200 Board of Directors

200 Legal Status of the Board of Directors

200.1 Role of the Board of Directors

In this series of the board policy manual, the board shall define its role in the governance of the school district and how it will carry out that role in the school district community and in the school district.

 

The ultimate goal of the board shall be to achieve the educational philosophy of the school district. As school officials elected by the members of the school district community, the board shall strive to represent the needs and wishes of the members of the school district community in its deliberations and actions.

 

While the board shall be aware of the desires of the school district community, the needs of the students in the PCM Community School District shall be considered above others. The board shall strive to meet the needs of the students through evaluation of the financial and educational benefits of the various alternatives available to the board and the school district.

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed 04/17/2017       Revised            

200.2 Organization of Board of Directors

The PCM Community School District board is authorized by and derives its organization from Iowa law. The board shall consist of seven (7) board members. Board members shall be elected by director district. Each member is elected for a term of four years, or for the length of time it takes to complete the unexpired term of a regularly elected member who has left the board.

 

The board is organized for the purpose of setting policy and providing general direction for the school district. The board shall hold its organizational meeting each year at the first regular meeting following the canvass of votes in odd-numbered years or no later than the regular meeting in September in even-numbered years. The retiring board shall transfer materials, including the board policy manual, and responsibility to the new board.

 

The organizational meeting allows the outgoing board to approve minutes of its previous meetings, complete unfinished business and review the school election results. The retiring board shall adjourn and the new board shall then begin. The secretary will administer the oath of office to the newly-elected board members. The superintendent will preside while the new board elects the president and vice president of the new board.

 

 

Legal Reference:              Iowa Code §§ 274.2; 275.23A; 277.23, .28, .31; 279.1, .5, .7, .8.

                                       281 I.A.C. 12.3(2).

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed 04/17/2017      Revised 02/21/2011   

200.3 Powers of Board of Directors

The board of directors of the PCM Community School District, acting on behalf of the school district, shall have jurisdiction over school matters in the territory of the school district.

 

The board is empowered to make policy for its own governance, for the administration and staff, for students, and for the school facilities. The board is also empowered to enforce its policies. The board may, through its quasi-judicial power, conduct hearings and rule on issues and disputes confronting the school district.

 

The board has these powers and all other powers expressly granted to it in federal and state law, as well as the powers that can be reasonably implied from the express powers.

                                                           

Because all powers of the board derived from the state statutes are granted in terms of action as a group, individual board members exercise authority over district affairs only as they vote to take action at a legal meeting of the board. In other instances, an individual board member, including the president, will have power only when the board, by vote, has delegated authority. The board will make its members, the district staff and the public aware that only the board acting as a whole has authority to take official action. Therefore, the board may transact business only with a quorum present during a regular or special meeting.

 

Pursuant to the state statutes, any board member shall not seek individually to influence the official functions of the district. The board and its members will deal with administrative services through the superintendent and will not give orders to any subordinates of the superintendent either publicly or privately, but may make suggestions and recommendations.

 

 

Legal Reference:                    Board of Directors of Ind. School Dist. of Waterloo v. Green, 259 Iowa 1260, 147 N.W.2d 854 (1967).

                                                Iowa Code §§ 28E; 274.1-.2; 279.8

                                                281 Iowa Admin. Code 11.1(3).

                                                281 Iowa Admin. Code 12.1(2).

                                                1990 Op. Att’y Gen. 66.

 

Approved 12/20/90       Reviewed 04/17/2017      Revised 01/20/2011   

200.4 Responsibilities of the Board of Directors

The Board and the Board Members are authorized to govern the school district, and in doing such, have three (3) duties to perform: a legislative duty, an executive duty and an evaluative duty.

 

Legislative Duty: The board is responsible for legislating policy for the school district permissible under Iowa law. As a policy-making body, the board has jurisdiction to enact policy with the force and effect of law for the management and operation of the school district.

 

Executive Duty: The Board is responsible for selecting its chief executive officer, the superintendent, to operate the school district on the board’s behalf. The board shall delegate to the superintendent its authority to carry out board policy, to formulate and carry out all rules and regulations and to handle the administrative details in a manner which supports and is consistent with board policies.

 

Evaluative Duty: The board is responsible for reviewing the performance of the District’s education program. The board shall regularly review the educational program and ancillary services. The review shall include a careful study of the facts, conditions and circumstances surrounding the amount of funds received or expended and the education program’s ability to achieve the Board’s educational philosophy and goals for the District.

 

 

Legal Reference:                    Iowa Code §§ 274.1; 279.1, .8, .20; 280.12.

                                                281 I.A.C. 12.3(2).

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed 04/17/2017       Revised 04/17/2017  

201 Board of Directors' Elections

The election of citizens to the Board of Directors takes place on the second Tuesday in September of odd-numbered years. Each school election shall be used to elect at least one citizen to the board to maintain a seven (7) member board and to address other questions that must be submitted to the voters.

 

Citizens of the school district community seeking a seat on the board must file their nomination papers with the board secretary, or the board secretary’s designee, consistent with the deadlines provided in Iowa law.

 

If a vacancy occurs on the board, it may be filled by appointment consistent with Iowa law. If the board chooses to appoint, the board secretary shall post notice of the board’s intent to fill the vacancy by appointment in the district newspaper(s) of general circulation. The notice must state that the electors of the school district have the right to file a petition requiring that the vacancy be filled by special election. The board may appoint to fill the vacancy after the notice published or after the vacancy occurs, whichever is later. The newly-appointed board member will hold the position until the next scheduled school election. However, if the next regular school election is within 180 days or less, then an appointment to fill the vacancy until the next regular school election may be made.

 

If the board does not fill the vacancy by appointment, or if a valid petition is filed within fourteen (14) days of notice, the board secretary shall call a special election to fill the vacancy. Candidates for a seat created by a vacancy must file their nomination papers with the board secretary consistent with the deadlines provided in Iowa law.

 

All elections will be held as provided in Iowa law. It shall be the responsibility of the county commissioner of elections to conduct school elections.

 

 

Legal Reference:        Iowa Code §§ 39; 45; 47-53; 56-67; 69; 274.7; 277; 278.1; 279.7

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed 04/17/2017      Revised 04/17/2017   

202 Board of Directors Members

202.1 Qualifications

Serving on the board of directors is an honor and privilege. Its rewards are respect from the community, students, and employees and the satisfaction from knowing each board member contributed to the success of the children in the school district community. Only those who are willing to put forth the effort to care and to make a difference should consider running for a position on the board.

 

Individuals, who are willing to serve on the board, believe public education is important, support the democratic process, willingly devote time and energy to board work, respect educators and have the ability to examine the facts and make a decision. The board believes an individual considering a position on the school board should possess these characteristics.

 

Citizens wanting to run for a position on the board must be a citizen of the school district, an eligible elector of the district and free from a financial conflict of interest with the position.

 

An eligible elector possesses all the following characteristics:

  1. Citizen of the United States
  2. Eighteen (18) years of age or older
  3. Eligible to be registered to vote in the school district
  4. Resides in the district required for the particular geographic area assigned to be represented

 

 

Legal Reference:                    Iowa Code §§ 63; 68B; 277.4, .27; 279.7A.

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed 04/17/2017       Revised 01/20/2011  

202.2 Oath of Office

Board members are officials of the state. As a public official, each board member must pledge to uphold the Iowa and the United States Constitution and carry out the responsibilities of the office to the best of the board member’s ability.

