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H105 - School Committee Operations

Policy H105: School Committee Operations

1.     School Committee Meetings

A.    General

1)    The Superintendent is responsible for providing public notice of the time, place, and agenda of all meetings as required by State law.  An agenda shall be distributed by the Superintendent to School Committee members at least 72 hours prior to a regular or meeting.

2)    Attendance of a majority of members shall constitute a quorum.

3)    A concise and accurate record of minutes of all regular School Committee meetings shall be maintained per Robert’s Rules, and shall be available to the public.  A copy of the minutes of all regular School Committee meetings shall be provided each School Committee member.  The School Committee shall correct the minutes if necessary and declare them approved at the next regular School Committee meeting.

4)    Voting shall be by a show of hands.  Each vote or failure to vote shall be recorded in the minutes.  The Chair has the same voting right as other members.

5)    The Superintendent does not vote.

B.    Regular Meetings

Except in emergency situations, the School Committee will hold regular meetings twice each month.  

C.   Emergency Meetings

An emergency meeting is a meeting that is called because a matter is so urgent that it must be addressed immediately and notice requirements cannot reasonably be provided.  Such a meeting may be called by the Chair, Vice-Chair, or Superintendent.  When practical, 24 hour advance notice shall be provided.  The Superintendent shall notify media of meetings by the same or faster means as used to notify School Committee members.  Notice shall indicate the subject of the meeting.  No business shall be transacted except that for which the emergency meeting is called.

D.   Executive Sessions

Executive sessions of the School Committee shall be called in accordance with state law and at such time and place as required for discussion of matters permitted by statute.  Only the matters stated in the motion to enter executive session shall be considered.  The School Committee may declare an executive session during any meeting by a vote of three fifths (3/5) of members present.  A motion to go into executive session shall indicate the precise nature of the business of the executive session and shall include a citation of one or more sources of statutory or other authority that permits an executive session for that business.  No final action may be taken while in executive session, as all actions of the School Committee are required by law to be in a public meeting.

By their very nature, executive sessions are confidential.  Parties to these discussions shall respect the need for confidentiality.

E.    Workshops

The School Committee may schedule workshops and other meetings to discuss a subject or proposal or to gather input from staff, community, or other groups.  No formal action may be taken by the School Committee at any meeting other than regular, special, or emergency meetings.

2.     Agenda

A.    Agenda Preparation and Dissemination

1)    The Superintendent, in consultation with the Chair, shall prepare an agenda for each meeting of the School Committee.  School Committee members, school unit staff, groups or organizations, and members of the public may submit written requests seven days in advance of the meeting to the Chair or the Superintendent for items to be placed on the agenda. 

2)    The agenda will be distributed to School Committee members, the media, and to any designated school-affiliated organizations no later than five days prior to a regular meeting of the School Committee.  Copies of the agenda will be posted and/or available at Superintendent’s Office, the school, Hancock Town Office, and school department website.  Anyone desiring additional information regarding an agenda item should direct inquiries to the Office of the Superintendent.  Copies of the agenda will also be available at the School Committee meeting. 

B.    Additions and Adjustments to the Agenda

After the meeting has been called to order, the Superintendent or School Committee Chair may recommend additions and/or adjustments to the agenda of a regular meeting, but not to an emergency meeting. 

3.     Rules of Order

Except as otherwise provided by law, by Maine Department of Education regulations, or by School Committee policy, Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised (latest edition available) shall be used to resolve procedural uncertainties.

The Superintendent, as Secretary to the School Committee, shall function as Parliamentarian and advise the Chair and School Committee, as necessary, regarding interpretation of Robert’s Rules.  The Chair will rule on all questions pertaining to rules of order/parliamentary procedure that may arise during a meeting of the School Committee.

4.     Minutes

A.   The Superintendent, in the role of School Committee Secretary, shall maintain accurate minutes of all meetings of the School Committee.

B.    The minutes shall reflect the type of meeting (regular or emergency), the date, time, and place of the meeting, and the names of the members present.

C.    The minutes shall include, at a minimum:  the wording of motions and resolutions; the name of the School Committee member making the motion; the name of the School Committee member seconding the motion (if a second is required); the action taken; and the vote.

D.   When a School Committee member abstains from voting because of a conflict of interest as defined by law, his/her abstention and reason for doing so shall be recorded in the minutes.

E.    Minutes of a prior meeting that have not yet been approved will be distributed to all School Committee members marked ‘Draft’ prior to the meeting at which they are to be presented for approval.  Such minutes are public records and will be made available to the media upon request and may be inspected and copied by members of the public at the Office of the Superintendent. 

F.    School Committee meeting minutes shall be acted upon by the School Committee at its next regular meeting.  The School Committee’s action on the minutes will be reflected in the minutes of the meeting at which they are approved.

G.   Approved minutes shall be permanently filed in the Office of the Superintendent, where they shall be available to the public for inspection and copying during normal business hours.

5.     Finance Committees

A.    Finance Committee

1)    The Chair shall appoint two members to serve as the Finance Committee.

2)    The Finance Committee shall review each warrant presented for payment and sign the warrant if the Finance Committee approves it.  This may be done together or individually.

3)    If the Finance Committee conducts other business, both members must be present.

4)             The Superintendent shall serve as a non-voting member of the Committee.

B.    Ad Hoc Committees

The School Committee shall create ad hoc committees when the need arises.  The charge and duration will be stated at the time the committee is created.

C.   Open Meetings

All committee meetings are open to the public except as provided by the Freedom of Access Law and the Municipal Public Employees Labor Relations Law.

 

Approved:  2/11/14

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