Public and Closed Meetings

All meetings of the Board of Education, whether such meeting is conducted in person or by means of communication equipment, including, but not limited to, conference call, video conference, internet chat, or internet message board at which any public business is discussed, decided or public policy formulated, shall be open, public meetings, except when a closed meeting is held in accordance with law. Public business includes all matters which relate in any way to the performance of the board's functions or the conduct of its business.

The board reserves the right to sit in closed meetings on matters which are authorized by 610.021 RSMo., as enumerated below:

1. Legal actions, causes of action or litigation involving a public governmental body and any confidential or privileged communications between a public governmental body or its representatives and its attorneys. However, any minutes, vote or settlement agreement relating to legal actions, causes of action, or litigation involving a public governmental body or any agent or entity representing its interests or acting on its behalf or with its authority, including any insurance company acting on behalf of a public government body as its insured, shall be made public upon final disposition of the matter voted upon or upon signing by the parties of the settlement agreement, unless, prior to final disposition, the settlement agreement is ordered closed by a court after a written finding that the adverse impact to a plaintiff or plaintiffs to the action clearly outweighs the public policy considerations of section 610.011, however, the amount of any moneys paid by, or on behalf of, the public governmental body shall be disclosed; provided however, in matters involving the exercise of the power of eminent domain, the vote shall be announced or become public immediately following the action of the motion to authorize institution of such a legal action. Legal work product shall be considered a closed record;

2. Leasing, purchase or sale of real estate by a public governmental body where public knowledge of the transaction might adversely affect the legal consideration therefor. However, any minutes or vote or public record approving a contract relating to the leasing, purchase or sale of real estate by a public governmental body shall be made public upon execution of the lease, purchase or sale of the real estate;

3. Hiring, firing, disciplining or promoting of particular employees by a public governmental body when personal information about the employee is discussed or recorded. As used in this bylaw, the term "personal information" means information relating to the performance or merit of individual employees. However, any vote on a final decision, when taken by a public governmental body, to hire, fire, promote or discipline an employee of a public governmental body 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 such action occurs; provided, however, that any employee so affected shall be entitled to prompt notice of such decision during the 72 hour period before such decision is made available to the public;

4. Nonjudicial mental or physical health proceedings involving identifiable persons, including medical, psychiatric, psychological, or alcoholism or drug dependency diagnosis or treatment;

5. Scholastic probation, expulsion, or graduation of identifiable individuals, including records of individual test 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 eighteen years and by the parents, guardian or other custodian and the student if the student is over the age of eighteen years;

6. Testing and examination materials, before the test or examination is given or, if it is to be given again, before so given again;

7. Preparation, including any discussions or work product, on behalf of a public governmental body or its representatives for negotiations with employee groups;

8. Software codes for electronic data processing and documentation thereof;

9. Specifications for competitive bidding, until either the specifications are officially approved by the public governmental body or the specifications are published for bid;

10. Sealed bids and related documents, until the earlier of either when the bids are opened, or all bids are accepted or all bids are rejected;

11. Individually identifiable personnel records, performance ratings or records pertaining to employees or applicants for employment, except that this exemption shall not apply to the names, positions, salaries and lengths of service of officers and employees of public agencies once they are employed as such;

12. Records which are protected from disclosure by law;

13. Meetings and public records relating to scientific and technological innovations in which the owner has a proprietary interest;

14. Confidential or privileged communications between a public governmental body and its auditor, including all auditor work product; however, all final audit reports issued by the auditor are to be considered open records pursuant to this chapter;

15. Existing or proposed security systems and structural plans of real property owned or leased by a public governmental body, and information that is voluntarily submitted by a non-public entity owning or operating an infrastructure to any public governmental body for use by that body to devise plans for protection of that infrastructure, the public disclosure of which would threaten public safety;

16. Records related to the procurement of or expenditures relating to security systems purchased with public funds shall be open. When seeking to close information pursuant to this exception, the board shall affirmatively state in writing that disclosure would impair the public governmental body’s ability to protect the security or safety of persons or real property, and shall in the same writing state that the public interest in nondisclosure outweighs the public interest in disclosure of the records. Records that are voluntarily submitted by a nonpublic entity shall be reviewed by the receiving agency within ninety days of submission to determine if retention of the document is necessary in furtherance of a state security interest. If retention is not necessary, the documents shall be returned to the nonpublic governmental body or destroyed. This exception shall sunset on December 31, 2008 ;

17. Records that identify the configuration of components or the operation of a computer, computer system, computer network, or telecommunications network, and would allow unauthorized access to or unlawful disruption of a computer, computer system, computer network, or telecommunications network, of the board. 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 relating to such computer, computer system, computer network, or telecommunications network, including the amount of moneys paid by, or on behalf of, a public governmental body for such computer, computer system, computer network, or telecommunications network, shall be open except to the extent provided in this section; and

18. 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 board and a person or entity doing business with the board. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to close the record of a person or entity using a credit card held in the name of the board or any record of a transaction made by a person using a credit card or other method of payment for which reimbursement is made by the board.

Before a meeting of the board may be closed, the reasons for holding the closed session shall be announced and a roll call vote on the question of holding a closed session will be taken in open session. The vote of each board member on the question of closing a public meeting or vote and the specific reason for closing that public meeting or vote shall be announced publicly at an open meeting of the Board and entered into the minutes.

When the board plans to hold a closed meeting or vote, it shall give notice of the time, date and place of such closed meeting or vote and the reason for holding it by reference to the specific exception allowed.

In the event any member makes a motion to close a meeting, or a record, or a vote from the public and any other member believes that such motion, if passed, would cause a meeting, record or vote to be closed from the public in violation of the Missouri Sunshine Law, such latter member shall state his or her objection to the motion at or before the time the vote is taken on the motion. The board shall enter in the minutes any such objection made. Any member making such an objection shall be allowed to fully participate in any meeting, record or vote that is closed from the public over the member’s objection.

Only business directly related to the specific exemptions may be discussed at a closed meeting or have a closed record or vote. The closing of meetings and all records, votes and minutes resulting from closed meetings shall be determined by a majority vote of the quorum of the board in public session. If the board so votes, a separate minute book used solely for the purpose of closed meetings shall be used to record the minutes. Any votes taken during a closed meeting shall be taken by roll call. When holding a closed meeting, the board will close only an existing portion of the meeting facility necessary to house the members of the board in the closed session, allowing members of the public to remain to attend any subsequent open session held by the board following the closed session. The board may invite the superintendent and/or staff members or others to attend such closed meetings at its discretion.


cf: Board Policy P1171 Public Records Available Under the Missouri Open Meetings Law

Legal: Section 610.020, 610.021, 610.022 RSMo.

Bylaw adopted: July 10, 1990

Revised: October 12, 1993

Revised: February 9, 1999

Revised: February 22, 2000

Revised: September 10, 2002

Revised: October 10, 2006

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