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Series 100: School District/School Board

101 Legal Status of the School District

I. PURPOSE

A primary principle of this nation is that the public welfare demands an educated and informed citizenry. The power to provide for public education is a state function vested in the state legislature and delegated to local school districts. The purpose of this policy is to clarify the legal status of the school district.

II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

A. The school district is a public corporation subject to the control of the legislature, limited only by constitutional restrictions. The school district has been created for educational purposes.

B. The legislature has authority to prescribe the school district’s powers and privileges, its boundaries and territorial jurisdictions.

C. The school district has only the powers conferred on it by the legislature; however, the school board’s authority to govern, manage, and control the school district, to carry out its duties and responsibilities, and to conduct the business of the school district includes implied powers in addition to any specific powers granted by the legislature.

III. RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER ENTITIES

A. The school district is a separate legal entity.

B. The school district is coordinate with and not subordinate to the county(ies) in which it is situated.

C. The school district is not subservient to municipalities within its territory.

IV. POWERS AND AUTHORITY OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT

A. Funds

  1. The school district, through its school board, has authority to raise funds for the operation and maintenance of its schools and authority to manage and expend such funds, subject to applicable law.
  2. The school district has wide discretion over the expenditure of funds under its control for public purposes, subject to the limitations provided by law.
  3. School district officials occupy a fiduciary position in the management and expenditure of funds entrusted to them.

B. Raising Funds

  1. The school district shall, within the limitations specified by law, provide by levy of tax necessary funds for the conduct of schools, payment of indebtedness, and all proper expenses.
  2. The school district may issue bonds in accordance with the provisions of Minn. Stat. Ch. 475, or other applicable law.
  3. The school district has authority to accept gifts and donations for school purposes, subject to applicable law.

C. Property

  1. The school district may acquire property for school purposes. It may sell, exchange, or otherwise dispose of property which is no longer needed for school purposes, subject to applicable law.
  2. The school district shall manage its property in a manner consistent with the educational functions of the district.
  3. The school district may permit the use of its facilities for community purposes which are not inconsistent with, nor disruptive of, its educational mission.
  4. School district officials hold school property as trustees for the use and benefit of students, taxpayers, and the community.

D. Contracts

  1. The school district is empowered to enter into contracts in the manner provided by law.
  2. The school district has authority to enter into installment purchases and leases with an option to purchase, pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 465.71 or other applicable law.
  3. The school district has authority to make contracts with other governmental agencies and units for the purchase, lease or other acquisition of equipment, supplies, materials, or other property, including real property.
  4. The school district has authority to enter into employment contracts. As a public employer, the school district, through its designated representatives, shall meet and negotiate with public employees in an appropriate bargaining unit and enter into written collective bargaining agreements with such employees, subject to applicable law.

E. Textbooks, Educational Materials, and Studies

  1. The school district, through its school board and administrators, has the authority to determine what textbooks, educational materials, and studies should be pursued.
  2. The school district shall establish and apply the school curriculum.

F. Actions and Suits

The school district has authority to sue and to be sued.

Legal References: Minn. Const. art. 13, § 1

Minn. Stat. Ch. 123B (School Districts, Powers and Duties)
Minn. Stat. Ch. 179A (Public Employment Labor Relations)
Minn. Stat. § 465.035 (Conveyance or Lease of Land)
Minn. Stat. §§ 465.71; 471.345; 471.6161; 471.6175; 471.64 (Rights, Powers, Duties of Political Subdivisions)
Minnesota Association of Public Schools v. Hanson, 287 Minn. 415, 178 N.W.2d 846 (1970)
Independent School District No. 581 v. Mattheis, 275 Minn. 383, 147 N.W.2d 374 (1966)
Village of Blaine v. Independent School District No. 12, 272 Minn. 343, 138 N.W.2d 32 (1965)
Huffman v. School Board, 230 Minn. 289, 41 N.W.2d 455 (1950)
State v. Lakeside Land Co., 71 Minn. 283, 73 N.W.970 (1898)

Cross References: ISD 15 Policy 102 (Legal Status of School Board)

ISD 15 Policy 303 (Curriculum Development)
ISD 15 Policy 304 (Instructional Curriculum)
ISD 15 Policy 306 (Textbooks and Instructional Materials)
ISD 15 Policy 604 (Development and Maintenance of an Inventory of Fixed Assets and a Fixed Asset Accounting System)
ISD 15 Policy 605 (Investments)
ISD 15 Policy 606 (Acceptance of Gifts)
MSBA/MASA Model Policy 801 (Equal Access to School Facilities)
MSBA Service Manual, Chapter 3, Employee Negotiations
MSBA Service Manual, Chapter 13, School Law Bulletin “F” (Contract and Bidding Procedures)

Adopted: July 25, 2016

School Board
Independent School District 15
St. Francis, Minnesota

102 Legal Status of the School Board

I. PURPOSE

The care, management, and control of the schools is vested by statutory and constitutional authority in the school board. The school board shall carry out the mission of the school district with diligence, prudence, and dedication to the ideals of providing the finest public education. The purpose of this policy is to define the authority, duties, and powers of the school board in carrying out its mission.

II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

A. The school board is the governing body of the school district. As such, the school board has responsibility for the care, management, and control over public schools in the school district.

B. Generally, elected members of the school board have binding authority only when acting as a school board legally in session, except where specific authority is provided to school board members or officers individually. Generally, the school board is not bound by an action or statement on the part of an individual school board member unless the action is specifically directed or authorized by the school board.

III. DEFINITION

“School board” means the governing body of the school district.

IV. ORGANIZATION AND MEMBERSHIP

A. The membership of the school board consists of seven elected directors. The term of office is four years.

B. There may be other ex officio members of the school board as provided by law. The superintendent is an ex officio member.

C. A majority of voting members constitutes a quorum. The act of the majority of a quorum is the act of the school board.

V. POWERS AND DUTIES

A. The school board has powers and duties specified by statute. The school board’s authority includes implied powers in addition to specific powers granted by the legislature.

B. The school board exercises administrative functions. It also has certain powers of a legislative character and other powers of a quasi-judicial character.

C. The school board shall superintend and manage the schools of the school district; adopt rules for their organization, government, and instruction; prescribe textbooks and courses of study; and make and authorize contracts.

D. The school board shall have the general charge of the business of the school district, its facilities and property, and of the interest of the schools.

E. The school board, among other duties, shall perform the following in accordance with applicable law:

  1. provide by levy of tax, necessary funds for the conduct of schools, the payment of indebtedness, and all proper expenses of the school district;
  2. conduct the business of the schools and pay indebtedness and proper expenses;
  3. employ and contract with necessary qualified teachers and discharge the same for cause;
  4. provide services to promote the health of its pupils;
  5. provide school buildings and erect needed buildings;
  6. purchase, sell, and exchange school district property and equipment as deemed necessary by the school board for school purposes;
  7. provide for payment of claims against the school district, and prosecute and defend actions by or against the school district, in all proper cases;
  8. employ and discharge necessary employees and contract for other services;
  9. provide for transportation of pupils to and from school, as governed by statute; and
  10. procure insurance against liability of the school district, its officers, and employees.

F. The school board, at its discretion, may perform the following:

  1. provide library facilities, public evening schools, adult and continuing education programs, summer school programs, and intersession classes of flexible school year programs;
  2. furnish school lunches for pupils and teachers on such terms as the school board determines;
  3. enter into agreements with one or more other independent school districts to provide for agreed upon educational services;
  4. lease rooms or buildings for school purposes;
  5. authorize the use of school facilities for community purposes that will not interfere with their use for school purposes;
  6. authorize cocurricular and extracurricular activities;
  7. receive, for the benefit of the school district, bequests, donations, or gifts for any proper purpose; and
  8. perform other acts as the school board shall deem to be reasonably necessary or required for the governance of the schools.

Legal References: Minn. Stat. § 123A.22 (Cooperative Centers)

Minn. Stat. § 123B.02 (General Powers)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.09 (School Board Powers)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.14 (School District Officers)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.23 (Liability Insurance)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.49 (Cocurricular and Extracurricular Activities; Insurance)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.51 (Schoolhouses and Sites; Access for Noncurricular Purposes)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.85 (Definition)
Jensen v. Indep. Consol. Sch. Dist. No. 85, 160 Minn. 233, 199 N.W. 911 (1924)

Cross References: ISD 15 Policy 101 (Legal Status of the School District)

ISD 15 Policy 104 (School Board Officers)
ISD 15 Policy 105 (Operation of the School Board -Governing Rules)
ISD 15 Policy 108 (Open Meetings and Closed Meetings)
MSBA Service Manual, Chapter 1, School District Governance, Powers and Duties

Adopted: July 25, 2016

School Board
Independent School District 15
St. Francis, Minnesota

104 School Board Officers

I. PURPOSE

School board officers are charged with the duty of carrying out the responsibilities entrusted to them for the care, management, and control of the public schools of the school district. The purpose of this policy is to delineate those responsibilities.

II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

A. The school board shall meet annually and organize by selecting a chair, a clerk, a treasurer, and such other officers as determined by the school board. At its option, the school board may appoint a vice-chair to serve in the temporary absence of the chair.

B. The school board shall appoint a superintendent who shall be an ex officio, nonvoting member of the school board.

III. ORGANIZATION

The school board shall meet annually on the first Monday in January, or as soon thereafter as practicable, and organize by selecting a chair, a clerk, a treasurer, and such other officers as determined by the school board. These officers shall hold office for one year and until their successors are elected and qualify.

A. The persons who perform the duties of clerk and treasurer need not be members of the school board.

B. The school board by resolution may combine the duties of the offices of clerk and treasurer in a single person in the office of business affairs.

IV. OFFICER’S RESPONSIBILITIES

A. Chair

  1. The chair when present shall preside at all meetings of the school board, countersign all orders upon the treasurer for claims allowed by the school board, represent the school district in all actions, and perform all duties a chair usually performs.
  2. In case of absence, inability, or refusal of the clerk to draw orders for the payment of money authorized by a vote of the majority of the school board to be paid, the chair may draw the orders, or the office of the clerk may be declared vacant by the chair and treasurer and filled by appointment.

B. Treasurer

  1. The treasurer shall deposit the funds of the school district in the official depository.
  2. The treasurer shall make all reports which may be called for by the school board and perform all duties a treasurer usually performs.
  3. In the event there are insufficient funds on hand to pay valid orders presented to the treasurer, the treasurer shall receive, endorse, and process the orders in accordance with Minn. Stat. § 123B.12.

C. Clerk

  1. The clerk shall keep a record of all meetings in the books provided.
  2. Within three days after an election, the clerk shall notify all persons elected of their election.
  3. On or before September 15 of each year, the clerk shall:
    a. file with the school board a report of the revenues, expenditures, and balances in each fund for the preceding fiscal year.
    b. make and transmit to the commissioner certified reports, showing:
    (1) revenues and expenditures in detail, and such other financial information required by law, rule, or as may be called for by the commissioner;
    (2) length of school term and enrollment and attendance by grades; and
    (3) other items of information as called for by the commissioner.
  4. The clerk shall enter into the clerk’s record book copies of all reports and of the teachers’ term reports, and of the proceedings of any meeting, and keep an itemized account of all expenses of the school district.
  5. The clerk shall furnish to the county auditor, on or before September 30 of each year, an attested copy of the clerk’s record, showing the amount of proposed property tax voted by the school district or the school board for school purposes.
  6. The clerk shall draw and sign all orders upon the treasurer for the payment of money for bills allowed by the school board for salaries of officers and for teachers’ wages and all claims, to be countersigned by the chair.
  7. The clerk shall perform such duties as required by the Minnesota Election Law or other applicable laws relating to the conduct of elections.
  8. The clerk shall perform the duties of the chair in the event of the chair’s and the vice-chair’s temporary absences.

