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Ask OSBA - Executive Session 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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Is the board required to approve all extra-duty contracts? - 1/20/12

Which aspects of employee discipline should be handled in executive session vs public session? - 7/13/12

Who can attend executive session meetings? Can a board member invite anyone he or she wishes? - 9/27/11

What should the board chair do about audience complaints of personnel that should be handled during executive session? - 8/16/13

Should the board secretary be present at ALL meetings; special and executive? - 5/20/13

Can a board add an executive session to an agenda after the meeting has started, even if the executive session wasn't included on the original meeting posting? - 6/10/16

If the board convenes a meeting to hear a complaint against someone, can that person being complained about be excluded from the meeting? - 1/19/10

Can we convene executive session to discuss renewal of staff and administrators? - 2/16/10

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

Can the board meet in executive session to receive an update on employee performance in general? - 2/28/14

A complaint has been filed against a staff member which has progressed through the complaint procedure and has been appealed to the school board. The staff member who the complaint is against has requested the complaint be heard by the Board in public session. We anticipate both sides of the issue may have supporters in attendance. After the board reviews the complaint and the superintendent’s response, may we go into executive session to deliberate or do we have to do all of that in public session as well? - 9/27/13

Are a citizen's First Amendment rights violated when a board chair insists that complaints about personnel be made in executive session? - 5/01/10

Our board needs to hear a transfer request for a student who was previously expelled. Usually, our board hears transfer requests in public session, but this may involve student disciplinary records. How do we handle this situation? - 5/02/14

Our board is hiring a new superintendent. May we discuss the terms of the proposed contract, including salary, in executive session when we discuss our candidate selection? - 5/23/11

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

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

Can a quorum of the board compel board members to attend meetings? We have a minority of members who might not attend a meeting where they will be faced with criticism. The majority of the board wants the minority to attend. - 3/28/13

Can we exclude a reporter from executive session if we believe they have been inappropriately leaking information? - 7/05/11

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

Does the quorum rule for school boards stated in your December, 2007 response also apply to charter school boards? - 5/31/13

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

Does a Board have to convene a Special Session and then go into an Executive Session? Or, can they convene for an Executive Session, adjourn and go into a Special Session to vote on a matter? - 6/07/13

How should the board handle discussion and negotiation of the superintendent's contract? - 5/25/12

Who decides if the superintendent evaluation is held in executive or public session? - 8/25/08

Can we evaluate our superintendent on goals in executive session? - 2/14/13

How does the board go about taking action on employee renewal, non-renewal, contract extension and non-extension as required by law? - 3/13/09