200 Series: Board of Directors

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Guiding Principles

Reviewed 10/19 200.1 School Board Statement of Guiding Principles

General Organization

Reviewed 10/19 201.2 Legal Status of the School Board
Reviewed 10/19 201.4 School Board Elections
Reviewed 10/19 201.5 Board Member Qualifications
Reviewed 10/19 201.6 Organization of the School Board
Reviewed 10/19 201.7 Board Member Term of Office
Reviewed 10/19 201.8 School Board Vacancies
Reviewed 10/19 201.9 Board Member Liability

Specific Duties of the Board

Reviewed 10/19 202.1 School Board Code of Ethics
Reviewed 10/19 202.2 Ideal Boardmanship
Reviewed 10/19 202.3 School Board President
Reviewed 10/19 202.4 School Board Vice President
Reviewed 10/19 202.5 School Board Secretary
Reviewed 10/19 202.6 School Board Treasurer
Revised 10/19 202.7 School Board Conflict of Interest

Procedures of Operation

Reviewed 10/19 203.1 Development of Board Policy
Reviewed 10/19 203.2 Adoption of Board Policy
Reviewed 10/19 203.3 Review and Revision of Board Policy
Reviewed 10/19 203.8 Ad Hoc Committees
Reviewed 10/19 203.9 School Board Legal Counsel

Meetings of the Board

Reviewed 10/19 204.1 Meetings of the School Board
Reviewed 10/19 204.2 Special Meetings of the School Board
Reviewed 10/19 204.3 Closed Sessions of the School Board
Reviewed 10/19 204.4 Annual & Organizational Meetings of the Board
Reviewed 10/19 204.7 Board Meeting Agenda
Reviewed 10/19 204.8 Open Meetings of the School Board
Reviewed 10/19 204.9 Public Participation in Board Meetings
Reviewed 10/19 204.10 School Board Rules of Order
Reviewed 10/19 204.10-R Administrative Regulations Regarding School Board Rules of Order
Revised 10/19 204.12 School Board Records
Reviewed 10/19 204.13 Quorums of the School Board
Reviewed 10/19 204.15 Board Member Oath of Office
Reviewed 10/19 204.16 School Board Work Sessions

Miscellaneous

Reviewed 10/19 205.1 Board Member Compensation and Expenses
Reviewed 10/19 205.2 School Board Association Memberships
Reviewed 10/19 205.3 Gifts to the School Board
Reviewed 10/19 205.4 School Board Relationship with Elected Officials

Board Evaluation

Reviewed 10/19 206.1 Board Member Development and Training
Reviewed 10/19 206.2 School Board Self-Evaluation

200.1 - School Board Statement of Guiding Principles

 

 

 

It is the policy of the Linn-Mar Board of Directors to recognize and maintain the distinction between those activities which are appropriate to the board as the legislative, governing body of the school district and those administrative activities which are to be performed by the superintendent of schools and the staff in the exercise of delegated administrative authority. The functions of the board can best be described as policy making, appraisal, and evaluation.

The Board of Directors have the duty of providing the financial means by which the educational program is delivered. It will further ensure that the community is informed on the needs, purposes, values, and status of the schools.

The board develops policy and procedure for its own business conduct and for that of the entire school corporation.

Legislative: The board represents the people of the district and functions as a policy making body. The board has complete jurisdiction over the school district and its employees.

Executive: The board selects an executive officer, the Superintendent of Schools, and delegates to him/her the authority for carrying out the policies, plans, and administrative details necessary to ensure that all phases of operation formulated by the board are effective.

Appraisal: The function which determines the efficiency of the operation of the district financially and examines the worth of what is to be transmitted as the result of instruction based on a sound philosophy of education.


Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 9/10; 10/11; 4/13; 9/16; 10/19
Revised: 8/14
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 274.2; 275.2; 275.23A; 277.23, .28, .31
279.1, .5, .7-.8, .33 (2013); 281 IAC 12.3(2)

201 - General Organization

 

 

 

201.2 - Legal Status of the School Board

 

 

 

The Board of Directors of the Linn-Mar Community School District derives its legal status from the Constitution of the state of Iowa and the statutes enacted by the General Assembly.

The Board of Directors acts as an agent of the state in developing an educational program in accordance with the constitution and laws of the state of Iowa.

The board is organized for the purpose of setting policy and providing general direction for the school district.


Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 10/11; 4/13; 8/14; 9/16; 10/19
Revised: 11/08
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): 274.1; 274.2, 274.4, 277.2, 277.3

201.4 - School Board Elections

 

 

 

School elections take place on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of odd-numbered years. Each school election is used to elect at least three citizens representing the district at large to the board for a four-year term to maintain a seven member board. The election may also 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 designee] in accordance with the timelines established by law.

If a vacancy occurs on the board it shall be filled in accordance with law and board policy.

It is the responsibility of the county commissioner of elections to conduct school elections.

As specified by law, special elections may be called by the school board with regard to those matters stipulated in the Code of Iowa.


Adopted: 9/85
Reviewed: 10/11; 4/13; 8/14; 10/19
Revised: 11/08; 9/16; 11/18
Related Policy (Code #): 204.5
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ .39; .45; .63; .69; 274.7; 277; 278.1; 279.7
IASB Reference: 201

201.5 - Board Member 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 should 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 believe 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 resident of the school district, an eligible elector of the district, and free from financial conflict of interest with the position as described in Policy 202.7, Board of Director’s Conflict of Interest.


Adopted: 9/85
Reviewed: 4/13; 8/14; 9/16; 10/19
Revised: 11/08
Related Policy (Code #): 202.6
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 63; 68B; 277.4, .27; 279.7A (2013)
IASB Reference: 202.1

201.6 - Organization of the School Board

 

 

 

The Linn-Mar Community School District Board of Education is authorized by and derives its organization from Iowa law. The board will consist of seven board members.

The board will hold its organizational meeting at the first regular meeting following the canvass of votes. Notice of the meeting place and time will be given by the board secretary to each member, member-elect, and the public. The purpose of the organizational meeting is to transfer materials and responsibility from the outgoing board to the new board.

At the organizational meeting, the board will elect a president and a vice president who will hold office for one year. In even numbered years, the president and vice president are elected at the annual meeting. Once elected, the president and vice president will be entitled to vote on all matters before the board.

