School City of East Chicago
Bylaws & Policies



Parliamentary Authority


The parliamentary authority governing the School Board shall be Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised in all cases in which it is not inconsistent with statute, administrative code, or these bylaws.





Three (3) members present at a meeting shall constitute a quorum, and no business shall be conducted in the absence of a quorum.



Presiding Officer


The President shall preside at all meetings of the Board. In the absence, disability, or disqualification of the President, the Vice-President shall act in his/her stead; if neither person is available, any member shall be designated by a plurality of those present to preside. The act of any person so designated shall be legal and binding.






Regular Meetings


The Board shall hold a meeting on a date and at a time and place determined monthly by a resolution of the Board.


In the event the date, time, or place of a meeting needs to be changed, which change is in the best interest of the Board and/or the Corporation, such change may be made by action of the Board, provided that the proper notice is given.



Special Meetings


Special meetings of the Board may be called by the President or the Superintendent provided there is compliance with the notice provision of these Bylaws.



Emergency Meetings


In the event of a severe and imminent threat to the health, safety, or welfare of the Corporation, its employees, or students, any member of the Board, or the Superintendent may call an emergency session if it can be shown that delay would be detrimental to efforts to lessen or respond to the threat. No formal notice to Board members of any emergency meeting shall be required, but the press and public shall be notified.


I.C. 20-26-4-3, 5-14-1.5






Regular Meetings


The Board shall cause to be posted at the Corporation's Administrative Building, and in such other places as it may direct, a notice listing the date, time, and place of each regularly-scheduled meeting of the Board. The notice shall also contain the name and address of the Corporation and its telephone number.


The notice shall also contain the following:


"The meeting site is fully-accessible. Any person requiring further accommodation should contact the Superintendent at the School Corporation's central office."


Upon the written request of an individual, organization, firm, or corporation, and upon the requesting party's payment of a yearly fee of not more than the estimated reasonable cost for printing and postage of each notice as shall be determined annually by the Board, the Corporation shall send to the requesting party by first class mail a copy of any notice required by the Bylaws. The news media shall be entitled to receive, at their request, copies of such notices free of charge.



Change of Regular Meetings


After the Board adopts a resolution changing the date, time, or place of a regularly scheduled meeting and forty-eight (48) hours, excluding weekends and holidays, prior to the date of such meeting, the meeting notice shall state the date, time, and place of the rescheduled meeting, as well as the name, address, and telephone number of the Corporation.



Special Meetings


A notice of any special meeting shall be posted at least forty-eight (48) hours, excluding weekends and/or legal holidays before said special meeting at the Administrative Office Building and such other places as the Board may determine.


Said notice shall state the date, time, and place of such special meeting and the business to be transacted thereat, as well as the name, address, and telephone number of the Corporation. A copy of said notice shall be served upon each member of the Board at least seventy-two (72) hours before said meeting by delivering the notice to the member personally or sent by mail or telegram.


I.C. 20-26-4-3





Public notice of the date, time, and place of any rescheduled or reconvened meeting shall be given at least forty-eight (48) hours before the meeting. This requirement does not apply to reconvened meetings where announcement of the date, time, and place of the reconvened meeting is made at the original meeting and recorded in the minutes thereof, and there is no change in the agenda.


I.C. 5-14-1.5-5


Series of Meetings (Gatherings)


Members of the Board may not participate in a series of meetings (gatherings) if the series consists of at least two (2) gatherings and the series of gatherings meets all of the following criteria:



one (1) of the gatherings is attended by at least three (3) Board members but less than a quorum and the other gathering includes at least two (2) Board members



the sum of the number of different members attending any of the gatherings at least equals a quorum of the Board



all gatherings concern the same subject matter and are held within a period of not more than seven (7) consecutive days



the gatherings are held to take official action on public business


A Board member attends a gathering if the member is present at the gathering in person or if the member participates in the gathering by telephone or other electronic means, excluding electronic mail.


I.C. 5-14-1.5-3.1



Waiver of Notice


If notice of a meeting is required and each member of the Board has waived notice of the meeting, notice of the meeting to members of the Board is not required. Waiver of notice of a meeting by a Board member is provided by:



the presence of the Board member at the meeting; or



The execution of a written notice by the Board member waiving the necessity of notice. The waiver may be executed before or after the meeting. If the waiver is executed after the meeting, the waiver must state the purpose of the meeting in general terms.


I.C. 20-26-4-3





The Superintendent shall prepare and submit to each Board member a written agenda prior to each regular meeting and each special meeting, unless otherwise directed by the Board. The agenda shall list the various matters to come before the Board and shall serve as a guide for the order of procedure for the meeting.


