Ask Betsy's Team - Frequently Asked Questions

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

Dear members:

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

Thank you, we look forward to hearing from you!

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

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The most recent questions are listed below.

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

What laws or guidelines apply to gifts given by parents or students to teachers, or by staff members and employees and board members to each other? - 10/30/15

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

Does the Board need to annually approve a Tuition Agreement we have with another school district? Also, do inter-district transfer agreements need to be approved annually by the Board? - 10/16/15

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

Can the board discuss setting district goals while attending OSBA’s convention in Portland in November? - 10/01/15

If the board is interviewing multiple candidates for one board vacancy, can the board ask the other candidates to remain outside the meeting while individual candidates are being questioned by the board? - 9/25/15

Are public schools required by state or federal law to display an American flag or have students say the Pledge of Allegiance? - 2/13/15

Does a student who has reached the age of 18 have the right to sign themselves in and out of school, and sign their own permission slips? - 1/30/15

Can a board member be considered for a paid position, such as a project manager, funded by a grant received by the district? - 1/09/15

Do you have some suggestions about what board members can and can’t say, and should and should not do during collective bargaining? - 11/07/14

When a board member gets a written or electronic note about a board issue, how should it be shared with the full board? - 10/31/14

Do "blogs" or other social media postings violate public meetings laws? - 10/24/14

What rules have to be followed for retaining board member emails and text messages regarding school district business? - 10/17/14

One of our board members speaks to the public and press against the positions taken by the board at our meetings. This board member has also leaked information from executive session meetings. Is there anything the rest of the board can do about this situation? - 10/10/14