Policies and Procedures Handbook

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


Board Policy

     In that advisory committees to the Garrett County Board of Education are considered to be public bodies, any advisory committee established by the Garrett County Public Schools will comply with the following public meeting procedures.


     All meetings of such advisory committees are to be conducted in open session. At any open session the general public is invited to attend and observe. Except in instances where the public body 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.

Executive Session

     All executive or closed session meetings shall be pursuant to Section 10-508 of the State Government Article. The public body may not discuss or act on an issue in closed session unless the matter is one the body may lawfully consider in closed session.

     Before meeting in closed session, the chairperson must:

1. Conduct a recorded vote on closing the meeting, and
2. Make a written statement that includes the reason for closing the meeting, the section of Article 10-508 which permits a closed meeting, and a list of the topics to be discussed. These reasons are limited to the following -
  To:  (1) discuss (a) the appointment, employment, assignment, promotion, discipline, demotion, compensation, removal, (or) resignation, or performance evaluation of appointees, employees or officials over whom it has jurisdiction; or (b) any other personnel matter that affects 1 or more specific individuals.
  (2) protect the privacy or reputation of individuals with respect to a matter that is not related to public business;
  (3) consider the acquisition of real property for a public purpose and matters directly related thereto;
  (4) consider a preliminary matter that concern the proposal for a business or industrial organization to locate in the State;
  (5) consider the investment of public funds;
  (6) consider the marketing of public securities;
  (7) consult with counsel to obtain legal advice on a legal matter;
  (8) consult with staff, consultants, or other individuals about pending or potential litigation;
  (9) conduct collective bargaining negotiations or consider matters that relate to the negotiations;
  (10) discuss public security, if the public body determines that public discussion would constitute a risk to the public or to public security, including: (a) the deployment of fire and police services and staff; and (b) the development and implementation of emergency plans;
  (11) prepare, administer, or grade a scholastic, licensing, or qualifying examination;
  (12) conduct an investigative proceeding on actual or possible criminal conduct; or
  (13) comply with a specific constitutional, statutory, or judicially imposed requirement that prevents public disclosures about a particular proceeding or matter; and finally,
  (14) before a contract is awarded or bids are opened, discuss a matter directly related to a negotiating strategy or the contents of a bid or proposal, if public discussion or disclosure would adversely impact the ability of the public body to participate in the competitive bidding or proposal process.

     The written statement will become a matter of public record. If someone objects to the closing of a meeting, the public body must send a copy of this written statement to the Open Meetings Compliance Board.


     Before meeting in open or closed session the public body shall give reasonable advance notice. Whenever possible, the notice shall be in writing and include the date, time, and place of the meeting. If applicable, the notice should state that all or part of the meeting may be conducted in closed session. Notice of the meeting shall be posted on the main bulletin board in the Public Schools Office and/or notice of the meeting will he given orally or in writing to members of the local media who regularly report on sessions of the Public Schools. For the purpose of these procedures such, notice shall be considered adequate.


     A written record of each public meeting and executive session must be prepared as soon as practical thereafter. The record of open and closed sessions must reflect:

1. Each item considered,
2. The action taken on. each item, and
3. A record of each vote.

     If the public body meets in closed session, the record of its next open session must include:

1. A statement of the time, place, and purpose of the closed session,
2. A record of the vote of each member as to the closing of the session,
3. A citation of the authority for closing the session, and
4. A listing of the topics discussed, persons present, and each action taken during the session.

     The record, or minutes of open sessions are public records and are open to public inspection during normal business hours. Executive session minutes are to be preserved for at least one year and axe to be kept in accordance with Section 10-509 of the State Government Article.

Disruptive Conduct

     A person attending an open session may not engage in any conduct, including visual demonstrations such as the waving of placards, signs, or banners, that disrupts the session or that interferes with the right, of members of the public to attend and observe the session. The presiding officer may order any person who persists in conduct prohibited by the above or who violates any other regulation concerning the conduct of the open session to be removed from the session and may request police assistance to restore order. The presiding officer may recess the session while order is restored.

Recording, Photographing, and Broadcasting of Open Sessions

     A member of the public, including any representative of the news media, may record discussions at an open session by means of a tape recorder or any other recording device if the device does not create an excessive noise that disturbs members of the body or other persons attending the session. A member of the public, including any representative of the media, may photograph or videotape the proceedings of an open session by means of any type of camera if the camera: (1) is operated without excessively bright artificial light that disturbs members or other persons attending the session; and (2) does not create an excessive noise that disturbs members or other persons attending the session.

     A representative of the news media may broadcast or televise the proceedings of the open session if the equipment used: (1) is operated without excessively bright artificial light that disturbs members or other persons attending the session; and (2) does not create an excessive noise that disturbs members or other persons attending the session.

     The presiding officer may restrict the movement of a person who is using a recording device, camera, or broadcasting or televising equipment if such restriction is necessary to maintain the orderly conduct of the session.

     A recording of an open session made by a member of the public, or any transcript derived from such a recording, may not be deemed a part of the record of any proceeding of the public body.

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Section 100
Table of Contents 
Public Schools 103.1 JJR
Adopted 11/10/92
Revised 12/8/92, 1/18/93