Morgan County Schools
Bylaws & Policies
 

0160 - MEETINGS

0161

Parliamentary Authority

   
 

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

   

0162

Quorum

   
 

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

   

0163

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 instead; 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.

   

0164

Notice of Meetings

     
 

A.

The Board shall set rules by which the date, time, place, and agenda of all regular and special meetings shall be made available in advance to the public and news media except in the event of an emergency requiring immediate official action. A Board which holds two (2) or fewer regular meetings per month must give the public and the news media at least:

     
 

1.

three daysí advance notice of the date, time, place, and agenda of each regular meeting;

     
 

2.

two (2) daysí advance notice of any amendments to that agenda (assuming that the amendments are otherwise lawful), and

     
 

3.

two (2) daysí advance notice of the date, time, place, and purpose of all special meetings.

   
 

A Board which meets more frequently than twice per month is subject to exactly the same standards except that, as to each regular meeting, it only must give at least two daysí advance notice of the date, time, place, and agenda.

   
 

In calculating days for purposes of all the notices, omit Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, and do not count the day of the meeting. An example from the West Virginia Ethics Committee itself: in order to give the minimum two (2) daysí notice of a special meeting that will be held on Monday, the notice must be posted not later than the close of business on Thursday.

   
 

Emergencies: Where an emergency "requiring immediate official action" necessitates a meeting and the minimum notice standards are not met, the agenda and the minutes must explain why an emergency necessitated such immediate official action.

   
 

6-9A-3, Code of West Virginia. West Virginia Ethics Commission Opinion.

   

0165.1

Regular Meetings

   
 

Regular meetings of the Board shall be public and held the first and third Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m.

     
 

A.

It shall be the responsibility of the Superintendent, in cooperation with the Board President, to prepare an agenda of the items of business to come before the Board at each regular meeting.

     
 

B.

Notice of meetings shall be sent to:

     
 

1.

Morgan Messenger;

     
 

2.

Herald Mail;

     
 

3.

Martinsburg Journal;

     
 

4.

County and school administrators and secretaries;

     
 

5.

Professional and service organization presidents;

     
 

6.

Faculty Senate chairs.

     
   

The notice shall also be posted to the County Website and the official designated location at the Board Office.

     
 

C.

The Superintendent shall notify all Board members of each Board meeting consistent with the notice provision set out above. Such notice shall include the date, time, place, and agenda of the meeting.

     
 

D.

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.

     
 

E.

Consent Agenda

     
   

The Board shall 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:

     
 

1.

minutes of prior meetings

   
 

2.

bills for payment

     
 

3.

resolutions that require annual adoption

     
 

4.

budget adjustments

     
 

5.

student transfers

     
 

6.

chaperone lists

     
   

A member of the Board may request any item be removed from the consent resolution. 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.

   

0165.2

Special Meetings

   
 

Special meetings of the Board shall be public W.Va. 6-9A-3.

     
 

A.

Special meetings shall be called by the President or by any three (3) members of the Board. The notice of the date, time, place, agenda and reason for the special meeting shall be made available to the public and media W.Va. 18-5-4(b).

     
 

B.

Only such business as is designated in the call for the special meeting shall be transacted.

   

0165.3

Recess

   
 

The Board may adjourn or recess at any time. The adjourned meeting, when reconvened, shall take up its agenda at the point where the motion to adjourn or recess was acted upon.

   

0166

Executive Session

   
 

The Board reserves the right to meet privately in executive session upon a majority affirmative vote of the members present solely to discuss one (1) or more of the following issues exempted from public sessions:

     
 

A.

to consider acts of war, threatened attack from a foreign power, civil insurrection or riot

     
 

B.

to consider:

     
 

1.

matters arising from the appointment, employment, retirement, promotion, transfer, demotion, disciplining, resignation, discharge, dismissal, or compensation of a public officer or employee, or prospective public officer or employee unless the public officer or employee or prospective public officer or employee requests and open meeting or

     
 

2.

for the purpose of conducting a hearing on a complaint, charge or grievance against a public officer or employee, unless the public officer or employee requests an open hearing

     
   

General personnel policy issues may not be discussed or considered in a closed meeting. Final action by a public agency having authority for the appointment, employment, retirement, promotion, transfer, demotion, disciplining, resignation, discharge, dismissal, or compensation of an individual shall be taken in an open meeting.

