1400 Meeting Conduct, Order of Business, and Quorum
The Franklin Pierce School Board of Directors will schedule its meetings in compliance with the law, and as deemed by the board to be in the best interests of the district and community. The board will function through (1) regular meetings, (2) special meetings, and (3) emergency meetings.
Regular Meeting Schedule
Regular meetings (including work sessions) will be held as follows:
- 1st Tuesday of the month: March, April, June, July, and December
- 2nd Tuesday of the month: January, February, May, September, October, November, and December
- 3rd Tuesday of the month: January, March, June, and August
- 4th Tuesday of the month: May, September, and October
Board meetings begin at 6:00 pm (with the exception of the meeting in July beginning at 12:00 p.m.) in the Board Room (located in Building C of the Jo Anne Matson Administrative Center at 315 129th Street South), or at other times and places as identified on a calendar adopted annually by the board. The regular meeting calendar will be displayed at the main entrance of the district’s headquarters and on the district website.
An agenda of the business the board will transact will be posted on the district website not less than twenty-four (24) hours in advance of the published start time of the meeting. Per state law, this agenda is informational only and the board may make amendments to the agenda before or during a regular meeting.
If the board will hold regular meetings at places other than the location published in the annual calendar, or if the board adjourns to times other than a regular meeting time, the board will provide notice of the meeting in the same manner as provided for special meetings. All regular meetings of the board will be held within district boundaries.
When a regular meeting date falls on a legal holiday, the meeting will be held on the next business day. In cases of emergency, fire, flood, earthquake, or other emergency, the presiding officer may provide for a location other than that of the regular board meeting, a remote meeting with no physical location, or a meeting at which physical attendance is limited. In the instances of remote or limited in-person meetings, the district will provide real-time telephonic, electronic, internet, or other readily available means of remote access that do not require any additional cost to access the meetings.
The district will hold remote or physical attendance-limited meetings only in cases of emergency declared by federal, state, or local government, or in cases of local emergency, fire, flood, earthquake, or other emergency, and at such meetings will provide real-time telephonic, electronic, internet, or other readily available means of remote access that do not require an additional cost to access the meetings.
Special meetings, including additional work sessions held outside the regular meeting schedule, may be called by the president or at the request of a majority of the board directors. A written notice of a special meeting, stating the time and place of the special meeting and the business to be transacted, will be delivered to each board director. Written notice will also be delivered to each newspaper and radio or television station that has filed a written request for such notices. Written notice may be delivered personally, by mail, facsimile, or email. The notice will be posted on the district’s website.
The district will also prominently display the notice at the main entrance of the district’s headquarters, as well as at the location of the meeting if the meeting is held at a location other than the headquarters and is not held as a remote meeting. During a declared emergency that prevents a meeting from being held in-person with reasonable safety, the district may post notice of a remote meeting without a physical location on the district website.
All required notices must be delivered or posted not less than twenty-four (24) hours prior to the meeting.
A board director waives the written notice requirement if that board director:
- Submits a written waiver of notice to the board secretary at or prior to the time the meeting convenes. The waiver may be given by telegram, fax, or email; or
- Is actually present at the time the meeting convenes.
The board will not take final disposition at a special meeting on any matter other than those items stated in the meeting notice. If the district calls a special meeting of the board to deal with an emergency involving injury or damage to persons or property or the likelihood of such injury or damage, when time requirements of such notice would make notice impractical and increase the likelihood of such injury or damage, or when the required notice cannot be posted or displayed with reasonable safety, including but not limited to declared emergencies in which travel to physically post notice is barred or advised against, the board may meet immediately with no prior notice.
If the district determines, by reason of fire, flood, earthquake, or other emergency, that there is a need for expedited action by the board to meet the emergency, the president may provide for a meeting site other than the regular meeting site, for a remote meeting without a physical location, or for a meeting at which the physical attendance by some or all members of the public is limited due to a declared emergency. The president may provide for an emergency meeting without providing notice.