 

Each newly-elected board member will take the oath of office prior to any action taken as a school official. The oath of office shall be taken by each new board member elected at the school election at or before the organizational meeting of the board. In the event of an appointment or special election to fill a vacancy, the new board member shall take the oath of office within ten (10) days of the appointment or election.

 

Board members elected to offices of the board shall also take the same oath of office but replacing the office of board member with the title of the office to which they were elected.

 

The oath of office shall be administered by the board secretary and does not need to be given at a board meeting. In the event the board secretary is absent, the oath shall be administered by another board member.

 

“Do you solemnly swear that you will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the state of Iowa, and that you will faithfully and impartially to the best of your ability discharge the duties of the office of ________________ (naming the office) in the PCM Community School District as now and hereafter required by law?”

 

 

Legal Reference:                    Iowa Code §§ 277.28; 279.1, .6.

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed 04/17/2017     Revised 04/17/2017   

202.4 Vacancies

A vacancy occurs when a board member resigns, forfeits or otherwise leaves the office. A vacancy also includes, but is not limited to, the following:  failure to be properly elected, failure to qualify within the time fixed by law, failure to reside in the school district or director district, a court order declaring the seat vacant, conviction of a felony, three violations of the open meetings law, or conviction of a public offense in violation of the oath of office.

 

If a vacancy occurs prior to the expiration of a term of office, the vacancy shall be filled by board appointment within thirty (30) days of the vacancy. The newly-appointed board member shall hold the position until the next scheduled school election. At that time the appointed board member may run for a four (4) year term, if one is available, or run for the remainder of the unexpired term.

 

If the board is unable to fill a vacancy by appointment within thirty (30) days after the vacancy occurs, the board secretary shall call a special election to be held no sooner than sixty (60) days and not later than seventy (70) days after the vacancy occurred.  A board member elected at the special election shall serve the remaining portion of the unexpired term.

 

 

Legal Reference:        Good v. Crouch, 397 N.W.2d 757 (Iowa 1986).

Board of Directors of Grimes Independent School Dist. v. County Board of Public Instruction of Polk Co., 257 Iowa

106, 131 N.W.2d 802 (1965).

Board of Directors of Menlo Consol. School Dist. v. Blakesburg, 240 Iowa 910, 36 N.W.2d 751 (1949).

Iowa Code §§ 21.6(3)(d); 69; 277.29-.30; 279.6-.7.

1944 Op. Att’y Gen. 39.

 

Approved   7/15/96       Reviewed 04/17/2017      Revised 04/17/2017   

203 Board of Directors' Conflict of Interest

Members or officers of the Board of Directors shall not use their position with the District to place themselves in a more favored position to purchase anything for personal benefit.

 

No member of the Board of Directors shall have an interest, direct or indirect, in a contract for the purchase of goods, including materials and profits, or the performance of services for the School District.  A member of the Board of Directors may not:

1.    Receive direct compensation from the School District unless the Board member receives less than $2,500 per fiscal year or receives the compensation through a contract competitively bid in writing, publicly invited and open.

2.    Act as an agent for a school textbook or school supply company doing business with the school district during the board member’s term of office.

3.    Be a statewide elected official or a state legislator.

4.    Engage in outside employment or activity that is in conflict with the Board member’s duties and responsibilities.

 

No member of the Board of Directors or their families may accept any gratuities, financial or otherwise, from any supplier of materials or services to the District.

 

 

Legal Reference:                    Iowa Code §§ 55; 71.1; 277.27; 279.7A; 301.28.

                                                1990 Op. Att’y Gen. 37.

                                                1988 Op. Att’y Gen. 21.

                                                1986 Op. Att’y Gen. 10.

                                                1984 Op. Att’y Gen. 23.

                                                1982 Op. Att’y Gen. 302.

                                                1978 Op. Att’y Gen. 295.

                                                1976 Op. Att’y Gen. 89.

                                                1974 Op. Att’y Gen. 137.

                                                1936 Op. Att’y Gen. 237.

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed 04/17/2017      Revised 04/17/2017   

204 Code of Ethics

Board members’ actions, verbal and nonverbal, reflect the attitude and the beliefs of the school district. Therefore, board members must conduct themselves professionally and in a manner fitting to their position.

 

Each board member shall follow the code of ethics stated in this policy.

  1. I will listen.
  2. I will respect the opinion of others.
  3. I will recognize the integrity of my predecessors and associates and the merit of their work.
  4. I will be motivated only by an earnest desire to serve my school district and the children of my school district community in the best possible way.
  5. I will not use the school district or any part of the school district program for my own personal advantage or for the advantage of my friends or supporters.
  6. I will vote for a closed session of the board if the situation requires it, but I will consider “star chamber” or “secret” sessions of board members unethical.
  7. I will recognize that to promise in advance of a meeting how I will vote on any proposition which is to be considered is to close my mind and agree not to think through other facts and points of view which may be presented in the meeting.
  8. I will expect, in board meetings, to spend more time on education programs and procedures than on business details.
  9. I will recognize that authority rests with the board in legal session and not with individual members of the board, except as authorized by law.
  10. I will make no disparaging remarks, in or out of the board meeting, about other members of the board or their opinions.
  11. I will express my honest and most thoughtful opinions frankly in board meetings in an effort to have decisions made for the best interests of the children and the education program.
  12. I will insist that the members of the board participate fully in board action and recommend that when special committees are appointed, they serve only in an investigative and advisory capacity.
  13. I will abide by majority decisions of the board.
  14. I will carefully consider petitions, resolutions and complaints and will act in the best interest of the school district.
  15. I will not discuss the confidential business of the board in my home, on the street or in my office; the place for such discussion is the board meeting.
  16. I will endeavor to keep informed on local, state and national educational developments of significance so I may become a better board member.

 

IN MEETING MY RESPONSIBILITY TO MY SCHOOL DISTRICT COMMUNITY

  1. I will consider myself a trustee of public education and will do my best to protect it, conserve it, and advance it, giving to the children of my school district community the educational facilities that are as complete and adequate as it is possible to provide.
  2. I will consider it an important responsibility of the board to interpret the aims, methods and attitudes of the school district to the community.
  3. I will earnestly try to interpret the needs and attitudes of the school district community and do my best to translate them into the education program of the school district.
  4. I will attempt to procure adequate financial support for the school district.
  5. I will represent the entire school district rather than individual electors, patrons or groups.
  6. I will not regard the school district facilities as my own private property but as the property of the people.

 

IN MY RELATIONSHIP WITH SUPERINTENDENT AND EMPLOYEES

  1. I will function, in meeting the legal responsibility that is mine, as a part of a legislative, policy-forming body, not as an administrative officer.
  2. I will recognize that it is my responsibility, together with that of my fellow board members, to see the school district is properly run and not to run them myself.
  3. I will expect the school district to be administered by the best-trained technical and professional people it is possible to procure within the financial resources of the school district.
  4. I will recognize the superintendent as executive officer of the board.
  5. I will work through the administrative employees of the board, not over or around them.
  6. I will expect the superintendent to keep the board adequately informed through oral and written reports.
  7. I will vote to employ employees only after the recommendation of the superintendent has been received.
  8. I will insist that contracts be equally binding on teachers and the board.
  9. I will give the superintendent power commensurate with the superintendent’s responsibility and will not in any way interfere with, or seek to undermine, the superintendent’s authority.
  10. I will give the superintendent friendly counsel and advice.
  11. I will present any personal criticism of employees to the superintendent.
  12. I will refer complaints to the proper administrative officer.