     
 

C.

to decide upon disciplining, suspension, or expulsion of any student in any public school or public college or university, unless the student requests an open meeting

     
 

D.

to issue, effect, deny, suspend or revoke, a license, certificate or resignation under the laws of the State or any political subdivision, unless the person seeking the license, certificate or registration or whose license, certificate or registration was denied, suspended or revoked requests an open meeting

     
 

E.

to consider the physical or mental health of any person unless the person requests an open meeting

     
 

F.

to discuss any material the disclosure of which would constitute an unwanted invasion of an individualís privacy such as any records, data, reports, recommendations or other personal material of any educational, training, social service, rehabilitation, welfare, housing, relocation, insurance and similar program or institution operated by a public agency pertaining to any specific individual admitted to or served by the institution or program, the individualís personal and family circumstances

     
 

G.

to plan or consider an official investigation or matter relating to crime prevention or law enforcement

     
 

H.

to develop security personnel or devices

     
 

I.

to consider matters involving or affecting the purchase, sale or lease of property, advanced construction planning, the investment of public funds or other matters involving commercial competition, which if made public, might adversely affect the financial or other interest of the State or any political subdivision:

     
 

1.

provided, that information relied on during the course of deliberations on matters involving commercial competition are exempt from disclosure under the open meeting requirements of this article only until the commercial competition has been finalized and completed

     
 

2.

provided, however, that information not subject to release pursuant to the West Virginia freedom of information act does not become subject to disclosure as a result of executive session

     
 

J.

to avoid the premature disclosure of an honorary degree, scholarship, prize or similar award

     
 

K.

nothing in this article permits a public agency to close a meeting that otherwise would be open, merely because an agency attorney is a participant

     
   

If the public agency has approved or considered a settlement in closed session, and the terms of the settlement allow disclosure, the terms of that settlement shall be reported by the public agency and entered into its minutes within a reasonable time after the settlement is concluded.

     
 

L.

to discuss any matter which, by express provision of Federal law or State statute or rule of court is rendered confidential, or which is not considered a public record within the meaning of the freedom of information act

   
 

No official action or vote may be taken in executive session W.Va. 6-9A-4(a).

   
 

Executive sessions may be held during regular, special or emergency meetings. After the meeting is convened, any member may make a motion for an executive session, stating therewith the purpose of the session by citing one (1) or more of the reasons set forth above. Upon receiving a second to the motion and a majority vote of those present and voting, the chairperson shall declare the Board in executive session and specifically state the reason and cite one (1) of the reasons set forth above.

   
 

No member of the Board may knowingly and improperly disclose any confidential information acquired in the course of his/her official duties.

   

0167

Voting

   
 

All motions shall require for adoption a majority vote of those present and voting.

   
 

All actions requiring a vote can be conducted by voice vote or show of hands, unless a roll-call vote is requested or required. A Board member may be at the meeting location in person, by telephone conference or electronically in order to participate and vote. Each vote and abstention shall be recorded. Proxy voting is prohibited.

   

0167.1

Use of Electronic Mail

   
 

Since E-mail is a form of communication that could conflict with the Sunshine Law, it will be used only for the purposes of communicating:

     
 

A.

messages between Board members or between a Board member and employee(s) which do not involve deliberating or rendering a decision on matters pending before the Board;

     
 

B.

possible agenda items between the Superintendent and the Board President;

     
 

C.

times, dates, and places of regular or special Board meetings;

     
 

D.

a Board meeting agenda or public record information concerning items on the agenda;

     
 

E.

requests for public record information from a member of the administration, school staff, or community pertaining to County operations;

     
 

F.

responses to questions posed by members of the public, administrators, or school staff.

