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How should the board enter into, and come out of executive session during a meeting, and how should the minutes record this action?

The executive session portion of the meeting should appear as an agenda item if it is in the middle or part of a longer public meeting. When the board comes to the executive session agenda item, or if it is the first item, the board chair reads a notice of the executive session.

The script looks like this:

“The school board will now meet in executive session for the purpose of (state the purpose as outlined in the statute) e.g. to conduct deliberations with persons designated by the school board to negotiate real property transactions. The executive session is held pursuant to ORS 192.660(2)(e) (list the correct subsection which aligns with the purpose) which allows the board to meet in executive session to discuss real estate negotiations (state the actual purpose). Representatives of the news media and designated staff shall/shall not* be allowed to attend. All other members of the audience are asked to leave the room (or the board will now move to room X). Representatives of the news media are specifically directed not to report on any of the deliberations during the executive session, except to state the general subject of the session as previously announced. No recording of the executive session is allowed without express permission from the board. No final decision may be made in executive session, except for a student expulsion. At the end of the executive session we will return to open session.”

*'shall not’ refers to four exceptions: student expulsions, consultation with labor negotiators, discussion of student medical or educational records, and cases in which the reporter or their media organization are involved in litigation with the district to be discussed during the executive session.

The public session minutes should state the board chair read the announcements above, and then nothing about the content of the executive session. The public session minutes should state the board returned to public session and continue with the next agenda item, or whatever public action or announcement the board makes as a result of the executive session, and then adjournment if it is the last item. Executive session minutes are recorded and stored separately from the public session minutes. They include the purpose, as read by the chair in public session, and a general description of the discussion in executive session. Executive session minutes are exempt public records and should be stored as confidential documents, separate from the public session minutes.

For more information on this question, Ask Betsy's Team.