 

TO COOPERATE WITH OTHER SCHOOL BOARDS

  1. I will not employ a superintendent, principal or teacher who is already under contract with another school district without first securing assurance from the proper authority that the person can be released from contract.
  2. I will consider it unethical to pursue any procedure calculated to embarrass a neighboring board or its representatives.
  3. I will not recommend an employee for a position in another school district unless I would employ the employee under similar circumstances.
  4. I will answer all inquiries about the standing and ability of an employee to the best of my knowledge and judgment, with complete frankness.
  5. I will associate myself with board members of other school districts for the purpose of discussing school district issues and cooperating in the improvement of the education program.

 

Legal Reference:                    

Iowa Code §§ 21.6(3)(d); 68B; 69; 277.28; 279.8

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed 04/17/2017      Revised 01/20/97   

205 Security and Protection

205.1 Board Security and Protection

Public bodies must feel free to meet in the public setting as required by law without concern of risk of personal injury. The board shall take whatever action is necessary to maintain an orderly school board meeting, free from interference or interruption by spectators, and to keep the board members safe while complying with the open meetings law.

 

Individuals who threaten the board with violence or who are continuously disruptive may be asked to leave the meeting. If the individuals do not leave, the board may have law enforcement officials escort the individual from the board meeting. The board shall hire a security officer if the board members’ concern for safety or actions by spectators warrants it.

 

 

Legal Reference:                    Iowa Code §§ 21.7, 279.8, .82.

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed 04/17/2017       Revised            

205.2 Board Member Liability

Board members shall not be held personally liable for actions taken in the performance of their duties and responsibilities vested in them by the laws of Iowa and the members of the school district community. In carrying out the duties and responsibilities of their office, board members shall act in good faith.

 

The school district shall defend, save harmless and indemnify board members against tort claims or demands, whether groundless or otherwise, arising out of an alleged act or omission occurring within the scope of their duties, unless it constitutes a willful or wanton act or omission. However, the school district shall not save harmless or indemnify board members for punitive damages.

 

 

Legal Reference:                    Wood v. Strickland, 420 U.S. 308 (1975).

                                                42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1985 (1988).

                                                Iowa Code ch. 670

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed 04/17/2017      Revised            

206 Board Officers

President

The president of the Board is elected by a majority vote at the September board meeting each year to serve a one-year term of office.  A member may be elected to successive one-year terms as president. 

 

The president, in addition to presiding at the board meetings, will take an active role in board decisions by discussing and voting on each motion before the board in the same manner as other board members.  Before making or seconding a motion, however, the board president will turn over control of the meeting to either the vice-president or other board member.

 

The board president has the authority to call special meetings of the board.  Prior to board meetings, the board president will consult with the superintendent on the development of the agenda for the meeting.  The board president, as the chief officer of the school district, will sign employment contracts, other contracts and school district warrants approved by the board.  The board president will appear on behalf of the school corporation in causes of action involving the school district, unless the board president must appear individually as a party, in which case, this duty shall be performed by the secretary.

 

Vice-President

The vice-president shall serve in the absence of the president and shall perform such other duties as may be assigned by the president or by the Board.  The vice-president will be elected by a majority vote at the September meeting each year to serve a one–year term of office.  A member may be elected to successive one-year terms as vice-president.

 

The vice-president will take an active role in board decisions by discussing and voting on matters before the board in the same manner as other board members.  The vice-president will accept control of the meeting from the president when the president wishes to make or second a motion.

 

If the board president is unable or unwilling to carry out the duties required, it is the responsibility of the vice-president of the board to carry out those duties.  If the president is unable or unwilling to complete the term of office, the vice-president will serve as president for the balance of the president’s term of office, and a new vice-president will be elected.

 

Secretary

A board secretary may be appointed from employees, other than a position requiring a teaching certificate, or from the public.  To finalize the appointment, the board secretary will take the oath of office during the meeting at which the individual was appointed or no later than ten (10) days thereafter.  It is the responsibility of the board to evaluate the board secretary annually.

 

It is the responsibility of the board secretary, as custodian of the District’s records, to preserve and maintain the records and documents pertaining to the business of the board; to keep complete minutes of special and regular board meetings, including closed sessions; to keep a record of the results of regular and special elections; to keep an accurate account of school funds; to sign warrants drawn on the school funds after board approval; and collect data on truant students.  The board secretary will give bond in an amount set by the board.  The cost of the bond will be paid by the school district.

 

 

Treasurer

It is the responsibility of the board to appoint a treasurer.  The board may appoint a treasurer from its employees, other than a position requiring a teaching certificate, or from the public.  To finalize the appointment, the treasurer will take the oath of office during the meeting at which the individual was appointed or no later than ten days thereafter.

 

The primary responsibility of the treasurer, as an appointed school officer, is to administer and maintain compliance with statutory duties as outlined throughout the Iowa Code pertaining to schools.  It will also be the responsibility of the treasurer to work with the secretary to coordinate the financial records, the financial reports, the cash flow needs and the investment portfolio of the school district.  The treasurer will give bond in an amount set by the board.  The cost of the bond will be paid by the school district.

 

Approved 04/17/2017         Reviewed _       Revised _  

207 Board of Directors Legal Counsel

The Board of Directors will annually appoint legal counsel to represent the corporation and to advise the Board on legal matters.  Counsel will attend regular and special meetings of the Board of Directors when requested to do so, and will be available for consultation as needed.

 

Because it is often necessary to consult legal counsel and receive its expert opinion as part of background information to be used by the Board of Directors in making decisions, and because at times the school district may be involved in litigation or other legal matters, the Superintendent, Board President and the District Secretary are authorized to seek counsel's services as needed.  However, the Board of Directors wishes to be kept informed of legal matters that are other than routine, and of legal services that may involve extraordinary expense to the district.

 

Individual Board members are expected to consult school legal counsel only when the full Board of Directors has given permission for such consultation.  Otherwise, the Board member will be expected to pay any legal fees that may result.

 

 

Legal Reference:                    Iowa Code §§ 279.37

                                                Bishop v. Iowa State Board of Public Instruction, 395

                                                N.W.2d888 (IA 1986)

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed 04/17/2017      Revised 04/17/2017 

208 Board of Directors Self-Evaluation

Periodically, the board may conduct an evaluation of itself. The goal of the self-evaluation is not to criticize fellow board members but rather to point out to the board its weaknesses and its strengths.

 

The evaluation will focus on board policies, board meetings, the educational program, the financial management, the board members’ personal qualities, and the board’s relationship with the superintendent, community, and personnel.

 

It shall be the responsibility of the board president to develop a board evaluation program.

 

 

Legal Reference:                    Iowa Code §§ 279.8; 280.12.

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed 04/17/2017      Revised            

209 Committees of the Board of Directors

209.1 Standing Committees

The board shall maintain the following standing committees:

  • District Improvement Team
  • Facilities/Transportation                     
  • Technology
  • Human Resources/Negotiations                                            
  • Finance

Two board members shall be appointed at the organizational meeting to serve on these committees for a term of one (1) year.

 

Legal Reference:                    Iowa Code §§ 279.8; 280.12.

