BE(LOCAL) - BOARD MEETINGS
The purpose of this policy is to convey the dates, times, and intent of meetings and committees or "teams" of the Board.
The Board, in a quorum, meets to govern the District. Regularly scheduled meetings, work/study meetings, and workshops are crucial vehicles by which the Board executes its responsibility as a governing body. Board committees or "teams" further allow for the refinement of work prior to meetings of the Board in a quorum. [See BDB]
Meeting Place and Time
The notice for a Board meeting shall reflect the date, time, and location of the meeting.
Regular Meetings and Work / Study Meetings
Regular meetings of the Board shall normally be held on the third Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. Work/study meetings of the Board shall be held on the Tuesday preceding the third Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. When determined necessary and for the convenience of Trustees, the Board President may change the date, time, or location of a regular meeting or work/study meeting with proper notice.
Special or Emergency Meetings
The Board President shall call special meetings at the Board President's discretion or on request by two Trustees. The posting requirement for a special meeting is 72 hours prior to the meeting.
The Board President shall call an emergency meeting when it is determined by the Board President or two Trustees that an emergency or urgent public necessity, as defined by law, warrants the meeting. The posting requirement for an emergency meeting is one hour prior to the meeting.
The deadline for submitting items for inclusion on the agenda is the fifth calendar day before the work/study meeting. Items for the regular meetings shall be due by noon the day after the work/study meeting.
In consultation with the Board President, the Superintendent shall prepare the agenda for all Board meetings. Any Trustee may request that a subject be included on the agenda for a meeting, and the Superintendent shall include on the preliminary agenda of the meeting all topics that have been timely submitted by a Trustee.
Before the official agenda is finalized for any meeting, the Superintendent shall consult the Board President to ensure that the agenda and the topics included meet with the Board President's approval. In reviewing the preliminary agenda, the Board President shall ensure that any topics the Board or individual Trustees have requested to be addressed are either on that agenda or scheduled for deliberation at an appropriate time in the near future. The Board President shall not have authority to remove from the agenda a subject requested by a Trustee without that Trustee's specific authorization.
A copy of the agenda and information on the agenda items shall be sent by the Superintendent or designee to each Trustee at least three days in advance of each meeting.
The Superintendent shall prepare extra agenda copies and such background materials for each meeting as deemed necessary and desirable for distribution to members of the audience at each meeting.
Under arrangements deemed suitable by the Superintendent, the Superintendent shall have an additional copy of the agenda booklet assembled and distributed (or made available) without charge to the following:
- A representative of each of the news media, as requested, in order to assist the media in the timely and proper reporting of school business and news to Ector County citizens.
- Various recognized Ector County teachers and parent-teacher organizations, as determined by the Superintendent, not to exceed seven in number.
- The school attorney.
Any other requests for a copy of the agenda booklet shall be handled in accordance with requests under the Public Information Act. [See GBAA]
The Superintendent shall also see that one additional copy of the agenda booklet is made available to members of the audience for 30 minutes immediately prior to and during each meeting, for reference purposes, at a location convenient to the audience in the room where such meeting is being held. However, this shall be under an arrangement that the agenda booklet cannot be removed from this location during the meeting by anyone but shall continue to be open and available to all members of the audience throughout the meeting.
Any interested person may also obtain a copy of the agenda booklet prior to or at a meeting in the following manner:
- Oral or written request of a copy shall be made to the Superintendent's office not less than ten days prior to the work/study meeting and not less than three days prior to a regular Board meeting in order to allow time for efficient assembly.
- The person requesting a copy shall inform the Superintendent's office of his or her phone number and a time period from the person that the booklet is available for pickup, as well as the charge for the copy. Such charge shall be exactly, or as near as possible to, the actual total cost to the District of the reproduction and assembly required for the copy, utilizing the least expensive means practicable for reproduction. However, in no event shall the charge exceed $.10 per page.
- The person may then pick up his or her copy at any time during the business hours of the Superintendent's office or immediately prior to the start of the Board meeting, upon payment of the charge.
- If any person requests a copy of the agenda booklet but fails to pick it up and pay the charge at or prior to the Board meeting, any future requests by the person must be accompanied by payment of the established charge or of an estimated charge when the exact charge cannot yet be determined. An adjustment shall be made when the copy is picked up.