Vacancies in Officer Positions: If any office of the board should become vacant between organizational meetings such office will be filled as follows:

  • President: Filled by the vice president (Policy 202.4)
  • Vice President: Filled by election from members of board (Policy 202.4)
  • Secretary: Filled temporarily by the superintendent (Policy 202.5)
  • Treasurer: Filled temporarily by the business manager until a replacement is appointed by the board (Policy 202.6)

Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 10/11; 9/16; 10/19
Revised: 4/13; 9/13; 8/14
Related Policy (Code#): 202.4-6
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 274.2; 275.23A; 277.23, .28, .31; 279.1, .5, .7-8, .33; 281 IAC 12.3(2)
IASB Reference: 200.1; 200.1R1

201.7 - Board Member Term of Office

 

 

 

Board members elected for a full term at a regularly scheduled school election in November, of odd-numbered years, serve for four years.

Board members appointed to fill a vacant position will serve until a successor is elected and qualified at the next regular school election, unless there is an intervening special election for the school district, in which event a successor shall be elected at the intervening special election. A board member elected to fill a vacancy will serve out the unexpired term.

Being a board member is a unique opportunity for a citizen to participate on a governing board of the school district. Eligible board members are encouraged to consider running for more than one term.


Adopted: 9/16
Reviewed: 10/19
Revised: 11/18
Related Policy (Code #): 201.4; 201.6; 201.8
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 69.12; 274.7; 279.6-7
IASB Reference: 202.3

201.8 - School Board Vacancies

 

 

 

A vacancy occurs as provided by law, which includes but is not limited to when a board member dies, resigns or leaves office, or fails to reside in the school district or director district.

If a vacancy occurs prior to the expiration of a term of office, the vacancy shall be filled by board appointment within 30 days of the vacancy. The board shall publish notice stating their intention to fill the vacancy by appointment, but the electors of the school district have the right to file a petition within 14 days of the publication of notice requiring the vacancy be filled by a special election.

A person appointed to fill a vacancy shall hold office until a successor is elected and qualified at the next regular school election, unless there is an intervening special election for the school district, in which event a successor shall be elected at the intervening special election.

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


Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 10/11; 4/13; 8/14; 10/19
Revised: 11/08; 9/16
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 69; 277.29; 279; Good v Crouch, 397 NW2d 757 (Iowa 1986);
Board of Directors of Grimes Independent SD v County Board of Public Instruction of Polk Co, 257 Iowa 106, 131 NW2d 802 (1965);
Board of Directors of Menlo Consolidated SD v Blakesburg, 240 Iowa 910, 36 NW2d 751 (1949); 1944 Op Atty Gen 39
IASB Reference: 202.4

201.9 - Board Member Liability

 

 

 

Board members will 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 will act in good faith.

The school district will 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 official duties, unless the act constitutes a willful or wanton act or omission. However, the school district cannot save harmless or indemnify board members for punitive damages.


Adopted: 11/08
Reviewed: 4/13; 8/14; 9/16; 10/19
Related Policy (Code #): 709
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): Wood v Strickland, 420 US 308 (1975);
42 USC §§ 1983, 1985 (2012); Ch 670
IASB Reference: 205

202 - Specific Duties of the Board

 

 

 

202.1 - School Board Code of Ethics

 

 

 

Board member 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.

As a school board member I will:

  1. Listen
  2. Respect the opinion of others
  3. Recognize the integrity of my predecessors and associates and the merit of their work
  4. Be motivated only by an earnest desire to serve my district and the students in the best possible way
  5. Not use the district or any part of the district’s programs for my own personal advantage or for the advantage of my friends or supporters
  6. 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. 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. Expect to spend more time in board meetings on education programs and procedures than on business details
  9. Recognize that authority rests with the board in legal session and not with individual members of the board, except as authorized by law
  10. Make no disparaging remarks, in or out of board meetings, about other members of the board or their opinions
  11. Express my honest and most thoughtful opinions frankly in board meetings in an effort to have decisions made for the best interests of the students and the education program
  12. Insist that board members participate fully in board actions and recommend that when special committees are appointed, they serve only in an investigative and advisory capacity
  13. Abide by majority decisions of the board
  14. Carefully consider petitions, resolutions, and complaints and will act in the best interest of the school district
  15. Not discuss the confidential business of the board in my home, on the street, or in my office; the place for such discussion is during board meetings
  16. 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 the school district community I will:

  1. Consider myself a trustee of public education and will do my best to protect it, conserve it, and advance it; giving to the students of the school district community the educational facilities that are as complete and adequate as it is possible to provide
  2. Consider it an important responsibility of the board to interpret the aims, methods, and attitudes of the school district to the community
  3. 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. Attempt to procure adequate financial support for the school district
  5. Represent the entire school district rather than individual electors, patrons, or groups
  6. Not regard the school district facilities as my own private property, but as the property of the people

In my relationship with the superintendent and employees I will:

  1. Function, in meeting the legal responsibility that is mine, as a part of a legislative, evaluative, policy-forming body not as an administrative officer
  2. Recognize that it is my responsibility, together with that of my fellow board members, to see the school district is properly run and not run it myself
  3. 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. Recognize the superintendent as executive officer of the board
  5. Work through the administrative employees of the board, not over or around them
  6. Expect the superintendent to keep the board adequately informed through oral and written reports
  7. Vote to employ personnel only after the recommendation of the superintendent has been received
  8. Insist that contracts be equally binding on employees and the board
  9. 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. Give the superintendent friendly counsel and advice
  11. Present any personal criticism of employees to the superintendent
  12. Refer complaints to the proper administrative officer

To cooperative with other school boards I will:

  1.  Not employ any personnel who are already under contract with another school district without first securing assurance from the proper authority that the person can be released from contract
  2. Not recommend any personnel for a position in another school district unless I would employ the person under similar circumstances
  3. Consider it unethical to pursue any procedure calculated to embarrass a neighboring board or its representatives
  4. Associate myself with board members of other school districts for the purpose of discussing district issues and cooperating in the improvement of the education program

Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 4/13; 8/14; 9/16; 10/19
Revised: 12/95
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 21.6(3)(d); 68B; 69;
277.28; 279.71; 279.8; 301.28
IASB Reference: 204 Option II

202.2 - Ideal Boardsmanship

 

 

 

As the district’s governance leaders, the primary function of the Board of Education is to focus on policy and strategic planning. In that role, the board endorses the following principles of boardsmanship for practice by the members of the Board of Education.