 

D. Vice-Chair

The vice-chair shall perform the duties of the chair in the event of the chair’s temporary absence.

E. Superintendent

  1. The superintendent shall be an ex officio, nonvoting member of the school board.
  2. The superintendent shall perform the following:
    a. visit and supervise the schools in the school district, report and make recommendations about their condition when advisable or on request by the school board;
    b. recommend to the school board employment and dismissal of teachers;
    c. annually evaluate each school principal assigned responsibility for supervising a school building within the district;
    d. superintend school grading practices and examinations for promotions;
    e. make reports required by the commissioner; and
    f. perform other duties prescribed by the school board.

Legal References
Minn. Stat. § 123B.12 (Finance)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.14 (Officers)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.143 (Superintendent)
Minn. Stat. § 126C.17 (Referendum Revenue)
Minn. Stat. Ch. 205A (School District Elections)

Cross References
ISD 15 Policy 101 (Legal Status of the School District)
ISD 15 Policy 102 (Legal Status of the School Board)
ISD 15 Policy 105 (Operation of the School Board – Governing Rules)
MSBA Service Manual, Chapter 1, School District Governance, Powers and Duties

Adopted: January 23, 2017
School Board
Independent School District 15
St. Francis, Minnesota

105 Operations of the School Board: Governing Rules

I. PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to provide governing rules for the conduct of meetings of the school board.

II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

An orderly school board meeting allows school board members to participate in discussion and decision of school district issues. Rules of order allow school board members the opportunity to review school‑related topics, discuss school business items, and bring matters to conclusion in a timely and consistent manner.

III. RULES OF ORDER

Rules of order for school board meetings shall be as follows:

A. Minnesota statutes where specified;
B. Specific rules of order as provided by the school board consistent with Minnesota statutes; and 
C. Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised (latest edition) where not inconsistent with A. and B., above.

Legal References
Minn. Stat. Ch. 13D (Open Meeting Law)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.09, Subds. 6, 7, and 10 (School Board Matters)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.14 (Officers)

Cross References

Adopted: May 14, 2018

School Board
Independent School District No. 15
St. Francis, Minnesota

105.1 School Board Procedures: Rules of Order

I. PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to provide specific rules of order to conduct meetings of the school board.

II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

To ensure that school board meetings are conducted in an orderly fashion, the school board will follow rules of order which will allow the school board: 

A. To establish guidelines by which the business of the school board can be conducted in a regular and internally consistent manner;

B. To organize the meetings so all necessary matters can be brought to the school board and decisions of the school board can be made in an orderly and reasonable manner;

C. To insure that members of the school board have the necessary information to make decisions on substantive issues and to insure adequate discussion of decisions to be made; and

D. To insure that meetings and actions of the school board are conducted so as to be informative to the staff and the public, and to produce a clear record of actions taken and decisions made.

III. RULES OF ORDER

A. School board members need not rise to gain the recognition of the chair.

B. A motion will be adopted or carried if it receives the affirmative votes of a majority of those actually voting on the matter. Abstentions are considered to be acquiescence to the vote of the majority. It should be noted that some motions by statute or Robert’s Rules of Order require larger numbers of affirmative votes.

C. All motions that require a second shall receive a second prior to opening the issue for discussion of the school board. If a motion that requires a second does not receive a second, the chair may declare that the motion fails for lack of a second or may provide the second. The names of the members making and seconding a motion shall be recorded in the minutes.

D. The chair shall decide the order in which school board members will be recognized to address an issue. An attempt should be made to alternate between pro and con positions if appropriate to the discussion. A member shall only speak to an issue after the member is recognized by the chair.

E. The chair shall rule on all questions relating to motions and points of order brought before the school board.

F. A ruling by the chair is subject to appeal to the full school board pursuant to Robert’s Rules of Order.

G. The chair shall have authority to recognize any member of the audience regarding a request to be heard at the school board meeting. Members of the public who wish to be heard shall follow school board procedures.

H. The chair has the authority to declare a recess at any time for the purpose of restoring decorum to the meeting or for any other necessary purpose.

I. The chair shall repeat a motion or the substance of a motion prior to the vote. The chair shall call for an affirmative and a negative vote on all motions.

J. The order in which names will be called for roll call votes will be determined by the chair.

K. The chair has the same right and responsibility as each school board member to vote on all issues.

L. The chair shall announce the result of each vote. The vote of each member, including abstentions, shall be recorded in the minutes. If the vote is unanimous, it may be reflected as unanimous in the minutes if the minutes also reflect the members present.

M. A majority of the voting members of the school board constitute a quorum. The absence of a quorum may be raised by the chair or any member. Generally any action taken in the absence of a quorum is null and void. The only legal actions the school board may take in the absence of a quorum are to fix the time at which to adjourn, to adjourn, to recess or to take measures to obtain a quorum.

Legal References
Minn. Stat. § 13D.01, Subd. 4 (Open Meeting Law)
Minn. Stat. § 122A.40 (Employment Contracts, Termination)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.09, Subds. 6 and 7 (School Board Powers)
Minn. Stat. § 126C.53 (Enabling Resolution; Form of Certificates of Indebtedness)
Minn. Stat. § 331A.01, Subd. 6 (Newspapers; Definitions)
Minn. Stat. § 331A.04, Subd. 6 (Newspapers; Exception to Designation Priority)
Minn. Stat. § 471.88 (Exceptions)

Cross References
ISD 15 Policy 105 (Operation of the School Board – Governing Rules)
ISD 15 Policy 107 (School Board Meeting Minutes)
ISD 15 Policy 109 (Public Participation in School Board Meetings/Complaints about Persons at School Board Meetings and Data Privacy Considerations)
ISD 15 Policy 110 (Public Hearings)

Adopted: May 14, 2018

School Board
Independent School District No. 15
St. Francis, Minnesota

106 Meetings of the School Board

I. REGULAR MEETINGS

A. The regular meetings of the School Board shall be scheduled at the Organizational Meeting which is held the second Monday of January. With the exception of December and July, the School Board maintains the policy of two regular meetings per month. Periodically, the School Board may schedule to hold only one regular meeting in a month other than December and July. The schedule shall contain the times and places for regular meetings and be published for the year.

II. MEETING AGENDA

A. The construction of the agenda shall be the responsibility of the Superintendent of Schools in consultation with the School Board Chair.

B. The Board Packet containing the tentative agenda and available relevant information and reports pertaining to agenda items shall be uploaded and a notification email sent three (3) calendar days in advance of a regular meeting to School Board members.

C. Order of Business - Agenda

Normally, the Board’s business will be transacted in the following order, subject to change to fit current circumstances:

  1. Call to Order
  2. Adoption of Agenda
  3. Consideration of Visitors
  4. Consent Agenda
  5. Information Items and Reports, Student Report
  6. Action Items
  7. School Board Member Reports
  8. Adjournment

D. Consideration of Visitors

  1. A person wishing to address the School Board must complete a Consideration of Visitors Card. The completed cards are to be given to the Board secretary prior to the meeting. Persons who have completed cards will be heard during “Consideration of Visitors” on the agenda.
  2. A person may speak for no more than five minutes. The time may be reduced if there are many speakers. The Chairperson may limit time and the number of speakers at his/her discretion.
  3. The School Board will not act upon a speaker’s topic at that meeting. If requests are made by the speaker, they will be referred to the administration for review and appropriate recommendation.
  4. A speaker may not address criticism toward an individual district employee during the Consideration of Visitors. Individual complaints should be handled privately with building administrators, the Superintendent of Schools, or an individual School Board member.

E. Reports

District programs, services, or employees who want to be placed on the agenda of a regular School Board meeting will request permission by contacting the Superintendent prior to the meeting. If prior contact is not possible, a request may be made at the specific School Board meeting with the understanding that the request may or may not be granted depending upon the length of the agenda.

District programs, services, or employees addressing the School Board will generally be expected to limit comments to a maximum of ten (10) minutes and five (5) minutes for questions. The time guidelines apply for visitors and/or staff when making a School Board report.

III. SPECIAL MEETINGS

Special meetings may be called by the chairperson or clerk or any three (3) Board members by written notice, stating the time, place, and object of the meeting. Such notice is to be served personally or by email, at least three (3) calendar days before such meeting, except as provided in the Minnesota Open Meeting Law.

Legal References

Minn. Stat. § 123B.09 Subd. 7
Minn. Stat. § 13D.01 Subd. 6

Adopted: September 9, 2019

School Board
Independent School District No. 15
St. Francis, Minnesota

106.1 School Board Meeting Agenda

I.  PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to provide procedures for the preparation of the School Board meeting agenda to ensure that the School Board can accomplish its business as efficiently and expeditiously as possible.

II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

It is the policy of the School Board that School Board meetings shall be conducted in a manner to allow the School Board to accomplish its business while allowing reasoned debate and discussion of each matter to be acted upon.

III.  PROCEDURES

A. It shall be the responsibility of the School Board chair and superintendent to develop, prepare and arrange the order of items for the tentative School Board meeting agenda for each School Board meeting.

B. Persons wishing to place an item on the agenda must make a request to the School Board chair or superintendent ten (10) calendar days prior to the next School Board meeting. The person making the request is encouraged to state the person’s name, address, purpose of the item, action desired and pertinent background information. The chair and superintendent shall determine whether to place the matter on the tentative agenda.

C. The tentative agenda and available relevant information and reports pertaining to agenda items shall be mailed prior to the meeting and emailed three (3) calendar days in advance of a regular meeting to School Board members

D. Items may only be added to the agenda by a motion adopted at the meeting. If an added item is acted upon, the minutes of the School Board meeting shall include a description of the matter.

E. At least one copy of any printed materials relating to the agenda items of the meeting prepared or distributed by or at the direction of the School Board or its employees and: (i) distributed at the meeting to all members of the governing body; (ii) distributed before the meeting to all members; or (iii) available in the meeting room to all members shall be available in the meeting room for inspection by the public while the School Board considers their subject matter. This does not apply to materials classified by law as other than public or to materials relating to the agenda items of a closed meeting.

Legal References:     
Minn. Stat. § 13D.01, Subd. 6 (Open Meeting Law)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.09, Subd. 7 (School Board Powers)

Adopted: March 26, 2012     

School Board
Independent School District No. 15
St. Francis, Minnesota

106.2 Consent Agendas

I. PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to allow the use of a consent agenda.

II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

In order for a more efficient administration of school board meetings, the school board may elect to use a consent agenda for the passage of noncontroversial items or items of a similar nature.

III. CONSENT AGENDAS

A. The superintendent, in consultation with the school board chair, may place items on the consent agenda. By using a consent agenda, the school board has consented to the consideration of certain items as a group under one motion. Should a consent agenda be used, an appropriate amount of discussion time will be allowed to review any item upon request.

B. Consent items are those which usually do not require discussion or explanation prior to school board action, are noncontroversial and/or similar in content, or are those items which have already been discussed and/or explained and do not require further discussion or explanation. Such agenda items might include ministerial tasks such as, but not limited to, the approval of the agenda, approval of previous minutes, approval of bills, approval of reports, etc. These items might also include similar groups of decisions such as, but not limited to, approval of staff contracts, approval of maintenance details for the school district buildings and grounds or approval of various schedules.

C. Items shall be removed from the consent agenda by a timely request by an individual school board member for independent consideration. A request is timely if made prior to the vote on the consent agenda. The request does not require a second or a vote by the school board. An item removed from the consent agenda will then be discussed and acted on separately immediately following the consideration of the consent agenda.

D. Consent agenda items are approved en masse by one vote of the school board. The consent agenda items shall be separately recorded in the minutes.

