Seattle Public Schools

1400 Meeting Conduct, Order of Business and Quorum

Board meetings will be scheduled 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, including Board committee meetings, (3) emergency meetings and (4) public hearings.

Regular Meetings

Regular meetings of the Board of Directors are held at least once a month according to a yearly schedule adopted in advance per Board Policy No. 1220, Board Officers & Duties of Board Members.

All regular meetings shall be held at the Frances Owen Auditorium located in the John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence, 2445 3rd Avenue South, or at other places as determined by the presiding officer or by majority vote of the Board. If regular meetings are to be held at places other than the Frances Owen Auditorium or are adjourned to times other than a regular meeting time, notice of the meeting shall be made in the same manner as provided for special meetings. All regular meetings of the Board shall be held within the district boundaries. When a regular meeting date falls on a legal holiday, the meeting shall be held on the next business day, unless otherwise directed by a vote of the Board.

An agenda of business to be transacted shall be posted on the district website not less than 24 hours in advance of the published start time of the meeting. 

Noticing and location requirements may be modified in the event of an emergency as described in Emergency Meetings below. 

Special Meetings

Special meetings, including Board committee meetings, may be called by the President or on a petition of a majority of the Board members. A written notice of a special meeting, stating the time and place of the special meeting and the business to be transacted shall be posted to the district’s website not less than 24 hours in advance of the published start time of the meeting, and each Board

member shall receive notice of the posting by e-mail, and if the meeting is called less than 7 days in advance, by telephone. The written and/or telephonic notice requirement shall be deemed waived as to a Board member if that Board member: 1) 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 e-mail; or 2) Is actually present at the time the meeting convenes.

Written notice shall also be sent not less than 24 hours in advance of the published start time of the meeting to each newspaper and radio or television station that has filed a written request for such notices. Written notice may be delivered personally or by mail, facsimile or e-mail.

The district shall 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, not less than 24 hours in advance of the published start time of the meeting. During a declared emergency which prevents a meeting from being held in-person with reasonable safety the district may instead post notice of a remote meeting without a physical location on the district’s website not less than 24 hours in advance of the published start time of the meeting.

The notices provided in this section may be dispensed with in the event a special meeting is called 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 will not take final disposition on any matter other than those items contained in the notice of the special meeting and agenda.

Emergency Meetings

If, by reason of fire, flood, earthquake, or other emergency, 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, and notice requirements shall be suspended during such emergency.

Public Hearings Public hearings are held as required by law. A public hearing may include a presentation by staff on the subject of the hearing, but a presentation is not required. Testimony is taken at public hearings, subject to the testimony rules

outlined in Board Policy No. 1430 and Board Procedure 1430BP, Audience Participation. 

Public Notice

Public notice shall be properly given for any special meeting; whenever a regular meeting is adjourned to another time; or, when a regular meeting is to be held at a place other than the John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence.

All meetings shall be open to the public with the exception of executive sessions authorized by law and other exceptions provided under the Washington State Open Public Meetings Act. The Board will take final action resulting from executive session discussions during a meeting open to the public as required by law.

Individuals who may need an accommodation to participate in a regular or special Board meeting, including those with disabilities or those requiring language interpretation services, should con­tact the School Board’s office as soon as possible, and no later than two days before a meeting, so that arrangements for the accommodation can be made. Reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate requests made less than 48 hours in advance of a meeting.

Quorum and Voting

Four Board members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. Two Board members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at a committee meeting. Board members are not required to be physically present to participate in a Board or committee meeting and count toward the quorum requirements. Any or all Board members may attend and vote via a communication platform – including teleconference – that provides, at a minimum, real-time verbal communication without being in the same physical location as those in attendance.

All votes on motions and resolutions shall be by oral roll call vote except for a vote on the consent agenda, which shall be by “voice” vote. No action shall be taken by secret ballot at any meeting required to be open to the public. Except as provided in the next paragraph, a majority vote shall determine the outcome of a motion. In that regard, if a Board member abstains, the Board member’s presence counts toward meeting the quorum requirement, but does not count as a vote for or against the motion. The outcome of the vote is determined by the majority of those who voted.

A majority vote of all the members of the Board is required for any person to be elected or selected as a Board officer, filling a vacancy on the Board, or for the selection of the school district Superintendent.

Meeting Conduct and Order of Business

The Board will conduct all Board meetings in an orderly and business-like manner using Roberts Rules of Order (Revised) as a guide, except when such rules are superseded by Board policies.

The Board will use the agenda to establish its regular order of business. However, either the Superintendent or a Board member may request additions or changes to the posted agenda, and the Board may adopt a revised agenda or order of business by a majority vote of the Board members present. At a special meeting, the Board may take final action only on that business contained in the notice of the special meeting and agenda. Nothing in this section shall prevent the presiding officer from adjusting the ordering of agenda items, as needed, to promote the efficient use of meeting time.

State law requires that the business of the Board be conducted in public. Therefore, during Board meetings, Board members shall exercise principles of good governance and refrain from communicating electronically (e.g., by e-mail, text, or social media) with their fellow Board members regarding Board business (i.e., any matter that may come before the Board for action).

Board Policy Nos. 3248, Firearms and Dangerous Weapons Prohibition for Students, and 4210, Weapons Prohibition for Adults and Visitors, and state law provide general prohibitions on students and members of the public carrying or possessing weapons at school or district facilities and events. Additionally, 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. Signs providing notice of the restrictions on possession of firearms and other weapons will be posted at facilities being used for official meetings of the Board.