Board members will:

  1. Always remember that the first and greatest concern must be the educational welfare of all students attending the public schools;
  2. Understand their responsibility for the future of the district by focusing purposefully on the district’s strategic plan and board goals;
  3. Process conflict in a productive manner that will not detract from the mission of the district and will be respectful of all individuals;
  4. Attend all regularly scheduled board meetings insofar as possible and become informed concerning the issues to be considered at those meetings;
  5. Recognize the importance of making policy decisions only after full discussion at publicly held board meetings;
  6. Consider all decisions drawing upon the available facts and independent judgments and make all decisions based on the best interests of students and the district;
  7. Encourage and respect the free expression of opinions by all board members and seek systematic communications between the board and superintendent and the constituents in the community;
  8. Hire and support the superintendent through community comments, periodic feedback, and annual evaluation;
  9. Delegate authority for the administration and management of the schools and implementation of board policy to the superintendent;
  10. Follow the appropriate lines of communication in obtaining information from staff and relating information to staff, understanding that the staff is responsible to and reports to the superintendent;
  11. Communicate to other board members and the superintendent the expression of public reaction to policies and school programs;
  12. Be informed about current educational issues by individual study and through participation in programs providing needed information, such as those sponsored by the state and national school board associations;
  13. Avoid being placed in a position of conflict of interest and disclose when such a situation occurs;
  14. Take no private action that will compromise the board or administration and respect the confidentiality of information that is privileged under applicable law; and
  15. Support new members through mentoring, ensuring their participation in meetings and board activities and assisting in developing their knowledge of school board culture.

Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 10/11; 4/13; 8/14; 9/16; 10/19
Revised: 12/95
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 21.6(3)(d); 68B; 69;
277.28; 279.8; 301.28 (2013)

202.3 - School Board President

 

 

 

It is the responsibility of the board president to lead a well-organized board in an efficient and effective manner. The board president will set the tone of the board meetings and, as the representative of the consensus of the board, speak on behalf of the board to the public.

The president of the board is elected by a majority vote at the organizational meeting in odd-numbered years, or at the annual meeting in even-numbered years, to serve a one-year term of office.

The president, in addition to presiding at the board meeting, 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. However, before making or seconding a motion, the board president shall turn over control of the meeting to either the vice president or another 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 and may sign other contracts and school district warrants approved by the board and appear on behalf of the school corporation in causes of action involving the school district.


Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 4/13; 8/14; 9/16; 10/19
Revised: 9/13
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 279.1-2; 291.1 (2013)
IASB Reference: 206.1

202.4 - School Board Vice President

 

 

 

The vice president of the board is elected by a majority vote at the organizational meeting in odd-numbered years, or at the annual meeting in even-numbered years, to serve a one-year term or office.

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

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


Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 4/13; 8/14; 9/16; 10/19
Revised: 9/13
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 279.5
IASB Reference: 206.2

202.5 - School Board Secretary

 

 

 

It is the responsibility of the board to annually appoint a board secretary. A board secretary may be appointed from school district 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 10 days thereafter.

It is the responsibility of the board secretary, as custodian of school district 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 shall also be responsible for filing the required reports with the Iowa Department of Education.

In the event the board secretary is unable to fulfill the responsibilities set out by the board and the law, the superintendent [or designee] shall assume those duties until the board secretary is able to resume the responsibility or a new board secretary is appointed.

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.


Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 10/11; 4/13; 9/16; 10/19
Revised: 8/14
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 12B.10, 12C, 64; 279.3, .5, .7, .31-33, .35;
291.2-4, .6-12, .14; 299.10 (2013); 281 IAC 12.3(i); 1978 Op Atty Gen 328
IASB Reference: 206.3 Option II

202.6 - School Board Treasurer

 

 

 

It is the responsibility of the school 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 10 days thereafter.

It is the responsibility of the treasurer to oversee the investment portfolio, to receive funds of the school district, to pay out the funds for expenses approved by the board, to maintain accurate accounting records for each fund, to report monthly regarding the investment portfolio and the status of each fund, and to file required reports with the appropriate state agencies and other entities. It will also be the responsibility of the treasurer to work with the board secretary to coordinate the financial records, the financial reports, the cash flow needs, and the investment portfolio of the school district.

If the treasurer is unable or unwilling to carry out the duties required, it is the responsibility of the business manager to carry out the duties of the treasurer until the board treasurer is able to resume the responsibility or a new board treasurer is appointed.

The treasurer will give bond in an amount set by the board. The cost of the bond will be paid by the school district.


Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 4/13; 9/16; 10/19
Revised: 8/14
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 12B.10; 12C; 279.3, .31-33; 291.2-4; .8, .11, .14; 281 IAC 12.3(l)
IASB Reference: 206.4

202.7 - School Board Conflict of Interest

 

 

 

School board members must be able to make decisions objectively. It is a conflict of interest for a board member to receive direct compensation from the school district, unless exempted in law or policy, for anything other than reimbursement of actual and necessary expenses, including travel, incurred in the performance of official duties. A board member will not act as an agent for school textbooks or school supplies, including sports apparel or equipment, in any transaction with a director, officer, or other staff member of the school district during the board member’s term of office. It will not be a conflict of interest for board members to receive compensation from the school district for contracts for the purchase of goods or services which benefit a board member, or to receive compensation for part-time or temporary employment which benefits a board member, if the benefit to the board member does not exceed $6,000 in a fiscal year or if the contracts are made by the board, upon competitive bid in writing, publicly invited and opened.

The conflict of interest provisions do not apply to a contract that is a bond, note, or other obligation of a school corporation if the contract is not acquired directly from the school corporation, but is acquired in a transaction with a third party, who may or may not be the original underwriter, purchaser, or obligee of the contract, or to a contract in which a director has an interest solely by reason of employment if the contract was made by competitive bid in writing, publicly invited and opened, or if the remuneration for employment will not be directly affected as a result of the contract and duties of employment do not involve any of the preparation or procurement of any part of the contract. The competitive bid section of the conflict of interest provision does not apply to a contract for professional services not customarily awarded by competitive bid.