Each agenda shall contain the following statement:


"This meeting is a meeting of the School Board in public for the purpose of conducting the School Corporation's business and is not to be considered a public community meeting. There will be time for public participation as indicated by the agenda."


The agenda of the regular meeting and/or special meetings may be accompanied by a report from the Superintendent on information relating to the Corporation with such recommendations as s/he shall make.


The agenda of each regular meeting shall be mailed or delivered to each Board member so as to provide proper time for the member to study the agenda. Generally the agenda should be mailed no later than three (3) days prior to the meeting, or delivered so as to provide time for the member to study the agenda. The agenda for a special meeting shall be delivered at least three (3) days before the meeting, consistent with the provisions calling for the special meeting.


Prior to the meeting, a copy of the agenda shall be posted at the entrance to the meeting location.


The Board shall transact business according to the agenda prepared by the Superintendent and submitted to all Board members in advance of the meeting. The order of business may be altered and items added at any meeting by a majority vote of the members present.


I.C. 5-14-1.5-4



Consent Agenda


The School Board may use a consent agenda to keep routine matters within a reasonable time frame.


The following routine business items may be included in a single resolution for consideration by the Board.



minutes of prior meetings



bills for payment



hiring of personnel



resolutions that require annual adoption, such as bank signatories, Indiana High School Athletic Association membership, etc.



resignations and leaves


A member of the Board may request any item to be removed from the consent resolution and defer it for a specific action and more discussion. No vote of the Board will be required to remove an item from the consent agenda. A single member's request shall cause it to be relocated as an action item eligible for discussion. Any item on the consent agenda may be removed and discussed as a nonaction item or be deferred for further study and discussion at a subsequent Board meeting if the Superintendent or any Board member thinks the item requires further discussion.








All regular and those special meetings of the Board at which the Board is authorized to take official action shall be conducted in compliance with the Indiana Open Door Law (I.C. 5-14-1.5). Except with respect to the approval or modification of a contract, no action shall be valid unless approved at a public meeting of the Board by a majority vote of a quorum of the Board and a proper record made of the vote. Board action to approve or modify a contract shall require an affirmative vote of a majority of all members of the Board. A Board member must be physically present in order to cast a valid vote.


A Board member who is not physically present at a meeting of the Board, but who communicates with members of the Board during the meeting by telephone, computer, videoconferencing, or any other electronic means of communication that permits the member to hear and be heard by the Board members and public present at the meeting, may participate in any Board discussion, but may not participate in a vote taken at the meeting and may not be considered to be present at the meeting for purposes of the existence of a quorum.


The minutes of a meeting must state each member who was physically present, each member who participated by using electronic means of communication, and each member who was absent.


Abstentions shall not be counted as votes, but shall be recorded in the minutes of a meeting and are deemed to acquiesce in the outcome of the vote. In situations in which a specific number of affirmative votes are required and abstentions have been recorded, the motion shall fail if the specified number of affirmative votes have not been cast. In the case of a tie vote in which a member abstains, the motion shall fail for lack of a majority.


All actions requiring a vote may be conducted by voice, show of hands, or roll call provided that the vote of each member be recorded. Proxy voting shall not be permitted. Any member may request that the Board be polled.


I.C. 5-14-1.5
I.C. 20-26-4-8



Executive Session


The Board may meet in an executive session, one closed to the public after giving proper notice, for the following purposes:



where authorized by Federal or State statute



discussion of strategy with respect to collective bargaining, initiation of litigation, litigation which is pending or has been threatened in writing, implementation of security systems, purchase or lease of real property, providing the strategy is for bargaining or competitive reasons



for discussion of the assessment, design, and/or implementation of school safety and security measures, plans, and systems



to receive information about, and interview, prospective employees



with respect to any individual over whom the Board has jurisdiction, receive information concerning the individual's alleged misconduct, and to discuss, prior to determination, that individual's status as an employee, student, or independent contractor who is a physician or a school bus driver



discussion of records classified as confidential by Federal or State statute



discussion, before any placement decision, of an individual student's abilities, past performance, behavior, and needs



discussion of an employee's job performance evaluation



when considering the appointment of a public official, to develop a list of prospective appointees, to consider applications and make one (1) initial exclusion of prospective appointees from further consideration



training of Board members by an outside consultant on performance of their role as public officials and/or discussion with or between county officials, Board members, and an outside consultant concerning the performance of Board members


In keeping with the confidential nature of executive sessions, no member of the Board shall disclose the content of discussions that take place during such sessions.


