1400 Meetings, Conduct, Order of Business and Quorum

  • Meeting Conduct, Order of Business, and Quorum 
    The board will schedule its meetings in compliance with the law and as deemed by the board to be in the best interests of the district and community. The board will function through (1) regular meetings, (2) special meetings, and (3) emergency meetings. 

    Regular Meetings
    Regular meetings are held at 6:00 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursday of each month in the district board room. An agenda of the business that the board will transact will be posted on the district website, or the website shared or hosted by another public agency not less than twenty-four (24) hours in advance of the published start time of the meeting. 

    If the board adjourns to times other than a regular meeting time, the board will provide notice of the meeting in the same manner as provided for special meetings. All regular meetings of the board will be held within the district boundaries. In cases of emergency, fire, flood, earthquake, or other emergency, the president may provide for a location other than that of the regular meeting, a remote meeting with no physical location, or a meeting at which physical attendance is limited.  In the instances of remote or limited in-person meetings, the District will provide real-time telephonic, electronic, internet, or other readily available means of remote access that do not require an additional cost to access the meeting.

    The district will hold remote or physical attendance limited meetings only in cases of emergency declared by federal, state or local government, or in cases of local emergency, fire, flood, earthquake or other emergency, and at such meetings will provide real-time telephonic, electronic, internet or other readily available means of remote access that do not require an additional cost to access the meeting. 

    Special Meetings
    Special meetings may be called by the president or at the request of a majority of the board members. A written notice of a special meeting, stating the time and place of the special meeting and the business to be transacted will be delivered to each board member. Written notice will also be delivered to each newspaper and radio or television station that has filed a written request for such notices. Written notice may be delivered personally, or by mail, facsimile, or email.  The notice must be posted on the district’s website or share a website with, or have its website hosted by, another public agency;

    The district must also prominently display the notice at the main entrance of the district’s headquarters as well as at the location of the meeting if the meeting is held at a location other than the headquarters and is not held as a remote meeting. During a declared emergency that prevents a meeting from being held in-person with reasonable safety, the district may post notice of a remote meeting without a physical location on the district website, or the website hosted or shared by another agency. 

    All required notices must be delivered or posted not less than twenty-four (24) hours prior to the meeting. 

    A board member waives the written notice requirement if that board member: 

    1. Submits a written waiver of notice to the board secretary at or prior to the time the meeting convenes. The waiver may be given by telegram, fax, or email; or
    2. Is actually present at the time the meeting convenes. 

    The board will not take final disposition on any matter other than those items stated in the meeting notice.  

    Emergency Meetings
    If the district calls a special meeting of the board to deal with an emergency involving injury or damage to persons or property or the likelihood of such injury or damage, when time requirements of such notice would make notice impractical and increase the likelihood of such injury or damage, or when the required notice cannot be posted or displayed with reasonable safety, including but not limited to declared emergencies in which travel to physically post notice is barred or advised against, the board may meet immediately with no prior notice.  If the district determines, by reason of fire, flood, earthquake, or other emergency, that there is a need for expedited action by the board to meet the emergency, the chair/president may provide for a meeting site other than the regular meeting site, for a remote meeting without a physical location, or for a meeting at which the physical attendance by some or all members of the public is limited due to a declared emergency. The president may provide for an emergency meeting without providing notice. 

    If, after the declaration of an emergency by a local or state government or agency, or by the federal government, the district determines that it cannot hold a board meeting with its members or with public attendance in person with reasonable safety because of the emergency, the district will either:

    1. Hold a remote meeting without a physical location, or
    2. Hold a meeting at which the physical attendance by some or all members of the public is limited due to the declared emergency. 

    Members of the board may appear at a remote meeting telephonically or by other electronic means that allows for real-time, remote communication. 

    For a remote meeting or a meeting at which the physical attendance by some or all members of the public is limited due to a declared emergency, the district must provide an option for the public to listen to the proceedings telephonically or by using a readily available alternative in real-time that does not require any additional cost for participation. Free readily available options include, but are not limited to, broadcast by the public agency on a locally available cable television station that is available throughout the jurisdiction or other electronic, internet, or other means of remote access that does not require any additional cost for access to the program. The district may also permit the other electronic means of remote access.

    The district will provide notice for remote meetings or meetings at which the physical attendance by some or all members of the public is limited due to a declared emergency according to this Policy. The notice for meetings pursuant to a declared emergency must include instructions on how the public may listen live to proceedings and how the public may access any other electronic means of remote access offered by the district.

    The district will not take final disposition on any matter during a remote meeting or a meeting at which the physical attendance by some or all members of the public is limited due to a declared emergency unless the district has provided an option for the public to listen to the proceedings, except for an executive session, pursuant to this Policy.

    Public Notice
    The board will give proper public notice for any special meeting; whenever a regular meeting is adjourned to another time. The board may provide notice for an emergency meeting in accordance with this Policy.

