CLOSED MEETINGS, RECORDS AND VOTES
The Board reserves the right, as provided by law, to conduct closed meetings, including any records or votes, to the extent allowed under the Missouri Sunshine Law.
Public notice of closed meetings shall be given in accordance with Board policy and law. A majority of a quorum of the Board shall vote to close a meeting, in accordance with law. The reason for holding the closed meeting, with reference to the specific statutory exemption relied upon for closure and the roll call vote of each member on the question of holding a closed meeting, shall be announced publicly at an open session and entered into the minutes. Only business directly related to the specific exemptions may be discussed or voted upon at a closed meeting.
In the event a motion is made to close a meeting, record or vote and a Board member believes that the motion would violate the Missouri Sunshine Law if passed, the Board member may state his or her objection to the motion before or at the time the vote is taken. The Board secretary will enter the objection in the minutes. Once the objection has been made the Board member shall be allowed to fully participate in the meeting, record or vote even if it is closed over the member’s objection. If the Board member voted against the motion to close the meeting, record or vote, the recorded objection and the vote is an absolute defense to any claim filed against the Board member pursuant to the Missouri Sunshine Law.
The Board shall only close that portion of the meeting facility needed to house the Board in closed session. Members of the public must be allowed to remain in the meeting facility so that they may attend any open meeting that follows the closed meeting.
The Board members, employees and others in attendance are honor bound not to disclose the details or discussions of the closed meetings, records or votes. District employees who fail to keep closed information or closed meetings confidential may be disciplined or terminated. The Board may publicly admonish Board members who fail to keep closed records and meetings confidential in violation of this policy.
The following are some of the reasons a meeting, record or vote may be closed:
1. Legal actions, causes of action or litigation involving the district and any confidential or privileged communication between the district or its representatives and its attorneys. Any minutes, vote or settlement agreement relating to legal actions, causes of action or litigation involving the district or an agent or entity representing the district, including any insurance company acting on the district’s behalf, shall become available to the public upon final disposition of the matter voted upon or upon the signing of a settlement agreement by the parties. A settlement agreement may be ordered closed by a court. However, the amount of any monies paid by or on behalf of the school district, pursuant to the settlement agreement, must be available to the public. When the district makes a decision involving the exercise of eminent domain, the vote shall become public immediately following the meeting in which the vote was taken to authorize institution of such legal matter. Legal work product is considered a closed record.
2. The lease, purchase or sale of real estate by the district where public knowledge of the transaction might adversely affect the amount to be received or spent by the district. Any minutes, vote or public record approving such a contract shall become available to the public upon execution of the lease, purchase or sale of the real estate.
3. Hiring, firing, disciplining or promoting of particular employees by the district when personal information about the employee is discussed or recorded. Any vote on a final decision to hire, fire, promote or discipline an employee must be made available, with a record of how each member voted, to the public within 72 hours of the close of the meeting where the action occurred. However, the district will attempt to notify the affected employee during the 72-hour period before the decision is made available to the public. The term “personal information” means information relating to the performance or merit of individual employees.
4. Proceedings involving the mental or physical health of an identifiable individual.
5. Scholastic probation, expulsion or graduation of identifiable persons, including records of individual tests or examination scores. However, personally identifiable student records maintained by public educational institutions shall be open for inspection by the parents, guardian or other custodian of students under the age of 18 and by the parents, guardian or other custodian and the student if the student is over 18.
6. Testing and examination materials until the test or examination is given for the final time.
7. Welfare cases of identifiable individuals.
8. Preparations on behalf of the district or its representatives for negotiations with employee groups, including any discussion or work product.
9. Software codes for electronic data processing and documentation thereof.
10. Competitive bidding specifications until officially approved or published.
11. Sealed bids and related documents until the bids are opened; sealed proposals and related documents until all proposals are rejected; or any documents related to a negotiated contract until a contract is executed.
12. Individually identifiable personnel records, performance ratings or records pertaining to employees or applicants for employment. However, the names, positions, salaries and lengths of service of district officers and employees shall be available to the public.
13. Records protected from disclosure by law.
14. Scientific and technological innovations in which the owner has a proprietary interest.
15. Records relating to municipal hotlines established for reporting abuse and wrongdoing.
16. Confidential or privileged communications between the Board and its auditor, including all auditor work product. However, all final audit reports issued by the auditor are to be considered open records.
17. Operational guidelines and policies developed, adopted or maintained by the district for use in responding to or preventing any critical incident that is or appears to be terrorist in nature and that has the potential to endanger individuals or public health or safety. When seeking to close information pursuant to this exception the Board shall state in writing that disclosure would impair its ability to protect the health or safety of persons and that the public interest in nondisclosure outweighs the public interest in disclosure of the records. Information regarding expenditures or contracts made in implementing these policies shall be open records.
18. Existing or proposed security systems and structural plans of real property owned or leased by the district where public disclosure would threaten public safety. Procurement records or expenditures relating to security systems purchased with public funds shall be open. When the district is seeking to close this information, it must affirmatively state in writing that disclosure would impair the district’s ability to protect the security or safety of persons or real property and that the public interest in nondisclosure outweighs the public interest in disclosure of the records.
19. Records that identify and would allow unauthorized access to or unlawful disruption of the configuration of components or the operation of a computer, computer system, computer network or telecommunications network of the district if released. This exception shall not be used to limit or deny access to otherwise public records in a file, document, data file or database containing public records. Records related to the procurement of or expenditures for such computer, computer system, computer network or telecommunications network shall be open.
20. Credit card numbers, personal identification numbers, digital certificates, physical and virtual keys, access codes or authorization codes that are used to protect the security of electronic transactions between the district and a person or entity doing business with the district. However, the record of a person or entity using a district credit card or any record of a transaction that is reimbursed by the district will be open.
* * * * * * *
|Note: The reader is encouraged to check the index located at the beginning of this section for other pertinent policies and to review administrative procedures and/or forms for related information.|
Cross Refs: ECA, Building and Grounds Security
KBA, Public’s Right to Know
KDA, Custodial and Noncustodial Parents
KKB, Audio and Visual Recording
Legal Refs: §§ 610.010 – .029, RSMo.
Raymondville R-VII School District, Raymondville, Missouri
© 2004, Missouri School Boards’ Association, Registered in U.S. Copyright Office
For Office Use Only: BDC-C.1G (7/04)