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SCHOOL LAW FOR ADMINISTRATORS 2013 BOARD MEETING MANAGEMENT David Goin, Superintendent Edmond Public Schools September 24, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "SCHOOL LAW FOR ADMINISTRATORS 2013 BOARD MEETING MANAGEMENT David Goin, Superintendent Edmond Public Schools September 24, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 SCHOOL LAW FOR ADMINISTRATORS 2013 BOARD MEETING MANAGEMENT David Goin, Superintendent Edmond Public Schools September 24, 2013

2 SIGNIFICANCE OF BOARD MEETINGS Board meetings are the time and place where school boards act. In fact, only when coming together as a body in a legal meeting do school board members become a board. Effective board meetings are the first prerequisite for an effective board.

3 FUNCTIONS OF BOARDS “…a body corporate and shall possess the usual powers of a corporation for public purposes…” -Contracting and being contracted -Holding real and personal estate -Policy governance -Legal matters

4 Oklahoma Accreditation Standards Provide the following: Individual board members shall not engage in transactions for the school or the district without prior and specific authorization of the entire board Prior to each local board meeting, the superintendent, in cooperation with the board, shall prepare an agenda for the meeting which is in compliance with the Oklahoma Open Meeting Act. Copies of the agenda shall be available to the public.

5 Oklahoma Accreditation Standards Provide the following: Local board meetings shall be open to the public, except for executive sessions which shall be limited to topics prescribed by statute. The local board shall transact official business with professional staff members and other school employees only through the superintendent. The board shall adopt procedures which permit hearing viewpoints of the staff, students, and community during board meetings.

6 OKLAHOMA OPEN MEETING ACT Ref: OSSBA School Law Book: Sections This act defines parameters within which meetings of school boards are to be scheduled, publicized and conducted

7 DEFINED BOARD MEETINGS “Regular” (routine business meetings) Written notice of future year’s regular meetings is to be provided by Dec 15 of current year; to include date, time and location Any change to be communicated not fewer than 10 days prior to implementation of such change Agenda posted at least 24 hours prior to meeting “Special” (any meeting other than regular or emergency) Requires at least 48 hours notice prior to the meeting Agenda posted at least 24 hours prior to the meeting “Emergency” (Due to injury, damage and/or financial loss; normal public notice requirements would be impractical, i.e., increase potential and/or additional loss) May be held without public notice (but board is to give as much advance public notice as is reasonable and possible)

8 DEFINED BOARD MEETINGS “Regular” (routine business meetings) Written notice of future year’s regular meetings is to be provided by Dec 15 of current year; to include date, time and location Any change to be communicated not fewer than 10 days prior to implementation of such change Agenda posted at least 24 hours prior to meeting “Emergency” (Due to injury, damage and/or financial loss; normal public notice requirements would be impractical, i.e., increase potential and/or additional loss) May be held without public notice (but board is to give as much advance public notice as is reasonable and possible) “Special” (any meeting other than regular or emergency) Requires at least 48 hours notice prior to the meeting Agenda posted at least 24 hours prior to the meeting

9 DEFINED BOARD MEETINGS “Regular” (routine business meetings) Written notice of future year’s regular meetings is to be provided by Dec 15 of current year; to include date, time and location Any change to be communicated not fewer than 10 days prior to implementation of such change Agenda posted at least 24 hours prior to meeting “Emergency” (Due to injury, damage and/or financial loss; normal public notice requirements would be impractical, i.e., increase potential and/or additional loss) May be held without public notice (but board is to give as much advance public notice as is reasonable and possible) “Special” (any meeting other than regular or emergency) Requires at least 48 hours notice prior to the meeting Agenda posted at least 24 hours prior to the meeting

10 TYPICAL ELEMENTS OF “REGULAR” BOARD MEETING AGENDA Routine items – Call to order – Vote to approve agenda Recognitions Public Participation Reports Action Agenda Consent Agenda Executive Session and follow-up open session vote on supporting action items Provision for “new business”

