The Montgomery County School Board shall transact all business at official School Board meetings. Except as otherwise provided by law, all meetings of the School Board shall be open to the public and any person may photograph, film, record or otherwise reproduce an open meeting. Further, the School Board shall not conduct any meeting required to be open in any building or facility where such recording devices are prohibited. The meetings of the School Board shall be held as specified by the School Board at its annual organizational meeting. The date, time and location of regular meetings of the School Board may be changed by the Chair provided each member is duly notified, or a reasonable attempt has been made to notify each member.
meetings may be held only in accordance with
1. Discussion, consideration or interviews of prospective candidates for employment; assignment, appointment, promotion, performance, demotion, salaries, disciplining or resignation of officers, appointees or employees of the School Board. Any teacher shall be permitted to be present during a closed meeting in which there is a discussion or consideration of a disciplinary matter which involves the teacher and some student or students and the student or students involved in the matter are present, provided the teacher makes a written request to be present to the Chair of the School Board.
2. Discussion or consideration of admission or disciplinary matters or any other matters that would involve the disclosure of information contained in a scholastic record concerning any student in the Montgomery County Public Schools. However, any such student, legal counsel and, if the student is a minor, the student's parents or legal guardians, shall be permitted to be present during the taking of testimony or presentation of evidence at a closed meeting, if such student, parents or guardians so request in writing and such request is submitted to the Chair of the School Board.
3. Discussion or consideration of the acquisition of real property for a public purpose, or of the disposition of publicly held real property, where discussion in an open meeting would adversely affect the bargaining position or negotiating strategy of the School Board.
4. The protection of the privacy of individuals in personal matters not related to public business.
5. Discussion concerning a prospective business or industry or the expansion of an existing business or industry where no previous announcement has been made of the business' or industry's interest in locating or expanding its facilities in the community.
6. Discussion or consideration of the investment of public funds where competition or bargaining is involved, where, if made public initially, the financial interest of the School Board would be adversely affected.
7. Consultation with legal counsel and briefings by staff members or consultants pertaining to actual or probable litigation, where such consultation or briefing in open meeting would adversely affect the negotiating or litigating posture of the School Board; and consultation with legal counsel employed or retained by the School Board regarding specific legal matters requiring the provision of legal advice by counsel. For the purposes of this subdivision, “probable litigation” means litigation which has been specifically threatened or which the public body or its legal counsel has a reasonable basis to believe will be commenced by or against a known party. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to permit the closure of a meeting merely because an attorney representing the School Board is in attendance or is consulted on a matter.
8. Discussion or consideration of honorary degrees or special awards.
9. Discussion or consideration of tests or examinations or other
documents excluded from public disclosure under
10. Discussion of strategy with respect to the negotiation of a hazardous waste siting agreement or to consider the terms, conditions, and provisions of a hazardous waste siting agreement if the School Board in open meeting finds that an open meeting will have an adverse effect upon the negotiating position of the School Board or the establishment of the terms, conditions and provisions of the siting agreement, or both. All discussions with the applicant or the applicant’s representatives may be conducted in a closed meeting.
11. Discussion or consideration of medical or mental records
excluded from disclosure under
12. Discussion of plans to protect public safety as it relates to terrorist activity and briefings by staff members, legal counsel, or law-enforcement or emergency service officials concerning actions taken to respond to such activity or a related threat to public safety; or discussion of reports or plans related to the security of any governmental facility, building or structure, or the safety of persons using such facility, building or structure.
13. Discussion of the award of a public contract involving the expenditure of public funds, including interviews of bidders or offerors, and discussion of the terms or scope of such contract, where discussion in an open session would adversely affect the bargaining position or negotiating strategy of the School Board.
14. Discussion or consideration of confidential proprietary records and trade secrets excluded from this chapter pursuant to subdivision 11 of Virginia Code § 2.2-3705.6 (the Public Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act) by the School Board or any independent review panel appointed to review information and advise the School Board concerning such records..
