organizations, mediation and the deliberative process of arbitration;  
  2. To discuss strategy in matters relating to employment conditions of employees not covered by the collective bargaining law;  
  3. To conduct a private hearing relating to the recommended termination of a teacher's contract.  
However, the private hearing in the teacher's contract termination will be recorded verbatim by a court reporter; and  4. 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. 

Legal Reference: Iowa Code §§ 20.17; 21; 22.7; 279.15, .16, .24 (   2003).   1982 Op. Att'y Gen. 162.   1980 Op. Att'y Gen. 167.   1976 Op. Att'y Gen. 384, 514, 765.   1972 Op. Att'y Gen. 158.   1970 Op. Att'y Gen. 287.   

Date of Adoption:  January 8, 1980   

Reviewed:  Feb. 10, 1992; Dec. 11, 2000; April 14, 2008; Nov. 12, 2012; Mar. 13, 2017   

Amended: October 11, 2004

 

204.4 Annual Meeting:

Each year after August 31 and prior to the organizational meeting of the board in odd-number years, the board will hold its annual meeting.

 

At the annual meeting, the board will examine the financial books and settle the secretary's and treasurer's statements for the fiscal year ending the preceding June 30.  As part of the annual reports, the treasurer will present affidavits from depository banks. 

 

The board may also appoint the board's legal counsel.

 

Legal Reference: Iowa Code §§ 279.3, .33 (2003).  

Date of Adoption:  January 21, 1979  

Reviewed:  Feb. 10, 1992; Dec. 11, 2000; April 14, 2008; Mar. 13, 2017

Amended:  Jan. 8, 1980; June 9, 1986; Oct. 11, 2004; Dec. 10, 2012

 

204.5 Organization Meetings:
The board will hold its organizational meeting annually at the first regular meeting following the canvass of votes.  The board secretary will give notice of the meeting’s place and time to each member, member-elect and the public. 
The purpose of the meeting is to transfer material and responsibility from the outgoing board to the new board.  At the meeting, the board will elect a president who will hold office for one year.  Once elected, the president will be entitled to vote on all matters before the board. 
Meeting Procedure 
  1. The Board Secretary, as president pro tem, will preside over the meeting until a new board president is elected. 
  2. Call to order. 
  3. Roll call. 
  4. Oath of office.  The board secretary will administer the oath to new members. 
  5. Election of a president of the board.  The president pro tem calls for nominations; nominations need not be seconded.  The board will then vote on the nominations.  The secretary will announce the result of the vote, and the Board Secretary will administer the oath of office to the newly elected president and the newly elected president will assume the chair. 
  6. Election of the vice-president.  The president of the board will call for nominations; the nominations need not be seconded.  The board will then vote on the nominations.  The president will announce the results and administer the oath of office to the vicepresident. 
  7. Board resolution of appreciation recognizing the public service rendered by retiring board members. 
  8. Determination of dates, times, and places for regular meetings of the board. 
  9. Appointment to School Improvement Advisory Committee; Finance, Site, and Policy Committees 
  10. Adjournment.   

Legal Reference: Iowa Code §§ 274.2; 275.23A; 277.23, .28, .31; 279.1, .5, .7, .8 (1999).  281 I.A.C 12.3(2).  

Date of Adoption:  January 21, 1972  

Reviewed:  Feb. 10, 1992; Dec. 11, 2000; Oct. 11, 2004; April 14, 2008; Nov. 12, 2012; Mar. 13, 2017 

Amended:

 
 
204.6 Quorum for Meetings:
The majority of the Board of Directors shall be necessary to constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.  A majority vote of those present shall be necessary and sufficient to pass any motion or to take any action of the Board unless the vote of a greater number with respect to the particular subject matter shall be required by law or other Board policy. 

Legal Reference:  (Code of Iowa) Chapter 279.4 

Date of Adoption:  January 21, 1972 

Reviewed:  Feb. 10, 1992; Dec. 11, 2000; Oct. 11, 2004; April 14, 2008; Nov. 12, 2012; Mar. 13, 2017 

Amended:

 
204.7 Rules of Order
Parliamentary procedure not provided for in these policies or by statute shall be determined by Robert's Rules of Order, the latest edition.   The Board President is not excluded from voting rights.

Date of Adoption:  January 21, 1972 

Reviewed:  Feb. 10, 1992; Dec. 11, 2000; Oct. 11, 2004; April 14, 2008; Nov. 12, 2012; Nov. 23, 2015; Mar. 13, 2017

Amended:   Dec. 29, 2015

 
204.8 Agenda:
The Superintendent of Schools shall submit to the Board of Directors for its consideration, at least two days before a regular meeting, an agenda that shall set forth the order of business for that meeting.  The agenda shall contain supporting data for the suggested items of business. 