Legal References
Minn. Stat. § 123B.09, Subd. 7 (School Board Powers)

Cross References
MSBA/MASA Model Policy 203.2 (Order of the Regular School Board Meeting)
MSBA/MASA Model Policy 203.5 (School Board Meeting Agenda)
ISD 15 Policy 107 (School Board Meeting Minutes)

Adopted: May 14, 2018

School Board
Independent School District No. 15
St. Francis, Minnesota

107 School Board Meeting Minutes

I. PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to establish procedures relating to the maintenance of records of the school board and the publication of its official proceedings.

II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

It is the policy of the school district to maintain its records so that they will be available for inspection by members of the general public and to provide for the publication of its official proceedings in compliance with law.

III. MAINTENANCE OF MINUTES AND RECORDS

A. The clerk shall keep and maintain permanent records of the school board, including records of the minutes of school board meetings and other required records of the school board. All votes taken at meetings required to be open to the public pursuant to the Minnesota Open Meeting Law shall be recorded in a journal kept for that purpose. Public records maintained by the school district shall be available for inspection by members of the public during the regular business hours of the school district. Minutes of meetings shall be available for inspection at the administrative offices of the school district after they have been prepared. Minutes of a school board meeting shall be approved or modified by the school board at a subsequent meeting, which action shall be reflected in the official proceedings of that subsequent meeting.

B. Recordings of Closed Meetings

  1. All closed meetings, except those closed as permitted by the attorney-client privilege, must be electronically recorded at the expense of the school district. Recordings of closed meetings shall be made separately from the recordings of an open meeting, to the extent such meetings are recorded. If a meeting is closed to discuss more than one (1) matter, each matter shall be separately recorded.
  2. Recordings of closed meetings shall be preserved by the school district for the following time periods:
    a. Meetings closed to discuss labor negotiations strategy shall be preserved for two (2) years after the contract is signed.
    b. Meetings closed to discuss security matters shall be preserved for at least four (4) years.
    c. Meetings closed to discuss the purchase or sale of property shall be preserved for at least eight (8) years after the date of the meeting.
    d. All other closed meetings shall be preserved by the school district for at least three (3) years after the date of the meeting.
    e. Following the expiration of the above time periods, recordings of closed meetings shall be maintained as set forth in the school district’s Records Retention Schedule.
  3. Recordings of closed meetings shall be classified by the school district as protected non-public data that is not accessible by the public or any subject of the data, with the following exceptions:
    a. Recordings of labor negotiations strategy meetings shall be classified as public data and made available to the public after all labor contracts are signed by the school district for the current budget period.
    b. Recordings of meetings related to the purchase or sale of property shall be classified as public data and made available to the public after all real or personal property discussed at the meeting has been purchased or sold or the school district has abandoned the purchase or sale.
    c. Recordings of any other closed meetings shall be classified and/or released as required by court order.
  4. Recordings of closed meetings shall be maintained separately from recordings of open meetings, to the extent recordings of open meetings are maintained by the school district, with the exception of recordings that have been classified as public data as set forth in Section III.B.3. above. Recordings of closed meetings classified as non-public data also shall be maintained in a secure location, separate from recordings classified as public data.
  5. Recordings of closed meetings shall be maintained in a manner to easily identify the data classification of the recording. The recordings shall be identified with at least the following information:
    a. The date of the closed meeting;
    b. The basis upon which the meeting was closed (i.e.: labor negotiations strategy, purchase or sale of real property, educational data, etc.); and
    c. The classification of the data.
  6. Recordings of closed meetings related to labor negotiations strategy and the purchase or sale of property shall be maintained and monitored in a manner that reclassifies the recording as public upon the occurrence of an event reclassifying that data as set forth in Section III.B.3. above.

IV. PUBLICATION OF OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS

A. The school board shall cause its official proceedings to be published once in the official newspaper of the school district within thirty (30) days of the meeting at which the proceedings occurred; however, if the school board conducts regular meetings not more than once every thirty (30) days, the school board need not publish the minutes until ten (10) days after they have been approved by the school board.

B. The proceedings to be published shall be sufficiently full to fairly set forth the proceedings. They must include the substance of all official actions taken by the school board at any regular or special meeting, and at minimum must include the subject matter of a motion, the persons making and seconding the motion, a listing of how each member present voted on the motion, the character of resolutions offered including a brief description of their subject matter and whether adopted or defeated. The minutes and permanent records of the school board may include more detail than is required to be published with the official proceedings. If the proceedings have not yet been approved by the school board, the proceedings to be published may reflect that fact.

C. The proceedings to be published may be a summary of the essential elements of the proceedings, and/or of resolutions and other official actions of the school board. Such a summary shall be written in a clear and coherent manner and shall, to the extent possible, avoid the use of technical or legal terms not generally familiar to the public. When a summary is published, the publication shall clearly indicate that the published material is only a summary and that the full text is available for public inspection at the administrative offices of the school district and that a copy of the proceedings, other than attachments to the minutes, is available without cost at the offices of the school district or by means of standard or electronic mail.

Legal References

Minn. Stat. § 13D.01, Subds. 4-6 (Open Meeting Law)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.09, Subd. 10 (Publishing Proceedings)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.14, Subd. 7 (Record of Meetings)
Minn. Stat. § 331A.01 (Definition)
Minn. Stat. § 331A.05, Subd. 8 (Notice Regarding Published Summaries)
Minn. Stat. § 331A.08, Subd. 3 (Publication of Proceedings)
Op. Atty. Gen. 161‑a‑20, December 17, 1970
Ketterer v. Independent School District No. 1, 248 Minn. 212, 79 N.W.2d 428 (1956)

Cross References

ISD 15 Policy 108 (Open Meetings and Closed Meetings)
MSBA Service Manual, Chapter 1, School District Governance, Powers and Duties

Adopted: July 23, 2018

School Board
Independent School District 15
St. Francis, Minnesota

108 Open Meetings and Closed Meetings

I. PURPOSE

A. The school board embraces the philosophy of openness in the conduct of its business, in the belief that openness produces better programs, more efficiency in administration of programs, and an organization more responsive to public interest and less susceptible to private interest. The school board shall conduct its business under a presumption of openness. At the same time, the school board recognizes and respects the privacy rights of individuals as provided by law. The school board also recognizes that there are certain exceptions to the Minnesota Open Meeting Law as recognized in statute where it has been determined that, in limited circumstances, the public interest is best served by closing a meeting of the school board.

B. The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines to assure the rights of the public to be present at school board meetings, while also protecting the individual’s rights to privacy under law, and to close meetings when the public interest so requires as recognized by law.

II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

A. Except as otherwise expressly provided by statute, all meetings of the school board, including executive sessions, shall be open to the public.

B. Meetings shall be closed only when expressly authorized by law.

III. DEFINITION

“Meeting” means a gathering of at least a quorum or more members of the school board, or quorum of a committee or subcommittee of school board members, at which members discuss, decide, or receive information as a group on issues relating to the official business of the school board. The term does not include a chance or social gathering or the use of social media by members of a public body so long as the social media use is limited to exchanges with all members of the general public. For purposes of the Open Meeting Law, social media does not include email.

IV. PROCEDURES

A. Meetings

  1. Regular Meetings
    A schedule of the regular meetings of the school board shall be kept on file at its primary offices. If the school board decides to hold a regular meeting at a time or place different from the time or place stated in its schedule, it shall give the same notice of the meeting as for a special meeting.
  2. Special Meetings
    a. For a special meeting, the school board shall post written notice of the date, time, place, and purpose of the meeting on the principal bulletin board of the school district or on the door of the school board’s usual meeting room if there is no principal bulletin board. The school board’s actions at the special meeting are limited to those topics included in the notice.
    b. The notice shall also be mailed or otherwise delivered to each person who has filed a written request for notice of special meetings.
    c. This notice shall be posted and mailed or delivered at least three days before the date of the meeting. As an alternative to mailing or otherwise delivering notice to persons who have filed a written request, the school board may publish the notice once, at least three days before the meeting, in the official newspaper of the school district or, if none, in a qualified newspaper of general circulation within the area of the school district.
    d. A person filing a request for notice of special meetings may limit the request to particular subjects, in which case the school board is required to send notice to that person only concerning those particular subjects.
    e. The school board will establish an expiration date on requests for notice of special meetings and require refiling once each year. Not more than 60 days before the expiration date of request for notice, the school board shall send notice of the refiling requirement to each person who filed during the preceding year.
  3. Emergency Meetings
    a. An emergency meeting is a special meeting called because of circumstances that, in the judgment of the school board, require immediate consideration.
    b. If matters not directly related to the emergency are discussed or acted upon, the minutes of the meeting shall include a specific description of those matters.
    c. The school board shall make good faith efforts to provide notice of the emergency meeting to each news medium that has filed a written request for notice if the request includes the news medium’s telephone number.
    d. Notice of the emergency meeting shall be given by telephone or any other method used to notify the members of the school board.
    e. Notice shall be provided to each news medium which has filed a written request for notice as soon as reasonably practicable after notice has been given to the school board members.
    f. Notice shall include the subject of the meeting.
    g. Posted or published notice of an emergency meeting shall not be required.
    h. The notice requirements for an emergency meeting as set forth in this policy shall supersede any other statutory notice requirement for a special meeting that is an emergency meeting.
  4. Recessed or Continued Meetings
    If a meeting is a recessed or continued session of a previous meeting, and the time and place of the meeting was established during the previous meeting and recorded in the minutes of that meeting, then no further published or mailed notice is necessary.
  5. Closed Meetings
    The notice requirements of the Minnesota Open Meeting Law apply to closed meetings.
  6. Actual Notice
    If a person receives actual notice of a meeting of the school board at least 24 hours before the meeting, all notice requirements are satisfied with respect to that person, regardless of the method of receipt of notice.
  7. Health Pandemic or Declared Emergency
    In the event of a health pandemic or an emergency declared under Minn. Stat. Ch. 12, a meeting may be conducted by telephone or other electronic means in compliance with Minn. Stat. § 13D.021.

B. Votes

The votes of school board members shall be recorded in a journal kept for that purpose, and the journal shall be available to the public during all normal business hours at the administrative offices of the school district.

C. Written Materials

  1. In any open meeting, a copy of any printed materials, including electronic communications, relating to the agenda items prepared or distributed by the school board or its employees and distributed to or available to all school board members shall be available in the meeting room for inspection by the public while the school board considers their subject matter.
  2. This provision does not apply to materials not classified by law as public, or to materials relating to the agenda items of a closed meeting.

D. Data

  1. Meetings may not be closed merely because the data to be discussed are not public data.
  2. Data that are not public data may be discussed at an open meeting if the disclosure relates to a matter within the scope of the school board’s authority and is reasonably necessary to conduct the business or agenda item before the school board.
  3. Data discussed at an open meeting retain the data’s original classification; however, a record of the meeting, regardless of form, shall be public.