It will also be a conflict of interest for a board member to engage in any outside employment or activity which is in conflict with the board member’s official duties and responsibilities. In determining whether outside employment or activity of a board member creates a conflict of interest, situations in which an unacceptable conflict of interest is deemed to exist shall include, but are not be limited to, any of the following:

  1. The outside employment or activity involves the use of the school district’s time, facilities, equipment, and supplies or the use of the school district badge, uniform, business card, or other evidence of office to give the board member or member of the board member’s immediate family an advantage or pecuniary benefit that is not available to other similarly situated members or classes of members of the general public. For purposes of this section, a person is not “similarly situated” merely by being related to a board member.
  2. The outside employment or activity involves the receipt of, promise of, or acceptance of money or other consideration by the board member or a member of the board member’s immediate family from anyone other than the state or the school district for the performance of any act that the board member would be required or expected to perform as part of the board member’s regular duties or during the hours in which the board member performs service or work for the school district.
  3. The outside employment or activity is subject to the official control, inspection, review, audit, or enforcement authority of the board member during the performance of the board member’s duties of office or employment.

If the outside employment or activity is employment or activity in (1) or (2) above, the board member must cease the employment or activity. If the employment or activity falls under (3) then the board member must:

  1. Cease the outside employment or activity; or
  2. Publicly disclose the existence of the conflict and refrain from taking any official action or performing any official duty that would detrimentally affect or create a benefit for the outside employment or activity. Official action or official duty includes, but is not limited to, participating in any vote, taking affirmation action to influence any vote, determining the facts or law in a contested case or rulemaking proceeding, conducting any inspection, or providing any other official service or thing that is not available generally to members of the public in order to further the interests of the outside employment or activity.

When procurement is supported by Federal Child Nutrition Funds, board members will not participate in the selection, award, or administration of a contract if there is a real or apparent conflict of interest in the contract. Contract, for purposes of this paragraph, includes a contract where the board member, board member’s immediate family, partner, or non-school district employer of these individuals is a party to the contract.

It is a conflict of interest for the school board to enter into business with a relative of any member of the school board during their term of service to the district.

It is the responsibility of each board member to be aware of an actual or potential conflict of interest. It is also the responsibility of each board member to take the action necessary to eliminate such a conflict of interest. Should a conflict of interest arise, a board member should not participate in any action relating to the issue from which the conflict arose.


Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 10/11; 4/13
Revised: 8/14; 4/16; 9/16; 10/19
Related Policy (Code #): 201.4-5; 202.1; 205.3
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): 22 CFR § 518.42; §§ 68B; 71.1; 277.27; 279.7A; 301.28
IASB Reference: 203

203 - Procedures of Operations

 

 

 

203.1 - Development of Board Policy

 

 

 

The board has jurisdiction to legislate policy for the school district with the force and effect of law. Board policy provides the general direction as to what the board wishes to accomplish and why it wishes to accomplish it while allowing the superintendent to implement board policy.

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

Policy statements may be proposed by a board member, administrator, employee, student, or member of the school district community. Proposed policy statements or ideas will be submitted to the superintendent’s office for consideration by the Policy Committee and possible placement on the board agenda. It is the responsibility of the superintendent to bring these proposals to the attention of the board.


Adopted: 11/08
Reviewed: 10/11; 8/14; 9/16; 10/19
Revised: 4/13
Related Policy (Code #): 101.1; 203.2; 203.3
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 274.1-2; 279.8 (2013);
281 IAC 12.3(2); 1970 Op Atty Gen 287
IASB Reference: 209.1

203.2 - Adoption of Board Policy

 

 

 

The board will give notice of adoption of new policies, or revision of policy, by placing the item on the agenda of two regular board meetings. The proposed policy changes will be distributed, and public comment will be allowed at both meetings prior to final board action. This notice procedure will 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 will be included in the minutes. The board will have complete discretion to determine what constitutes an emergency situation.

The final action taken to adopt proposed policy will be approved by a simple majority vote of the board at the next regular meeting after the meeting allowing public discussion. 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 majority vote of a quorum of the board. The emergency policy will expire at the close of the third regular meeting following the emergency action, unless the policy adoption procedure stated above is followed and the policy is reaffirmed.

Procedure and administration of policy will be the responsibility of the superintendent and administration.


Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 10/11; 4/13; 8/14; 10/19
Revised: 12/95; 9/16
Related Policy (Code#): 203.1; 203.3
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 279.8 (2013); 281 IAC 12.3(2); 1970 Op Atty Gen 287
IASB Reference: 209.2

203.3 - Review and Revision of Board Policy

 

 

 

The board will, at least once every five years, review board policy. Once the policies have been reviewed, even if no changes were made, a notation of the date of review or revision will be made on the face of the policy statement.

The board will review at least one-fifth of the policy manual annually according to the following subject areas: 

  • Educational Objectives and Board of Directors (Series 100 and 200)
  • Administration and Staff/Personnel (Series 300 and 400)
  • Students and Education Program (Series 500 and 600)
  • Auxiliary Services, Business Procedures, Facilities & Sites, and School & Community Relations (Series 700, 800, 900, and 1000)

It is the responsibility of the superintendent [or designee] to keep the board informed as to legal changes at both the federal and state levels. The superintendent [or designee] will 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.

The board policy manual is available on the district’s school board/policy website (policy.linnmar.k12.ia.us). Persons unable to access the policy manual electronically should contact the Communications/Media Coordinator (319-447-3005) for assistance. A print copy of the manual is available for inspection in the superintendent’s office.

Generally, the board shall follow policy and enforce it equitably. The board, and only the board, may in extreme emergencies of a very unique nature suspend policy. It shall be within the discretion of the board to determine when an extreme emergency of a very unique nature exits. Reasons for suspension of board policy will be documented in the board minutes.

When there is no board policy in existence to provide guidance on a matter, 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 shall be 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 shall draft a proposed policy for the board to consider.

The board will delegate to the superintendent the function of formulating the administrative rules and regulations designed to carry out the policies of the Board of Directors. These rules and detailed arrangements shall constitute the administrative rules and regulations governing the schools. The superintendent is authorized to create administrative rules and regulations and to keep the board informed of any substantive changes for policy series 300 thru 1000.The Board of Directors is responsible for the administrative regulations in series 100 and 200.


Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 10/11; 4/13; 9/16; 10/19
Revised: 8/14
Related Policy (Code#): 203.1; 203.2
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 279.8 (2013); 281 IAC 12.3(2)
IASB Reference: 209.6

203.8 - Ad Hoc Committees

 

 

 

Whenever the board deems it necessary, they may appoint a committee composed of citizens, employees, or students to assist the board. Committees formed by the board are ad hoc committees.

An ad hoc committee may be formed by board resolution which will outline the duties and purpose of the committee. The committee is advisory in nature and has no duty or responsibility other than that specifically stated in the board resolution. The committee will automatically dissolve upon the delivery of its final recommendation to the board or upon completion of the duties outlined in the board resolution. The board will receive the report of the committee for consideration. The board retains the authority to make a final decision on the issue. The committee may subject to the open meetings law.

