Most gatherings of the school board are defined as public meetings under the law, and therefore subject to the Public Meetings Law (ORS 192.610-192.990). A board meeting occurs when a quorum is present to gather information or decide or deliberate on any public matter. Since the RRSD Board consists of five members, a "quorum" means three members. It is a major responsibility of the board chair to know the rules and ensure that the board follows them.
To be read the Oregon Attorney General's Public Records and Meetings Manual available on Oregon Dept. of Justice/Attorney General website, click on the link.
THREE TYPES OF MEETINGS
Regular—A regular meeting is generally one that is included on the official school year board calendar that is approved at the annual organizational meeting (typically in July). For RRSD, these are held on the 3rd Tuesday of the month. This may also include a work session that is regularly scheduled such as the annual Leadership Team Goals Workshop.
Special—Special meetings can be called at any time to conduct any business and include anything that is scheduled after the board calendar is approved at the annual organizational meeting. As much notice as possible should be provided, but 24 hours’ notice is required. The Board can conduct any type of business at a special meeting.
Emergency—Emergency meetings can be held only in the case of an actual emergency that justifies less than 24 hours’ notice. Only matters relating to the emergency can be discussed or acted upon at the emergency meeting.
Executive sessions can be held during a regular, special or emergency meeting as an agenda item but are not stand-alone meetings. The general public is not allowed to observe executive sessions and no board action may occur during these sessions. Minutes must be kept for the executive session, but those minutes are not released to the public. The media is allowed to attend executive sessions except meetings relating to labor negotiations, to expel a student, to discuss a student’s confidential medical record or for litigation in which the reporter or media is involved.
EXECUTIVE SESSION can be held for the following reasons: ORS 192.660
To consider the employment of a public officer, employee, staff member or individual agent. ORS 192.660(2)(a). The AG manual specifies that this is only for the initial hiring of an individual. This does not apply to appointing a board member to fill a vacancy. There are additional advertising and procedural requirements found in ORS 192.660(7)(d).
- To consider the dismissal or disciplining of, or to hear complaints or charges brought against, a public officer, employee, staff member or individual agent who does not request an open hearing. ORS 192.660(2)(b). The person addressed in the complaint must be notified in order to give them the opportunity to request an open session.
- To conduct deliberations with persons designated by the governing body to carry on labor negotiations. ORS 192.660(2)(d). The actual labor negotiations must be held in open session unless both parties agree to hold them in executive session. ORS 192.660(3).
- To conduct deliberations with persons designated by the governing body to negotiate real property transactions. ORS 192.660(2)(e).
- To consider records exempt by law from public inspection. ORS 192.660(2)(f).
- To consult with counsel concerning the legal rights and duties of a public body with regard to current litigation or litigation likely to be filed. ORS 192.660(2)(h).
- To review and evaluate the performance of the chief executive officer, employee or staff member, unless the person whose performance is being reviewed and evaluated requests an open hearing. ORS 192.660(2)(i).
- To consider matters relating to school safety or a plan that responds to safety threats made toward a school. ORS 192.660(2)(k).
- To conduct a hearing on the expulsion of a student or to review a student’s confidential medical records. ORS 332.061(1).
Resources to help explain Oregon's public records and meetings law including running effective meetings.
(Information on this page provided by OSBA-Oregon School Boards Association)