E. Closed Meetings

  1. Labor Negotiations Strategy
    a. The school board may, by a majority vote in a public meeting, decide to hold a closed meeting to consider strategy for labor negotiations, including negotiation strategies or developments or discussion and review of labor negotiation proposals.
    b. The time and place of the closed meeting shall be announced at the public meeting. A written roll of school board members and all other persons present at the closed meeting shall be made available to the public after the closed meeting. The proceedings shall be tape recorded, and the tape recording shall be preserved for two years after the contract discussed at the meeting is signed. The recording shall be made available to the public after all labor contracts are signed by the school board for the current budget period.
  2. Sessions Closed by Bureau of Mediation Services
    All negotiations, mediation sessions, and hearings between the school board and its employees or their respective representatives are public meetings. These meetings may be closed only by the Commissioner of the Bureau of Mediation Services (BMS). The use of recording devices, stenographic records, or other recording methods is prohibited in mediation meetings closed by the BMS.
  3. Preliminary Consideration of Charges
    The school board shall close one or more meetings for preliminary consideration of allegations or charges against an individual subject to its authority. If the school board members conclude that discipline of any nature may be warranted as a result of those specific charges or allegations, further meetings or hearings relating to those specific charges or allegations held after that conclusion is reached must be open. A meeting must also be open at the request of the individual who is the subject of the meeting. A closed meeting must be electronically recorded at the expense of the school district, and the recording must be preserved for at least three years after the date of the meeting. The recording is not available to the public.
  4. Performance Evaluations
    The school board may close a meeting to evaluate the performance of an individual who is subject to its authority. The school board shall identify the individual to be evaluated prior to closing a meeting. At its next open meeting, the school board shall summarize its conclusions regarding the evaluation. A meeting must be open at the request of the individual who is the subject of the meeting. A closed meeting must be electronically recorded at the expense of the school district, and the recording must be preserved for at least three years after the date of the meeting. The recording is not available to the public.
  5. Attorney-Client Meeting
    A meeting may be closed if permitted by the attorney-client privilege. Attorney-client privilege applies when litigation is imminent or threatened, or when the school board needs advice above the level of general legal advice, i.e., regarding specific acts and their legal consequences. A meeting may be closed to seek legal advice concerning litigation strategy, but the mere threat that litigation might be a consequence of deciding a matter one way or another does not, by itself, justify closing the meeting. The motion to close the meeting must specifically describe the matter to be discussed at the closed meeting, subject to relevant privacy and confidentiality considerations under state and federal law. The law does not require that such a meeting be recorded.
  6. Dismissal Hearing
    a. A hearing on the dismissal of a licensed teacher shall be public or private at the teacher’s discretion. A hearing regarding placement of teachers on unrequested leave of absence shall be public.
    b. A hearing on dismissal of a student pursuant to the Pupil Fair Dismissal Act shall be closed unless the pupil, parent or guardian requests an open hearing.
    c. To the extent a teacher or student dismissal hearing is held before the school board and is closed, the closed meeting must be electronically recorded at the expense of the school district, and the recording must be preserved for at least three years after the date of the meeting. The recording is not available to the public.
  7. Coaches; Opportunity to Respond
    a. If the school board has declined to renew the coaching contract of a licensed or nonlicensed head varsity coach, it must notify the coach within 14 days of that decision.
    b. If the coach requests the reasons for the nonrenewal, the school board must give the coach the reasons in writing within 10 days of receiving the request.
    c. On the request of the coach, the school board must provide the coach with a reasonable opportunity to respond to the reasons at a school board meeting.
    d. The meeting may be open or closed at the election of the coach unless the meeting is closed as required by Minn. Stat. § 13D.05, Subd. 2, to discuss educational or certain other nonpublic data.
    e. A closed meeting must be electronically recorded at the expense of the school district, and the recording must be preserved for at least three years after the date of the meeting. The recording is not available to the public.
  8. Meetings to Discuss Certain Not Public Data
    Any portion of a meeting must be closed if the following types of data are discussed:
    a. data that would identify alleged victims or reporters of criminal sexual conduct, domestic abuse, or maltreatment of minors or vulnerable adults;
    b. active investigative data collected or created by a law enforcement agency;
    c. educational data, health data, medical data, welfare data, or mental health data that are not public data; or
    d. an individual’s personal medical records.
    e. A closed meeting must be electronically recorded at the expense of the school district, and the recording must be preserved for at least three years after the date of the meeting. The recording is not available to the public.
  9. Purchase and Sale of Property
    a. The school board may close a meeting:
    (1) to determine the asking price for real or personal property to be sold by the school district;
    (2) to review confidential or nonpublic appraisal data; and
    (3) to develop or consider offers or counteroffers for the purchase or sale of real or personal property.
    b. Before closing the meeting, the school board must identify on the record the particular real or personal property that is the subject of the closed meeting.
    c. The closed meeting must be tape recorded at the expense of the school district. The tape must be preserved for eight years after the date of the meeting and be made available to the public after all real or personal property discussed at the meeting has been purchased or sold or the school board has abandoned the purchase or sale. The real or personal property that is the subject of the closed meeting must be specifically identified on the tape. A list of school board members and all other persons present at the closed meeting must be made available to the public after the closed meeting.
    d. An agreement reached that is based on an offer considered at a closed meeting is contingent on its approval by the school board at an open meeting. The actual purchase or sale must be approved at an open meeting and the purchase price or sale price is public data.
  10. Security Matters
    a. The school board may close a meeting to receive security briefings and reports, to discuss issues related to security systems, to discuss emergency response procedures, and to discuss security deficiencies in or recommendations regarding public services, infrastructure, and facilities, if disclosure of the information discussed would pose a danger to public safety or compromise security procedures or responses.
    b. Financial issues related to security matters must be discussed and all related financial decisions must be made at an open meeting.
    c. Before closing a meeting, the school board must refer to the facilities, systems, procedures, services, or infrastructures to be considered during the closed meeting.
    d. The closed meeting must be tape recorded at the expense of the school district and the recording must be preserved for at least four years.
  11. Other Meetings
    Other meetings shall be closed as provided by law, except as provided above. A closed meeting must be electronically recorded at the expense of the school district, and the recording must be preserved for at least three years after the date of the meeting. The recording is not available to the public.

F. Procedures for Closing a Meeting

The school board shall provide notice of a closed meeting just as for an open meeting. A school board meeting may be closed only after a majority vote at a public meeting. Before closing a meeting, the school board shall state on the record the specific authority permitting the meeting to be closed and shall describe the subject to be discussed.

Legal References
Minn. Stat. Ch. 13 (Minnesota Government Data Practices Act)
Minn. Stat. Ch. 13D (Open Meeting Law)
Minn. Stat. § 121A.47, Subd. 5 (Student Dismissal Hearing)
Minn. Stat. § 122A.33, Subd. 3 (Coaches; Opportunity to Respond)
Minn. Stat. § 122A.40, Subd. 14 (Teacher Discharge Hearing)
Minn. Stat. § 179A.14, Subd. 3 (Labor Negotiations)
Minn. Rules Part 5510.2810 (Bureau of Mediation Services)
Brown v. Cannon Falls Township, 723 N.W.2d 31 (Minn. App. 2006)
Brainerd Daily Dispatch v. Dehen, 693 N.W.2d 435 (Minn. App. 2005)
The Free Press v. County of Blue Earth, 677 N.W.2d 471 (Minn. App. 2004)
Prior Lake American v. Mader, 642 N.W.2d 729 (Minn. 2002)
Star Tribune v. Board of Education, Special School District No. 1, 507 N.W.2d 869 (Minn. App. 1993)
Minnesota Daily v. University of Minnesota, 432 N.W.2d 189 (Minn. App. 1988)
Moberg v. Independent School District No. 281, 336 N.W.2d 510 (Minn. 1983)
Sovereign v. Dunn, 498 N.W.2d 62 (Minn. App. 1993), rev. denied. (Minn. 1993)
Dept. of Admin. Advisory Op. No. 12-004 (March 8, 2012)
Dept. of Admin. Advisory Op. No. 11-004 (April 18, 2011)
Dept. of Admin. Advisory Op. No. 10-020 (September 23, 2010)
Dept. of Admin. Advisory Op. No. 09-020 (September 8, 2009)
Dept. of Admin. Advisory Op. No. 08-015 (July 9, 2008)
Dept. of Admin. Advisory Op. No. 06-027 (September 28, 2006)
Dept. of Admin. Advisory Op. No. 04-004 (February 3, 2004)

Cross References
ISD 15 Policy 107 (School Board Meeting Minutes)
ISD 15 Policy 109 (Public Participation in School Board Meetings/Complaints about Persons at School Board Meetings and Data Privacy Considerations)
ISD 15 Policy 110 (Public Hearings)
ISD 15 Policy 510 (Public and Private Personnel Data)
ISD 15 Policy 415 (Protection and Privacy of Pupil Records)
MSBA Service Manual, Chapter 13, School Law Bulletin “C” (Minnesota’s Open Meeting Law)

Adopted: January 23, 2017

School Board
Independent School District 15
St. Francis, Minnesota

109 Public Participation in School Board Meetings/Complaints About Persons at School Board Meetings and Data Privacy Considerations

I. PURPOSE

A. The school board recognizes the value of participation by the public in deliberations and decisions on school district matters. At the same time, the school board recognizes the importance of conducting orderly and efficient proceedings, with opportunity for expression of all participants' respective views.

B. The purpose of this policy is to provide procedures to assure open and orderly public discussion as well as to protect the due process and privacy rights of individuals under the law.

II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

A. The policy of the school board is to encourage discussion by persons of subjects related to the management of the school district at school board meetings. The school board may adopt reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions on public expression in order to facilitate free discussion by all interested parties.

B. The school board shall, as a matter of policy, protect the legal rights to privacy and due process of employees and students.

III. DEFINITIONS

A. “Personnel data” means government data on individuals maintained because the individual is or was an employee or applicant for employment. For purposes of this policy, “employee” includes a volunteer or an independent contractor.

B. Personnel data on current and former employees that is “public” includes:

Name; employee identification number, which must not be the employee’s social security number; actual gross salary; salary range; terms and conditions of employment relationship; contract fees; actual gross pension; the value and nature of employer paid fringe benefits; the basis for and the amount of any added remuneration, including expense reimbursement, in addition to salary; bargaining unit; job title; job description; education and training background; previous work experience; date of first and last employment; the existence and status of any complaints or charges against the employee, regardless of whether the complaint or charge resulted in a disciplinary action; the final disposition of any disciplinary action as defined in Minn. Stat. § 13.43, Subd. 2(b), together with the specific reasons for the action and data documenting the basis of the action, excluding data that would identify confidential sources who are employees of the public body; the complete terms of any agreement settling any dispute arising out of the employment relationship, including a buyout agreement as defined in Minn. Stat. § 123B.143, Subd. 2, except that the agreement must include specific reasons for the agreement if it involves the payment of more than $10,000 of public money; work location; work telephone number; badge number; work-related continuing education; honors and awards received; and payroll time sheets or other comparable data that are only used to account for employee’s work time for payroll purposes, except to the extent that release of time sheet data would reveal the employee’s reasons for the use of sick or other medical leave or other not public data.

C. Personnel data on current and former applicants for employment that is “public” includes:

Veteran status; relevant test scores; rank on eligible list; job history; education and training; and work availability. Names of applicants shall be private data except when certified as eligible for appointment to a vacancy or when applicants are considered by the appointing authority to be finalists for a position in public employment. For purposes of this subdivision, “finalist” means an individual who is selected to be interviewed by the appointing authority prior to selection.

D. “Educational data” means data maintained by the school district which relates to a student.

E. “Student” means an individual currently or formerly enrolled or registered in the school district, or applicants for enrollment, or individuals who receive shared time services.

F. Data about applicants for appointments to a public body, including a school board, collected by the school district as a result of the applicant’s application for appointment to the public body are private data on individuals, except that the following are public: name; city of residence, except where the appointment has a residency requirement that requires the entire address to be public; education and training; employment history; volunteer work; awards and honors; prior government service; any data required to be provided or that is voluntarily provided in an application to a multimember agency pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 15.0597; and veteran status. Once an individual has been appointed to a public body, the following additional items of data are public: residential address; either a telephone number or electronic mail address where the appointee can be reached, or both at the request of the appointee; the first and last dates of service on the public body; the existence and status of any complaints or charges against an appointee; and, upon completion of an investigation of a complaint or charge against an appointee, the final investigative report unless access to the data would jeopardize an active investigation. Any electronic mail address or telephone number provided by a public body for use by an appointee shall be public. An appointee may use an electronic mail address or telephone number provided by the public body as the designated electronic mail address or telephone number at which the appointee can be reached.