   
 

Under no circumstances shall Board members use E-mail to discuss among themselves Board business that is only to be discussed in an open meeting of the Board, is part of an executive session, or could be considered an invasion of privacy if the message were to be monitored by another party.

   
 

There should be no expectation of privacy for any messages sent by E-mail. Messages that have been deleted may still be accessible on the hard drive, if the space has not been occupied by other messages. Messages, deleted or otherwise, may be subject to disclosure under the Public Records Act, unless an exemption would apply.

   

0168

Minutes

   
 

The Superintendent shall cause minutes of all its meetings to be kept showing the date, time and place of the meeting; the members present and absent; all motions, proposals, resolutions, and measures proposed, the name of the person proposing the same and their disposition; and the results of all votes and, upon the request of a member, pursuant to the rules, policies or procedures of the Board for recording roll call votes, the vote of each member by name. If the Board chooses to record minutes of executive sessions, such minutes shall reflect only the general subject matter of discussions 6-9A-5, Code of West Virginia.

   
 

The minutes of Board meetings shall be considered at the next succeeding regular meeting where they shall be corrected, if necessary, and approved. The approved minutes shall be signed by the Superintendent as secretary to the Board and the President.

   
 

The approved minutes shall be filed in the Superintendent's office in a prescribed minute book as a permanent record of official Board proceedings.

   

0169.1

Public Participation at Board Meetings

   
 

The Board of Education recognizes the value to school governance of public comment on educational issues and the importance of allowing members of the public to express themselves on school matters of community interest.

   
 

Any person or group wishing to have an item placed on the agenda shall make such requests to the Superintendent no later than five (5) days prior to the meeting and include:

     
 

A.

name and address of the participant;

     
 

B.

group affiliation, if and when appropriate;

     
 

C.

description of agenda item;

     
 

D.

indication, if topic has been discussed with the principal, central office, Superintendent.

   
 

In order to permit the fair and orderly expression of such comments by members of the public, the Board shall provide a period for public participation at every meeting of the Board and publish rules to govern such participation in Board meetings 6-9A-3, Code of West Virginia.

   
 

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

   
 

The presiding officer shall be guided by the following rules:

     
 

A.

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

     
 

B.

Attendees must register their intention to address the Board in the public portion of the meeting prior to the beginning of the meeting. The Board shall provide a form for such registration and such form shall be located in a convenient and accessible place within the meeting room. 6-9A-3, Code of West Virginia.

     
 

C.

Participants must be recognized by the presiding officer and will be requested to preface their comments by an announcement of their name and group affiliation, if and when appropriate.

     
 

D.

Each statement made by a participant shall be limited to five (5) minutes unless extended by the presiding officer. No person shall yield his/her time to another without the consent of the presiding officer.

     
 

E.

No participant may speak more than once on the same topic unless all others who wish to speak on that topic have been heard and, then, only at the discretion of the presiding officer.

     
 

F.

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

     
 

G.

Tape or video recordings are permitted, providing the person operating the recorder has contacted the Superintendent prior to the Board meeting to review possible placement of the equipment, and agrees to abide by the following conditions:

     
 

1.

No obstructions are created between the Board and the audience.

     
 

2.

No interviews are conducted in the meeting room while the Board is in session.

     
 

3.

No commentary, adjustment of equipment, or positioning of operators is made that would distract either the Board or members of the audience while the Board is in session.

     
 

H.

The presiding officer may:

     
 

1.

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

     
 

2.

request any individual to leave the meeting when that person does not observe reasonable decorum;

     
 

3.

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;

     
 

4.

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;

     
 

5.

waive these rules with approval of the Board when necessary for the protection of privacy or the administration of the Board's business.