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Policy Categories Archives: Section B: School Board Governance & Operations

Section B contains policies on the school board – how it is appointed or elected; how it is organized; how it conducts meetings, and how the board operates. This section includes bylaws and policies establishing the Board’s internal operating procedures.

Access To Minutes And Public Records

ASD File: BEDG-R
AUBURN SCHOOL DISTRICT
ACCESS TO MINUTES AND PUBLIC RECORDS

1. These procedures will apply to all requests to inspect or obtain copies of governmental records, including minutes of School Board meetings, received by the administrative offices of the school district.

2. Individuals making Right-to-Know requests are encouraged to discuss their requests with the school administration to insure the request is stated in a manner that will focus on the records desired and avoid being unnecessarily overbroad. Carefully tailored requests often can be fulfilled more promptly and help avoid resources being expended to retrieve and prepare material which exceeds what is actually being sought. The Board encourages members of the public to make their requests in writing and to include a specific description of the desired record(s). Requests for records will not be denied if such request is not in writing. If the person making the request refuses to put the request in writing, the staff member receiving the request shall put the request in writing and shall provide the person with a copy.

3. All requests for public records must be made through the SAU/Superintendent’s office.

If a board member receives a Right-to-Know request, the board member will forward the request to the Superintendent as soon as possible.

If a Principal or other school administrator receives a Right-to-Know request, he or she will forward the request to the Superintendent as soon as possible.

4. Public documents requested under the Right-to-Know law will be made available immediately if such records are properly disclosed and immediately available for inspection or copying. If such records are not immediately available, if a determination needs to be made if such records exist, or if a determination needs to be made whether such records are exempt from public disclosure, the Superintendent will, within five (5) business days of the request, respond to the requestor, in writing, acknowledging receipt of the request and providing a statement of the time reasonably necessary to determine whether the request shall be granted or denied. The Superintendent or designee may contact the person making the request if the request is unclear or will be time consuming or onerous to fulfill to determine if the person will clarify the request or agree to narrow the request. Any clarification or narrowing of the request shall be documented in writing and a copy provided to the person making the request.

5. The School District will charge a fee of .50 per page for copying/photocopies of records when the person requests a paper copy. No fee will be charged for the inspection of records.

6. Records will be reviewed in their entirety by either the Superintendent or his/her designee before they are released in order to ensure
that no confidential or exempted information is disclosed. District legal counsel may be consulted as necessary.

7. Records exempted from disclosure by RSA 91-A:5 or other law will not be disclosed. If a member of the public requests records that are determined to be exempt from disclosure under RSA 91-A:5 or other law, the Superintendent will respond to the requestor, in writing, indicating that such records are exempt from disclosure.

8. Electronic records may be provided via e-mail or on a portable storage device (thumb drive), if the requestor so requests and if such records can practically be delivered electronically. To protect the integrity of the District’s computer system, a thumb drive for this purpose must either be provided by the requestor in unopened manufacturer’s packaging or purchased at cost from the District.

9. The Superintendent is authorized to contact the school district’s attorney for any matter related to requests for public records.

10. Documents can be examined at the regular business premises or picked up by arrangement at that location.

Adopted: June 9, 2009
Revised: December 13, 2016
Revised: January 10, 2017
Revised: January 9, 2018
Revised: April 9, 2019

Public Participation At Board Meetings

ASD File: BEDH
AUBURN SCHOOL DISTRICT
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION AT BOARD MEETINGS

The School Board encourages citizens of the District to attend its sessions so that they may become better acquainted with the operation and programs of the schools and so that the Board may have an opportunity to hear the wishes and ideas of the public. All official meetings of the Board shall be open to the press and public. However, the Board reserves the right to meet and to adjourn or recess a meeting at any time to discuss such matters as are properly considered in non-public session in accordance with RSA 91-A:3.

