Most gatherings of the board of education are defined as public meetings under the law, and bringing together members of the board to discuss district business is subject to the Public Meetings Law (ORS 192.610-192.990). It is a major responsibility of the board chair to know the rules and ensure that the board follows them.
A board meeting occurs when a quorum is present to gather information or decide or deliberate on any public matter. The law specifies the following:
- All meetings of public governing bodies shall be conducted in public unless specifically exempted.
- No quorum of a governing body may meet in private to decide, deliberate on, or gather information on which to deliberate, toward a decision on any matters except those exempted by law. (Board Policy BD/BDA)
A "quorum" means one of the following (depending on the number of board members on the board):
- Three members of a five-member board;
- Four members of a seven-member board; or
- Five members of a nine-member board.
Resources to help explain Oregon's public records and meetings law including running effective meetings.
All regular, special and emergency meetings of the Board are generally open to the public, except as provided by law. “Meeting” means the convening of a quorum of the Board as the governing body to make a decision or to deliberate toward a decision on any matter.
Board meeting notice
One regular board meeting should be held monthly at the district’s administrative headquarters or at the nearest practical location, with consideration given to persons with disabilities.
Special board meetings
Special meetings may be convened by the chair, upon request of three board members, or by common consent of all or a majority of the board members.
Robert's Rules simplified
The chair’s guide to running an effective meeting is Robert’s Rules of Order.
Sample opening comments to audience
This opening comment can be used by the board president at the beginning of every open forum or public comment portion to ensure consistency in approach at every meeting.
Public comment at board meetings
The laws governing boards of education require that their work be done where the public can observe their actions.
A majority of the members of the board (a quorum) must be present to legally conduct business.
The board may meet in executive session to discuss subjects allowed by statute but may not take final action, except for specific instances pertaining to student matters. Executive sessions may be held during regular, special or emergency meetings for any reason permitted by law.
Content discussed in executive sessions is confidential. Members of the media may attend executive sessions, except in specific instances. (Board policy BDC)
Board meeting minutes
Boards and their committees are required to take minutes at all meetings.