Policy BED: Procedures for Meetings

  A. AGENDA

The Superintendent of Schools, in consultation with the Chairperson, sets the meeting agenda at least one week before a meeting is scheduled. Persons desiring to place items on the agenda should request such placement from the Superintendent or the Chairperson at least one week before the meeting. The agenda for each regular meeting will have a time allotted near the beginning of each meeting for comments or questions from Committee members or the public on matters not on the agenda. For each major agenda item, a specific time will be indicated for presentations and comments, to be followed by Committee discussion and action on the agenda item. The agenda will be mailed or delivered to members at least three days before scheduled meetings.

B. RULES OF ORDER

Meetings will be conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order as interpreted by the Chairperson.

C. OPEN SESSION

All meetings will be conducted in open session except as outlined below.

In arriving at its decisions, the Committee shall seek information and recommendations from the Superintendent (who serves as chief advisor to the Committee) and all other persons and groups it deems appropriate. These may include district employees, parent councils, student committees, municipal agencies, and sub-committees established to provide information and recommendations. Committee members may consult with individuals or groups of district employees for the purpose of receiving information and opinions. Such consultations may be public or private.

All Committee decisions on information or formal recommendations will only be made in regularly scheduled open session, except for matters appropriately made in executive session.

Names and telephone numbers of Committee members shall be posted prominently in each school. Parents shall receive this information each year. Names and telephone numbers of members of sub-committees shall also be prominently posted in each school. This information shall also be distributed to local newspapers with a request that it be published.

Committee business will be conducted with the intent of terminating meetings no later than 10:00 p.m. The Chairperson is empowered to limit discussion according to the times indicated on the agenda and to remind participants of the time restraints on any one item during the meetings. The Committee may vote to extend the indicated times on any item.

Committees, sub-committees, and task forces may include School Committee members and other citizens, appointed by the School Committee or school administrators. Such groups will conduct meetings in open session, except under the provisions of D below, at publicly announced times and places.

A summary of the open meeting law will be given to each group Chairperson, with the requirement that the Central Office announce and post the times and locations of all meetings. The existence of such groups, their membership, and specific tasks will be announced publicly at the time of appointment. The membership of each group, and the telephone numbers of its School Committee and parent representatives, will be available from the Central Office and posted in each school.


D. EXECUTIVE SESSION

Executive session may be held as allowed by Chapter 39, Sections 23A, 23B and 23C. Examples of such occasions are:


1. When matters are being discussed which affect the public reputation of one or more persons.
2. When the financial interests of district taxpayers might be adversely affected.
3. When matters are being discussed relating to collective bargaining issues.

Executive sessions, which include major items for consideration and action, will generally be scheduled at 6:30 p.m. prior to open session. Otherwise executive sessions will follow the open session.

Accurate records of the proceedings conducted in executive session will be kept and remain secret only so long as their publication would defeat the purpose of the session. The Committees will review executive session minutes for possible declassification at least once a year.

All votes taken in executive session will be recorded roll call votes and will become part of the minutes of executive session.

E. NOTICES OF MEETINGS

As required by law, a minimum of 48 hours advance notice will be given for any meeting of the School Committee. The only exception permitted is in case of emergency, which the law defines as "a sudden, generally unexpected occurrence or set of circumstances demanding immediate action."

Notification of the dates, times, and places of regular meetings will be accomplished by periodic publication of the schedule for the ensuing months. Notification of a change in a regular meeting time or place and notification of a special meeting will be filed with the town clerks at least 47 hours in advance, as required by law.

LEGAL REF:

MGL 39:23A , 39:23B , 39:23C


Region Voted to Approve: 9/14/04
Amherst Voted to Approve: 9/21/04
Pelham Voted to Approve:
Effective Date: 9/14/04 
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