- A "standing request" for all future agenda booklets may likewise be made by any interested person, but failure to pick up and pay the charge for any booklet at or prior to the particular Board meeting shall terminate such standing order; any future requests shall be handled in accordance with item 4, above.
Notice to Trustees
Trustees shall be given notice of regular and special meetings at least 72 hours prior to the scheduled time of the meeting and at least one hour prior to the time of an emergency meeting.
Notice of all meetings shall provide for the possibility of a closed meeting during an open meeting, in accordance with law.
The Board may conduct a closed meeting when the agenda subject is one that may properly be discussed in a closed meeting. [See BEC]
Order of Business
The order of business for regular Board meetings shall be as set out in the agenda accompanying the notice of the meeting. At the meeting, the order in which posted agenda items are taken may be changed by consensus of Trustees.
Board work sessions may be scheduled as needed, with an agenda established in advance by the Superintendent in consultation with the Board presiding officer.
By no later than December 31 of each year, the Board shall schedule a strategic planning retreat to prepare for the budget formulation and any other topics as deemed necessary.
Conferences with the news media for the purpose of conveying official District information to the public are not subject to any of the notice and posting requirements of the Open Meetings Act, so long as no deliberation concerning public business takes place by Trustees. Such conferences shall normally be coordinated through the Superintendent's office after notification to each Trustee. Press conferences on behalf of the Board shall not be conducted for the purpose of conveying information about a matter for which no official action by the Board has taken place.
Rules of Order
The Board shall observe the parliamentary procedures as found in Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised, except as otherwise provided in Board procedural rules or by law. Procedural rules may be suspended at any Board meeting by majority vote of the Trustees present.
The Board President shall be thoroughly familiar with the agenda prior to each meeting and shall understand the shape and tone of each meeting, keeping its image clearly before the Board and audience at all times.
The Board President shall direct the meeting in such a manner as to focus on main issues, explore the consequences of various choices, and encourage pointed discussion when it starts going around instead of ahead. The presiding officer shall move through the agenda in an orderly fashion as rapidly as reasonably feasible. Well-planned and well-conducted meetings shall see all routine requests and action items completed promptly. Delegation and special requests shall be heard at the appropriate time and in a very prompt, business-like manner.
Voting shall be by voice vote, show of hands, or signed ballot. The number of "Ayes" and "Nayes" on each motion shall be recorded in the minutes; upon request, a Trustee's vote or failure to vote shall be made a matter of record in the minutes of the meeting. All Trustees should vote or should officially abstain on each motion. The Board President shall have a vote on each motion.
When the agenda is prepared, the Board President shall determine items, if any, that qualify to be placed on the consent agenda. A consent agenda shall include items of a routine and/or recurring nature grouped together under one action item. For each item listed as part of a consent agenda, the Board shall be furnished with background material. All such items shall be acted upon by one vote without separate discussion, unless a Trustee requests that an item be withdrawn for individual consideration. The remaining items shall be adopted under a single motion and vote.
The recorded minutes of all meetings shall be approved by vote of the Board, shall be signed by the Board President and the Board Secretary, and shall serve as the legal record of actions taken by the Board.
The Board shall prepare and retain minutes of each of its open meetings. The minutes shall:
- Include the subject matter of each deliberation.
- Indicate each vote, order, decision, or other action taken by the Board.
The official minutes of the Board shall be retained on file in the Superintendent's office and shall be available for reasonable inspection during regular office hours.
The Board encourages the press, media, and all interested individuals to attend Board meetings and to videotape or record all or any part of the open proceedings. To this end, the District and its staff shall seek to facilitate all reasonable requests relating to videotaping or recording activities. The Board does not intend to prevent or unreasonably impair recording; however, the purpose of the meeting is to conduct school business, and the proceedings shall not be interrupted for the purpose of accommodating any individual's camera coverage or tape recording. The presiding officer shall seek to minimize the potential for disruption and may stop the sonic or visual reproduction if the individual operating the equipment or the equipment itself is being disruptive or in any way interfering with the orderly conduct of the Board meeting.
Discussions and Limitation
Discussions shall be addressed to the Board President and then all Trustees. Discussion shall be directed solely to the business currently under deliberation, and the Board President shall halt discussion that does not apply to the business before the Board.
The Board President shall also halt discussion if the Board has agreed to a time limitation for discussion of an item, and that time limit has expired. Aside from these limitations, the Board President shall not interfere with debate so long as Trustees wish to address themselves to an item under consideration.