IV. RIGHTS TO PRIVACY

A. School district employees have a legal right to privacy related to matters which may come before the school board, including, but not limited to, the following:

  1. right to a private hearing for teachers, pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 122A.40, Subd. 14 (Teachers Discharge Hearing);
  2. right to privacy of personnel data as provided by Minn. Stat. § 13.43 (Personnel Data);
  3. right to consideration by the school board of certain data treated as not public as provided in Minn. Stat. § 13D.05 (Not Public Data);
  4. right to a private hearing for licensed or nonlicensed head varsity coaches to discuss reasons for nonrenewal of a coaching contract pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 122A.33, Subd. 3.

B. School district students have a legal right to privacy related to matters which may come before the school board, including, but not limited to, the following:

  1. right to a private hearing, Minn. Stat. § 121A.47, Subd. 5 (Student Dismissal Hearing);
  2. right to privacy of educational data, Minn. Stat. § 13.32 (Educational Data); 20 U.S.C. § 1232g (FERPA);
  3. right to privacy of complaints as provided by child abuse reporting and discrimination laws, Minn. Stat. § 626.556 (Reporting of Maltreatment of Minors) and Minn. Stat. Ch. 363A (Minnesota Human Rights Act).

V. THE PUBLIC’S OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD

The school board will strive to give all persons an opportunity to be heard and to have complaints considered and evaluated, within the limits of the law and this policy and subject to reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions. Among the rights available to the public is the right to access public data as provided by Minn. Stat. § 13.43, Subd. 2 (Public Data).

VI. PROCEDURES

A. Agenda Items

  1. Persons who wish to have a subject discussed at a public school board meeting are encouraged to notify the superintendent’s office in advance of the school board meeting. The person should provide his or her name, address, the name of group represented (if any), and the subject to be covered or the issue to be addressed.
  2. Persons who wish to address the school board on a particular subject should identify the subject and identify agenda item(s) to which their comments pertain.
  3. The school board chair will recognize one speaker at a time and will rule out of order other speakers who are not recognized. Only those speakers recognized by the chair will be allowed to speak. Comments by others are out of order. Individuals who interfere with or interrupt speakers, the school board, or the proceedings may be directed to leave.
  4. The school board retains the discretion to limit discussion of any agenda item to a reasonable period of time as determined by the school board. If a group or organization wishes to address the school board on a topic, the school board reserves the right to require designation of one or more representatives or spokespersons to speak on behalf of the group or organization.
  5. Matters proposed for placement on the agenda which may involve data privacy concerns, which may involve preliminary allegations, or which may be potentially libelous or slanderous in nature shall not be considered in public, but shall be processed as determined by the school board in accordance with governing law.
  6. The school board chair shall promptly rule out of order any discussion by any person, including school board members, that would violate the provisions of state or federal law, this policy or the statutory rights of privacy of an individual.
  7. Personal attacks by anyone addressing the school board are unacceptable. Persistence in such remarks by an individual shall terminate that person's privilege to address the school board.
  8. Depending upon the number of persons in attendance seeking to be heard, the school board reserves the right to impose such other limitations and restrictions as necessary in order to provide an orderly, efficient, and fair opportunity for those present to be heard.

B. Complaints

  1. 1. Routine complaints about a teacher or other employee should first be directed to that teacher or employee or to the employee's immediate supervisor.
  2. 2. If the complaint is against an employee relating to child abuse, discrimination, racial, religious, or sexual harassment, or other activities involving an intimidating atmosphere, the complaint should be directed to the employee’s supervisor or other official as designated in the school district policy governing that kind of complaint. In the absence of a designated person, the matter should be referred to the superintendent.
  3. 3. Unresolved complaints from Paragraph 1. of this section or problems concerning the school district should be directed to the superintendent’s office.
  4. 4. Complaints which are unresolved at the superintendent’s level may be brought before the school board by notifying the school board in writing.

C. Open Forum

The school board shall normally provide a specified period of time when persons may address the school board on any topic, subject to the limitations of this policy. The school board reserves the right to allocate a specific period of time for this purpose and limit time for speakers accordingly.

The school board may decide to hold certain types of public meetings where the public will not be invited to address the school board. Possible examples are work sessions and board retreats. The public will still be entitled to notice of these meetings and will be allowed to attend these meetings, but the public will not be allotted time during the meeting to address the board.

D. No Board Action at Same Meeting

Except as determined by the school board to be necessary or in an emergency, the school board will not take action at the same meeting on an item raised for the first time by the public.

VII. PENALTIES FOR VIOLATION OF DATA PRIVACY

A. The school district is liable for damages, costs and attorneys’ fees, and, in the event of a willful violation, punitive damages for violation of state data privacy laws. (Minn. Stat. § 13.08, Subd. 1)

B. A person who willfully violates data privacy or whose conduct constitutes the knowing unauthorized acquisition of not public data is guilty of a misdemeanor. (Minn. Stat. § 13.09)

C. In the case of an employee, willful violation of the Minnesota data practices law, Chapter 13, and any rules adopted thereunder, including any action subject to a criminal penalty, constitutes just cause for suspension without pay or dismissal. (Minn. Stat. § 13.09)

Legal References

Minn. Stat. Ch. 13 (Minnesota Government Data Practices Act)
Minn. Stat. § 13.43 (Personnel Data)
Minn. Stat. § 13.601, Subd. 3 (Applicants for Appointment)
Minn. Stat. § 13D.05 (Open Meeting Law)
Minn. Stat. § 121A.47, Subd. 5 (Student Dismissal Hearing)
Minn. Stat. § 122A.33, Subd. 3 (Coaches; Opportunity to Respond)
Minn. Stat. § 122A.40, Subd. 14 (Teacher Discharge Hearing)
Minn. Stat. § 122A.44 (Contracting with Teachers)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.02, Subd. 14 (Employees; Contracts for Services)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.143, Subd. 2 (Disclose Past Buyouts or Contract is Void)
Minn. Stat. Ch. 363A (Minnesota Human Rights Act)
Minn. Stat. § 626.556 (Reporting of Maltreatment of Minors)
20 U.S.C. § 1232g (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)
Minn. Op. Atty. Gen. 852 (July 14, 2006)

Cross References

ISD 15 Policy 108 (Open Meetings and Closed Meetings)
ISD 15 Policy 207 (Public Hearings)
ISD 15 Policy 510 (Public and Private Personnel Data)
ISD 15 Policy 415 (Protection and Privacy of Pupil Records)
MSBA Service Manual, Chapter 13, School Law Bulletin “C” (Minnesota’s Open Meeting Law)
MSBA Service Manual, Chapter 13, School Law Bulletin “I” (School Records – Privacy – Access to Data)

Adopted: September 9, 2019

School Board
Independent School District No. 15
St. Francis, Minnesota

110 Public Hearings

I. PURPOSE

The school board recognizes the importance of obtaining public input on matters properly before the school board. The purpose of this policy is to establish procedures to efficiently receive public input.

II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

In order for the school board to efficiently receive public input on matters properly before the school board, the procedures set forth in this policy are established by the school board.

III. PROCEDURES

A. Public Hearings

Public hearings are required by law to be held concerning certain issues, including but not limited to, school closings (Minn. Stat. § 123B.51), education district establishment (Minn. Stat. § 123A.15), and agreements for secondary education (Minn. Stat. § 123A.30). Additionally, other public hearings may be held by the school board on school district matters at the discretion of the school board.

B. Notice of Public Hearings

Public notice of a public hearing required by law shall be given as provided by the enabling legislation. Public notice of other hearings shall be given in the manner required for a regular meeting if held in conjunction with a regular meeting, in the manner required for a special meeting if held in conjunction with a special meeting, or as otherwise determined by the school board.

C. Public Participation

The school board retains the right to require that those in attendance at a public hearing indicate their desire to address the school board and complete and file with the clerk of the school board an appropriate request card prior to the commencement of the hearing if the school board utilizes this procedure. In that case, any request to address the school board after the commencement of the hearing will be granted only at the discretion of the school board.

  1. Format of Request: If required by the school board, a written request of an individual or a group to address the school board shall contain the name and address of the person or group seeking to address the school board. It shall also contain the name of the group represented, if any, and a brief statement of the subject to be covered or the issue to be addressed.
  2. Time Limitation: The school board retains the discretion to limit the time for each presentation as needs dictate.
  3. Groups: The school board retains the discretion to require that any group of persons who desire to address the school board designate one representative or spokesperson. In the event that the school board requires the designation of a representative or spokesperson, no other person in the group will be recognized to address the school board, except as otherwise determined by the school board.
  4. Privilege to Speak: A school board member should direct any remarks or questions through the chair. Only those speakers recognized by the chair will be allowed to speak. Comments by others are out of order. Individuals who interfere with or interrupt speakers, the school board, or the proceedings may be directed to leave.
  5. Personal Attacks: Personal attacks by anyone addressing the school board are unacceptable. Persistence in such remarks by an individual shall terminate that person’s privilege to address the school board.
  6. Limitations on Participation: Depending upon the number of persons in attendance seeking to be heard, the school board reserves the right to impose such other limitations and restrictions as necessary in order to provide an orderly, efficient, and fair opportunity for those present to be heard.

Legal References
Minn. Stat. § 123A.15 (Education District Establishment)
Minn. Stat. § 123A.30 (Agreements for Secondary Education)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.51 (School Closings)

Cross References
ISD 15 Policy 109 (Public Participation in School Board Meetings/Complaints about Persons at School Board Meetings and Data Privacy Considerations)

Adopted: January 23, 2017

School Board
Independent School District 15
St. Francis, Minnesota

111 Developments, Adoptions and Implementation of Policies

I. PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to emphasize the importance of the policy-making role of the school board and provide the means for it to continue to be an ongoing effort.

II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

Formal guidelines are necessary to ensure the school community that the school system responds to its mission and operates in an effective, efficient, and consistent manner. A set of written policy statements shall be maintained and modified as needed. Policies should define the desire and intent of the school board and should be in a form which is sufficiently explicit to guide administrative action.

III. DEVELOPMENT OF POLICY

A. The school board has jurisdiction to legislate policy for the school district with the force and effect of law. School board policy provides the general direction as to what the school board wishes to accomplish while delegating implementation of policy to the administration.

B. The school board’s written policies provide guidelines and goals to the school community. The policies shall be the basis for the formulation of guidelines and directives by the administration. The school board shall determine the effectiveness of the policies by evaluating periodic reports from the administration.

C. Policies may be proposed by a school board member, employee, student or resident of the school district. Proposed policies or ideas shall be submitted to the superintendent for review prior to possible placement on the school board agenda.

IV. ADOPTION OF POLICY

A. The school board shall give notice of proposed policy changes or adoption of new policies by placing the item on the agenda of a school board meeting. Proposals shall be distributed and public comment will be allowed at the meeting.

B. The final action taken to adopt the proposed policy shall be approved by a simple majority vote of the school board at a subsequent meeting after the meeting at which public input was received. The policy will be effective on the later of the date of passage or the date stated in the motion.

C. In the case of an emergency, a new or modified policy may be adopted by a majority vote of a quorum of the school board. A statement regarding the emergency and the need for immediate adoption of the policy shall be included in the minutes. The emergency policy shall expire within one year following the emergency action unless the policy adoption procedure stated above is followed and the policy is reaffirmed. The school board shall have discretion to determine what constitutes an emergency situation.

D. If a policy is modified with minor changes that do not affect the substance of the policy or because of a legal change over which the school board has no control, the modified policy may be approved at one meeting at the discretion of the school board.

V. IMPLEMENTATION OF POLICY

A. The superintendent shall be responsible for implementing school board policies, other than the policies that cover how the school board will operate. The superintendent shall develop administrative guidelines and directives to provide greater specificity and consistency in the process of implementation. These guidelines and directives, including employee and student handbooks, shall be subject to annual review and approval by the school board.