The method for selection of committee members will be stated in the board resolution. When possible, and when the necessary expertise required allows, the committee members will be representative of the school district community, will reflect gender balance, racial/ethnic diversity, include persons with disabilities, and will consider the various viewpoints on the issue. The board may designate a board member and the superintendent [or designee] to serve on an ad hoc committee. The committee will select its own chairperson, unless the board designates otherwise.


Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 10/11; 4/13; 9/16; 10/19
Revised: 8/14
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 21; 279.8; 280.12(2) (2013);
281 IAC 12.3(3), .3(8), .5(8); OAG, Nov 18, 1993
IASB Reference: 208; 208.1E1

203.9 - School Board Legal Counsel

 

 

 

The board may employ legal counsel to represent the school corporation, as necessary, for the proper conduct of the legal affairs of the school corporation.

The superintendent [or designee] will have the authority to contact the board’s legal counsel on behalf of the board when the superintendent [or designee] believes it is necessary for the management of the school district. The board president may contact and seek advice from the board’s legal counsel. The board’s legal counsel will attend both regular and special school board meetings upon the request of the board or the superintendent [or designee]. Board members may contact legal counsel upon approval of a majority of the board. It is the responsibility of each board member to pay the legal fees, if any, of an attorney the board member consulted regarding matters of the school district unless the board has authorized the board member to consult an attorney on the matter.

It is the responsibility of the superintendent [or designee] to keep the board informed of matters for which legal counsel was consulted, particularly if the legal services will involve unusual expense for the school district.


Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 10/11; 4/13; 9/16; 10/19
Revised: 8/14
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): § 279.37 (2013); Bishop v Iowa State Board of Public Instruction,
395 NW2d 888 (Iowa 1986)
IASB Reference: 207

204 - Meetings of the Board

 

 

 

204.1 - Meetings of the School Board

 

 

 

The regular meeting time and dates will be set by the board at the organizational meeting in odd-numbered years or at the annual meeting in even-numbered years.

Board meetings are normally scheduled for the second and fourth Mondays of the month, when the school calendar allows. The board will adhere to the established meeting dates unless the additional meetings are required or, due to circumstances beyond the board’s control, the meetings cannot be held on the regular meeting dates and the meetings will then be rescheduled in accordance with law and policy. Work sessions will begin promptly at 5:00 PM followed by the regular meetings at 7:00 PM. Public notice of the meetings will be given, and board meeting dates will be posted on the district website upon board approval.

Meetings of the board are conducted for the purpose of carrying out the business of the school district. Only board members have the authority to make and second motions and vote on issues before the board. The board may establish rules for its own governance and determine the procedures that will be followed during board meetings. Meetings may be closed to the public to allow the board to discuss a specific topic as defined by law (Policy 204.3 – Closed Sessions).

Public notice will be given for meetings and work sessions held by the board. Public notice will indicate the time, place, date, and tentative agenda of board meetings. The official public notice will be posted on public display at the Learning Resource Center (2999 N 10th St, Marion) at least three days before it is scheduled but, at the minimum, 24-hour notice needs to be given. A copy of the public notice, either electronic or print, will be provided to those who have filed a request for notice with the board secretary. A copy of the public notice will also be accessible electronically.

In the case of special meetings, public notice will 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 will be given as soon as practical and possible in light of the situation. The media and others who have requested notice will be notified of the emergency meeting electronically. Attendance at a special meeting or emergency meeting by the media or board members will constitute a waiver of notice.

It is the responsibility of the board secretary [or designee] to give public notice of board meetings and work sessions. The district’s website is used to inform the public of future meetings and agendas.


Adopted: 9/85
Reviewed: 10/11; 9/16; 10/19
Revised: 4/13; 8/14; 3/17
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 21.2-4: 279.1-2; 1952 Op Atty Gen 133;
Dobrovolny v Reinhardt, 173 NW 2d 837 (Iowa 1970)
IASB Reference: 210.5

204.2 - Special Meetings of the School Board

 

 

 

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

If the special meeting called is an emergency meeting and the board cannot give public notice in its usual manner, the board will give public notice of the meeting as soon as practical and possible in light of the situation. The reason for the emergency meeting and why notice in its usual manner could not be given will 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 will strictly adhere to the agenda for the special meeting and action on other issues will be reserved for the next regular or special board meeting.


Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 10/11; 8/14; 9/16; 10/19
Revised: 4/13
Legal Reference (Codes of Iowa): §§ 21.3-4; 279.2 (2013); 1980 Op Atty Gen 148
IASB Reference: 210.3

204.3 - Closed Sessions of the School Board

 

 

 

Generally, board meetings shall be open meetings unless a closed session or exempt meeting is provided for by law. The board will 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, will 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 will be electronically recorded and have detailed minutes kept by the board secretary or court reporter. Final action on matters discussed in the closed session shall be taken in an open meeting.

The minutes and the electronic 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 electronic recording and written minutes shall be kept for one year from the date of the meeting. Real estate related minutes and recordings will be made public after the real estate transaction is completed.

The detailed minutes and electronic recording will be sealed and will not be public record open to public inspection. The minutes and electronic recording will only be 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.

Reasons for the board entering into a closed session from an open meeting include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. To review or discuss records which are required or authorized by state or federal law to be kept confidential or to be kept confidential as a condition for the board’s possession or receipt of federal funds. (Section 21.5(1)(a))
  2. To discuss strategy with legal counsel in matters presently in litigation, or where litigation is imminent, if disclosure would be likely to prejudice or disadvantage the board. (Section 21.5(1)(c))
  3. To discuss whether to conduct a hearing or conduct a hearing for suspension or expulsion of a student, unless an open meeting is requested by the student or the parent of the student. (Section 21.5(1)(e))
  4. To evaluate the professional competency of an individual whose appointment, hiring, performance, or discharge is being considered when a closed session is necessary to prevent needless and irreparable injury to that individual’s reputation and that individual requests a closed session. (Section 21.5(1)(i))
  5. To discuss the purchase of particular real estate, but only when premature disclosure could be reasonably expected to increase the price the board would have to pay for the property, or in case of a sale reduce the price the board could receive for the property.  (Section 21.5(1)(j))

