School Committee Rules of Conduct

CHARIHO SCHOOL COMMITTEE
RULES OF CONDUCT
The following Rules of Conduct are adopted to ensure that (1) School Committee meetings are efficient,
effective, and respectful, (2) requirements of the Open Meetings Act are met, (3) the focus of the School
Committee is on improving educational opportunities for students and (4) roles and responsibilities are
clear for members of the School Committee.
I. Meeting Procedures
a. School Committee meetings open to the public shall be held in the High School library
from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM. The ending time of the meeting can only be extended by a
vote of 2/3 of the members present. Executive Session may be held before and/or after
the public meeting.
b. Special meetings may be called by the Superintendent, in conjunction with the Chair, for
grievances, student discipline hearings, personnel matters, litigation, negotiations, and
such other topics as addressed by the Access to Public Records Act. Each member will
be contacted; the special meeting will be held if a majority of the members indicate that
they will attend.
c. The agenda for School Committee meetings shall be Meeting Call to Order/Pledge of
Allegiance/Silent Meditation, Executive Session (optional), Closing/Sealing of Executive
Session Minutes (if necessary), Disclosure of Executive Session Votes (if necessary),
Recognition, Public Forum, Policy (if necessary), Business, Consent Agenda Items,
Reports, School Committee Requests for Future Agenda Items or Legal Opinions,
Executive Session (optional), Closing/Sealing of Executive Session Minutes (if
necessary), Disclosure of Executive Session Votes (if necessary), and Adjournment. The
order of the public meeting agenda may be adjusted by a majority vote of the School
Committee.
d. The School Committee will follow Robert's Rules of Order; the most recent edition will be
used. However, regarding the rule requiring a motion prior to discussion and then limiting
members to two opportunities to speak on each motion: Consensus on an item may be
attempted first; when the Chair deems appropriate, he/she may call for a motion; then the
two comment limit is imposed. Any motion to move the previous question shall not
eliminate the public’s right to speak as determined by the Chair. Further, the Committee
recognizes that it is the duty of every member to vote and, thus, abstentions generally
should only be used when (1) there is a personal conflict, (2) the member lacks
information about an agenda item, and (3) minutes scheduled for approval note a
member’s absence. Suspension of these Rules of Conduct shall be subject to a two-thirds
majority vote.
e. All persons wishing to speak during Public Forum for items not on the agenda will sign-in
and be recognized; however, the Chair will have the discretion to limit each person to 2-4
minutes. Brief responses from the School Committee may be given during Public Forum.
The Chair will also have the discretion to ask the School Committee if it wishes an item
being discussed in Public Forum placed on a future agenda and suspend further
conversation on the topic to that time; a majority vote of the School Committee is required
to place an item on an agenda. Public Forum may not exceed thirty minutes.
f. A School Committee member may request that a statement he/she made be included in
the minutes or request that another person’s comments be included in the minutes.
g. Sealed Executive Session minutes may not be discussed by individual members of the
School Committee.
II. Agenda Development
a. The Superintendent, in conjunction with the Chair, shall develop the School Committee
agenda.
b. If a member has an item he/she would like placed on the agenda, he/she should: a) make
the request during “School Committee Requests for Future Agenda Items or Legal
Opinions”, or b) direct a request in writing to the Chair, via the District Clerk, at least eight
(8) days prior to the scheduled meeting date.
c. Requests for legal opinions or other information from legal counsel shall be made during
“School Committee Requests for Future Agenda Items or Legal Opinions.” A majority
vote of the School Committee is required. A request may also be sought during Executive
Session; a majority vote of the School Committee is required.
III. Communication/Requests for Information
a. Outside of the meeting setting, School Committee members should speak only for
themselves; they should avoid giving the impression that they speak for the School
Committee.
b. Members may request data from the Superintendent normally available to the public
under the Access to Public Records Act. Requests for data that do not fall under the
Access to Public Records Act shall be directed to the School Committee in the form of an
agenda item. School Committee requests for information requiring substantial time and
effort on the part of the administration shall be brought to the School Committee for action
as an agenda item.
c. Information requested by School Committee members regarding specific agenda items
will be provided by the Superintendent at least four (4) days prior to the meeting date at
which the information will be discussed. If the meeting for which the information is
requested is scheduled for less than one (1) week from the date of the request, the
Superintendent will have until two (2) days prior to the meeting to provide the information.
Nothing in this rule prevents the Superintendent from providing information on the day of a
meeting.
d. Email communications to or between a quorum of School Committee members shall be
limited to those purposes provided under the Rhode Island Open Meetings Law, i.e.,
notification and scheduling of meetings. The Superintendent may use email to
communicate to the School Committee as a whole for the same purpose as well as to
notify the School Committee of significant school incidents. Members of the School
Committee shall be bound by the District email disclaimer.
e. Individual School Committee member requests for reimbursement for mileage, conference
fees, etc. shall be directed to the Chair. Any expenditure exceeding $75.00 will require
prior approval of the School Committee.
f. Individual School Committee member concerns about employee performance and/or
character shall be brought to the attention of the Superintendent and Chair.
g. The Superintendent shall notify the Chair, in writing, of any documented violations of the
Rules of Conduct.
h. Using the District’s technology, networks or internet services for private financial gain,
commercial, political, religious, advertising or solicitation purposes is prohibited.
IV. Ethics
a. All members of the School Committee are bound by the Code of Basic Management
Principles and Ethical Standards for School Committee Members.
b. All members of the School Committee are bound by the Rhode Island Code of Ethics.
V. Violations
a. In the event that the School Committee determines, after affording written notice and a
public hearing, that a member of the School Committee has violated the Rules of
Conduct, the School Committee may vote in public session to censure that member. A
motion to censure one member of the School Committee may not be combined with a
motion to censure any other member of the School Committee.
Adopted 1/11/95; Revised 12/10/96, 5/13/97, 3/24/98, 1/27/04, 5/13/08, 2/24/09, 6/14/11, 5/22/12,
10/22/13, 5/12/15