Bellingham Public Schools must advertise all school board meetings, including study sessions and retreats, as meetings that are open to the public. If a board wishes to devote all or most of a special meeting to an issue(s) to be discussed in executive session (Policy 1410), the special meeting should be called to order and recessed to an executive session. The purpose of the executive session should be announced at the meeting and recorded in the minutes (e.g., real estate matters, litigation).
All regular meetings must be held within the district boundaries. Special meetings may be held outside the district with proper notice of the time and location.
All public notices of board meetings should inform persons with disabilities that they may contact the superintendent’s office, so that the district can arrange for them to participate in board meetings.
A regular meeting does not require a public notice if held at the time and place provided by board policy. If the board does not meet at its regular location, the meeting should be treated as a special meeting with proper notice to the press stating the time, place, and purpose of the meeting.
For special meetings, a district is required to notify those newspapers and radio and television stations that have filed a request for such notification. The district must also provide written notice and a printed or electronic copy of the agenda to each school director 24 hours prior to the meeting. Notice to a director is deemed waived if the director files a written notice of waiver with the board secretary before or at the time of the commencement of the meeting or by the director’s actual attendance at the meeting.
The district must also post notice of the meeting on the district’s website, the door of the main district offices, and the door at the location of the meeting if it is different from the district’s offices. The district does not have to post on its website if it: (1) doesn’t have one; (2) employs fewer than ten full-time equivalent employees; or (3) does not have an employee whose job description or employment contract provides a duty to maintain or update the website.
At a special meeting, the board may discuss items that were not on the original agenda, but the board cannot take final action on any topics that were not identified on the original agenda. If the board is to discuss an item in executive session in accordance with Policy 1410, the item of business must also appear on the agenda if final action is to be taken following the executive session.
No meeting notice is required when the board is acting as a quasi-judicial body in a matter between named parties or for the purpose of planning or adopting strategy or positions to be taken in collective bargaining, grievance or mediation proceedings, or reviewing such proposals made by a bargaining unit.
Meeting Recess and Continuation
The board may recess a regular, special, or recessed meeting to a specific future time. The district must post notice of such a recess and continuation at or near the door of the meeting room. Notification to the press is not required.