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 electronic recording of 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; (Section 20.17(3))
  2. To discuss strategy in matters relating to employment conditions of employees not covered by the collective bargaining law; (Section 20.9)
  3. To conduct a private hearing related to the recommended termination of a teacher’s contract. However, the private hearing in the teacher’s contract termination will be recorded verbatim by a court reporter; and (Section 21.9)
  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. (Section 279.24)

Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 4/13; 10/19
Revised: 10/11; 8/14; 9/16
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 20.17, .21, 22.7; 279.15-15, .24 (2013);
1982 Op Atty Gen 162; 1980 Op Atty Gen 167; 1976 Op Atty Gen 384, 514, 765;
1972 Op Atty Gen 158; 1970 Op Atty Gen 287
IASB Reference: 212

204.4 - Annual & Organizational Meetings of the Board

 

 

 

Annual Meeting of the Board: Each year after August 31st and prior to the organizational meeting of the board in odd numbered years, the board will hold its annual meeting. At the annual meeting the board will 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 will present affidavits from the depository banks. The board may also appoint legal counsel at the annual meeting.

In addition to the required business, the annual meeting agenda may include:

  1. Appointment of secretary and treasurer;
  2. Determine compensation of secretary and treasurer;
    • Both secretary and treasurer shall post bond in such an amount as the board may require, but no less than that required in Chapter 291.2 of Iowa Code.
  3. Designate depository banks and maximum deposits;
  4. Receive affidavits from depository banks from the treasurer;
  5. Approve meeting dates for the following 12-month period; and
  6. Elect board officers in even numbered years.

Organizational Meeting of the Board: The board will hold its organizational meeting in odd numbered years at or before the first regular meeting following the canvass of votes. Notice of the meeting’s place and time will be given by the board secretary to each member, member-elect, and the public.

The purpose of the meeting is to transfer materials and responsibilities from the outgoing board to the new board. At the meeting, the board will elect a president and vice president who will hold office for one year. Once elected, the president and vice president will be entitled to vote on all matters before the board.

Organizational Meeting Procedures:

The organizational meeting will be held in two parts:

  1. The final meeting of the outgoing board; and
  2. The organizational meeting of the new board.

Final Meeting of the Retiring Board:

  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call
  3. Approval of Minutes of Previous Meeting(s)
  4. Audience Communications
  5. Unfinished Business
    • Current claims/accounts for the retiring board to authorize
  6. Examine and Settle Books for Previous Year
  7. Review of Election Results
    • The board secretary presents county auditor’s official report on elections and records results in the minutes.
  8. Adjournment of the Retiring Board

Organizational Meeting of the New Board:
The board secretary, as president pro tem, will preside over the meeting until a new board president is elected.

  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call
  3. Oath of Office
    • The board secretary will administer the oath to new members
  4. Election of Board President
    • The president pro tem [board secretary] calls for nominations, nominations need not be seconded. The board will then vote on the nominations. The secretary will announce the results of the vote and administer the oath of office to the president. The newly elected president will assume the chair.
  5. Election of Vice President
    • The president will call for nominations, nominations need not be seconded. The board will then vote on the nominations. The president will announce the results of the vote and administer the oath of office to the vice president.

Other Items of Business at the Organizational Meeting May Include:

  1. Board resolution of appreciation recognizing public service rendered by retiring board members
  2. Determination of dates, times, and places for regular meetings of the board
  3. Board resolution to define the operating rules and practices that will be followed by the new board
  4. Board resolution to authorize the interim payment of bills pursuant to Policy 803.6 Approval and Payment for Goods and Services
  5. Audience communications
  6. Cabinet Update
  7. Adjournment

Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 4/13; 8/14; 10/19
Revised: 10/11; 9/13; 9/16; 3/17
Related Policy (Code #): 204.1
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 279.1, .3, .33
IASB Reference: 200.1R1; 210.1

204.7 - Board 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. It is the responsibility of the board president and the superintendent to develop the agenda for each board meeting.

Persons wishing to place an item on the agenda must make a request to the superintendent or board president who will decide whether to place the item on the agenda and, if so, the appropriate meeting date. The person making the request must state their name, address, purpose of the presentation, action desired, and pertinent background information. Requests received after the deadline for processing the agenda may only be added to the agenda for good cause.

The tentative agenda and supporting documents shall be sent to board members at least two days prior to the scheduled board meeting. These documents are the private property of the board member.

The board will take action only on items listed on the tentative agenda posted with the public notice. Items added to the agenda after the statutorily required 24-hour notice may be discussed or taken under advisement by the board. If an added item is acted upon, the minutes of the board meeting will state the reason justifying immediate action. The board shall exercise this discretionary authority with great care.

Board action voted on from a previous agenda item cannot be brought forward for a second vote unless the following parameters are met:

  1. There is proof of a significant change of facts or addition of vital information not included in the discussion or motion of the first vote;
  2. The proposed change must meet a clearly demonstrated mission-related need;
  3. The proposed change must address the impact on students, other programs, courses, services, staffing, and/or projects;
  4. The proposed change survives a cost-benefit analysis as per the timeline of execution and any changes to the motion of the initial vote.

Any additional information related to the addition of the second vote on a subsequent board agenda must be distributed in a timely manner by the superintendent through the board secretary with the agenda for the meeting at which consideration of a second vote will be reviewed.

In order for a more efficient administration of board meetings, the board may elect to use a consent agenda for the passage of items under the management of the superintendent, board president, and board secretary. By using a consent agenda, the board has consented to the consideration of certain items as a group under one resolution. Items may be removed from the consent agenda at the request of a board member.

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 board meeting except that notice will be given at least 10 days before the hearing is to be held; unless it is impossible or impractical to do so or the law requires otherwise.


Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 10/11; 4/13; 9/16; 10/19
Revised: 1/12; 8/14
Related Policy (Code #): 204.1; 204.4
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 21; 279.8 (2013); 1980 Op Atty Gen 269
IASB Reference: 210.8; 210.9; 214

204.8 - Open Meetings of the School Board

 

 

 

Any gathering of a majority of board members, either in person or electronically, in which deliberation of an issue within the scope of the board’s policy-making duties takes place is defined as a board meeting. A gathering for the purpose of social or ministerial action will not constitute a board meeting when there is no discussion of policy or no intent to avoid the purpose of the open meetings law. Meetings of the board will be conducted in an open meeting unless a closed session is authorized by law or the meeting is exempt from the open meetings law.

