BEDG — Minutes

Under RSA 91-A, the school board, and each of the school board’s committees (whether standing or ad hoc, or whether deemed a sub-committee or an advisory committees) is required to keep minutes for every “meeting” as defined under 91-A:2, I.  As used below, “Board” shall mean and include the district school board, and each such board committee.

The Board will keep a record of the actions taken at Board meetings in the form of minutes.  At a minimum, all minutes, public and non-public, shall include:

1)  The names of members participating,

2)  Persons appearing before the School Board (any persons other than board members who address the board or speak at the meeting;

3)  A brief description of each subject matter discussed;

4)  Identification of each member who made a first or second of any motion;

5)  A record of all final decisions;

6)  When a recorded roll call vote on a motion is required by law or called for by the Chair (or other presiding officer), a record of how each board member voted on the motion; and

7)  In the event that a board member objects to the subject matter discussed by the board, if the board continues the discussion above the member’s objection, and upon the request of the objecting member, then – and irrespective of whether the objection/discussion occurred in public or non-public session – the public minutes shall also reflect (i) the objecting member’s name, (ii) a statement that the member objected, and in the case of non-public session (iii) a “reference to the provision of RSA 91-A:3, II that was the basis for the discussion.”  (See RSA 91-A:2, II-a.).

Copies of the draft minutes of a meeting will be sent to the members of the Board before the meeting at which they are to be approved.  The preceding sentence, however, shall not apply to minutes of non-public sessions when the Board has sealed such minutes by a recorded roll call vote taken in public session with 2/3 of the board members present supporting the motion.  Drafts of non-public minutes will be provided to the Board either at the conclusion of the non-public session and may be approved at the time – prior to any vote to seal, or if sealed, provided to Board at the meeting at which they are to be approved.

Draft minutes of all public meetings, clearly marked as drafts, will be made available for public inspection no later than five (5) business days after each public session.  Minutes for non-public sessions shall be kept as a separate document.  Draft minutes for all non-public sessions, will be made available for public inspection within seventy-two (72) hours after the non-public session, unless sealed in accordance with the procedure described in the preceding paragraph.

Notes and other materials used in the preparation of the minutes must be retained until the minutes are approved or finalized.

All minutes, including draft minutes, will be kept in accordance with RSA 91-A:2 and RSA 91-A:3 and will be in the custody of the Superintendent.

Approved minutes, except those non-public session minutes, which are sealed, shall be consistently posted on the District’s web site in a reasonably accessible location or the web site shall contain a notice describing where the minutes may be reviewed and copies requested.  Draft minutes will be available for inspection at the District’s administrative office.

Sealed minutes shall be reviewed periodically and unsealed by majority vote of the Board if the circumstances justifying sealing the minutes no longer apply.  The Superintendent shall identify and bring to the Board’s attention minutes that have been sealed because disclosure would render the proposed action ineffective where the action has been completed and the minutes no longer need to be sealed.  The Superintendent will also identify any other sealed minutes where the justification for sealing no longer applies due to the passage of time.  Generally, non-public session minutes sealed because divulgence of the information would likely affect adversely the reputation of a person other than a member of the School Board, will remain sealed.

Legal References:

     RSA 91-A:2 II, Public Records and Meetings: Meetings Open to Public
     RSA 91-A:2,II-a, Effective 1/1/2019
     RSA 91-A:3 III, Public Records and Meetings: Non-Public Sessions
     RSA 91-A:4 I, Public Records and Meetings: Minutes and Records available for Public Inspection

Category:  Recommended

First Read: December 18, 2018
Second Read:  January 8, 2019
Adopted:  January 8, 2019