In order to assure that persons who wish to appear before the Board may be heard and, at the same time, it may conduct its meetings properly and efficiently, the Board adopts as policy the following procedures and rules pertaining to public participation at Board meetings:

1. Appropriate time will be set aside for citizens to address the Board.

2. When necessary an individual desiring to speak shall give his or her name, address, and the group, if any, that is represented.

3. Consistent with RSA 91-A:3, Policy BEDB, and the laws pertaining to student and family privacy rights, the Board will not place any matter on the public agenda that is to be properly discussed in a non-public session. Complaints regarding individual employees, personnel or students will be directed to the Superintendent in accord with Policies KE and KEB.

4. All speakers are to conduct themselves in a civil manner. Obscene, libelous, defamatory or violent statements will be considered out of order and will not be tolerated. The Board Chair may terminate the speaker’s privilege of address if the speaker does not follow this rule of order.

The Board vests in its Chairperson or other presiding officer authority to terminate the remarks of any individuals when they do not adhere to the rules established above as to content or time limitation.

Persons appearing before the Board are reminded, as a point of information that members of the Board are without authority to act independently as individuals in official matters. Thus, as such, questions may not be directed to individual board members.

Legal References:
RSA 91-A:2, Meetings Open to the Public
RSA 91-A:3, Non-Public Sessions

Adopted: October 12, 1999
Revised: December 12, 2017
Reviewed: December 11, 2018

School Board Policy Development

ASD File: BG
AUBURN SCHOOL DISTRICT
SCHOOL BOARD POLICY DEVELOPMENT

The School Board will develop policies and put them in writing so that they may serve as guidelines and goals for the successful and efficient functioning of our public schools.

The Board considers policy development its chief function, along with providing the resources such as personnel, buildings, materials, and equipment for the successful interpretation and evaluation of its policies.

The Board accepts the definition of policy set forth by the National School Boards Association:
Policies are principles adopted by the School Board to chart a course of action. They tell what is wanted; they may include why and how much. Policies should be broad enough to indicate a line of action to be followed by the administration in meeting a number of problems; narrow enough to give clear guidance. Policies are guides for action by the administration, who then sets the rules and regulations to provide specific directions to school district personnel.

It is the Board’s intention that its policies serve as sources of information and guidance for all people who are interested in, or connected with, the public schools.

The policies of the Board are based on and are meant to be interpreted in terms of New Hampshire laws, rules and regulations of the State Board of Education, and all other regulatory agencies within our local, county, state, and federal levels of government. The policies are also based on and are meant to be interpreted in terms of those educational objectives, procedures, and practices which are broadly accepted by leaders and authorities in the public education field.

Changes in needs, conditions, purposes, and objectives will require revisions, deletions, and additions to the policies of present and future boards. The Board will welcome suggestions for ongoing policy development from citizens, students, and staff in the School District.

Action on such proposals, whatever their source, is taken finally by the Board after receiving the recommendation of the Superintendent. The Superintendent bases his/her recommendations upon the outcomes of study and upon the judgement of the professional staff and appropriate study committees. The Superintendent shall seek counsel of the School Attorney when there may be a question of legality or proper legal procedure in the development of a proposed School Board policy.

Adopted: June 14, 1977
Adopted: October 12, 1999
Reviewed: March 13, 2018

Quorum

ASD File: BEDC
AUBURN SCHOOL DISTRICT
QUORUM

A simple majority of the Auburn School Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
Board members unable to attend a meeting in person may communicate via electronic means in accordance with Policy BEA and RSA 91-A:2,III. However, in all circumstances, a quorum shall only be met when a quorum of the Board is physically present at the meeting.

Legal References: RSA 91-A:2

Adopted: November 27, 2001
Revised: December 9, 2014

 

Rules Of Order

ASD File: BEDD
AUBURN SCHOOL DISTRICT
RULES OF ORDER

It is the desire of the Board that meetings shall be formal enough for orderly procedure, as reflected in the agenda, but informal enough to be natural and to encourage free discussion and to promote collaborative problem solving and action.
Motions for action will be connected to Robert’s Rules of Order when appropriate.

