McBrayer Elementary News
SBDM Frequent Asked Questions about Meetings/Minutes/Consultation
30. What are the requirements for regularly scheduled school council meetings?
All school councils must adhere to all open-meeting requirements which state:
• Each agency sets its own regular meeting schedule.
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• The schedule must be available to the public.The schedule must list the dates, times and places of the regular meetings.
Your Duty Under the Law, posted on the KDE SBDM website, explains the procedural and substantive provisions of the Open Meetings Act and the Open Records Act. The Office of the Attorney General distributes this written information to assist public officials of Kentucky in complying with the Open Meetings and Open Records Acts.
31. Does the Open Meetings statute apply to school councils and committees?
Kentucky’s Open Meetings statute protects the general public’s right of awareness to public agency actions. Therefore, this statute applies to school councils and their committees. The Open Meetings statute applies whenever a majority is present and public business is discussed even if no action taken.
32. When is a closed session of the school council allowed?
A closed session is allowed to discuss actual or potential litigation or to discuss candidates during consultation or principal selection. A school council may not go into closed session for any other reason. All other business of the school council must be held in open session.
Certain procedures should be followed when entering closed session. The school council must always start in open session, giving notice and rationale for entering closed session. A motion must be made, seconded and approved to enter into closed session. While in closed session, no action may be taken. The topic may be discussed thoroughly, and the council members' positions may be determined via this discussion; however, no decision shall be made in closed session. In closed session, no subject may be discussed other than the ones publicly announced prior to convening the closed session. Minutes should not be taken during closed session. The school council must reconvene to open session to make a decision. Any action taken must occur during the open meeting. A formal motion, second and action must be recorded in the minutes and made available to the public.
33. What are the requirements for special-called meetings?
Occasionally, special-called meetings of the school council are necessary and may be called following these procedures:
• The chairperson or a majority of school council members can call a special meeting that is not on the regular schedule.
• Written notice must state the date, time, place and agenda for the special meeting.
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•The written notice must be sent to all school council members by fax, mail or hand delivery 24 hours in advance, as well as posted at the school and sent to media if they have requested to receive it
34. Do all council members have to agree unanimously for consensus to be reached?
Consensus, by definition, is a general agreement. Consensus is not compromise, but rather an opinion where all can find some balance or agreement. To have consensus in a school council meeting does not necessarily mean that all share the same complete opinion about the decision, but rather that they can agree to abide within the decision.
35. What are the requirements for school council minutes?
Minutes must be kept at all school council meetings. The minutes must describe motions and actions taken and be distributed in draft form to each school council member as soon as possible following the meeting as well as being distributed to school stakeholders. "Draft" should be written on them until approved by the council. The minutes must be approved at the next meeting. Immediately after the approval, the minutes must be made available to the public.
36. What types of records are school councils required to retain?
School councils are required to maintain and retain records. The Kentucky Department for Libraries & Archives (KDLA) has established a records retention schedule for public school districts. School councils must retain permanent records. Some school council records may be disposed of some records on a rotating basis. A complete list is available on the KDE SBDM website.
37. How can the public obtain school council records?
All school councils and school council committee documents are public documents subject to Open Records requirements. All school council documentation must be kept on file at the school to meet Open Records requirements.
A procedure should be in place, through bylaws or operational procedures, to facilitate requests for school council and school council committees' records. These procedures should include, but not be limited to, the following:
• how full public access of records can be obtained
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• means to ensure efficient and timely action to respond to requests
• times records can be viewed
• title and address of the official custodian of the records
• fees to be charged (if any) for the copies of the recordsmeans to determine how requests for records will be made
38. What happens to the school council records of schools that have closed or consolidated?
The school council records of schools that have closed or consolidated must be archived in a secure location, usually at the board of education offices. All school council minutes, committee minutes, official correspondences, budget allocations, bylaws, policies, annual school reports and annual financial audit reports are permanent records.
CONSULTATION AND JOB CLASSIFICATIONS
39. What is consultation?
Some of the most important decisions that a school council will make or consider relate to issues about personnel. Any personnel decision, outside selecting a principal, must be consulted with the school council. Consultation is by definition a time to seek advice and information. Selection of personnel by the principal is completed after consultation with the school council.
Consultation is a required policy for school councils. This policy should address how and when consultation will take place. Other items include timelines for personnel selection, interview guidelines, a review of applications and a review of references. The consultation policy also must address situations where consultation can occur if a quorum of the school council is unavailable.