15. As otherwise permitted by the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.
No resolution, ordinance, rule, contract, regulation or motion adopted, passed or agreed to in a closed meeting shall become effective unless the School Board, following the meeting, reconvenes in open meeting and takes a vote of the membership on such resolution, ordinance, rule, contract, regulation or motion which shall have its substance reasonably identified in the open meeting.
Calling and Certification of Closed Meetings
1. No closed meeting shall be held unless the School Board has taken an affirmative recorded vote in an open meeting approving a motion which (i) identifies the subject matter, (ii) states the purpose of the meeting, and (iii) makes specific reference to the applicable exemption or exemptions from open meeting requirements provided in § 2.2-3707 or subsection A of § 2.2-3711. The matters contained in such motion shall be set forth in detail in the minutes of the opening meeting. A general reference to the provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, the authorized exemptions from open meeting requirements, or the subject matter of the closed meeting shall not be sufficient to satisfy the requirements for holding a closed meeting.
2. The notice provisions of this policy and applicable law shall not apply to closed meetings of the School Board held solely for the purpose of interviewing candidates for the position of division superintendent. Prior to any such closed meeting for the purpose of interviewing candidates, the School Board shall announce in an open meeting that such closed meeting shall be held at a disclosed or undisclosed location within fifteen days thereafter.
3. The School Board holding a closed meeting shall restrict its discussion during the closed meeting only to those matters specifically exempted under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act and identified in the motion required by paragraph 1, above.
4. At the conclusion of the closed meeting, the School Board shall immediately reconvene in an open meeting and shall take a roll call or other recorded vote to be included in the School Board minutes, certifying that to the best of each member's knowledge (i) only public business matters lawfully exempted from open meeting requirements, and (ii) only such public business matters as were identified in the motion by which the closed meeting was convened were heard, discussed or considered in the meeting by the School Board. Any member of the Board who believes that there was a departure from the requirements of subdivisions (i) and (ii) above shall so state prior to the vote, indicating the substance of the departure that, in his/her judgment, has taken place. The statement shall be recorded in the School Board minutes.
5. Failure of the certification required by paragraph 4, above, to receive the affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the School Board present during a meeting shall not affect the validity or confidentiality of such meeting with respect to matters considered therein in compliance with these provisions. The recorded vote and any statement made in connection therewith, shall upon proper authentication, constitute evidence in any proceeding brought to enforce these provisions.
6. The School Board may permit non-members to attend a closed meeting if such persons are deemed necessary or if their presence will reasonably aid the School Board in its consideration of a topic, which is a subject of the meeting.
7. Except as specifically authorized by law, in no event may the School Board take action on matters discussed in any closed meeting, except at an open meeting for which notice was given as required by Virginia Code § 2.2-3707.
8. Minutes may be taken during closed meetings of the School Board but are not required. Such minutes shall not be subject to mandatory public disclosure.
Electronic Participation in Meetings
School Board members may participate in closed meetings through electronic communication means from a remote location under the following conditions:
1. The School Board member who desires to participate from a remote location must notify the chair of the School Board, on the day of the meeting, that he/she is unable to attend the meeting due to an emergency, a temporary or permanent disability or other medical condition that prevents physical attendance and must identify with specificity the nature of the emergency or condition; and
2. The School Board approves the member’s participation by a majority vote of the members present; and
3. A quorum of the School Board is physically assembled at the primary or central meeting location; and
4. The School Board makes arrangements for the voice of the remote participant to be heard by all persons present; and
5. The School Board records in its minutes the specific nature of the emergency or condition and the remote location from which the member participated.
Such participation by a School Board member shall be limited to the fewer of: 1) two meetings per calendar year; or 2) twenty-five percent (25%) of the meetings of the School Board.
LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of
Adopted: April 2004
Revised: August 2007, June 2010