Adopted: January 13, 1983
Adopted: October 12, 1999
Revised: December 12, 2017

Minutes

ASD File: BEDG
AUBURN SCHOOL DISTRICT
MINUTES

Under RSA 91-A, the school board, and each of the school board’s committees (whether standing or ad hoc, or whether deemed a sub-committee or an advisory committees) is required to keep minutes for every “meeting” as defined under 91-A:2, I. As used below, “Board” shall mean and include the district school board, and each such board committee.

The Board will keep a record of the actions taken at Board meetings in the form of minutes. At a minimum, all minutes, public and non-public, shall include:

1) the names of members participating,
2) persons appearing before the School Board (any persons other than board members who address the board or speak at the meeting;
3) a brief description of each subject matter discussed;
4) identification of each member who made a first or second of any motion;
5) a record of all final decisions;
6) When a recorded roll call vote on a motion is required by law or called for by the Chair (or other presiding officer), a record of how each board member voted on the motion; and
7) In the event a board member objects to the subject matter of discussion, that objection will be reflected in the minutes.

Copies of the draft minutes of a meeting will be sent to the members of the Board before the meeting at which they are to be approved. The preceding sentence, however, shall not apply to minutes of non-public sessions when the Board has sealed such minutes by a recorded roll call vote taken in public session with 2/3 of the board members present supporting the motion. Drafts of non-public minutes will be provided to the Board either at the conclusion of the non-public session and may be approved at the time – prior to any vote to seal, or if sealed, provided to Board at the meeting at which they are to be approved.

Draft minutes of all public meetings, clearly marked as drafts, will be made available for public inspection no later than five (5) business days after each public session. Minutes for non-public sessions shall be kept as a separate document. Draft minutes for all non-public sessions, will be made available for public inspection within seventy-two (72) hours after the non-public session, unless sealed in accordance with the procedure described in the preceding paragraph.

Notes and other materials used in the preparation of the minutes must be retained until the minutes are approved or finalized.

All minutes, including draft minutes, will be kept in accordance with RSA 91-A:2 and RSA 91-A:3 and will be in the custody of the Superintendent.

Approved minutes, except those non-public session minutes which are sealed, shall be consistently posted on the District’s web site in a reasonably accessible location or the web site shall contain a notice describing where the minutes may be reviewed and copies requested. Draft minutes will be available for inspection at the District’s administrative office.

Sealed minutes shall be reviewed periodically and unsealed by majority vote of the Board if the circumstances justifying sealing the minutes no longer apply. The Superintendent shall identify and bring to the Board’s attention minutes which have been sealed because disclosure would render the proposed action ineffective where the action has been completed and the minutes no longer need to be sealed.

The Superintendent will also identify any other sealed minutes where the justification for sealing no longer applies due to the passage of time. Generally, non-public session minutes sealed because divulgence of the information would likely affect adversely the reputation of a person other than a member of the School Board, will remain sealed.

Legal References:
RSA 91-A:2 II, Public Records and Meetings: Meetings Open to Public, RSA 91-A:3 III, Public Records and Meetings: Non-Public Sessions, RSA 91-A: 4 I, Public Records and Meetings: Minutes and Records available for Public Inspection

Adopted:October 12, 1999
Revised:June 9, 2009
Revised:January 9, 2018
Revised: December 11, 2018

Agenda Preparation And Dissemination

ASD File: BEDB
AUBURN SCHOOL DISTRICT
AGENDA PREPARATION AND DISSEMINATION

The Superintendent shall prepare all agendas for meetings of the Board. In doing so, the Superintendent shall consult with the Board Chairperson and appropriate members of the executive staff.

Items to be placed in the agenda should be in the hands of the Superintendent on or before the seventh day preceding the meeting. Every board member has the right to place items on the agenda. However, the Board may choose not to deal with every agenda item. After posting, the agenda may be modified by the Board.