Date of Adoption:  January 21, 1972 

Reviewed:  Feb. 10, 1992; Dec. 11, 2000; Oct. 11, 2004; April 14, 2008; Nov. 12, 2012; Mar. 13, 2017 

Amended:

 
 
204.9 General Complaints By Citizens:
The board recognizes that concerns regarding the operation of the school district will arise.  The board further believes that constructive criticism can assist in improving the quality of the education program and in meeting individual student needs more effectively.  The board also places trust in its employees and desires to support their actions in a manner, which frees them from unnecessary or unwarranted criticism and complaints. 
Procedures for dealing with complaints concerning programs or practices should be governed by the following principles: 
  • Where the complainant, or where it seems appropriate desires action/investigation, the matter should be handled as near the source as possible; 
  • Complaints should both be investigated and, if possible, resolved expeditiously; 
  • Complaints should be dealt with courteously and in a constructive manner; and, 
  • Individuals directly affected by the complaint should have an opportunity to respond. 
The board, consistent with its board policy-making role, will deal with complaints concerning specific schools; programs or procedures only after the usual channels have been exhausted.  Complaints regarding employees or complaints by students will follow the more specific policies on those issues. 
When the board or a board member receives a complaint requiring attention, it will be referred to the superintendent.  After all of the channels have been exhausted, the complainant may appeal to the board by requesting a place on the board agenda or during the Citizen Comments portion of the board meeting.  If the complainant appeals to the board, the appeal will be in writing, signed and explain the process followed by the complainant prior to the appeal to the board. 

Date of Adoption:  October 11, 2004   

Reviewed:  April 14, 2008; Nov. 12, 2012; Mar. 13, 2017

Amended:

 

204.10 Public Participation in Board Meetings:
The board recognizes the importance of citizen participation in school district matters.  In order to assure citizens are heard and board meetings are conducted efficiently and in an organized manner, the board will set time aside for citizen participation, either at a specific time during the meeting or during the discussion of agenda items.  Citizens wishing to address the board on a certain agenda item must notify the superintendent prior to the board meeting.  Citizens wishing to present petitions to the board may do so at this time.  However, the board will only receive the petitions and not act upon them or their contents.  The board has the discretion to limit the amount of time set aside for public participation. 
If the pressure of business or other circumstances dictates, the board president may decide to eliminate this practice.  The board president will recognize these individuals to make their comments at the appropriate time.  The orderly process of the board meeting will not be interfered with or disrupted.  Only those speakers recognized by the board president will be allowed to speak.  Comments by others are out of order.  If disruptive, the individual making the comments or another individual causing disruption may be asked to leave the board meeting. 
Individuals who have a complaint about employees may bring their complaint to the board only after they have followed board policy addressing citizens' complaints.  Students who have a complaint may only bring their complaint to the board after they have followed board policy addressing students' complaints. 

Legal Reference: Iowa Code §§ 21; 22; 279.8 (2003).

Date of Adoption:  October 11, 2004    

Reviewed:  April 14, 2008; Nov. 12, 2012; Mar. 13, 2017

Amended:

 

204.11 Board Members Liability
Board members will not be held personally liable for actions taken in the performance of their duties and responsibilities vested in them by the laws of Iowa and the members of the school district community.  In carrying out the duties and responsibilities of their office, board members will act in good faith. 
The school district will defend, save harmless and indemnify board members against tort claims or demands, whether groundless or otherwise, arising out of an alleged act or omission occurring within the scope of their official duties, unless it constitutes a willful or wanton act or omission.  However, the school district will not save harmless or indemnify board members for punitive damages. 
Legal Reference:  Wood v. Strickland, 420 U.S. 308 (1975). 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1985 (1994). Iowa Code Chapter. 670 (2003). 

Date of Adoption:  October 11, 2004  

Reviewed:  April 14, 2008; Nov. 12, 2012; Mar. 13, 2017

Amended:

 
 
204.12 Minutes of Meetings:
Records of all transactions of the Board shall be set forth in full in the official minutes of the Board.  The minutes shall be kept on file as the permanent official records of school legislation of the District.  The secretary shall act as custodian of the minutes and shall make them available to any citizen desiring to examine them during usual office hours of the District.   
Legal Reference:  (Code of Iowa) Chapter 291.6   

Date of Adoption:  January 21, 1972   

Reviewed:  Feb. 10, 1992; Dec. 11, 2000; Oct. 11, 2004; April 14, 2008; Nov. 12, 2012; Mar. 13, 2017   

Amended:

 

204.13 Publication of Meeting Procedures:
The Board shall keep the members of the school district community informed about the actions taken at board meetings.  The proceedings of each open board meeting will be published in a newspaper designated as a newspaper for official publication within two weeks of the date of the meeting.  
It shall be the responsibility of the Board Secretary to publish in concert with this policy.  It shall also be the responsibility of the Board Secretary to develop administrative regulations, if necessary in the Board Secretary's judgment, to carry out this policy. 
Legal Reference:  Iowa Code Sect. 21, 22, 279.35 - .36, 291.6, 618.3 (1987 as amended By H. F. 499, 72nd G. A. lest Session.); 670 Iowa Admin. Code Sect. 3.3(1).           1952 Op. Att'y Gen. 133.   

Date of Adoption:  November 9, 1987   

Reviewed:  Feb. 10, 1992; Dec. 11, 2000; Oct. 11, 2004; April 14, 2008; Nov. 12, 2012; Mar. 13, 2017   

Amended:

 
 
204.14 Publication of Financial Records:
Each month the schedule of bills allowed by the Board shall be published in a newspaper designated as a newspaper for official publication. Annually, the total salaries paid to school district personnel employed by the school district shall also be published in a newspaper designated as a newspaper for official publication.  It shall be the responsibility of the Board Secretary to publish in concert with this policy. 

Legal Reference:  Iowa Code Sect. 279.35 - .36, 618.3 (1987 as amended by H. F. 499, 72nd G. A. lst Session.). 1952 Op. Att'y Gen. 133.   

Date of Adoption:  November 9, 1987   

Reviewed:  Feb. 10, 1992; Dec. 11, 2000; Oct. 11, 2004; April 14, 2008; Nov. 12, 2012; Mar. 13, 2017   

Amended: