Policies and Procedures Handbook

Last Updated: 8/1/98
Garrett County Public Schools
40 South Second Street
Oakland, MD 21550


Board Policy

     In order to provide sufficient structure for the conducting of school board business as well as to provide an atmosphere informal enough to encourage free discussion and the promotion of group thinking, the Garrett County Public Schools will use the procedures as set forth herein in conducting their meetings.


     At its first meeting of the beginning of each calendar year, the Garrett County Board of Education shall elect a president and a vice-president from its members as well as conduct any other organizational business as deemed necessary.

     The date, time, and place of regularly scheduled meetings will be reviewed at the first meeting at the beginning of each year.

     Board member committee assignments will be made at the first meeting each year with such assignments being two years in duration. Alternates for such assignments will also be considered at this time.

     Special meetings shall be called as the duties and business of the Board require. The need for Board meetings, other than those regularly scheduled, is to be determined by the Board president or the president's designee or a majority of the Board.

     In accordance with Public School and State Law, the Board shall keep a formal record of each public meeting and each executive session. Provisions for tape recording all public session meetings are to be made by the secretary. The Minutes of the Board, whether an open or closed session, are to be drafted by the secretary and must reflect the following:

If the Board meets in closed session, the Minutes of its next open session must include the following:

     The Minutes of a closed session may be kept in written form or in the form of a tape recording. The Minutes must be preserved for at least one year. Except for certain circum tances, the Minutes or tape recordings of a closed session shall be sealed and are not open to public inspection. They shall be unsealed and opened to the public at the request of any person or on the Board's own initiative if a majority of the members of the Board at a public meeting present and voting, vote in favor of unsealing the Minutes of the closed session.

     The approved Minutes of an open session shall constitute the official record of proceedings of the Public Schools and shall be open to public inspection at all reasonable times. A written draft copy of the Minutes of prior open and closed sessions shall be sent to each member of the Public Schools before the meeting at which they are approved. The approved Minutes shall be signed by the president and the superintendent upon approval by the Board. The approved Minutes will be available for public review upon approval by the Board.


     The agendas for each open and closed meeting will be initiated by the Superintendent of Schools and consulted upon with the Board president prior to calling the meeting to order. The agendas shall be prepared and sent to all members and others as may be determined, five days prior to the date of the regular meeting and, if possible, three days prior to special meetings. in contacting local representatives of the media and posting the agenda in the Board of Education central office in accordance with this schedule it is the intent of the school board to give adequate notice to all interested parties.

     Items to be considered for inclusion on the agenda may be suggested by Board members, Board staff, or members of the public. Members of the public wishing to place a subject on the agenda should contact the superintendent's office at least one week prior to the scheduled meeting.

     The agenda, including action on the draft agenda, may include:

     Agenda items should be noted as to time allotted, action necessary (i.e., action, information, etc.), and accompanied by appropriate attachments.

Parliamentary Procedure

     The parliamentary procedure to be used in the conduct of Board meetings will be guided by the following:

 1. All meetings are to be called to order by the president, the vice-president, or the designee of the Board.

 2. In order to transact business a quorum (i.e., two-thirds of the elected membership) must be present.

 3. There must be a quorum present during the entire time business is being transacted.

 4. The presiding officer is responsible for following the approved order of the agenda in a time-efficient as well as purposefully effective fashion.

 5. The presiding officer is responsible for maintaining order during the discussion by Board members as well as by members of the general public.

 6. The presiding officer may not make or second a motion, but may enter into the general discussion of the Board.

 7. The presiding officer votes only to break or create a tie vote or when a vote is taken by ballot. The presiding officer also votes when the Board is acting as a quasi-judicial body.

 8. In taking action on any agenda item, a motion must be made, seconded, and repeated by the presiding officer prior to discussion. The maker of the motion has the first right to speak to the motion.

 9. A motion to postpone (i.e., to table) needs a second and is debatable.

10. A motion to amend a motion needs a second and debate is limited to the proposed amendment. If passed, the amendment becomes part of the main motion.

11. A motion calling for the previous questions stops debate. This motion needs a second and is not debatable. The presiding officer will immediately take a vote after the second.

12. The presiding officer should announce all votes and explain what the vote does.

Board Policies and Administrative Procedures

     The Board shall attempt to adhere to the following practice in considering policies and procedures:

     Board Policy - Prior to formal adoption of any policy or policy change it is the intent of the Board to have all policy drafts clearly stated, carefully researched, completely analyzed, and cleared by the Board's attorney with regard to legality, if appropriate. if at all possible, a draft policy will be introduced to the Public Schools for information initially, but not acted upon until the following regularly scheduled meeting.

     Administrative Procedure - Although the Board does not have to formally approve administrative procedures, it in incumbent upon the Superintendent of Schools to review all administrative procedures and changes for information with the Board prior to implementation, if possible.


     Garrett County Public Schools Policy 110 (Appeals to Public Schools) and Administrative Procedure 110.1 (Hearing Procedure for Appeals Heard by the Public Schools) are to be used in presenting all formal appeals to the Board of Education.

Executive Sessions

     All closed or executive session meetings of the Public Schools shall be pursuant to Section 10-508 of the State Government Article and Section 4-106 of the Education Article and all discussions and subjects thereof shall be considered confidential and not thereafter discussed or disclosed publicly.

     Each Board member after his or her election or appointment to the Board of Education, shall execute a written pledge agreeing that all executive session or closed session discussions and topics, as the same are defined by the Maryland Open Meeting Action (State Government Section 10-501 et-seq.) shall remain confidential, privileged, and undisclosed. If the Board member declines to take such a pledge, the same shall be noted among the Minutes and at the next public meeting of the Public Schools.

Public Attendance

     At any open session of the Public Schools the general public is invited to attend and observe. Except in instances when the Public Schools expressly invites testimony, questions, comments, or other forms of public participation, or when public participation is otherwise authorized by law, no member of the public attending an open session may participate in the session.

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Section 100
Table of Contents 
Public Schools 103 JJR
Adopted 1/14/92
Revised 10/13/92, 10/10/95