If, after the declaration of an emergency by a local or state government or agency, or by the federal government, the district determines that it cannot hold a board meeting with its directors or with public attendance in person with reasonable safety because of the emergency, the district will either:
- Hold a remote meeting without a physical location, or
- Hold a meeting at which the physical attendance by some or all members of the public is limited due to the declared emergency.
Directors of the board may appear at a remote meeting telephonically or by other electronic means that allows for real-time, remote communication.
For a remote meeting or a meeting at which the physical attendance by some or all members of the public is limited due to a declared emergency, the district must provide an option for the public to listen to the proceedings telephonically or by using a readily available alternative in real-time that does not require any additional cost for participation. Free readily available options include, but are not limited to, broadcast by the public agency on a locally available cable television station that is available throughout the jurisdiction or other electronic, internet, or other means of remote access that does not require any additional cost for access to the program. The district may also permit other electronic means of remote access.
The district will provide notice for remote meetings or meetings at which physical attendance by some or all members of the public is limited due to a declared emergency according to this policy. The notice for meetings pursuant to a declared emergency must include instructions on how the public may listen live to proceedings and how the public may access any other electronic means of remote access offered by the district.
The district will not take final disposition on any matter during a remote meeting or a meeting at which the physical attendance by some or all members of the public is limited due to a declared emergency unless the district has provided an option for the public to listen to the proceedings. An executive session may be held at any emergency meeting pursuant to this policy.
The board will give proper public notice for any special meeting. The board will also give notice whenever a regular meeting is adjourned to another time, or when a regular meeting is to be held at a place other than the Board Room or the location published on the regular meeting calendar. The board may provide for an emergency meeting in accordance with this policy.
All meetings will be open to the public with the exception of executive sessions or closed sessions authorized by law. The board will take final action resulting from executive session discussions during a meeting open to the public as required by law.
Individuals with disabilities who may need a modification to participate in a meeting and those who may have difficulty physically attending a meeting should contact the superintendent's office or designee no later than three days before a regular meeting and as soon as possible in advance of a special meeting so that special arrangements can be made.
During the interim between meetings, the office of the superintendent, as board secretary, will be the office of the board. The district's public records will be open for inspection in the manner provided by and subject to the limitations of the law.
Quorum and Voting
A quorum consists of the majority of all board directors. For school boards with five directors, three board directors constitute a quorum. A quorum is required for the transaction of business, including voting. Board directors are not required to be physically present to attend a board meeting. Any or all board directors may attend a board meeting and vote via any communication platform that provides real-time verbal communication without being in the same physical location with those in attendance. Additionally, any meeting held via a communication platform must: 1) include proper notice with any required passwords or authorization codes; 2) be known and accessible to the public; and 3) accommodate any member of the public who wishes to participate.
The board will take no action by secret ballot at any meeting required to be open to the public. Generally, the board votes on motions and resolutions by “voice” vote, unless a board director requests to vote by oral roll call, in which case the board will do so. A motion passes when a majority of those board directors present and voting vote in favor. However, a majority vote of all board directors is required to elect or select a superintendent or board officer and the board must vote on these matters by oral roll call. The board will vote by an oral roll call whenever required by law.
Meeting Conduct and Order of Business
The board will conduct all board meetings in a civil, orderly, and business-like manner. The board uses Roberts Rules of Order (Revised) as a guide, except when board bylaws or policies supersede such rules. During board meetings, board directors will refrain from communicating electronically (e.g., by email, text, social media) with their fellow board directors.
The board will use the agenda to establish its regular order of business. However, either the superintendent or a board director may request additions or changes to the prepared agenda, and the board may adopt a revised agenda or order of business by majority vote of the board directors present. At a special meeting, the board may take final action only on that business contained in the notice of the special meeting.
It is unlawful for any member of the public to knowingly carry onto, or to possess on, any area of a facility being used for official school board meetings, a dangerous weapon, including but not limited to a firearm, “nun-chu-ka sticks,” “throwing stars,” air gun or pistol, stun gun, or other dangerous weapon as listed in RCW 9.41.280. The board will ensure that signs providing notice of the restrictions on possession of firearms and other weapons are posted at facilities being used for official meetings of the board.
