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Ask OSBA - Agendas and Minutes Questions

OSBA staff answers some common (and not so common) questions about board governance, board members' roles and responsibilities, good practices, running board meetings and board conflict. Don't see the answer to your question? Ask OSBA!

Dear members:

Your OSBA Team is dedicated to assisting you by responding to all of your questions. Additionally, we are committed to providing you with the best possible information, tools, and practices in a timely manner. There are times when we must research, or consult with other OSBA staff members to provide an answer to your questions. In these circumstances, we ask for your patience as the normal response time could potentially be delayed. Please expect an initial response, by phone or email, within 24-48 hours of submitting your question, and be aware that additional follow-up could take more time. If your question is time sensitive, please be sure to specify your deadlines in your initial request.

Thank you, we look forward to hearing from you!

Legal Disclaimer: The information contained on this site should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding your particular situation, please seek the advice of OSBA’s legal services or independent counsel.


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Can the board add an action item to the agenda at the time of the meeting if the topic was not listed on the original meeting posting notice? - 4/16/10

Do we have to add an agenda item that is not of interest to the rest of the board if it is requested by a board member? - 8/09/13

If a citizen or staff member makes a request to be put on the agenda do they have to be added, can they be refused, and what is the process the board should follow? - 1/03/11

Are bid documents, including the documents submitted by the bidders and any evaluation forms or notes used in evaluating the bids, public records which must be released to anyone who requests them? - 9/27/10

I am preparing our Board Agenda Packet and our Board will be signing the Superintendent's contract. Is it okay to include a copy in the Board Agenda Packet? - 10/08/15

Are boards and their committees required to take minutes at all of their meetings and what should the minutes include? - 10/19/12

For a board appointed committee (with no board member quorum participating) is the board executive assistant required to take the minutes or is someone designated from the committee during the initial meeting allowed to do so? - 8/05/16

Do we have to put a notice of our board meetings in the newspaper? Do we have to adopt a newspaper of record? - 10/18/13

Is it possible to conduct a public meeting where all board members are in attendance via electronic device (e.g. computer, phone etc.)? - 2/01/13

Are school board members considered mandatory reporters? If not, how should a board member address the issue of child abuse inside the district or outside of the district? - 10/25/13

Do board meeting minutes have to be signed? - 12/14/10

What does the phrase “Speaking with one voice” mean when referring to board action? - 2/28/11

Once the budget committee and board have approved the budget, does the superintendent have to bring any change to any of the line items to the board for approval before the expense can be made? - 4/08/16

Do you have any suggestions for tiny districts where there is just one person in an area to be reduced? There is no difference between talking about the area to be reduced and the person to be reduced, and the community members find the board discussions as you describe disingenuous. -

May we keep the audio tapes of our meetings as the only official minutes? - 12/01/09

Does the superintendent's formal evaluation report have to be released if requested by any member of the public? - 8/01/14

Our board adopts its meeting calendar in July every year. If later in the year a request is made to cancel a meeting, does the board have to act to cancel the meeting, or can we just simply cancel it without board action? If we cancel a published meeting, do we need to give a 24-hour notice? - 10/22/15

Are charter school boards subject to public meetings and public records requirements? - 6/03/16

What should be included in a consent agenda and how and why should a consent agenda be used in a board meeting? - 8/22/13

Is it sufficient to list the name of the board member who made a motion, seconded the motion and then state the outcome, passed or failed? Do the actual votes of the board members have to be listed by name? - 1/06/12

One of our board members requested the board secretary remove a statement he made at the previous meeting from the draft minutes that are going out to the full board to be approved at our next meeting. Should the statement be removed completely or shown but barred out? How can this best be handled? - 9/02/11

Do executive session minutes need to be reviewed, voted on and approved by the board? How should this be done? - 10/26/11

Our board needs to hold an executive session covering three different topic areas of the executive session statute. Do we post these as three separate agenda items, three separate meetings, or as one agenda item or one meeting? - 2/18/11

How much detail should be included in our executive session minutes? - 2/26/16

Does a meeting of the superintendent, chair and vice-chair to set the agenda have to be posted as a committee meeting? - 5/16/14

How should the board enter into, and come out of executive session during a meeting, and how should the minutes record this action? - 10/14/11

One of the board members has asked to review the audio recording of one of our recent executive session meetings which he attended. Is it OK for him to do this? Who can review executive session recordings and minutes? - 9/16/11

Sometimes during a meeting our board talks on and on without anyone making a motion. Is it appropriate for the chair to ask the board if there is a motion? - 10/07/11

July Board Meeting Requirements - 2/28/17

Is it good practice or required to limit the topics of public comment to agenda items only? - 12/19/13

How long do we have to keep the audio or video recordings of our board meetings? - 8/29/14

Do we have to take minutes at a board retreat and if so do we have to have them approved at the board meeting? - 7/22/16

Must executive session minutes be separate from regular session minutes, or can they be contained in the body of the regular session minutes? - 3/08/13

When our board passes a political resolution how should we post it and handle the minutes? - 9/05/14

Although the charter school board meeting dates are posted on the school calendar and anyone can request a packet of materials that will be used at the school board meeting, do the agenda and the minutes need to actually be posted where the public can read them? - 3/01/13

If a person does not speak at or attend a Board meeting, but wants their email or written statement in the record as public comment, can/should we do that? - 1/10/13

Should public input be at the beginning or end of the meeting, or during each agenda item? What is the best way to schedule this portion of the meeting? - 8/08/14

Do we have to release the audio or videotape of board meetings or can we give them only the written minutes? - 2/21/14

The district has received a request for a copy of executive session minutes from a person who attended the session. How and by whom can they be released? - 5/14/10

Can we put resolutions on our consent agenda, or do they have to be action items? - 9/19/14

Do drafts of minutes need to be retained? - 7/13/10

When should a board use a roll call vote? - 12/07/12

When a single issue board member dominates board meetings, what can be done? - 4/25/14

My understanding is that if the board appoints a committee to do a certain task, meetings of that committee must follow public meeting laws. In particular, notices of the committee meeting(s) must be posted just like we do for our school board meetings. If, for example, a 7-member board appointed 3 of its members to review a process and then return to the full board with its findings and recommendations, does the meeting of those 3 members need to be posted? - 11/20/15

How long do we need to keep the audio tapes of our meetings once they have been transcribed to a written format? - 12/24/15

Our board is planning to meet with another school district board to discuss mutual concerns. Are there any special provisions which need to be followed? - 3/22/13

What is the difference between regular, executive session, special and work session meetings? - 8/22/11

If we videotape or create a podcast of our regular board meetings do we still need to keep written minutes? - 1/28/09

What is the board’s role when budget reductions will include program and staff reductions, including layoffs? Can the board discuss these items in executive session? - 1/26/11

When do committee meetings have to follow public meetings laws about posting and minutes? - 8/29/13

My superintendent gives a packet to the board and to me (board secretary) every meeting. After the meeting, she highlights what needs to be written in the minutes. Should her name be on the minutes, or mine? - 1/14/08