Items of business may be suggested by any board member, staff member, student, or citizen of the District. The inclusion of items suggested by staff members, students, or citizens shall be at the discretion of the Superintendent and Chairperson. The agenda, however, shall always allow suitable time for the remarks of the members of the public who wish to speak briefly before the Board.

The Board shall follow the order of business set up by the agenda unless the order is altered by a majority vote of the members present. Items of business not on the agenda may be discussed and acted upon if a majority of the Board agrees to consider them. The Board, however, may not revise board policies, or adopt new ones, unless action has been scheduled.

The agenda, together with supporting materials, shall be distributed to board members in a reasonable timeframe prior to the board meeting, to permit them to give items of business careful consideration. Board members shall be expected to read the information provided them and to contact the Superintendent to request additional information that may be deemed necessary to assist them in their decision-making responsibilities. The agenda shall also be made available to the press and others upon request.

The agenda will be posted in the building where the meeting is held and at another public location, in accordance with RSA 91-A:2.

All actions will be preceded by a motion and a second to the motion followed by discussion.

Statutory Reference: RSA 91-A:2, II, Access to Governmental Records and Meetings

Adopted: January 13, 1983
Adopted: October 12, 1999
Revised: January 9, 2018

 

Regular And Special Board Meetings

ASD File: BEA
AUBURN SCHOOL DISTRICT
REGULAR and SPECIAL BOARD MEETINGS

Unless otherwise altered by Board action, regular meetings of the Board shall be held at a School District building on the second Tuesday of each month in a handicapped accessible location, beginning at 6:00 PM (with the exception that the Board meets on an as needed basis in July, or during which time a meeting may be scheduled at the discretion of the Board with proper notice).

Notice of all board meetings will be posted in accordance with the provisions of RSA 91-A. The Superintendent is authorized to post notice of the meeting on the District website. Minutes of all meetings will be taken and provided in accordance with the provisions of RSA 91-A.

All meetings shall be open to the public. Agendas will be established per Board Policy BEDH. The Board reserves the right to amend the agenda during the meeting, upon majority vote. Public comments will be allowed per Board Policy BEDH.

Additional meetings may be scheduled at the call of the Chair or a majority of the Board. Emergency meetings may be called in accordance with the provisions of RSA 91-A:2 and Board Policy BEB.

A majority of the Board shall constitute a quorum. Provisions for meeting a quorum are established in Board Policy BEDC.
The School Board recognizes that the consistent attendance of Board Members at Board Meetings is essential for the efficient, effective operation of the Board’s duties as well as fulfilling our individual obligations as elected officials.

Legal References: RSA 91-A

Adopted: January 13, 1983
Adopted: October 12, 1999
Revised: December 9, 2014

 

Emergency Meetings

ASD File. BEB
AUBURN SCHOOL DISTRICT
EMERGENCY MEETINGS

Emergency meetings may be called by the Chairperson or by action of a majority of the Board. For the purposes of this policy, an emergency is defined as a situation where immediate, undelayed action is deemed to be imperative by the Chairperson. In the event of an emergency meeting, the Board will post notice of time and place of the emergency meeting as soon as possible and will also use other reasonable means to inform the public that an emergency meeting is to be held. Minutes of an emergency meeting will clearly state the need and purpose for the emergency meeting.

Legal Reference: RSA 91-A:2,II

Adopted: January 13, 1983
Adopted: October 12, 1999
Revised: December 9, 2014

 

Non-Public Sessions

ASD File: BEC
AUBURN SCHOOL DISTRICT
NON-PUBLIC SESSIONS

The School Board reserves the right to sit in non-public session closed to the public and media when a majority of the members present and voting so vote (recorded roll call vote required). As required by law, the motion calling for a non-public session will indicate the matters to be discussed and the statutory exception stated.

The Board may entertain a motion to hold a non-public session only for those deliberations or for those purposes which the law recognizes.

RSA 91-A3 I and II.