Public Attendance and Comment
Any member of the public may attend board meetings, including individuals who do not live within district boundaries. The board will not require people to sign in, complete questionnaires, or establish other conditions for attendance.
The board recognizes the value of public comment on educational issues and the importance of involving members of the public in its meetings. In order to permit fair and orderly expression of public comment, with the exception of emergency situations, the board will provide a period at or before every regular meeting at which final action is to take place for public comment. During the public comment period, visitors may address the board on any topic within the scope of the board’s responsibility. Public comment may occur orally or through written comments submitted before the meeting. Written comments must adhere to the standards of civility discussed below and must be received by 3 p.m. the day prior to the meeting. All written public comments timely submitted will be distributed to each board director.
The board may structure the oral public comment period, including determining the total time allotted for public comment and equally apportioning the minutes for each speaker. The board is not obligated to provide additional public comment time to accommodate everyone in attendance who wishes to speak. Any structure the board imposes will be content neutral.
The board may require those who wish to speak (but not all attendees) to sign in so that the board has a tally of individuals who wish to speak and can call them forward. When called forward, individuals will identify themselves and proceed to make comments within the time limits established by the board. The board is not obligated to respond to questions or challenges made during the public comment period and the board’s silence will not signal agreement or endorsement of the speaker’s remarks. The board may control the time, place, and manner of public comment. The chair/president may terminate an individual's statement when the allotted time has passed and may interrupt a speaker to require the same standard of civility that the board imposes on itself. Examples of uncivil comments include comments that:
- Are libelous or slanderous under a legal standard;
- Are an unwarranted invasion of privacy;
- Are obscene or indecent pursuant to the Federal Communications Act or any rule or regulation of the Federal Communications Commission;
- Violate school district policy or procedure related to harassment, intimidation, bullying, or discrimination;
- Incite an unlawful act on school premises or violate a lawful school regulation; or
- Create a material and substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the board meeting.
The board as a whole has the final decision in determining the appropriateness of all such rulings and can maintain order by removing those who are disruptive. However, the board recognizes the distinction between uncivil discourse, which it will not tolerate, and comments about the board, district, and/or staff that are negative yet still civil in nature. The board will exercise its authority to maintain order in a content neutral manner.
In addition to the public comment period at the beginning of the meeting, the board may identify the agenda items that require or would benefit from opportunity for public comment and provide those opportunities as part of the meeting agenda before taking final action. Individuals or groups who wish to present to the board on an agenda item are encouraged to request and schedule such presentations in advance. Opportunity for public comment—both oral and written—is required before the board adopts or amends a policy that is not expressly or by implication authorized under state or federal law, but which will promote the education of K-12 students, or will promote the effective, efficient, or safe management and operation of the district. Additionally, the board will provide an opportunity for a representative of a firm eligible to bid on materials or services solicited by the board to present about his or her firm.
RCW 28A.330.020 Certain board elections, manner and vote required – Selection of personnel, manner
RCW 28A.320.040 Bylaws for board and school government
RCW 28A.330.070 Office of board — Records available for public inspection
RCW 28A.343.370 Vacancies
RCW 28A.343.380 Meetings
RCW 28A.343.390 Quorum — Failure to attend meetings
RCW 42.30.030 Meetings declared open and public
RCW 42.30.050 Interruptions — Procedure
RCW 42.30.060 Ordinances, rules, resolutions, regulations, etc., adopted at public meetings — Notice — Secret voting prohibited
RCW 42.30.070 Time and places for meetings — Emergencies — Exception
RCW 42.30.080 Special Meetings
RCW 9.41.280 Possessing dangerous weapons on school facilities – Penalty – Exceptions
U.S.C. 12101-12213 Americans with Disabilities Act
Adoption Date: 5/9/00
Franklin Pierce Schools
Revised: 5/14/02; 5/13/08; 10/12/10; 9/11/12; 9/9/14; 04/16/19; 11/8/22