                                                281 Iowa Admin. Code 23.3(3).

                                                1988 Op. Att’y Gen. 87-3-6.

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed 05/15/2017     Revised 05/15/2017  

209.2 Advisory Committees to the Board

The Board of Directors will rely on various advisory committees to counsel it as one way to learn about the needs and desires of the school district and its residents.  The central purpose of all advisory committees is to contribute to the educational program by conducting studies, identifying problems, and developing recommendations that will help the Board of Directors in the decision making process.  The ultimate authority to make decisions will continue to rest with the Board of Directors.

 

The Board of Directors may form citizens' advisory committees at such times and for such specific purposes as the Board of Directors deems necessary.  They will function until their assigned goal has been accomplished, or until the Board of Directors dissolves the committee.   Generally, citizens' advisory committees will be assigned to investigate areas of the educational program that need development, change, or reorganization, and areas of community involvement in district affairs.

 

Members will be broadly representative of the community's population, and will be chosen from among residents who have shown an interest in the topic to be studied, or who have a particular expertise relating to the topic.

 

Once activated, the committee will report periodically to the Board of Directors, keeping it informed of progress and problems.  The Board of Directors may designate the intervals at which it will hear from the committee, but any significant developments will be reported as they occur.  No announcement may be made by any committee or its members to the public or press until such release has been cleared with the Board of Directors.

 

The Board of Directors will provide citizens' advisory committees with a suitable meeting place and other required facilities until the Board of Directors dissolves the committees.

 

Legal Reference:                    Iowa Code §§ 21; 279.8; 280.12.

                                                281 Iowa Admin. Code 12.3(3), .3(8), .5(8).

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed 05/15/2017     Revised 05/15/2017  

210 Board of Directors Management Procedures

210.1 Development of Policy

As a policy making body, the board has jurisdiction to legislate policy for the school district with the force and effect of law. Board policy shall provide the general direction as to what the board wishes to accomplish while allowing the superintendent the professional prerogative to implement board policy.

 

The written policy statements contained in this manual provide guidelines and goals to the citizens, administration, staff and students in the school district community. The policy statements shall be the basis for the formulation of regulations by the administration. The board shall determine the effectiveness of the policy statements by evaluating periodic reports from the administration in the area of the policy statement.

 

Policy statements may be proposed by a member of the board, administration, school district personnel, students or any other member of the district community. Proposed policy statements or ideas shall be submitted to the board through the office of the superintendent for placement on the agenda of a board of directors meeting. It shall be the responsibility of the superintendent to bring these proposals to the attention of the board.

 

Policies shall be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure relevance to current practices and compliance with the law.

 

The policies of the board may be amended or revised by resolution adopted at any regular meeting, provided notice of such change shall have been given at a previous meeting. The superintendent of schools is authorized to submit written recommendations for revision of any existing policies as he/she deems necessary for the most efficient operation of the district. The superintendent will notify all employees whenever revisions, additions, or amendments are made. This notice procedure shall be required except for emergency situations, which shall be determined solely by the board.

 

 

Legal Reference:                    Iowa Code §§ 274.1-.2; 279.8, 280.12

                                                281 Iowa Admin. Code 12.3(2).

                                                1970 Op. Att’y Gen. 287.

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed 05/15/2017     Revised 05/15/2017  

210.1R1 Procedure for Policy Development/Adoption

The policy making duties are exercised through a sequence of steps. These steps pertain only to the development of written policy as part of the board’s legislative role. Policies that have been formulated in formal negotiations with employee groups may be found in the respective contractual agreements with those groups. The term “policy” is used to include the initiation of new policy and the amendment or deletion of existing policy.

 

  1. Initiation. Persons residing within or employed by the school district may suggest or recommend policies to the superintendent. The superintendent will obtain from the initiator a statement of the need for the proposed policy. The superintendent will be the primary person for initiating policy development directed by state officials or law.
  2. Assembly of background material. Within one month of policy initiation, the superintendent will gather the following types of information to prepare for further discussions:
    1. the specific need for the policy;
    2. the effect the proposed policy will have on administrators, students, teaching staff, the community and others;
    3. the fiscal consequences of adopting the proposed policy;
    4. samples of similar policies of other boards, if any;
    5. provisions of state law, where applicable; and
    6. suggestions as to how the policy will be implemented, enforced and evaluated.
  3. Work sessions. The superintendent will prepare a summary of the background material which will be distributed to each board member. Work sessions may be held. Notice of work sessions will be posted like any other meeting. Work sessions will provide the board with an opportunity to hear opinions and to weigh the merits of proposals from various groups, when necessary, to acquire input.
  4. Drafting a policy statement. The superintendent will draft a policy statement after a work session upon the request of the board. Consultation with the school attorney concerning the proposed policy statement is recommended. This draft may be sent to those individuals or groups who expressed interest in the policy or who are subject to it.
  5. Board formal action. When the draft policy has been prepared, the policy will be placed on the board’s agenda for a first reading after the policy statement has been distributed to the board. If no serious objections are raised at this reading, the policy will be scheduled for a second final reading and adoption at a subsequent board meeting. If serious objections are raised to it in the first or second readings, the board may refer the proposed policy for review. Each reading of the policy will constitute a public hearing before the board, and public input will be permitted.
  6. Promulgation. Adopted policies will be given publicity. The superintendent may arrange for brief press releases concerning policy adoptions. The superintendent will inform parents and the public of policy adoptions in district publications. Policies will be available in each school building immediately after adoption. Policies will be made available on the district’s website or can be requested from each building administrator’s office.
  7. Implementation. The superintendent will outline the actions to be taken to implement the policy and, where appropriate, issue administrative regulations concerning the policy. Often these administrative regulations will be developed, if required, as the policy is developed.
  8. Evaluation. The board or its appointed policy committee will arrange for a review of major policies and request periodic reports from the superintendent to answer such questions as:
    1. Are the policies working?
    2. Are they in tune with the changing times?
    3. Do they need revision?
    4. Which should be eliminated?

 

The entire board policy manual will be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure relevance to current practices and compliance with the law.

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed 05/15/2017     Revised 05/15/2017  

210.2 Adoption of Policy

The board shall give notice of proposed policy changes or adoption of new policies by placing the item on the agenda of two board meetings. The proposed policy changes shall be distributed, and public comment will be allowed at both meetings prior to final board action.  This notice procedure shall be required except for emergency situations. If the board adopts a policy in an emergency situation, a statement regarding the emergency and the need for immediate adoption of the policy shall be included in the minutes. The board shall have complete discretion to determine what constitutes an emergency situation.

 

The final action taken to adopt the proposed policy shall be approved by a roll call vote of a simple majority of those board members present. The policy will be effective on the later of the date of passage or the date stated in the motion.

 

In the case of an emergency, a new or changed policy may be adopted by a roll call vote of a majority of a quorum of the board. The emergency policy shall expire at the close of the third (3rd) regular meeting following the emergency action unless the policy adoption procedure stated above is followed and the policy is reaffirmed.

 

Legal Reference:                    

Iowa Code §§ 279.8

281 Iowa Admin. Code 12.3(2).

1970 Op. Att’y Gen. 287.

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed 05/15/2017       Revised            

210.3 Dissemination of Policy

The board policy manual is available electronically. Persons unable to access the policy manual electronically should contact the board secretary for assistance.

 

Legal Reference:                    Iowa Code §§ 277.31; 279.8 (2013).

                                                281 Iowa Admin. Code 12.3(2).

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed 05/15/2017       Revised 05/15/2017 

210.4 Waiver of Policy

Generally, the board shall follow board policy and enforce it equitably. The board may, in extreme emergencies of a very unique nature, waive policy. It shall be within the discretion of the board to determine when an extreme emergency of a very unique nature exists.