    All meetings will be open to the public with the exception of executive or closed sessions authorized by law.  The board will take final action resulting from executive session discussions during a meeting open to the public as required by law. 

    Individuals with disabilities who may need a modification to participate in a meeting and those who may have difficulty physically attending a meeting should contact the superintendent’s office no later than three days before a regular meeting and as soon as possible in advance of a special meeting so that accommodations can be made. 

    During the interim between meetings, the office of the superintendent, as board secretary, will be the office of the board. The district's public records will be open for inspection in the manner provided by and subject to the limitation of the law. 

    Quorum and Voting
    A quorum consists of the majority of all board members. For school board with five members, three board members constitute. A quorum is required for the transaction of business, including voting. Board members are not required to be physically present to attend a board meeting. Any or all board members may attend a board meeting and vote via any communication platform that provides real-time verbal communication without being in the same physical location with those in attendance.

    Additionally, any meeting held via a communication platform must: 1) include proper notice with any required passwords or authorization codes; 2) be known and accessible to the public; and 3) accommodate any member of the public who wishes to participate. 

    The board will take no action by secret ballot at any meeting required to be open to the public. Generally, the board votes on motions and resolutions by “voice” vote, unless a board member requests to vote by oral roll call, in which case the board will do so. A motion passes when a majority of those board members present and voting vote in favor. However, a majority vote of all board members is required to elect or select a superintendent or board officer and the board must vote on these matters by an oral roll call. The board will vote by an oral roll call whenever required by law. 

    Meeting Conduct and Order of Business
    The board will conduct all board meetings in a civil orderly, and business-like manner, the board uses Roberts Rules of Order (Revised) as a guide, except when board bylaws or policies supersede such rules. During board meetings, board members will refrain from communicating electronically (e.g., by email, text, social media) with their fellow board members.

    The board will use the agenda to establish its regular order of business. However, either the superintendent or a board member may request additions or changes to the prepared agenda, and the board may adopt a revised agenda or order of business by a majority vote of the board members present. At a special meeting, the board may take final action only on that business contained in the notice of the special meeting. 

    It is unlawful for any member of the public to knowingly carry onto, or to possess on, any area of a facility being used for official school board meetings, a dangerous weapon, including but not limited to a firearm, “nun-chu-ka sticks,” “throwing stars,” air gun or pistol, stun gun, or other dangerous weapon as listed in RCW 9.41.280. The board will ensure that signs providing notice of the restrictions on possession of firearms and other weapons are posted at facilities being used for official meetings of the board. 

    Public Attendance and Comment
    Any member of the public may attend board meetings, including individuals who do not live within district boundaries. The board will not require people to sign in, complete questionnaires, or establish other conditions for attendance.                                                                                                                         

    The board recognizes the value of public comment on educational issues and the importance of involving members of the public in its meetings. In order to permit fair and orderly expression of such public comment, with the exception of emergency situations, the board will provide a period or before every regular meeting at which final action is to take place for public comment. During public comment period, visitors may address the board on any topic within the scope of the board’s responsibility. Public comment may occur orally or through written comments submitted before the meeting. Written comments must adhere to the standards of civility discussed below and must be received 24 hours before the board meeting. All written public comments timely submitted will be distributed to each board member. 

    The board may structure the public comment period, including determining the total time allotted for public comment and equally apportioning the minutes for each speaker. The board is not obligated to provide additional public comment time to accommodate everyone in attendance who wishes to speak. Any structure the board imposes will be content neutral.

    The board may require those who wish to speak (but not all attendees) to sign in so that the board has a tally of individuals who wish to speak and can call them forward. When called forward, individuals will identifying themselves and proceed to make comments within the time limits established by the board.

    The board is not obligated to respond to questions or challenges made during the public comment period and the board’s silence will not signal agreement or endorsement of the speaker’s remarks. The board may control the time, place, and manner of public comment. The chair/president may terminate an individual's statement when the allotted time has passed and may interrupt a speaker to require the same standard of civility that the board imposes on itself. Examples of uncivil comments include comments that:

      • Are libelous or slanderous;
      • Are an unwarranted invasion of privacy;
      • Are obscene or indecent pursuant to the Federal Communications Act or any rule or regulation of the Federal Communications Commission;
      • Violate school district policy or procedure related to harassment, intimidation, bullying, or discrimination;
      • Incite an unlawful act on school premises or violate a lawful school regulation; or
      • Create a material and substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the board meeting

    The board as a whole has the final decision in determining the appropriateness of all such rulings and can maintain order by removing those who are disruptive. However, the board recognizes the distinction between uncivil discourse, which it will not tolerate, and comments about the board, district, and/or staff that are negative yet still civil in nature, The board will exercise its authority to maintain order in a content-neutral manner.