B. Each school board member shall have access to this policy manual online by visiting the school district’s website, and access to policies shall be available in the office of each school attendance center. The online policy manual shall be available in the central office and made available for reference purposes to other interested persons.

C. The superintendent shall be responsible for keeping the online policy manual current.

D. The school board shall review policies at least once every three years. The superintendent shall be responsible for developing a system of periodic review, addressing approximately one third of the policies annually. In addition, the school board shall review the following policies annually: 566 Family and Medical Leave Policy; 532 Harassment and Violence; 582 Mandated Reporting of Child Neglect or Physical or Sexual Abuse; 583 Mandated Reporting of Maltreatment of Vulnerable Adults; 406 Student Discipline; 414 Bullying Prohibition Policy; 422 Student Sex Nondiscrimination; 589 Internet Acceptable Use and Safety Policy; 316 School District System Accountability; and 706 Crisis Management Policy.

E. When no school board policy exists to provide guidance on a matter, the superintendent is authorized to act appropriately under the circumstances keeping in mind the educational philosophy and financial condition of the school district. Under such circumstances, the superintendent shall advise the school board of the need for a policy and present a recommended policy to the school board for approval.

Legal References
Minn. Stat. § 123B.02, Subd. 1 (School District Powers)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.09, Subd. 1 (School Board Powers)

Cross References
MSBA/MASA Model Policy 305 (Policy Implementation)

Adopted: November 28, 2017

School Board
Independent School District 15
St. Francis, Minnesota

112 Code of Ethics

I. PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to assist the individual school board member in understanding his or her role as part of a school board and in recognizing the contribution that each member must make to develop an effective and responsible school board.

II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

Each school board member shall follow the code of ethics stated in this policy.

A. AS A MEMBER OF THE SCHOOL BOARD, I WILL:

  1. Attend school board meetings.
  2. Come to the meetings prepared for discussion of the agenda items.
  3. Listen to the opinions and views of others (including, but not limited to, other school board members, administration, staff, students, and community members).
  4. Vote my conscience after informed discussion, unless I abstain because a conflict of interest exists.
  5. Support the decision of the school board, even if my position concerning the issue was different.
  6. Recognize the integrity of my predecessors and associates and appreciate their work.
  7. Be primarily motivated by a desire to provide the best possible education for the students of my school district.
  8. Inform myself about the proper duties and functions of a school board member.

B. IN PERFORMING THE PROPER FUNCTIONS OF A SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER, I WILL:

  1. Focus on education policy as much as possible.
  2. Remember my responsibility is to set policy – not to implement policy.
  3. Consider myself a trustee of public education and do my best to protect, conserve, and advance its progress.
  4. Recognize that my responsibility, exercised through the actions of the school board as a whole, is to see that the schools are properly run – not to run them myself.
  5. Work through the superintendent – not over or around the superintendent.
  6. Delegate the implementation of school board decisions to the superintendent.

C. TO MAINTAIN RELATIONS WITH OTHER MEMBERS OF THE SCHOOL BOARD, I WILL:

  1. Respect the rights of others to have and express opinions.
  2. Recognize that authority rests with the school board in legal session – not with the individual members of the school board except as authorized by law.
  3. Make no disparaging remarks, in or out of school board meetings, about other members of the school board or their opinions.
  4. Keep an open mind about how I will vote on any proposition until the board has met and fully discussed the issue.
  5. Make decisions by voting in school board meetings after all sides of debatable questions have been presented.
  6. Insist that committees be appointed to serve only in an advisory capacity to the school board.

D. IN MEETING MY RESPONSIBILITIES TO MY COMMUNITY, I WILL:

  1. Attempt to appraise and plan for both the present and future educational needs of the school district and community.
  2. Attempt to obtain adequate financial support for the school district’s programs.
  3. Insist that business transactions of the school district be ethical and open.
  4. Strive to uphold my responsibilities and accountability to the taxpayers in my school district.

E. IN WORKING WITH THE SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS AND STAFF, I WILL:

  1. Hold the superintendent responsible for the administration of the school district.
  2. Give the superintendent authority commensurate with his or her responsibilities.
  3. Assure that the school district will be administered by the best professional personnel available.
  4. Consider the recommendation of the superintendent in hiring all employees.
  5. Participate in school board action after considering the recommendation of the superintendent and only after the superintendent has furnished adequate information supporting the recommendation.
  6. Insist the superintendent keep the school board adequately informed at all times.
  7. Offer the superintendent counsel and advice.
  8. Recognize the status of the superintendent as the chief executive officer and a non-voting, ex officio member of the school board.
  9. Refer all complaints to the proper administrative officer or insist that they be presented in writing to the whole school board for proper referral according to the chain of command.
  10. Present any personal criticisms of employees to the superintendent.
  11. Provide support for the superintendent and employees of the school district so they may perform their proper functions on a professional level.

F. IN FULFILLING MY LEGAL OBLIGATIONS AS A SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER, I WILL:

  1. Comply with all federal, state, and local laws relating to my work as a school board member.
  2. Comply with all school district policies as adopted by the school board.
  3. Abide by all rules and regulations as promulgated by the Minnesota Department of Education and other state and federal agencies with jurisdiction over school districts.
  4. Recognize that school district business may be legally transacted only in an open meeting of the school board.
  5. Avoid conflicts of interest and refrain from using my school board position for personal gain.
  6. Take no private action that will compromise the school board or administration.
  7. Guard the confidentiality of information that is protected under applicable law.

Legal References
Minn. Stat. § 123B.02, Subd. 1 (School District Powers)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.09 (School Board Powers)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.143, Subd. 1 (Superintendent)

Cross References
MSBA Service Manual, Chapter 1, School Board Member Code of Ethics

Adopted: March 13, 2017

School Board
Independent School District 15
St. Francis, Minnesota

113 Conflict of Interest - School Board Members

I. PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to observe state statutes regarding conflicts of interest and to engage in school district business activities in a fashion designed to avoid any conflict of interest or the appearance of impropriety.

II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

It is the policy of the school board to contract for goods and services in conformance with statutory conflict of interest laws and in a manner that will avoid any conflict of interest or the appearance thereof. Accordingly, the school board will contract under the statutory exception provisions only when it is clearly in the best interest of the school district because of limitations that may exist on goods or services otherwise available to the school district.

III. GENERAL PROHIBITIONS AND RECOGNIZED STATUTORY EXCEPTIONS

A. A school board member who is authorized to take part in any manner in making any sale, lease, or contract in his or her official capacity shall not voluntarily have a personal financial interest in that sale, lease, or contract or personally benefit financially therefrom.

B. In the following circumstances, however, the school board may as an exception, by unanimous vote, contract for goods or services with a school board member of the school district:

  1. In the designation of a bank or savings association, in which a school board member is interested, as an authorized depository for school district funds and as a source of borrowing, provided such deposited funds are protected in accordance with Minn. Stat. Ch. 118A. Any school board member having said interest shall disclose that interest and the interest shall be entered upon the minutes of the school board. Disclosure must be made when such bank or savings association is first designated as a depository or source of borrowing, or when such school board member is elected, whichever is later. Disclosure serves as notice of the interest and must only be made once;
  2. The designation of an official newspaper, or publication of official matters therein, in which the school board member is interested when it is the only newspaper complying with statutory requirements relating to the designation or publication;
  3. A contract with a cooperative association of which the school board member is a shareholder or stockholder but not an officer or manager;
  4. A contract for which competitive bids are not required by law. A contract made under this exception will be void unless the following procedures are observed:
    a. The school board must authorize the contract in advance of its performance by adopting a resolution setting out the essential facts and determining that the contract price is as low as or lower than the price at which the goods or services could be obtained elsewhere.
    b. In the case of an emergency when the contract cannot be authorized in advance, payment of the claims must be authorized by a like resolution wherein the facts of the emergency are also stated.
    c. Before a claim is paid, the interested school board member must file with the clerk of the school board an affidavit stating:
    (1) The name of the school board member and the office held;
    (2) An itemization of the goods or services furnished;
    (3) The contract price;
    (4) The reasonable value;
    (5) The interest of the school board member in the contract; and
    (6) That to the best of the school board member’s knowledge and belief, the contract price is as low as, or lower than, the price at which the goods or services could be obtained from other sources.
  5. A school board member may contract with the school district to provide construction materials or services, or both, when the sealed bid process is used. When the contract comes before the school board for consideration, the interested school board member may not vote on the contract. (Note: This section applies only where the school district has a population of 1,000 or less according to the last federal census.)
  6. A school board member may rent space in a public facility at a rate commensurate with that paid by other members of the public.

C. In the following circumstances, the school board may as an exception, by majority vote at a meeting where all school board members are present, contract for services with a school board member of the school district: A school board member may be newly employed or may continue to be employed by the school district as an employee where there is a reasonable expectation on July 1, or at the time the contract is entered into or extended, that the amount to be earned by that school board member under that contract or employment relationship, will not exceed $8,000 in that fiscal year. If the school board member does not receive majority approval to be initially employed or to continue in employment at a meeting where all school board members are present, that employment must be immediately terminated and that school board member will have no further rights to employment while serving as a school board member in the school district.

D. The school board may contract with a class of school district employees, such as teachers or custodians, where the spouse of a school board member is a member of the class of employees contracting with the school board and the employee spouse receives no special monetary or other benefit that is substantially different from the benefits that other members of the class receive under the employment contract. In order for the school board to invoke this exception, it must have a majority of disinterested school board members vote to approve the contract, direct the school board member spouse to abstain from voting to approve the contract, and publicly set out the essential facts of the contract at the meeting where the contract is approved.

IV. LIMITATIONS ON RELATED EMPLOYEES

A. The school board can hire or dismiss teachers only at duly called meetings. Where a husband and wife, brother and sister, or two brothers or sisters, constitute a quorum, no contract employing a teacher may be made or authorized except upon the unanimous vote of the full school board.

B. The school board may not employ any teacher related by blood or marriage to a school board member, within the fourth degree as computed by the civil law, except by a unanimous vote of the full school board.

V. CONFLICTS PRIOR TO TAKING OFFICE

A school board member with personal financial interest in a sale, lease, or contract with the school district which was entered before the school board member took office and presents an actual or potential conflict of interest, shall immediately notify the school board of such interest. It shall thereafter be the responsibility of the school board member to refrain from participating in any action relating to the sale, lease, or contract. At the time of renewal of any such sale, lease, or contract, the school board may enter into or renew such sale, lease, or contract only if it falls within one of the enumerated exceptions for contracts relating to goods or services provided above and if the procedures provided in this policy are followed.

VI. DETERMINATION AS TO WHETHER A CONFLICT OF INTEREST EXISTS

The determination as to whether a conflict of interest exists is to be made by the school board. Any school board member who has an actual or potential conflict shall notify the school board of such conflict immediately. The school board member shall thereafter cooperate with the school board as necessary for the school board to make its determination.

Legal References
Minn. Stat. § 122A.40, Subd. 3 (Teacher Hiring, Dismissal)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.195 (Board Member’s Right to Employment)
Minn. Stat. § 471.87 (Public Officers; Interest in Contract; Penalty)
Minn. Stat. § 471.88, Subds. 2, 3, 4, 5, 12, 13, and 21 (Exceptions)
Minn. Stat. § 471.89 (Contract, When Void)
Op. Atty. Gen. 437-A-4, March 15, 1935
Op. Atty. Gen. 90-C-5, July 30, 1940
Op. Atty. Gen. 90-A, August 14, 1957

Cross References
ISD 15 Policy 101 (Legal Status of the School Board)
ISD 15 Policy 112 (Code of Ethics)
MSBA Service Manual, Chapter 1, School District Governance, Powers and Duties

Adopted: March 13, 2017

School Board
Independent School District 15
St. Francis, Minnesota

114 Criminal of Civil Action Against School District, School Board Member, Employee or Student

I. PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance as to the school district’s position, rights, and responsibilities when a civil or criminal action is pending against the school district, or a school board member, school district employee, or student.