I. a. Bodies or agencies shall not meet in non-public session, except for one of the purposes set out in Paragraph II. No session at which evidence, information or testimony in any form is received shall be closed to the public, except as provided in paragraph II. No body or agency may enter non-public session, except pursuant to a motion properly made and seconded.
b. Any motion to enter non-public session shall state on its face the specific exemption under paragraph II which is relied upon as foundation for the non-public session. The vote on any such motion shall be by roll call, and shall require the affirmative vote of the majority of members present.
c. All discussions held and decisions made during non-public session shall be confined to the matters set out in the motion.

II. Only the following matters shall be considered or acted upon in nonpublic session:
a. The dismissal, promotion or compensation of any public employee or the disciplining of such employee, or the investigation of any charges against him/her, unless the employee affected (1) has a right to a meeting and (2) requests that the meeting be open, in which case the request shall be granted.
b. The hiring of any person as a public employee.
c. Matters which, if discussed in public, would likely affect adversely the reputation of any person, other than a member of the body or agency itself, unless such person requests an open meeting.
d. Consideration of the acquisition, sale or lease of real or personal property which, if discussed in public, would likely benefit a party or parties whose interests are adverse to those of the general community.
e. Consideration or negotiation of pending claims or litigation which has been threatened in writing or filed against the body or agency or any subdivision thereof, or against any member thereof because of his membership in such body or agency, until the claim or litigation has been fully adjudicated or otherwise settled.
f. Consideration of applications by the adult parole board under RSA 651-A.
g. Consideration of security-related issues bearing on the immediate safety of security personnel or inmates at the county correctional facilities by county correctional superintendents or their designee.
h. Consideration of applications by the business finance authority under RSA 162-A:7-10 and 162-A:13, where consideration of an application in public session would cause harm to the applicant or would inhibit full discussion of the application.
i. Consideration of matters relating to the preparation for and the carrying out of emergency functions, including training to carry out such functions, developed by local or state safety officials that are directly intended to thwart a deliberate act that is intended to result in widespread or severe damage to property or widespread injury or loss of life.
j. Consideration of confidential, commercial, or financial information that is exempt from public disclosure under RSA 91-A:5, IV in an adjudicative proceeding pursuant to RSA-541 or RSA 541-A.
k. Consideration by a school board of entering into a student or pupil tuition contract authorized by RSA 194 or RSA 195-A, which, if discussed in public, would likely benefit a party or parties whose interests are adverse to those of the general public or the school district that is considering a contract would likely benefit a party or parties who interests are adverse to those of the general public or the school district that is considering a contract, including any meeting between the school boards, or committees thereof, involved in the negotiations. A contract negotiated by a school board shall be made public prior to its consideration for approval by a school district, together with minutes of all meetings held in nonpublic session, any proposals or records related to the contract, and any proposal or record involving a school district that did not become a party to the contract, shall be made public. Approval of a contract by a school district shall occur only at a meeting open to the public at which, or after which, the public has had an opportunity to participate.

No official, final action may be taken by the Board at a non-public session except as allowed by RSA 91-A:3. In order to act upon most items considered at a non-public session, the Board will reconvene in open session.

The Board shall record minutes of all non-public sessions. Non-public session minutes will be made publicly available within 72 hours of the non-public session, unless the Board votes to seal the minutes. The Board may seal minutes of a non-public session only by a two-thirds vote. The Board will only vote to seal minutes of non-public sessions if divulging such information would:
1. Adversely affect the reputation of a person other than a member of the Board;
2. Render a proposed board action ineffective; or
3. Thwart safety considerations pertaining to terrorism or other emergency functions of the Board.

Board members and any persons attending a non-pubic session are duty-bound not to disclose any details of the discussion held.
The Superintendent or his/her designated representative may attend all non-public sessions except those which pertain to the Superintendent’s employment.

NOTE: Due to yearly changes in the Right-to-Know Law, frequent review of current language is advised.

Legal References:RSA 91-A:3, RSA 91-A:4, RSA 42:1-a

Adopted: November 18, 1992
Adopted: October 12, 1999
Revised: May 12, 2011
Revised: June 14, 2016