11 TYPICAL ELEMENTS OF “REGULAR” BOARD MEETING AGENDA Routine items – Call to order – Vote to approve agenda Recognitions Public Participation Reports Action Agenda Consent Agenda Executive Session and follow-up open session vote on supporting action items Provision for “new business”

12 TYPICAL ELEMENTS OF “REGULAR” BOARD MEETING AGENDA Routine items – Call to order – Vote to approve agenda Recognitions Public Participation Reports Action Agenda Consent Agenda Executive Session and follow-up open session vote on supporting action items Provision for “new business”

13 TYPICAL ELEMENTS OF “REGULAR” BOARD MEETING AGENDA Routine items – Call to order – Vote to approve agenda Recognitions Public Participation Reports Action Agenda Consent Agenda Executive Session and follow-up open session vote on supporting action items Provision for “new business”

14 TYPICAL ELEMENTS OF “REGULAR” BOARD MEETING AGENDA Routine items – Call to order – Vote to approve agenda Recognitions Public Participation Reports Action Agenda Consent Agenda Executive Session and follow-up open session vote on supporting action items Provision for “new business”

15 TYPICAL ELEMENTS OF “REGULAR” BOARD MEETING AGENDA Routine items – Call to order – Vote to approve agenda Recognitions Public Participation Reports Action Agenda Consent Agenda Executive Session and follow-up open session vote on supporting action items Provision for “new business”

16 TYPICAL ELEMENTS OF “REGULAR” BOARD MEETING AGENDA Routine items – Call to order – Vote to approve agenda Recognitions Public Participation Reports Action Agenda Consent Agenda Executive Session and follow-up open session vote on supporting action items Provision for “new business”

17 TYPICAL ELEMENTS OF “REGULAR” BOARD MEETING AGENDA Routine items – Call to order – Vote to approve agenda Recognitions Public Participation Reports Action Agenda Consent Agenda Executive Session and follow-up open session vote on supporting action items Provision for “new business”

18 EXECUTIVE SESSION Legal Framework Please refer as needed to Open Meeting Law references to Executive Session: Oklahoma School Law Book Section 528 The section begins…“No public body shall hold executive sessions unless otherwise specifically provided in this section…”

19 EXECUTIVE SESSION Defined Purposes: To DISCUSS… Employment issues (hiring, appointment, promotion, demotion, disciplining or resignation) Negotiations Purchase or appraisal of real property With the board’s attorney, issues wherein “disclosure will seriously impair the ability of the public body to process the claim or conduct pending investigation, litigation, or proceeding in the public interest.”

20 EXECUTIVE SESSION Purposes, cont’d: To DISCUSS… And hear evidence related to the expulsion or suspension of a student Matters involving a specific handicapped child Any matter where disclosure would violate confidentiality requirements of law And deliberate or render a final or intermediate decision in an individual proceeding Matters involving terrorism-related incidents or plans, or deterrence, prevention of or protection from such acts, etc.

21 EXECUTIVE SESSION Other legal items of note… Appraisal or discussion of possible purchase of property is “limited to members of the public body, the attorney for the public body, and the immediate staff of the public body.” Specific exclusions identified… Executive sessions, with specific notation of topics, are to be included within published agendas Executive session is followed by a statement of minutes upon re-entry into regular session

22 EXECUTIVE SESSION Other legal items of note… Appraisal or discussion of possible purchase of property is “limited to members of the public body, the attorney for the public body, and the immediate staff of the public body.” Specific exclusions identified… Executive sessions, with specific notation of topics, are to be included within published agendas Executive session is followed by a statement of minutes upon re-entry into regular session

23 EXECUTIVE SESSION Other legal items of note… Appraisal or discussion of possible purchase of property is “limited to members of the public body, the attorney for the public body, and the immediate staff of the public body.” Specific exclusions identified… Executive sessions, with specific notation of topics, are to be included within published agendas Executive session is followed by a statement of minutes upon re-entry into regular session