    In addition to the public comment period at the beginning of the meeting, the board may identify the agenda items that require or would benefit from opportunity for public comment and provide those opportunities as part of the meeting agenda before taking final action. Individuals or groups who wish to present to the board on an agenda item are encouraged to request and schedule such presentations in advance. Opportunity for public comment—both oral and written—is required before the board adopts or amends a policy that is not expressly or by implication authorized under state or federal law, but which will promote the education of K-12 students, or will promote the effective, efficient, or safe management and operation of the district. Additionally, the board will provide an opportunity for a representative of a firm eligible to bid on materials or services solicited by the board to present about his or her firm. 

    Cross Reference:   

    Board Policy 1220         Board Officers and Duties of Board Members
    Board Policy 1410         Executive or Closed Sessions
    Board Policy 1420         Proposed Agenda and Consent Agenda 

    Legal References: 
    RCW 28A.330.020         Certain board elections, manner and vote required – Selection of personnel, manner
    RCW 28A.320.040         Bylaws for board and school government
    RCW 28A.330.070         Office of board – Records available for public inspection
    RCW 28A.343.370         Directors – Vacancies
    RCW 28A.343.380         Directors – Meetings
    RCW 28A.343.390         Directors – Quorum – Failure to attend meetings
    RCW 42.30.030            Meetings declared open and public
    RCW 42.30.050            Interruptions – Procedure
    RCW 42.30.060            Ordinances, rules, resolutions, regulations, etc., adopted at public meetings – Notice – Secret voting prohibited
    RCW 42.30.070            Time and places for meetings – Emergencies – Exception
    RCW 42.30.080            Special meetings
    RCW 9.41.280               Possessing dangerous weapons on school facilities – Penalty - Exceptions
    42 U.S.C. §§ 12101-12213         Americans with Disabilities Act 

    Management Resources:  

    Policy News, June 2005         Special Meeting Notice Requirement
    Policy News, June 2012         Special Meetings Requirements
    Policy News, April 2013         Meeting conduct policy revised
    Policy & Legal News              June 2014; August 2018; June 2022   

    ADOPTED: 02/25/93
    REVISED: 08/28/97; 04/27/00; 09/22/05; 09/27/12; 02/28/13; 07/25/13; 08/28/14; 08/23/18; 01/14/21, 2/23/2023

    1400P

    Meeting Conduct, Order of Business and Quorum
    The district must advertise all meetings, including study sessions and retreats, as meetings that are open to the public. If a board wishes to devote all or most of a special meeting to an issue(s) to be dis­cussed in executive session (Policy 1410), the special meeting should be called to order and recessed to an executive session. The purpose of the executive session should be announced at the meeting and recorded in the minutes (e.g., real estate matters, litigation).

    All regular meetings must be held within the district boundaries. Special meetings may be held outside the district with proper notice of the time and location.

    It is unlawful for any member of the public to knowingly carry onto, or to possess on, any area of a facility being used for official school board meetings, a dangerous weapon, including but not limited to a firearm, “nun-chu-ka sticks,” “throwing stars,” air gun or pistol, stun gun, or other dangerous weapon as listed in RCW 9.41.280. The board must ensure that signs providing notice of the restrictions on possession of firearms and other weapons are posted at facilities being used for official meetings of the board. 

    Meeting Notices
    All public notices of board meetings should inform persons with disabilities and those individuals who may have difficulty physically attending a board meeting that they may contact the superintendent’s office, so that the district can arrange for them to participate in board meetings. A regular meeting does not require a public notice if held at the time and place provided by board policy. If the board does not meet at its regular location, the meeting should be treated as a special meeting with proper notice to the press stating the time, place and purpose of the meeting.

    For special meetings, a district is required to notify those newspapers and radio and television stations that have filed a request for such notification. The districts must also provide written notice and a printed or electronic copy of the agenda to each school director 24 hours prior to the meeting.  Notice to a director is deemed waived if the director files a written notice of waiver with the board secretary before or at the time of the commencement of the meeting or by the director’s actual attendance at the meeting.

    The district must also post notice of the meeting on the district’s website, the door of the main district offices, and the door at the location of the meeting if it is different than the district’s offices.

    At a special meeting, the board may discuss items that were not on the original agenda, but the board cannot take final action on any topics that were not identified on the original agenda. If the board is to discuss an item in executive session in accordance with Policy 1410, the item of business must also appear on the agenda if final action is to be taken following the executive session.

    No meeting notice is required when the board is acting as a quasi-judicial body in a matter between named parties, e.g., hearing on discharge, nonrenewal or discipline of an employee, unless the employee requests a public meeting; hearing regarding suspension or expulsion of a student or for the purpose of planning or adopting strategy or positions to be taken in collective bargaining, grievance or mediation proceedings, or reviewing such proposals made by a bargaining unit.

    Meeting Recess and Continuation
    The board may recess a regular, special, or recessed meeting to a specific future time. The district must post notice of such a recess and continuation at or near the door of the meeting room. Notification to the press is not required.

    ADOPTED:  5/17/90
    REVISED: 02/25/93; 09/27/12; 08/28/14; 01/14/21, 2/23/2023