I.C. 5-14-1.5-5/6, 5-14-1.5-6.1



Public Participation at Board Meetings


The School Board recognizes the value of public comment on educational issues and the importance of allowing members of the public to express themselves on Corporation matters.


Any person or group wishing to place an item on the agenda shall register their intent with the Superintendent no later than ten (10) days prior to the meeting and include:



name and address of the participant;



group affiliation, if and when appropriate;



topic to be addressed.


Such requests shall be approved by the Superintendent and the Board President.


To permit fair and orderly public expression, the Board may provide a period for public participation at every regular meeting of the Board and publish procedures to govern such participation in Board meetings.


The presiding officer of each Board meeting at which public participation is permitted shall administer the procedures of the Board for its conduct.


The presiding officer shall be guided by the following rules:



Public participation shall be permitted as indicated on the order of business.



Each statement made by a participant shall be limited to three (3) minutes duration.



No participant may speak more than once on the same topic unless all others who wish to speak on that topic have been heard.



All statements shall be directed to the presiding officer; no person may address or question Board members individually.



The presiding officer may:



prohibit public comments which are frivolous repetitive, or harassing;



interrupt, warn, or terminate a person's statement when the statement is too lengthy, personally directed, abusive, obscene, or irrelevant;



request any individual to leave the meeting when that person behaves in a manner that is disruptive of the orderly conduct of the meeting;



request the assistance of law enforcement officers in the removal of a disorderly person when that person's conduct interferes with the orderly progress of the meeting;



call for a recess or an adjournment to another time when the lack of public decorum so interferes with the orderly conduct of the meeting as to warrant such action.


I.C. 5-14-1.5-1





The Board may at any time recess or adjourn to an adjourned meeting at a time, date, and place announced before the adjournment takes place. The adjourned meeting shall take up its business at the point in the agenda where the motion to adjourn was acted upon. However, a meeting may not be recessed or adjourned for the purpose of conducting an executive session.



Use of School Corporation Electronic Mail by Board Members


Each Board member shall have the option to be assigned a School Corporation e-mail address for their use in communicating about School Corporation business. A School Corporation e-mail account shall not be used in a manner which suggests Board or school corporation endorsement of the content of the message and may not be used to communicate concerning a campaign for partisan or School Corporation office.


Board members may include their School Corporation e-mail address in communications with the public about matters of School Corporation business but shall not be used to support a campaign for election/re-election to the Board.


A list of students, employees, parents, voters, or persons expressing interest in favor or in opposition to any action by the Board shall not be passed on to a non-school user or used for commercial or campaign purposes. As used in this bylaw, "campaign purposes" includes messages in support of or opposition to a school referendum.


If a Board member sends an e-mail message to a School Corporation employee, the Superintendent shall be sent a copy of the message at the time the original message is sent.


E-mail messages to and from Board members using their School Corporation e-mail account are subject to production in response to an Indiana Access to Public Records Act ("APRA") request and each e-mail message from a Board member using their School Corporation account shall include a warning that messages to and from Board members using a School Corporation e-mail address shall be subject to production in response to a request under that Act.


Information about a specific identified or identifiable student such as information concerning an appeal of an expulsion may be sent in or attached to a message to Board members.






Open Meeting


The Board shall designate a person to keep minutes of each meeting showing the date, time, place, any decisions made at a meeting open to the public, and the purpose or purposes for which a closed session is called. The minutes shall also state the name of each member who was physically present at the meeting, was not present at the meeting but participated by using a form of communication described in Bylaw 0167.1, or was absent. These minutes must be approved by the Board and endorsed by the Secretary at the next meeting. The minutes shall include all votes taken at the meeting. Proposed minutes shall be available for public inspection within a reasonable period of time after the meeting to which the minutes refer. Approved minutes shall be available for public inspection not later than five (5) business days after the meeting at which the minutes are approved. The minutes shall be available for inspection at the Superintendent's office and shall be available for purchase at a fee estimated by the business office to cover the cost of printing and copying.


The official minutes shall be bound together by years and kept in the office of the School Board.


Minutes of the preceding meetings shall be approved by the Board as its first order of business at regular meetings.


The minutes shall show the general substance of all matters proposed, discussed, or decided and a record of all votes taken, by individual, if there is a roll call.


I.C. 5-14-1.5-4



Executive Session


The minutes of an executive session shall show the date, time, and place of the session; the members either present or absent; and the identification of the subject matter considered by specific reference to the enumerated instance(s) for which public notice was given. The Board shall certify in the minutes that it discussed no subject matter in the executive session other than the subject matter specified in the public notice.

© Neola 2011