II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

A. The school district recognizes that, when civil or criminal actions are pending against a school board member, school district employee, or student, the school district may be requested or required to take action.

B. In responding to such requests and/or requirements, the school district will take such measures as are appropriate to its primary mission of providing for the education of students in an environment that is safe for staff and students and is conducive to learning.

C. The school district acknowledges its statutory obligations with respect to providing assistance to school board members and teachers who are sued in connection with performance of school district duties. Collective bargaining agreement and school district policies may also apply.

III. CIVIL ACTIONS

A. Pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 466.07, Subd. 1, the school district shall defend and indemnify any school board member or school district employee for damages in school-related litigation, including punitive damages, claimed or levied against the school board member or employee, provided that he or she was acting in the performance of the duties of the position and was not guilty of malfeasance, willful neglect of duty, or bad faith.

B. Pursuant to Minn. Stat. §123B.25(b), with respect to teachers employed by the school district, upon written request of the teacher involved, the school district shall provide legal counsel for any school teacher against whom a claim is made or action is brought for recovery of damages in any tort action involving physical injury to any person or property or for wrongful death arising out of or in connection with the employment of the teacher with the school district. The school district will choose legal counsel after consultation with the teacher.

C. Data Practices
Educational data and personnel data maintained by the school district may be sought as evidence in a civil proceeding. The school district will release the data only pursuant to the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, Minn. Stat. Ch. 13, and to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1232g and related regulations. When an employee is subpoenaed and is expected to testify regarding educational data or personnel data, he or she is to inform the building administrator or designated supervisor, who shall immediately inform the superintendent or designee. No school board member or employee may release data without consultation in advance with the school district official who is designated as the authority responsible for the collection, use, and dissemination of data.

D. Service of Subpoenas
It is the policy of the school district that its officers and employees will normally not be involved in providing service of process for third parties in the school setting.

E. Leave to Testify
Leave for employees appearing in court, either when sued or under subpoena to testify, will be considered in accordance with school district personnel policies and applicable collective bargaining agreements.

IV. CRIMINAL CHARGES OR CONDUCT

A. Employees

  1. The school district expects that its employees serve as positive role models for students. As role models for students, employees have a duty to conduct themselves in an exemplary manner.
  2. If the school district receives information relating to activities of a criminal nature by an employee, the school district will investigate and take appropriate disciplinary action, which may include discharge, subject to school district policies, statutes, and provisions of applicable collective bargaining agreements.
  3. Pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 123B.02, Subd. 20, if reimbursement for a criminal defense is requested by a school district employee, the school board may, after consulting with its legal counsel, reimburse the employee for any costs and reasonable attorney fees incurred by the employee to defend criminal charges brought against the employee arising out of the performance of duties for the school district. The decision as to whether to reimburse shall be made in the discretion of the school board. A school board member who is a witness or an alleged victim in the case may not vote on the reimbursement. If a quorum of the school board is disqualified from voting on the reimbursement, the reimbursement must be approved by a judge of the district court.

B. Students

The school district has an interest in maintaining a safe and healthful environment and in preventing disruption of the educational process. In order to further that interest, the school district will take appropriate action regarding students convicted of crimes that relate to the school environment.

C. Criminal Investigations

  1. It is the policy of the school district to cooperate with law enforcement officials. The school district will make all efforts, however, to encourage law enforcement officials to question students and employees outside of school hours and off school premises unless there are extenuating circumstances or the matter being investigated is school-related, or as otherwise provided by law.
  2. If such questioning at school is unavoidable, the school district will attempt to maintain confidentiality, to avoid embarrassment to students and employees and to avoid disruption of the educational program. The school district will attempt to notify parents of a student under age 18 that police will be questioning their child. Normally, the superintendent, principal, or other appropriate school official will be present during the interview, except as otherwise required by law (Minn. Stat. § 626.556, Subd. 10), or as otherwise determined in consultation with the parent or guardian.

D. Data Practices

The school district will release to juvenile justice and law enforcement authorities educational and personnel data only in accordance with Minn. Stat. Ch. 13 (Minnesota Government Data Practices Act) and 20 U.S.C. § 1232g (FERPA).

V. STATEMENTS WHEN LITIGATION IS PENDING

The school district recognizes that when a civil or criminal action is commenced or pending, parties to the lawsuit have particular duties in reference to persons involved or named in the lawsuit, as well as insurance carrier(s). Therefore, school board members or school district employees shall make or release statements in that situation only in consultation with legal counsel.

Legal References
Minn. Stat. Ch. 13 (Minnesota Government Data Practices Act)
Minn. Stat. §§ 121A.40-121A.56 (Pupil Fair Dismissal Act)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.02, Subd. 20 (Legal Counsel, Reimbursement)
Minn. Stat. § 123B.25(b) (Actions Against Teachers)
Minn. Stat. § 466.07, Subd. 1 (Indemnification)
20 U.S.C. § 1232g (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)
42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Civil Action for Deprivating Rights)
Minn. Op. Atty. Gen. 169 (Mar. 7, 1963)
Minn. Op. Atty. Gen. 169 (Nov. 3, 1943)
Dypress v. School Committee of Boston, 446 N.E.2d 1099 (Mass. App. Ct. 1983)
Wood v. Strickland, 420 U.S. 308, 95 S.Ct. 992, 43 L.Ed.2d 214 (1975)

Cross References
ISD 15 Policy 531 (Discipline, Suspension, and Dismissal of School District Employees)
ISD 15 Policy 510 (Public and Private Personnel Data)
ISD 15 Policy 580 (Subpoena of a School District Employee)
ISD 15 Policy 582 (Mandated Reporting of Child Neglect or Physical or Sexual Abuse)
ISD 15 Policy 406 (Student Discipline)
ISD 15 Policy 415 (Protection and Privacy of Pupil Records)

Adopted: March 13, 2017

School Board
Independent School District 15
St. Francis, Minnesota

115 School Board Member Development

I. PURPOSE

In recognition of the need for continuing inservice training and development for its members, the purpose of this policy is to encourage the members of the school board to participate in professional development activities designed for them so that they may perform their responsibilities.

II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

A. New school board members will be provided the opportunity and encouragement to attend the orientation and training sessions sponsored by the Minnesota School Boards Association (MSBA). School board members shall receive training in school finance and management developed in consultation with MSBA.

B. All school board members are encouraged to participate in school board and related workshops and activities sponsored by local, state, and national school boards associations, as well as in the activities of other educational groups.

C. School board members are expected to report back to the school board with materials of interest gathered at the various meetings and workshops.

D. The school board will reimburse the necessary expenses of all school board members who attend meetings and conventions pertaining to school activities and the objectives of the school board, within the approved policy and budget allocations of the school district relating to the reimbursement of expenses involving the attendance at workshops and conventions.

Legal References
Minn. Stat. § 123B.09, Subd. 2 (School Board Member Training)

Cross References
ISD 15 Policy 120 (Out-of-State Travel by School Board Members)
ISD 15 Policy 559 (Expense Reimbursement)

Adopted: November 14, 2016 

School Board
Independent School District 15
St. Francis, Minnesota

116 General Record Retention Schedule

I. PURPOSE

The School Board hereby adopts the record retention schedule (see below) developed by the State Department of Administration as published in January 2000 and as amended as its record retention policy. The purpose of adopting a records retention schedule is to provide a plan for managing governmental records by giving continuing authority to dispose of records under applicable Minnesota Statues. The Superintendent of Schools shall establish a procedure pursuant to the general record retention schedule, as adopted, which will comply with state statutes for the disposal of public records of the School District.

(The schedule and procedures are in the policy manual located at each site.)

Adopted: September 11, 2000 

School Board  
Independent School District 15
St. Francis, Minnesota

 

Recipients of School District General Records Retention Schedule revised January, 2000

Enclosed for the consideration and use of your school district is the revised edition of the School District General Records Retention Schedule, which has been approved by the Records Disposition Panel. For important information about the Schedule, please refer to the introduction written by Charles Rodgers of the Minnesota Historical Society State Archives Department which can be found following the Schedule cover.

Your school district may, or may not, need to complete and submit the Notification of Adoption form enclosed. This depends on the Schedule presently in place in the school district.

If your school district has not previously adopted a records retention schedule, or adopted its own approved records retention schedule, and would like to adopt this revised version, two steps must be completed. First, all or part of the School District General Records Retention Schedule must be adopted by the school board. Once that is accomplished, the school district must submit the Notification of Adoption form to the Records Disposition Panel. The Minnesota Historical Society will sign and return the Notification of Adoption form to the school district. At that point the school district will have the authority to dispose of records in accordance with the schedule.

In addition, if your school district has been part of a consolidation at any time, and the newly consolidated school district did not adopt the previous version of the general schedule and notify the Department of Administration of that adoption, the two steps set forth in the previous paragraph must be accomplished. Once the school district receives the signed Notification of Adoption from the Minnesota Historical Society, the consolidated school district will have the authority to dispose of records in accordance with the revised Schedule.

If your school district adopted the previous version of this general schedule, the school district does not need to complete and submit the Notification of Adoption form. The Minnesota Historical Society will assume that school districts which adopted the previous version will now utilize this revised Schedule.

If your school district has not previously adopted a records retention schedule, or developed its own schedule approved by the Records Disposition Panel, and does not adopt the revised School District General Records Retention Schedule the school district DOES NOT have authority to destroy records without seeking approval to destroy specific records pursuant to Chapter 138 of Minnesota Statutes. Any destruction of records without prior approval is a violation of the law.

Resources
Questions about this schedule, data practices or for additional copies:
Department of Administration
Information Policy Analysis Division
305A Centennial Office Building
658 Cedar Street
St. Paul, MN 55155
Voice: 651/296-6733 | 800/657-3721 Fax: 651/205-4219

Questions about archival records:
Minnesota Historical Society
State Archives Department
Minnesota History Center
345 Kellogg Boulevard West
St. Paul, MN 55102-1906
Voice: 651/297-4502
Fax: 651/296-9961

117 Equal Educational Opportunity

I. PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that equal educational opportunity is provided for all students of the school district.

II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

A. The policy of the school district is to provide equal educational opportunity for all students. The school district does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, gender, marital status, parental status, status with regard to public assistance, disability, sexual orientation, or age. The school district also makes reasonable accommodations for disabled students.

B. The school district prohibits the harassment of any individual for any of the categories listed above. For information about the types of conduct that constitute violation of the school district’s policy on harassment and violence and the school district’s procedures for addressing such complaints, refer to the school district’s policy on harassment and violence.

C. This policy applies to all areas of education including academics, coursework, co-curricular and extracurricular activities, or other rights or privileges of enrollment.

D. Every school district employee shall be responsible for complying with this policy conscientiously.

E. Any student, parent, or guardian having a question regarding this policy should discuss it with the appropriate school district official as provided by policy. In the absence of a specific designee, an inquiry or a complaint should be referred to the superintendent.

Legal References
Minn. Stat. § 121A.03, Subd. 2 (Sexual, Religious, and Racial Harassment and Violence Policy)
Minn. Stat. Ch. 363A (Minnesota Human Rights Act)
20 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq. (Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972)
42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. (Americans with Disabilities Act)

Cross References
ISD 15 Policy 512 (Disability Nondiscrimination)
ISD 15 Policy 532 (Harassment and Violence)
ISD 15 Policy 421 (Student Disability Nondiscrimination)
ISD 15 Policy 422 (Student Sex Nondiscrimination)

Adopted: November 14, 2016 

School Board
Independent School District No. 15
St. Francis, Minnesota

118 Health and Safety

I.  GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

ISD 15 will provide a safe and healthy working environment for its employees, students, and visitors. All levels of administration must be leaders in the pursuit of a healthy, safe workplace. ISD 15 will provide the needed training to its employees to ensure that all federal, state, and local regulations are enforced. All employees of ISD 15 share in the responsibility of health and safety and will participate in needed training, practice safe work habits, and strive toward making ISD 15 a safe and healthy environment for all.