 

Board policy shall not be waived by the administration or school district personnel. Policy may only be waived by the board.

 

Legal Reference:                    

Iowa Code §§ 279.8

281 Iowa Admin. Code 12.3(2).

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed 05/15/2017       Revised            

210.5 Administration in Absence of Policy

When there is no board policy in existence to provide guidance on a matter before the administration, the superintendent is authorized to act appropriately under the circumstances surrounding the situation keeping in mind the educational philosophy and financial condition of the school district.

 

It is the responsibility of the superintendent to inform the board of the situation and the action taken and to document the action taken. If needed, the superintendent will draft a proposed policy for the board to consider.

 

 

Legal Reference:                    Iowa Code §§ 279.8

                                                Iowa Admin. Code 12.3(2).

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed 05/15/2017       Revised 05/15/2017

210.6 Review and Revision of Policy

The board shall, at least once every five (5) years, review board policy l. Once the policy has been reviewed, even if no changes were made, a notation of the date of review shall be made on the face of the policy statement.

 

It shall be the responsibility of the superintendent to keep the board informed as to legal changes at both the federal and state levels. The superintendent shall also be responsible for bringing proposed policy statement revisions to the board’s attention.

 

If a policy is revised because of a legal change over which the board has no control or a change which is minor, the policy may be approved at one meeting at the discretion of the board.

 

 

Legal Reference:  Iowa Code §§ 279.8

                              281 Iowa Admin. Code 12.3(2).

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed   05/15/2017       Revised 05/15/2017   

210.7 Review of Administrative Regulations

Board policy sets the direction for the administration of the educational program and school district operations. Some policies require administrative regulations for implementation.

 

It shall be the responsibility of the superintendent to develop administrative regulations to implement the board policies. The regulations, including handbooks, will be reviewed by the board prior to their use in the school district.

 

The administrative regulations will be available no later than of the first regular board meeting after the adoption of the policy unless the board directs otherwise.

 

Legal Reference:                    Iowa Code §§ 279.8, .20 (2013).

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed 06/19/2017       Revised 06/19/2017       

211 Board of Directors Meetings

211.1 Annual Meeting

Each year after August 31 of each year, and prior to the organizational meeting of the board in odd-numbered years, the board shall hold its annual meeting.

 

At the annual meeting, the board shall examine the financial books and settle the secretary’s and treasurer’s statements for the fiscal year ending the preceding June 30. As part of the annual reports, the treasurer shall present affidavits from depository banks. The board may also appoint the board’s legal counsel at the annual meeting.

 

Legal Reference:                    Iowa Code §§ 279.2, .3, .33(2013).

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed 05/15/2017       Revised 05/15/2017

211.2 Regular Meeting

The regular meeting time and date shall be set by the board at its organizational meeting in odd-numbered years, or at the annual meeting in even-number years.

 

The board shall adhere to this meeting date unless the board required additional meetings or, due to circumstances beyond the board’s control, the meeting could not be held on the regular meeting date, and the meeting will be re-scheduled in accordance with law and policy. Public notice shall be given for meetings in compliance with the law.

 

 

Legal Reference:                    Iowa Code §§ 21.3, .4; 279.1.                                    

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed 05/15/2017       Revised 05/15/2017  

211.3 Special Meeting

It may be necessary to conduct a special board meeting in addition to the regularly scheduled board meeting. Special meetings may be called by the president of the board or by the board secretary at the request of a majority of the board.  Should a special meeting be called, public notice shall be given.

 

If the special meeting called is an emergency meeting and the board cannot give public notice in its usual manner, the board shall give public notice of the meeting as soon as practical and possible in light of the situation. Emergency meetings will only be held when an issue cannot wait twenty-four hours necessary for a special meeting. The reason for the emergency meeting and why notice in its usual manner could not be given shall be stated in the minutes.

 

 

Only the purpose or issue for which the special meeting was called may be discussed and decided in the special meeting. The board shall strictly adhere to the agenda for the special meeting and action on other issues shall be reserved for the next scheduled regular school board meeting.

 

 

Legal Reference:                    Iowa Code §§ 21.3, .4; 279.2 (2013)

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed 05/15/2017       Revised 05/15/2017

211.4 Work Sessions

The board, as a decision making body, is confronted with a continuing flow of problems, issues and needs which require action. While the board is determined to expedite its business, it is also mindful of the importance of planning, brainstorming and thoughtful discussion without action. Therefore, the board may schedule work sessions and retreats in order to provide its members and the administration with such opportunities. The board has the authority to hire an outside facilitator to assist them in work sessions.

 

Topics for discussion and study will be announced publicly, and work sessions and retreats will be conducted in open session.  No board action will take place at the work session.

 

 

Legal Reference:                    Iowa Code §§ 21; 279.8(2013).

                                                1982 Op. Att’y Gen. 162.

                                                1980 Op. Att’y Gen. 167.

                                                1976 Op. Att’y Gen. 384, 514, 765.

                                                1972 Op. Att’y Gen. 158.

                                                1970 Op. Att’y Gen. 287.

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed 05/15/2017       Revised 05/15/2017  

211.5 Meeting Notice

Public notice shall be given for meetings and work sessions held by the board. Public notice shall indicate the time, place, date and tentative agenda of school board meetings. The public notice shall be posted in a prominent place that is easily accessible to the public and is clearly designated for purpose of the same within the district’s office at least twenty-four (24) hours before it is scheduled to begin.

 

A copy of the public notice will be provided to those who have filed a written request for notice with the board secretary. A copy of the public notice will also be accessible by employees and students.

 

In the case of special meetings, public notice shall be given in the same manner as for a regular meeting unless it is an emergency meeting. In that case, public notice of the meeting shall be given as soon as practical and possible in light of the situation. The media and others who have requested notice shall be notified of the emergency meeting. Attendance at a special meeting or emergency meeting by the media or any other individual shall constitute a waiver of notice.

 

It shall be the responsibility of the board secretary to give public notice of board meetings and work sessions.

 

 

Legal Reference:                    Iowa Code §§ 21.2-.4; 279.1, .2.

                                                1952 Op. Att’y Gen. 133.

                                                Dobrovolny v. Reinhardt, 173 N.W.2d 837 (IA 1970).

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed 05/15/2017       Revised 05/15/0217  

211.6 Quorum

Action regarding the affairs of the school district by the board may be taken only when a quorum, a majority of the board members, is in attendance at the board meeting.

 

While board members are encouraged to attend board meetings, four (4) members shall constitute a quorum and are a sufficient number to transact business of the school corporation. The adjournment of a meeting may be executed without a quorum.

 

An affirmative vote of a majority of the votes cast shall be sufficient to pass a motion or take action unless law or board policy requires a vote of a greater number.

 

It is the responsibility of each board member to attend board meetings.

 

 

Legal Reference:                    Iowa Code §§ 21.5(1); 279.4.

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed 05/15/2017      Revised 05/15/2017  

211.7 Rules of Order

An orderly board meeting allows the board members to participate in the discussion and decision process on an issue confronting the school district. Rules of order for board members allow school district business and the relative information concerning the business to be brought to the attention of the board. They also allow the board to discuss, act upon and make a clear record of school district business in a regular, ordered, reasonable and consistent manner.

