For information about procedures related to specific policies, contact the Office of the Executive Director for Administration and Policy at 678-301-6005.


School Board Meetings

Level: AccompanyingDescriptor Code:Rescinds
Policy
B-School Board Operations
Procedure:
BCAB July 21, 2011
Descriptor Term:Effective Date:
School Board Meetings

School Board Meetings

The Constitution of the State of Georgia prescribes that "All official meetings of County or Area Boards of Education shall be open to the public." Therefore, all official actions of the Board shall be taken in public meetings, or in executive session as allowed by law.

Robert's Rules of Order, Revised, in modified form shall be the official guide to the conduct of Board meetings.

Voting

A quorum for the transaction of the business of the Gwinnett County Board of Education shall be declared with defined as a majority of the Board present members. Provided there is a quorum present is met, the votes of a majority of the members present shall be necessary for the transaction of any business or discharge of any duties of the Board. Actions Positions of the Board members shall be conducted indicated by a show of hands or by voice vote. Each Board member's vote shall be recorded except in the case of unanimous votes.

Types of Board Meetings

Monthly Business Meetings

Monthly Business Meetings of the Gwinnett County Board of Education shall be held at 7:00 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month, or as otherwise established in the annual calendar of Board meetings adopted by the Board in January of each year. Prior to this meeting, a public forum will be held from 6:15 p.m. through 6:45 p.m. for citizen input. As part of the monthly Business Meeting a time is set aside, in accordance with Policy BCBI (Public Participation in Board Meetings), in order for citizens to provide input and/or feedback. During the Monthly Business Meeting, the Board will conduct in public the business with which it is charged; however, the meeting is not a meeting with the public. Members of the public are welcome to observe. The Board will listen to reports of the Superintendent; approve budgets, contracts, and personnel appointments, as well as set policy, which is the main role of the Board. Management is the responsibility of the Superintendent.

The Board Chair will open each Monthly Business Meeting with a statement covering, but not limited to, the following points:

  • Purpose of the meeting
  • Guidelines for public participation
  • Governance role of the Board versus management role of the Superintendent
  • Board's participation in monthly work session
  • Meeting decorum


The attached addendum captures the recommended points to be included in the Board Chair's opening statement.

Public Forum

Prior to each month's Business Meeting, a public forum will be held at 6:15 p.m. to allow citizens who have not asked to be on the agenda an opportunity to address the Board. No action will be taken during the public forum. Questions or comments from citizens will be received by the Board, but responses may be deferred until the Superintendent and staff have an opportunity to look into the issue raised and apprise the Board as to the appropriate course of action.

Monthly Board Work Session

The Board may shall hold a work session for the purpose of giving special study and consideration to items of importance upon which the Board may be called to take action. Such sessions shall be for work and study only. No action shall be taken at work sessions. Monthly Board Work Sessions are generally held on Monthly Business Meeting days beginning at 2:00 p.m., However the Board retains the authority to change the beginning time of this meeting as needed. and at other times when deemed necessary.

Executive Session

The Board is allowed by law to meet in executive session to discuss and vote on certain matters as designated in the Georgia Code. The Board will not allow executive sessions to take the place of public discussion on issues; in however, the Georgia Code allows the following exceptions:

    1. Meetings to discuss pending or threatened litigation with the Board attorney;

    2. Meetings at which the acquisition of real estate is discussed;

    3. Meetings when the appointment, employment, compensation, hiring, disciplinary action, or periodic evaluation of a public employee is being discussed;

    4. Meetings to discuss student discipline appeals;

    5. Meetings to protect the privacy of specific students whose specific education records are discussed and/or about which action is taken (O.C.G.A. 20-2-720; 50-14-2; 50-14-3(1); 20 USC 1232(g)).


Prior to meeting in executive session the majority vote of the Board members present and constituting a quorum shall be necessary. In addition, the specific reason for meeting in executive session shall be entered into the minutes. Each Board member shall be required to vote to meet in executive session under the following circumstances: (1) When the Board is required to meet in executive session to consider any matter; or (2) When the Board is allowed by law to meet in executive session to consider a matter and the Board member believes that it is in the best interest of the school system to consider the matter in executive session.

Area Board Meetings

The Board shall hold five (5) district meetings during the year. The purpose of these meetings shall be to allow for general comment and input. During the Area Board Meetings, the Superintendent will give a State of the System address. Official business shall not be transacted at these meetings.

Annual Board Meeting

The annual meeting of the Board shall be held at the first meeting in January each year, at which time the newly elected members shall assume the duties of their offices. The meeting shall be turned over to the Superintendent for the reorganization session. The first Business Meeting of each calendar year shall be the time when the new members elected in the General Election assume the duties of their office. It is also the meeting at which the Board conducts yearly organizational business as follows:

At the annual meeting, the Board shall do the following:
    1. Select a newspaper as the official organ for the district;

    2. Elect officers of the Board for the year (chairman and vice-chairman);

    3. Review and reaffirm the District's manual of Board policies; and

    4. Appoint the Board's legal counsel; and

    5. Set Affirm the time, date, and place of the year's monthly business meetings.


Special Board Meetings

Special Board meetings may be called by the Chairman or at the request of three or more Board members. Notice of all special meetings shall be given to the members of the Board at least 24 hours prior to the time stated for the meeting to convene. Said notice shall indicate the purpose of such special meeting and include an agenda showing the items to be considered in the meeting. Additional agenda items may be added if approved by a majority of the Board members.

It is the policy of the Board to announce at least 24 hours in advance, through the newspapers and such other means as may appear appropriate, the date, time, and place of all regular and special meetings and major topics(s) to be discussed.

Public Hearings

From time to time the Board will hold public hearings on matters of interest to the public. As required by law, public hearings will be conducted as part of the process of adopting the Board's fiscal year budget and, if necessary, setting the tax millage rate to support the approved budget. Hearings also may be held on local matters, such as redistrictings for school attendance purposes, challenges to approved instructional materials, or personnel terminations. If action is to be taken at a public hearing, notice to that effect will be provided to the public in advance of the hearing.