II.  PURPOSE

The ISD 15 Health and Safety Policy will promote safe and healthy working conditions for our employees. ISD 15 has also adopted other health and safety programs that provide compliance with federal, state, and local regulations as well as providing safe and healthy work practices. These additional programs include:

  • Aerial Lift
  • Asbestos Awareness
  • Bloodborne Pathogens
  • Chemical Hygiene
  • Community Right to Know
  • Compressed Gas
  • Confined Space
  • Crisis Plan
  • Employee Right to Know
  • Fire Prevention
  • First Aid
  • Hazardous Waste
  • Hearing Conservation
  • Indoor Air Quality
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Lead in Paint
  • Lead in Water
  • Lockout/Tagout
  • Machine Guarding
  • Playground Safety
  • Radon
  • UST/AST

 

 

 

 

 

 

III. IMPLEMENTATION AND PROVISIONS

The Maintenance Supervisor will be responsible for the planning and implementation of the district-wide Health and Safety Policy.

The Health and Safety Policy and the Maintenance Supervisor will:

  • Implement procedures that outline how administrators, supervisors, and employees are responsible for implementing this Health and Safety Policy, and how the program will be established, measured, and maintained.
  • Implement procedures for employees to report hazardous conditions and guidelines for timely responses.
  • Implement procedures for investigating and analyzing accidents, injuries, illnesses, property damage, and near-misses.
  • Implement procedures for hazard and accident prevention through the use of appropriate control measures and preventive maintenance.
  • Implement procedures for responding to workplace emergencies.
  • Identify training needs and provide training as deemed necessary by Human Resources.
  • Communicate safety responsibilities, procedures, hazards, and controls to all affected employees.
  • Organize a safety committee and hold meetings at least quarterly.
  • Assess internal and external resources that may be necessary (human, financial, outside resources) to implement this program.

IV. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Employees, students and visitors must follow the environmental, health, and safety rules as established by ISD 15. Assigned responsibilities are listed below:

Administrators (including board members, superintendent, directors, principals) show commitment to health and safety by the following:

  • Provide leadership and resources needed to carry out the stated school objectives.
  • Establish rules and programs to promote safety and communicate these to all employees.
  • Assign clear responsibilities for the various aspects of safety and give employees authority to perform their duties.
  • Identify health and safety training needs and support training efforts.
  • Enforce health and safety rules and regulations and record violations of rules.
  • Promote a positive attitude toward safety and health.
  • Provide employees with all required personal protective equipment.
  • Listen to employee concerns and follow through to correct hazards.
  • Participate in and/or support the safety committee.
  • Encourage employee involvement in environmental, health, and safety activities.
  • Conduct, support, and review accident/incident reports.
  • Require good housekeeping.
  • Require the district preventive maintenance program be established and followed.
  • Train employees on what to do in emergency situations.
  • Review the Health and Safety Policy annually with input from the safety committee, make appropriate revisions, and communicate revisions throughout the organization.

Supervisors show commitment to environmental, health, and safety rules by the following:

  • Learn and follow safety instructions.
  • Employee representatives participate in the safety committee.
  • Take the initiative to correct known or suspected unsafe conditions, or unsafe acts, if within your control or expertise.
  • Report observed health and safety hazards to an administrator or safety committee member.
  • Report all accidents/incidents, including property damage and near-misses, to administration immediately upon occurrence.
  • Wear personal protective equipment as required for protection and maintaining the equipment in a sanitary manner.
  • Participate in health and safety training as necessary.
  • Participate in accident investigations and workplace inspections as requested by administration.
  • Review any safety communications distributed by the employer.

Employees show commitment to environmental, health, and safety rules by the following:

  • Follow school safety policies, rules, and regulations.
  • Learn and follow safety instructions prior to start of work.
  • Report unsafe conditions to supervisor or safety committee member.
  • Wear personal protective equipment as required for their protection and maintaining the equipment in a sanitary manner.
  • Participate in health and safety training as necessary.
  • Review any safety materials distributed by the district.

The Safety Committee is responsible for the following:

  • Conduct quarterly meetings to review accident reports, identify potential hazards, and address safety concerns raised by employees or administration.
  • Participate in accident investigations.
  • Participate in work area safety inspections as needed.
  • Provide input for creation of workplace safety and health rules.

V.  HAZARD IDENTIFICATION, ANALYSIS AND CONTROL

ISD 15 proactively identifies potential hazards, analyzes potential solutions and implements controls as soon as feasible. To accomplish this, the following items are implemented:

  • Conduct safety inspections of work areas on a regular basis
  • Employees visually inspect their work areas on a daily basis
  • Mock OHSA inspections are conducted on an annual basis
  • Conduct assessment of routine and new potentially hazardous tasks
  • Investigate equipment for potential safety and health problems prior to purchasing
  • Document whether new equipment/materials are designed with appropriate safety controls, or can be modified to comply with applicable regulations (e.g. machine guarding)
  • Evaluate health and safety implications when planning for remodeling or construction
  • Substitute with less hazardous or non-hazardous materials or processes when feasible
  • Solicit employee and safety committee input regarding hazard abatement options
  • Establish work orders for safety items and assign high priority to these work orders
  • Follow a preventative maintenance program for equipment

ISD 15 works to prevent and control potential hazards by utilizing the following hierarchy for the abatement of known or potential hazards:

  • Engineering Controls — wherever possible, the hazard is eliminated; for example, removing old, unused chemicals that may cause undue harm or reactions, or removing chemicals that, by their nature, require an eyewash station. We also attempt to substitute, when feasible, non-hazardous substances, and low-hazard equipment. Guarding and ventilation are other examples of engineering controls.
  • Administrative Controls — we encourage employees to follow safe work practices with equipment and in the course of their general duties. The health and safety rules are to be followed by administration, employees, students, and visitors. Affected employees are trained in job-specific safety. Job rotation is another example of administrative controls.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) — when it is not possible to eliminate hazards, it may be necessary to wear personal protective equipment such as gloves, goggles, boots, and/or earplugs. Employees are required to wear PPE when dealing with certain hazardous situations and are trained on equipment as it is assigned.

VI.  COMMUNICATION AND TRAINING

ISD 15 regards communication of health and safety issues as a continual process. Health and safety procedures are communicated through safety training at the beginning of an employee’s new job assignment, whenever material, process, or procedural changes are implemented, and whenever the employer notices deficiencies in safe work practices. In addition to training, posters, employee handbooks, and handout materials, computer-based learning may also be utilized to communicate job safety and health information.

Safety communication takes place through distribution of safety committee meeting minutes, which includes accident information, reported employee concerns, inspection findings, and status updates on safety items.

Employees will be trained initially and annually on safety topics pertinent to their job tasks in the district. Training may include lecture and/or a training video/DVD, computer based training, assessment (e.g. quiz), and a question and answer session. The date of training, the training agenda, the name of the trainer and a sign-in sheet will be retained for each training session.

VII. ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION

Employees should immediately notify administration of any workplace accident or injury. When a medical emergency exists, any employee may immediately contact emergency medical responders by calling 911. Injuries that occur on the job, even minor injuries, must be reported to administration. The building Health Office Professional will complete the First Report of Injury Form and submit it to the Human Resources Department. First Report of Injury forms are used to notify the Workers Compensation carrier. Recordable injuries are also entered on the OSHA 300 log by the Human Resources Department. 

The purpose of the accident and injury investigation is to determine the cause of the accident and identify steps to take to prevent a similar accident. The purpose is not to assign blame. ISD 15 investigates all events that have caused injury, illness, and/or property damage. The primary goal of accident investigations is to reduce and/or eliminate injurious situations.

OSHA 300 Logs will be reviewed quarterly at safety committee meetings, with employee names remaining anonymous. The records are kept in the Central Services Center. Medical records will be confidential.

Following are the procedures for implementing an accident investigation (after first aid or emergency care is given):

  • Inspect the accident scene (take pictures, notes, secure the area, survey physical materials).
  • Interview injured person(s) and/or witnesses using the accident investigation form (be careful not to place blame on any individual)
  • Determine the cause of the accident/near-miss, if possible
  • Identify corrective action and take action to resume operations
  • Prepare report
  • Follow up with Safety Committee

Adopted: July 9, 2012 Revised: June 9, 2014 

School Board
Independent School District No. 15
St. Francis, Minnesota

ISD 15 utilizes Health and Safety revenues to fund the implementation of health and safety programs and projects. Below is a summary of the ISD 15 health and safety budget per fiscal year and Uniform Financial Accounting and Reporting Standards (UFARS) as of June 5, 2014.

UFARS CODE

FY 14

FY15

FY16

347 – Physical Hazard Control

$7,522

$9,282

$9,026

349 – Hazardous Substance

$13,850

$13,850

$11,750

352 – Environmental Health and Safety Management

$66,890

$67,415

$66,580

358 –Asbestos

$24,975

$45,300

$33,300

363 – Fire and Life Safety

$37,695

$37,895

$36,220

366 – Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

$0

$0

$0

TOTALS

$150,932

$173,742

$156,876

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

120 Out-of-State Travel by School Board Members

I. PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to control out-of-state travel by school board members as required by law.

II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

School board members have an obligation to become informed on the proper duties and functions of a school board member, to become familiar with issues that may affect the school district, to acquire a basic understanding of school finance and budgeting, and to acquire sufficient knowledge to comply with federal, state, and local laws, rules, regulations, and school district policies that relate to their functions as school board members. Occasionally, it may be appropriate for school board members to travel out of state to fulfill their obligations.

III. APPROPRIATE TRAVEL

Travel outside the state is appropriate when the school board finds it proper for school board members to acquire knowledge and information necessary to allow them to carry out their responsibilities as school board members. Travel to regional or national meetings of the National School Boards Association is presumed to fulfill this purpose. Travel to other out-of-state meetings for which the member intends to seek reimbursement from the school district should be preapproved by the school board.

IV. REIMBURSABLE EXPENSES

Expenses to be reimbursed may include transportation, meals, lodging, registration fees, required materials, parking fees, tips, and other reasonable and necessary school district-related expenses.

V. REIMBURSEMENT

A. Requests for reimbursement must be itemized on the official school district form and are to be submitted to the designated administrator. Receipts for lodging, commercial transportation, registration, and other reasonable and necessary expenses must be attached to the reimbursement form.

B. Automobile travel shall be reimbursed at the mileage rate set by the school board. Commercial transportation shall reflect economy fares and shall be reimbursed only for the actual cost of the trip.

C. Amounts to be reimbursed shall be within the school board's approved budget allocations, including attendance at workshops and conventions.

VI. ESTABLISHMENT OF DIRECTIVES AND GUIDELINES

The superintendent shall develop a schedule of reimbursement rates for school district business expenses, including those expenses requiring advance approval and specific rates of reimbursement. The superintendent shall also develop directives and guidelines to address methods and times for submission of requests for reimbursement.

Legal References: 
Minn. Stat. § 123B.09, Subd. 2 (School Board Member Training)
Minn. Stat. § 471.661 (Out-of-State Travel)
Minn. Stat. § 471.665 (Mileage Allowances)
Minn. Op. Atty. Gen. 1035 (Aug. 23, 1999) (Retreat Expenses)
Minn. Op. Atty. Gen. 161b-12 (Aug. 4, 1997) (Transportation Expenses)

Cross References: 
ISD No. 15 Policy 115 (School Board Member Development)
ISD No. 15 Policy 559 (Expense Reimbursement)

Adopted: March 23, 2015

School Board
Independent School District 15
St. Francis, Minnesota