 

The board will follow Robert’s Rule of Order, Revised, latest edition as modified by this policy and subsequent rule. The purpose of modified rules adopted by the board are:

  • To establish guidelines by which the business of the governing board can be conducted in a regular and internally consistent manner;
  • To organize the meetings so all necessary matters can be brought to the board and decisions of the board can be made in an orderly and reasonable manner;
  • To ensure members of the board, concentrating on the substantive issues at hand, have the necessary information to make decisions, and to ensure adequate discussion of decisions to be made; and
  • To ensure meetings and actions of the board are conducted so as to be informative to the staff and public, and to produce a clear record of actions taken and decisions made.

 

It shall be the responsibility of each board member to follow the rules of order stated in this policy at each meeting, and it shall be the responsibility of the presiding officer to conduct the board meeting within these rules.

 

 

Legal Reference:                    Iowa Code §§ 21.2, .7; 279.8

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed 05/15/2017       Revised 05/15/2017  

212 Open Meetings

A gathering of a majority of board members in which deliberation of an issue within the jurisdiction of the board takes place is a board meeting. A gathering for the purpose of social or ministerial action shall not constitute a board meeting unless a discussion of policy takes place.  Meetings of the board shall be conducted in an open meeting unless a closed session is authorized by law or the meeting is exempt from the open meetings law.

 

Legal Reference:                    Iowa Code §§ 21; 279.1-.2.

                                                1982 Op. Att’y Gen. 162.

                                                1980 Op. Att’y Gen. 167.

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed 05/15/0217       Revised 05/15/0217   

213 Closed Meetings

Generally, board meetings shall be open meetings, unless a closed session or exempt meeting is provided for by law. The board shall hold a closed session or exempt meeting in the situations stated below.

 

Exceptions to the Open Meetings Law

Closed sessions take place as part of an open meeting. The item for discussion in the closed session shall be listed as part of the tentative agenda on the public notice. The motion for a closed session, stating the purpose for the closed session, shall be made and seconded during the open meeting. A minimum of two-thirds of the board, or all of the board members present, must vote in favor of the motion on a roll call vote. Closed sessions shall be tape recorded and have detailed minutes kept by the board secretary. Final action on matters discussed in the closed session shall be taken in an open meeting.

 

The minutes and tape recording will restate the motion made in the open meeting, the roll call vote, the members present, and the time the closed session began and ended. The tape recordings and the written minutes shall be kept for one year from the date of the meeting. Real estate related minutes and tapes will be made public after the real estate transaction is completed.

 

The detailed minutes and tape recording shall be sealed and shall not be public records open to public inspection. The minutes and tape recording will only be available to the board members or opened upon court order in an action to enforce the requirements of the open meetings law. The board has complete discretion as to who may be present at a closed session.

 

The board may hold a closed session for any of the reasons listed in Chapter 21.5 of the Iowa Code.

 

Exemptions to the Open Meetings Law

Board meetings at which a quorum is not present, or gatherings of the board for purely ministerial or social purposes when there is no discussion of policy or no intent to avoid the purposes of the open meetings law, are exempt from the open meetings law requirements. Since gatherings of this type are exempt from the open meetings requirements, they can be held without public notice, be separate from an open meeting, be held without taping the gathering or taking minutes, and be held without a vote or motion. The board may also hold an exempt session for the following:

  1. Negotiating sessions, strategy meetings of public employers or employee organizations, mediation and the deliberative process of arbitration;
  2. To discuss strategy in matters relating to employment conditions of employees not covered by the collective bargaining law;
  3. To conduct a private hearing relating to the recommended termination of a teacher’s contract. However, the private hearing in the teacher’s contract termination shall be recorded verbatim by a court reporter; or
  4. To conduct a private hearing relating to the termination of a probationary administrator’s contract or to review the proposed decision of the administrative law judge regarding the termination of an administrator’s contract.

 

Legal Reference:                    Iowa Code §§ 20.17; 21; 22.7; 279.15, .16, .24.

                                                1982 Op. Att’y Gen. 162.

                                                1980 Op. Att’y Gen. 167.

                                                1976 Op. Att’y Gen. 384, 514, 765.

                                                1972 Op. Att’y Gen. 158.

                                                1970 Op. Att’y Gen. 287.

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed   05/15/0217       Revised 05/15/2017   

214 Board of Directors Meeting Agenda

214.1 Meeting Agenda

The tentative agenda for each board meeting will state the topics for discussion and action at the board meeting. The agenda is part of the public notice of the board meeting and will be posted and distributed.

 

Persons requesting to place an item on the agenda must make a request to the superintendent prior to the drafting of the tentative agenda. The person making the request must state the person’s name, address, purpose of the presentation, action desired and pertinent background information. Requests from the public may be added to the tentative agenda at the discretion of the superintendent after consultation with the board president. Requests received after the deadline may only be added to the agenda for good cause.

 

The tentative agenda and supporting documents shall be sent to the board members prior to the next scheduled board meeting. These documents are the private property of the board member. Persons wishing to view the tentative agenda and supporting documents may do so at the central administration office.

 

The board shall take action only on items listed on the tentative agenda posted with the public meeting notice. Items added to the agenda may be discussed or taken under advisement by the board.  If an added item is acted upon, the minutes of the board meeting shall state the reason justifying the immediate action.

 

It shall be the responsibility of the board president and superintendent to develop the agenda for each school board meeting.

 

Legal Reference:                    Iowa Code §§ 21; 279.8 (2013)

                                                1980 Op. Att’y Gen. 269.

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed 06/19/2017       Revised   06/19/2017  

 

215 Public Participation in Board Meetings

The board recognizes the importance of citizen participation in school district matters. In order to assure citizens are heard and board meetings are conducted efficiently and in an organized manner, the board will set time aside for citizen participation, either at a specific time during the meeting or during the discussion of agenda items. Citizens wishing to address the board on a certain agenda item must notify the superintendent prior to the board meeting. Citizens wishing to present petitions to the board may do so at this time. However, the board will only receive the petitions and not act upon them or their contents. The board has the discretion to limit the amount of time set aside for public participation.

 

If the pressure of business or other circumstances dictate, the board president may decide to eliminate this practice. The board president will recognize these individuals to make their comments at the appropriate time. The orderly process of the board meeting will not be interfered with or disrupted. Only those speakers recognized by the board president will be allowed to speak. Comments by others are out of order. If disruptive, the individual causing disruption may be asked to leave the board meeting.

 

Individuals who have a complaint about employees may bring their complaint to the school board only after they have followed board policy addressing citizens’ complaints. Students who have a complaint may ask the board to hear their complaint only after they have followed board policy addressing students’ complaints.

 

Legal Reference:                    Iowa Code §§ 21; 22; 279.8 (2013).

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed 06/19/2017       Revised 06/19/2017  

216 Public Hearings

Public hearings may be held on school district matters at the discretion of the board. Public notice of a public hearing shall be in the same manner as for a school board meeting except that the notice shall be given at least ten (10) days before the hearing is to be held unless it is impossible or impractical to do so, or the law requires otherwise.

 

At public hearings citizens who register at the door will be allowed to speak to the issue for which the public hearing is being held. Others may be allowed to speak at the board’s discretion. Speakers are asked to keep their remarks as brief as possible. Prior to the beginning of the hearing, speakers and spectators will be apprised of any rules of order to be followed in regard to time limitations, questions, remarks, rebuttals and so forth. In no event will a speaker be allowed to take the time of another speaker.