All such meetings, unless specifically exempt from the open meetings law, are required to have proper notification, public access, open board discussion and voting by the board members on the issues properly before the board, and a public record of the proceedings in the form of written minutes. All public board meetings shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of Iowa law.

The board secretary shall be responsible for public notification of all meetings, arranging for recording (when necessary), producing minutes of all meetings, and retaining appropriate minutes and records as required by law. The minutes shall be kept on file as the permanent official records of school legislation for the district. The secretary shall act as custodian of the minutes and shall make them available to any citizen who wishes to examine them during usual office hours of the district. The minutes shall be posted on the website after board approval.


Adopted: 9/85
Reviewed: 4/13; 8/14; 10/19
Revised: 10/11; 9/16
Related Policy (Code #): 204.3
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 21; 279.1-2; 1982 Op Atty Gen 162; 1980 Op Atty Gen 167
IASB Reference: 211 

204.9 - Public Participation in Board Meetings

 

 

 

The board encourages public attendance and participation in its public meetings. Individuals or delegations are welcome at regular and special meetings; as are those wishing to present petitions to the board. In assuring the public is heard and board meetings are conducted efficiently and in an organized manner, the board has established a specific agenda item, Audience Communications, for the purpose of providing speakers the opportunity to express their points of view on items related to school business.

Regarding petitions or other submitted written materials; the board will only receive the petitions or materials and not act on them or their contents at the public meeting. Speaker comments will be taken under consideration and a response, if appropriate, may be issued at another time.

Audience Communications

Public comment is subject to the following regulations:

  1. Time Limit for Speakers: Individuals shall limit their presentation to three minutes, unless the time limit is prescheduled or waived by the board president or a majority of board members present. When there are a large number of speakers to be heard, the board may shorten the time.
  2. How to Address the Board: The speaker is asked to stand during audience communications, be recognized by the presiding officer, state and record their name and address, identify whom they represent, and state the topic and comment in a respectful manner. Only those individuals recognized by the presiding officer will be allowed to speak. The speaker’s comments should not contain names or other identifying information about students, teachers, administrators, or other personnel because of the potentially confidential nature of certain situations. In such cases the speaker should instead contact the appropriate administrator with concerns.
  3. Acknowledgement of Speaker Comments: The speaker’s comments will be received and filed (for written copies) by the board. If appropriate, and for clarification purposes, the board president or superintendent may seek additional information from the speaker. The board president will thank the speaker for their comments. The board, at its discretion, may choose to place the topic on a future agenda or delegate any action to the administration.
  4. Conduct and Remarks Out-of-Order: Undue interruption or other interference with the orderly conduct of board business will not be allowed. Defamatory or abusive remarks are always out-of-order. The presiding officer may terminate the speaker’s comments if, after being called to order, they persist in improper conduct or remarks. If disruptive, the individual making the comments or any individual causing disruption will be asked to leave the board meeting.
  5. Special Procedures: The board reserves the right to establish special procedures to deal with extraordinary issues or circumstances. If the decision is made not to have audience communications at a particular meeting, it will be so noted on the board agenda which is posted at least 24 hours before the scheduled board meeting.

Individuals, including students, who have a complaint about employees may bring their complaint to the board only after they have followed board Policy 1003.3 Complaints about School Personnel, in addressing their concern. 

Note: Members of the public do not have a legal right to participate in board meetings. The board makes the determination how best, if at all, to involve the public in board meetings.


Adopted: 3/72
Reviewed: 10/11; 9/16; 10/19
Revised: 4/13; 8/14; 10/14
Related Policy (Code#): 1003.3
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 21; 22; 279.8
IASB Reference: 213

204.10 - School Board 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 meetings allow school district business and the relative information concerning the business to be brought to the attend 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 shall follow Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised, latest edition as modified by this policy and subsequent rule.

The purposes of modified rules adopted by the board are:

  1. To establish guidelines by which the business of the governing board can be conducted in a regular and internally consistent manner;
  2. To organize the meetings so that all necessary matters can be brought to the board and decisions of the board can be made in an orderly and reasonable manner;
  3. 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
  4. To ensure that meetings and actions of the board are conducted so as to be informative to the staff and the public, and to produce a clear record of actions taken and decisions made.

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


Adopted: 9/85
Reviewed: 4/13; 8/14; 9/16; 10/19
Revised: 11/08
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 21.2, .7; 279.8 (2013)
IASB Reference: 210.7

204.10-R - Administrative Regulations Regarding School Board Rules of Order

 

 

 

The following rules of procedure have been adopted by the board at the annual or organizational meeting:

  1. Board members need not rise to gain the recognition of the board president;
  2. All motions will be made as a positive action;
  3. A motion will be adopted or carried if it receives an affirmative vote from more than half of the votes cast. Only “yes” or “no” votes are counted in this calculation. It should be noted that some motions require a larger number of affirmative votes, such as to move into a closed session;
  4. All motions shall receive a second, prior to opening the issue for discussion of the board. If a motion does not receive a second, the board president may declare the motion dead for lack of a second;
  5. The board president may decide the order in which board members will be recognized to address an issue. An attempt should be made to alternate between pro and con positions;
  6. The board president shall rule on all motions that come before the board;
  7. The board president may rule on points of order brought before the board;
  8. The board president shall have complete authority to recognize any member of the audience regarding a request to participate in the board meeting. Members of the public who wish to participate shall follow procedures outlined in board Policy 204.9;
  9. The board president has the authority to declare a recess at any time for the purpose of restoring decorum to the meeting;
  10. The order in which names will be called for roll call votes will be as follows:
  • All board members will be listed in alphabetical order by last name.
  • All roll call votes will be called in alphabetical order beginning at various positions on the list.
  • The first roll call vote will begin at the top of the list and proceed down. The second roll call vote will begin with the second name and proceed down the list with the last name called to be the first person called on the previous vote.
  • A person’s absence or presence will have no effect on the rotation.
  • The board secretary will maintain the record of rotation for roll call votes. The sequence will continue from meeting to meeting.
  1. The board president has the same authority and responsibility as each board member to vote on all issues.

Adopted: 9/85
Reviewed: 10/11; 4/13; 9/16; 10/19
Revised: 8/14
Related Policy (Code#): 204.10
IASB Reference: 210.7R1

204.12 - School Board Records

 

 

 

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

It is the responsibility of the board secretary to keep the minutes of the board meetings. The minutes of each board meeting will include, at a minimum, the following items: a record of date, time, place, members present, action taken, the vote of each member, and the schedule of bills allowed will be attached. This information will be available within two weeks of the board meeting and forwarded to the newspaper designated as the official newspaper for publication. The information does not need to be published within two weeks. The schedule of bills allowed may be published on a once-monthly basis in lieu of publication with the minutes. The permanent records of the board minutes may include more detail than is required for the publication of the minutes.