24 EXECUTIVE SESSION Other legal items of note, cont’d.… Any vote involving executive session topics must be made in public meeting—not in executive session Willful violation of provisions shall subject each member of the public body to criminal sanctions

25 EXECUTIVE SESSION Other legal items of note, cont’d.… Any vote involving executive session topics must be made in public meeting—not in executive session Willful violation of provisions shall subject each member of the public body to criminal sanctions

26 TYPICAL ELEMENTS OF “REGULAR” BOARD MEETING AGENDA Routine items – Call to order – Vote to approve agenda Recognitions Public Participation Reports Action Agenda Consent Agenda Executive Session and follow-up open session vote on supporting action items Provision for “new business”

27 PREPARATION FOR THE MEETING General considerations Does the meeting space facilitate the board’s needs? Does public seating space allow the board’s business to be conducted openly to the public? Does the board have written policies for public participation? Does the facility include appropriate spaces for media access? Has notice of meeting been timely filed with the County Clerk? Has agenda been timely posted?

28 PREPARATION FOR THE MEETING Identification of Topics Prior Year Agenda for same month Past month’s agenda hold-over or follow-up action/s Current issues Regular business Policy needs: Development/revision/deletion Actions related to annual goals Contributors: Board clerk, staff, board officers and possibly members, community

29 PREPARATION FOR THE MEETING Superintendent/Staff Some items require notice to and input from board members months in advance Staff and board clerk work with superintendent to develop the next agenda immediately after the current month’s meeting: – Content – Timing of items’ placement – Anticipation of issues, questions that might arise – Ensuring provision of information to board members – Identification of item “ownership”

30 PREPARATION FOR THE MEETING Superintendent & Board President Planning President is “first among equals” and vital to superintendent’s success in structuring agendas President must have a solid understanding of issues President can often identify potential “land mines” within topics Regular communications with president can ensure: – New items of a complex nature are not placed on an agenda prematurely – Agenda is structured to permit appropriate time allocation of topics at a given meeting – Action and consent items are properly established

31 PREPARATION FOR THE MEETING Superintendent Role prior to meeting Rule #1: AVOID SURPRISING THE BOARD! Rule #2: Respect and appreciate that board members provide a “citizen’s perspective” that is embedded within the history and governance structure of public schools

32 PREPARATION FOR THE MEETING Superintendent Role prior to meeting Communicate with board members early and as often as necessary to build knowledge and understanding of issues and to prepare them to make informed decisions. – Electronic “Board Update” packet – Telephone calls (first to officers) – Meet with members individually or “2 x 2” Encourage two-way communication, i.e., to elicit from board members their questions, concerns and to ascertain preferred direction

33 GENERAL OPERATIONAL GUIDELINES During the Meeting Any changes are set by the board as it adopts agendas Board president truly “runs” the meetings, controlling length in a timely fashion The board guards against consuming meetings with administrative details; energy is used for important governance issues; policy making, planning and promotion

34 DECISION-MAKING During the Meeting When issues arise during meetings, they are thoroughly explored until everyone understands the concerns Decisions are made with full discussion and deliberation so that all members have attention paid to their point of view Board attempts to arrive at decisions that express consensus before formalized votes are taken Once a decision is made, it is clear who should carry it out and when

35 BOARD MEMBER PARTICIPATION During the Meeting Members strive to work together as a Board and avoid negative “political” practices such as alliances, trade-offs, etc. All board members are involved and give attention to business being discussed Comments and questions are focused upon agenda items under discussion President makes certain all members have equal opportunity to present their views

36 SIGNIFICANCE OF STRUCTURE AND OPERATION OF BOARD MEETINGS Everything matters: Configuration of the meeting space Structure and content of the Agenda Adherence to Legal Protocols Length of meeting Decorum of all involved and present Quality of Involvement Quality of Decisions Made

37 THE BOTTOM LINE IS… Effective board meetings require Clear intent, Good will, Teamwork and Careful Planning. THE BENEFITS ARE WELL WORTH THE EFFORT!


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