 

The board shall conduct public hearings in an orderly fashion. At the beginning of the hearing, statements, background materials and public hearing rules and procedures will be presented. The board president shall then recognize the speakers. A board member may ask questions of the speakers after receiving permission from the board president. Only those speakers recognized by the chair will be allowed to speak. Comments by others are out of order. Individuals who interfere with or interrupt speakers or the board shall be asked to leave.

 

Legal Reference: Iowa Code §§ 21; 24.9; 26.12; 279.8, .10; 297.22 (2013).

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed 06/19/2017       Revised 06/19/2017       

217 Board of Directors Relationships

Board of Directors and Superintendent

The superintendent is hired by the board as the chief executive officer of the board to manage the day-to-day operation of the school district. The board shall set policy to guide the superintendent and shall not be involved in the day-to-day operations of the school district.

 

The superintendent shall work closely with the board, particularly the board president, to carry out and implement the policies of the board, to advise the board, to provide information to the board, to offer alternative solutions to the board with a recommendation, and to do other such duties the board determines.

 

The superintendent shall attend all board meetings unless the superintendent has been excused by the board president.

 

Legal Reference:        Iowa Code §§ 279.8; 279.20

 

Board of Directors and District Personnel

School district personnel will be utilized for their expertise to provide information to the board and to take part on advisory committees when necessary.

 

The board must remain objective about each employee. Personnel complaints, requests for changes and so forth must go first to the building principal and then to the superintendent unless the superintendent is the employee’s immediate supervisor. The board shall only become involved with personnel issues when the board is hiring and when the board is acting as a hearing panel to discuss the termination of an employee.

 

Legal Reference:        Iowa Code §§ 20; 279.8; 279.12-.18.

 

Board of Directors and Adjoining District School Boards

The board may work with adjoining school district boards to provide additional opportunities in the school district’s educational programs, as well as to operate the school district more economically and efficiently. As part of this joint effort, the board shall pay particular attention to opportunities to share students, programs and school district personnel.

 

Legal Reference:        Iowa Code §§ 28E; 279.8; 280.15; 442.39.

                                    1978 Op. Att’y Gen. 64.

 

Board of Directors and Area Education Agency

The board shall utilize the resources of Heartland Area Education Agency (AEA) such as educational materials and staff resources, particularly in the area of special education. Support may include, but not be limited to, school psychologists, speech therapists, nurses, physicians, dentists and aides who work directly with students in the educational process.

 

The board may also utilize the AEA to work with other school districts in the region for program offerings as well as purchase of supplies.

 

Legal Reference:                    Iowa Code §§ 28E; 273, 279.8.

                                                1978 Op. Att’y Gen. 64.

Board of Directors and Elected Officials

Being aware of and expressing their opinion on, proposed law revisions and new laws is essential to maintaining and creating an educational program to meet the needs of the school district community.

 

It shall be the responsibility of the board to remain in contact with the elected official representing the school district. It shall be the responsibility of the superintendent to assist the board in keeping up-to-date on proposed laws and in contacting the elected officials who represent the school district.

 

Legal Reference:                    Iowa Code §§ 279.8.

Approved 06/19/2017       Reviewed                          Revised            

218 Board of Directors Records

The board shall keep and maintain permanent records of the board including, but not limited to, records of the minutes of board meetings and other required records received by the board.

 

It shall be the responsibility of the board secretary to keep the minutes of the school board meetings. The minutes of each meeting shall include as a minimum the following items: a record of date, time, place, members present, action taken and the vote of each member with the schedule of bills allowed attached. The schedule of bills allowed may be published on a once monthly basis in lieu of publication with the minutes. This information shall be furnished within two (2) weeks of the meeting, to be published in a newspaper designated as a newspaper for official publication.

 

Minutes waiting approval at the next board meeting will be available for inspection central administration office after the board secretary transcribes the notes into typewritten material which has been proofread for errors and retyped.

 

Legal Reference:                  Iowa Code §§ 21; 22; 279.8, .35, .36; 291.6, .7; 618.3 (2013).

                                          281 IAC 12.3(1).

                                          1982 Op. Att’y Gen. 215.

                                          1974 Op. Att’y Gen. 403.

                                          1952 Op. Att’y Gen. 133.

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed 06/19/2017       Revised 06/19/2017       

218.1 Board Meeting Minutes

Since the official minutes of the board are the only basic legal record, it is important that they be recorded with extreme care and completeness. The board secretary shall follow the following guidelines in writing board minutes:

 

With respect to content, the minutes should show the following:

  1. The place, date, and time of each meeting.
  2. The type of meeting--regular, special emergency, work session.
  3. Members present and members absent, by name.
  4. The call to order and adjournment.
  5. The departure of members by name before adjournment.
  6. The late arrival of members, by name.
  7. Approval, or amendment and approval, of the minutes of the preceding meeting.
  8. Complete information as to each subject of the board’s deliberation and the action taken.
  9. The maker and seconder of the motion, what action was taken, and the vote on the motion detailed enough to attribute a vote to each member present.
  10. Complete text of all board resolutions, numbered consecutively for each fiscal year.
  11. A record of all contracts entered into, with the contract documents kept in a separate file.
  12. A record of all change orders on construction contracts.
  13. All employment changes, including resignations or terminations.
  14. A record, by number, of the bills of account approved by the board for payment.
  15. A record of all calls for bids, bids received, and action taken thereon.
  16. Approval of all transfers of funds from one budgetary fund to another.
  17. Important documents forming a part of a motion should be made a part of the minutes by exhibit and placed in the minute book along with the minutes.
  18. Board policy and administrative guides should be made a part of the minutes by exhibit.
  19. Adoption of textbooks and establishment of bus routes by the board for the school year as well as the school calendar should become a part of the minutes.
  20. Approval or disapproval of open enrollment requests with justification for disapproval or approval after the deadline.
  21. A record of all delegations appearing before the board and record of all petitions.
  22. At the annual meeting each year the record should indicate that the books of the treasurer and secretary and the Certified Annual Report have been examined and approved subject to audit.
  23. The election or appointment of board officers.
  24. The appointment of auditors to examine the books.

 

At the annual or organizational meeting in odd-numbered years, the minutes should reflect the following:

  1. Appointment of a temporary chairperson if not specified in policy.
  2. Oath of office administered to newly elected board members.
  3. Nominations taken for the office of president and vice president.
  4. Election of the president and vice president, the votes and the oath of office administered to the president and vice president.
  5. The resolution to pay bills when the board is not in session.
  6. A resolution to automatically disburse payroll along with a roster of all employees under contract.
  7. A resolution naming depositories along with the maximum deposit for each depository.
  8. Resolution authorizing the use of a check protector and signer and the proper control of the signer.
  9. Motion designating a member or a committee to examine the bills of account for a designated period of time on a rotation basis if desired for the balance of the school year.
  10. Voting rotation when a roll call vote is used if so desired by the board.

 

Approved   01/20/97       Reviewed 06/19/2017       Revised 06/19/2017       

219 Board of Directors Member Services

219.1 Association Membership

Participation in board member associations are beneficial the board. The board may maintain an active membership in the Iowa Association of School Boards and in organizations the board determines will be of benefit to the board and the school district.

 

Legal Reference:                    Iowa Code §§ 279.38 (2013)

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed 06/19/2017       Revised 06/19/2017       

219.2 Board of Directors Member Development and Training

The board may participate in conferences sponsored by educational associations and agencies in addition to its own in-service programs and work sessions.

 

The board shall work closely with the Iowa Association of School Boards’ Academy of Board Learning Experiences and encourage the board members to participate in conferences to achieve the Better Boardsmanship Award.