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

Detailed minutes and complete recordings will be made of closed meetings of the board as required by the Iowa Code. Detailed minutes and complete recordings of closed meetings that are exempt from the provisions of the Iowa Code will be made when deemed necessary by the board. Detailed minutes will include a synopsis of the discussion, the people present, and any action occurring during the closed session. The board secretary will be custodian of the detailed minutes and recordings which will be maintained in a securely locked depository separate from the regular board minutes for a period of one year; after which they will immediately and routinely be destroyed (recordings will be erased). The minutes and recordings shall only be opened upon court order in an action to enforce the requirements of the open meetings law.

Detailed minutes and recordings of closed sessions held under the purchase of real estate exception to open meetings must be made available for public examination when the transaction discussed is completed. There shall be separate detailed minutes and recordings for each real estate transaction.


Adopted: 3/79
Reviewed: 4/13
Revised: 8/14; 9/16; 10/19
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 21, 22, 279.8, .35-36; 291.6; 618.3;
281 IAC 12.3(i); 1982 Op Atty Gen 215; 1974 Op Atty Gen 403; 1952 Op Atty Gen 133
IASB Reference: 215

204.13 - Quorum of the School Board

 

 

 

The majority of the full membership of the Board of Directors constitutes a quorum and must be present for the transaction of business, either in person or electronically.

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

The adjournment of a meeting may be executed without a quorum.

The affirmative vote of two-thirds of the entire membership of the board, or the affirmative vote of all members present at a meeting where a quorum but not the entire board is present, is required before the board can go into closed session.


Adopted: 9/85
Reviewed: 4/13; 8/14; 9/16; 10/19
Revised: 11/08
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 21.5(1); 279.4
IASB Reference: 210.6

204.15 - Board Member Oath of Office

 

 

 

School board members are officials of the state. As a public official, each board member must pledge to uphold the Iowa and United States Constitutions and carry out the responsibilities of the office to be best of their 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 is taken by each new board member elected 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 will take the oath of office within 10 days of the appointment or election.

Board members elected to offices of the board will 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 is 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 is administered by another board member.

Oath of Office: “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 board member in the Linn-Mar Community School District as now and hereafter required by law?”


Adopted: 9/85
Reviewed: 4/13; 8/14; 9/16; 10/19
Revised: 12/95
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 277.28; 279.1, .6 (2013)
IASB Reference: 202.2

204.16 - School Board Work Sessions

 

 

 

The board, a learning and decision making body, is confronted with a continuing flow of topics, 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.


Adopted: 9/85
Reviewed: 4/13; 8/14; 9/16; 10/19
Revised: 8/05
Related Policy (Code#): 204.1-4. .7-13
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 21; 22.7; 279.8 (2013); 1982 Op Atty Gen 162; 1980 Op Atty Gen 167;
1976 Op Atty Gen 384, 514, 765; 1972 Op Atty Gen 158; 1970 Op Atty Gen 287
IASB Reference: 210.4

205 - Miscellaneous

 

 

 

205.1 - Board Member Compensation & Expenses

 

 

 

As an elected public official, the board member is a public servant who serves without compensation for their time spent as a board member. Board members will 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. Failure to provide a detailed receipt will make the expenses non-reimbursable personal expenses. Personal expenses will be reimbursed by the board member to the district no later than 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 will be maintained as part of the district’s record of the claim.

It is the responsibility of the board secretary to compile the expenses of board members for audit and approval in the same manner as other claims of the school district. It is the responsibility of the superintendent and business manager 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.


Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 4/13; 8/14; 10/19
Revised: 10/11; 9/16
Related Policy (Code#): 205.1-E
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 68B; 277.27; 279.7A, .8, .32 (2013)
IASB Reference: 216.3 Option II

205.2 - School Board Association Memberships

 

 

 

The school board believes in active membership in the associations which support the professional activities and development of the school board as a method for continued board learning and sources of information.

The board will annually review the memberships it wishes to maintain in these and other organizations.


Adopted: 6/70
Reviewed: 4/13; 8/14; 9/16; 10/19
Revised: 10/11
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): § 279.38 (2013)
IASB Reference: 216.1

205.3 - Gifts to the School Board

 

 

 

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

Restricted Donor is defined as a person or 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 non-performance of their 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 district’s jurisdiction.

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;
  • Informational 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 public generally 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 services;
  • Nonmonetary items (i.e. food and drink) with the value of less than $3.00 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 25th or 50th 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;
  • Gifts 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 attend for personal or professional licensing purposes are not “informational meetings or session which assist a public official or public employee in the performance of the person’s official functions” under this paragraph.

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 the 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 30 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 qualifications.

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


Adopted: 2/81
Reviewed: 4/13; 8/14; 9/16; 10/19
Revised: 11/08
Related Policy (Code#): 401.1; 802.7; 1005.5; 1005.5-R
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): § 68B (2013); 1972 Op Atty Gen 276; 1970 Op Atty Gen 319
IASB Reference: 217

205.4 - School Board Relationship with Elected Officials

 

 

 

The school board shall keep current, and express opinions on, proposed law revisions and new laws which are essential for maintaining and creating an education program to meet the needs of the school district.

It is the responsibility of the board to maintain contact with the elected officials representing the school district.

It is 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.


Adopted: 12/92
Reviewed: 4/13; 8/14; 9/16; 10/19
Revised: 7/00
Related Policy (Code #): 205.3
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): § 279.8; 68B 

206 - Board Evaluation

 

 

 

206.1 - Board Member Development and Training

 

 

 

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

The school board will work closely with professional organizations supporting board development and the board members will be encouraged to participate in conferences and share their learning with colleagues.


Adopted: 7/05
Reviewed: 4/13; 8/14; 9/16; 10/19
Revised: 10/10
Legal Reference (Code of Iowa): §§ 279.8, .38
IASB Reference: 216.2

206.2 - School Board Self-Evaluation

 

 

 

It shall be the policy of the school board to conduct a periodic self-evaluation of board operations.The results of the self-evaluation shall be used in planning growth activities.


Adopted: 4/89
Reviewed: 4/13; 8/14; 9/16; 10/19
Revised: 12/95