Rules of Order and Procedure


Rules of Procedure

  • All meetings are open to the public and the public is welcome to attend. (required)
  • The agenda of each upcoming meeting with a draft minutes of the prior meeting will be made available to all council members at least one week in advance, will be posted on the school website and made available in the main office. The agenda will include the date, time and location of the meeting. (required)
  • Minutes will be kept of all meetings, prepared in draft format for approval at the next scheduled meeting. (required)
  • The council will prepare a timeline for the school year, on or before October 20, that includes due dates for all required reporting and other activities/tasks that the council agrees to assume or participate in.  The timeline will assist in preparation of agendas to be sure the council accomplishes their work in a timely manner. (best practice)
  • The council consists of the principal, three other school employees who are elected in even years, and one parent member for each feeder elementary area, for a minimum of 6 parents, half of which are elected in even years and half in odd years.  In the event there is a tie vote in an election, the principal shall flip a coin to determine the outcome. Positions not filled through the election process, can be appointed at-large.  The principal is the only member that serves as ex officio.  No one else is appointed based on his/her office or position (e.g., vice-principal, counselor, PTA/O President).  Council member contact information is required to be on the school website and SchoolLANDTrust.org.
  • The chair conducts the meetings (required), makes assignments and requests reports on assignments.  In the absence of the chair, the vice-chair shall conduct meetings.
  • The council must have a quorum to vote (required).  If a parent member is absent from two unexcused meetings, the chair will notify the member that if the member does not attend the next meeting, the council will consider the seat vacant and the remaining parent members will appoint a parent to fill the unexpired term.
  • Elections must be noticed at least 10 days before commening, including the following information:  dates(s), time, location, number of open positions, and how to apply to participate.  The principal will oversee elections of both parents and faculty/staff member(s).
  • Meetings shall be conducted and action taken according to very simplified rules of parliamentary procedure, as required in 53G-7-1203(10).  Council actions will be taken by motions and voting with votes and motions recorded in the minutes. (required)

Basics

  • A quorum must be present for business to be done. Usually a quorum means a majority (more than half) of the voting members holding positions.
  • The chair runs the meeting in the service of the council. The chair is not the “boss” but serves as a facilitator, helping the council to hold free and fair discussion and make good decisions.
  • For large councils, a motion is required before any discussion begin.
  • For small councils, it is fine to discuss issues before making a motion.
  • If a member makes a motion to amend the main motion, it is discussed and voted on before the main motion. After amending a motion, a vote must be taken on the main motion as amended.
  • After discussion, the chair calls for the vote and announces the result. The motion passes when a majority of those voting in favor, unless state law or bylaws require a higher vote.  This is different from the requirement of the quorum.
  • If someone “calls the question,” the chair must take a vote on whether to vote now or continue discussion. It takes a 2/3 vote to cut off discussion.
  • Telephonic participation, email voting and proxy voting pose special challenges. Be sure to operate within the limits of your authority documents and keep good records of any decisions made using these modes.

Discussion

  • Members must be courteous and respectful. They may not make inappropriate remarks such as personal remarks or insulting language.
  • Discussion must be relevant to the issues at hand.
  • One thing is discussed at a time.
  • All members must have equal rights, privileges and obligations. This means that discussion is not a conversation, but follows some important rules:
  • The chair recognizes speakers in turn.
  • No one may speak a second time until everyone who wishes to do so has spoken once.
  • Interrupting is not allowed.
  • If a member breaks these rules, the chair may correct the member, or another member may raise a Point of Order. The chair rules as to whether the point is correct, or not.  The chair may also turn to the council first to decide whether a remark is appropriate or not.
  • A member who disagrees with a ruling of the chair may appeal it. If another member seconds the appeal, the council decides.
  • The minority must be provided equal opportunity to debate, even if their views are unpopular. However, the decision of the majority voting at a properly call meeting is the decision of the council as a whole.