 

Legal Reference:                    Iowa Code §§ 279.8, .38 (2013).

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed 06/19/2017       Revised 06/19/2017       

219.3 Board of Directors Member Compensation and Reimbursement

As an elected public official, the board member is a public servant who serves without compensation. Board members shall be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties.

 

Prior to reimbursement of actual and necessary expenses, the board member must submit a detailed receipt indicating the date, purpose and nature of the expense for each claim item. A credit card receipt is generally not considered a detailed receipt. Failure to provide a detailed receipt shall make the expense non-reimbursable. Personal expenses shall be reimbursed by the board member to the school district no later than ten (10) working days following the date of the expense. In exceptional circumstances, the board may allow a claim without proper receipt. Written documentation explaining the exceptional circumstances shall be maintained as part of the school district’ record of the claim.

 

It shall be the responsibility of the board secretary to compile the expenses of board members. The board treasurer shall bring them to the board for audit and approval in the same manner as other claims of the school district. It shall be the responsibility of the board to determine through the audit and approval process of the board whether the expenses incurred by a board member are actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties.

 

Legal Reference:                    Iowa Code §§ 68B; 277.27; 279.7A, .8, .32 (2013).

 

Approved 12/20/90       Reviewed 06/19/2017       Revised 06/19/2017       

219.4 New Board of Directors Member Orientation

To acquaint new board members with the duties and role of the board of directors, each new board member shall meet with the superintendent and the board secretary to become familiar with the responsibilities and the role of being a board of directors’ member for the school district.

 

It shall be the responsibility of the superintendent to ensure that new board members have an opportunity to attend an orientation conference and meet the superintendent. It shall also be the responsibility of the superintendent to ensure that each new board member has necessary documents and board materials.

 

Legal Reference:                    Iowa Code §§ 279.8

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed 06/19/2017       Revised 01/20/2011  

219.5 Activity Passes for Board Members

In recognition of the great amount of time, energy and talent, as well as the interest, of board members in the school district, past and present board members and their spouses shall receive lifetime activity passes to school-sponsored activities.

 

It shall be the responsibility of the superintendent to ensure board members and their spouses receive activity passes.

 

Legal Reference:                    

Iowa Code §§ 273.1, 279.8.

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed 06/19/2017       Revised            

220 School Visitation by Board of Directors

Board of Directors members are always welcome to visit the school building to observe the operations of the school district. Board of Directors members shall notify the administrative office when they are in the building to visit or for board-related business.

 

It shall be the responsibility of each board member to check in with the administrative office when they are in the building for board-related business.

 

Legal Reference:                    

Iowa Code §§ 279.8

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed   06/19/2017       Revised 01/20/97   

221 Gifts to Board of Directors

Board members may receive a gift on behalf of the school district. Board members shall not, either directly or indirectly, solicit, accept or receive a gift, series of gifts or an honorarium unless the donor does not meet the definition of “restricted donor” stated below or the gift or honorarium does not meet the definition of gift or honorarium stated below.

 

A “restricted donor” is defined as a person or other entity which:

  • Is seeking to be or is a party to any one or any combination of sales, purchases, leases or contracts to, from or with the school district;
  • Will be directly and substantially affected financially by the performance or nonperformance of the board member’s official duty in a way that is greater than the effect on the public generally or on a substantial class of persons to which the person belongs as a member of a profession, occupation, industry or region; or
  • Is a lobbyist or a client of a lobbyist with respect to matters within the school district’s jurisdiction.

 

A “gift” is the giving of anything of value in return for which something of equal or greater value is not given or received.  However, “gift” does not include any of the following:

  • Contributions to a candidate or a candidate’s committee;
  • Information material relevant to a board member’s official function, such as books, pamphlets, reports, documents, periodicals or other information that is recorded in a written, audio or visual format;
  • Anything received from a person related within the fourth degree by kinship or marriage, unless the donor is acting as an agent or intermediary for another person not so related;
  • An inheritance;
  • Anything available or distributed to the general public free of charge without regard to the official status of the board recipient;
  • Items received from a charitable, professional, educational or business organization to which the board member belongs as a dues paying member if the items are given to all members of the organization without regard to an individual member’s status or positions held outside of the organization and if the dues paid are not inconsequential when compared to the items received;
  • Actual expenses of a board member for food, beverages, travel and lodging for a meeting, which is given in return for participation in a panel or speaking engagement at the meeting when the expenses relate directly to the day or days on which the board member has participation or presentation responsibilities;
  • Plaques or items of negligible resale value given as recognition for public service;
  • Nonmonetary items with a value of less than three dollars that are received from any one donor during one calendar day;
  • Items or services solicited or given to a state, national or regional organization in which the state of Iowa or a school district is a member for purposes of a business or educational conference, seminar or other meeting or solicited by or given to state, national or regional government organizations whose memberships and officers are primarily composed of state or local government officials or employees for purposes of a business or educational conference, seminar or other meeting;
  • Items or services received by members or representatives of members as part of a regularly scheduled event that is part of a business or educational conference, seminar or other meeting that is sponsored and directed by any state, national or regional government organization in which the state of Iowa or a political subdivision of the state of Iowa is a member or received at such an event by members or representatives of members of state, national or regional government organizations whose memberships and officers are primarily composed of state or local government officials or employees;
  • Funeral flowers or memorials to a church or nonprofit organization;
  • Gifts which are given to a public official for the public official’s wedding or twenty-fifth or fiftieth wedding anniversary;
  • Payment of salary or expenses by a board member’s employer or the firm in which the board member is a member for the cost of attending a meeting of a subunit of an agency when the board member whose expenses are being paid serves on a board, commission, committee, council or other subunit of the agency and the board member is not entitled to receive compensation or reimbursement of expenses from the school district;
  • Gift other than food, beverages, travel and lodging received by a board member which are received from a person who is a citizen of a country other than the United States and is given during a ceremonial presentation or as a result of a custom of the other country and is of personal value only to the board member; or
  • Actual registration costs for informational meetings or sessions which assist a public official or public employee in the performance of the person’s official functions.  The costs of food, drink, lodging and travel are not “registration costs” under this paragraph.  Meetings or sessions which a public official or public employee attends for personal or professional licensing purposes are not “informational meetings or sessions which assist a public official or public employee in the performance of the person’s official functions” under this paragraph.

 

An “honorarium” is anything of value that is accepted by, or on behalf of, a board member as consideration for an appearance, speech or article.  An honorarium does not include any of the following:

  • Actual expenses of a board member for registration, food, beverages, travel or lodging for a meeting, which is given in return for participation in a panel or speaking engagement at a meeting when the expenses relate directly to the day or days on which the board member has participation or presentation responsibilities;
  • A nonmonetary gift or series of nonmonetary gifts donated within thirty days to a public body, an educational or charitable organization or the department of general services; or
  • A payment made to a board member for services rendered as part of a private business, trade or profession in which the board member is engaged if the payment is commensurate with the actual services rendered and is not being made because of the person’s status as a board member but, rather, because of some special expertise or other qualification.

 

It shall be the responsibility of each board member to know when it is appropriate to accept or reject gifts or honorariums.

 

Legal Reference:                    

Iowa Code ch. 68B.

1972 Op. Att’y Gen. 276.

1970 Op. Att’y Gen. 319.

 

Approved   12/20/90       Reviewed  06/19/2017      Revised 01/20/97