Review of Agenda Items
During the monthly work session, agenda items are presented by the Superintendent and\or his
designee, to the Board for consideration. During the presentation, the Board, Superintendent
and designated staff engage in an exchange, to include how the item supports the mission of the
District. By agreement of the full Board, the item moves to a consent agenda for the monthly
business meeting, or by request, an item can be moved to the business meeting as an Action
Item for separate discussion and\or vote.
The DeKalb County Board of Education encourages the public to be involved in public education.
To facilitate public input, the Board shall conduct a monthly Community Meeting in accordance
with board policy. The Community Meeting is intended to allow speakers to address issues
before the Board or other subjects pertinent to the Board or the DeKalb County School District
See Policy: BCBI – Public Participation in Board Meetings
Meeting Materials Delivery
As a courtesy, Board members are typically provided a copy of the Board agenda and supporting
documents one week prior to the regular monthly meeting.
Questions and Concerns Regarding Agenda Items
The Board strives for meetings that are efficient and at the same time allow for full and fair
deliberation of issues before the Board. These two aims, plus the commitment to open
government as prescribed by statute, suggest the need for operating protocols for the Board’s
Given the volume, complexity, and importance of the business charged to the Board, it is
imperative that Board meetings operate in a manner that is productive, respectful, and fosters
collaboration among the Board. In addition, many members of the public mistakenly think the
purpose of Board meetings is to allow the public to participate in Board deliberations. Instead,
Board meetings are meetings of the Board held in public, not public meetings. In order to
maintain a focus on Board deliberations, the Board will adhere to the following protocols in the
conduct of its meetings.
As a general guideline, the Board shall observe the parliamentary procedures outlined in Robert’s
Rules of Order as Newly Revised, 10th Edition. As a deliberative body of fewer than 12 members,
the Board will follow the special procedures for small assemblies to the extent applicable. The
procedures for small assemblies allow for more relaxed deliberation of items, including the option
to discuss an item before a motion is on the floor. However, to ensure both an orderly meeting
and strict adherence to the statutory requirement that the public have advance notice of the
subjects to be discussed at the meeting, the Board will also adhere to the following:
See Policy: BC – Board Meetings
- The presiding officer will announce the item for discussion and possible action.
- The Superintendent or appropriate staff member may make a comment,
statement, recommendation, or presentation regarding the item.
- The Board may discuss the item and raise questions.
- Action is taken by means of a motion and a second, followed by an electronic
vote (or hand vote of Board members present).
The Board also has the option of not taking action on an item.
Board members shall seek recognition from the presiding officer if they wish to
All discussion shall be directly related to the agenda item currently under
The presiding officer will keep the discussion on the agenda item at hand and shall
halt discussion that is not germane to that item.
If, during discussion, an inquiry arises regarding a subject not posted in advance, the
presiding officer will halt discussion and may suggest that the topic be placed on a
Motions that require a second under Robert’s Rules for large assemblies will require a
second at Board meetings.
Special Provisions on Motions
In order to ensure clarity on the action the Board is taking, Board members are requested to
write down main motions and amendments to main motions before making them on the floor.
The written version should be provided to the Board Secretary for accurate reflection of Board
action in the minutes.
The Board Chair or presiding officer will follow the order of motions listed in determining if a
motion made by a member is in order or not. Board members should consult the order of
motions document before making a motion to ensure the motion is in order.
Citizen Conduct during Meetings
Board meetings are held in public to conduct the business of the District.
The Board does not tolerate disruption of the Board meeting by members of the public. If, after
at least one warning from the presiding officer, any person continues to disrupt the meeting by
words or actions, the person will be removed from the meeting. The presiding officer will request
that the person be escorted from the meeting by a DSCD police officer. Signs or placards are not
permitted in the meeting room.
Citizen Communications at the Board Meeting
The Board will allot time at each regular meeting for a Community Input Session. The Board
encourages citizens to make their comments, concerns, and ideas known to the Board during this
segment of the meeting. Citizens are not restricted to addressing only items that appear on the
agenda. They may address items not on the agenda, as well.
According to Board Policy BCBI – Public Participation in Board Meetings, individuals will not be
denied the opportunity to address the Board on the basis of their viewpoint. However, the Board
will not allow abusive language, threats, comments, jeers, applause, or shouts from the floor.
Disruptive persons will be asked to leave the meeting room. The presiding officer may terminate
public comments that are profane, vulgar, defamatory, or disruptive.
Speakers should be courteous and professional. Speakers may offer objective criticisms of school
operations and programs, but the Board will not hear complaints about specific personnel or
individuals connected with the District in a public session. Other channels provide a more
appropriate forum for consideration and resolution of legitimate complaints involving individuals.
Procedures for Addressing the Board
In order to ensure a fair and consistent opportunity for citizens to address the Board, the Board
will follow the following protocols during Community Input:
Before addressing the Board, individuals are urged to seek a satisfactory solution to their
concerns by following the proper staff and administrative channels.
Individuals wishing to speak may submit a request in writing to the Board Office via
letter, fax, or e-mail no later than 12:00 noon on the day of the Community Meeting.
Such request shall include the individual’s name, address, topic to be addressed, previous
steps taken to resolve the concern, and the group (if any) that the individual is
representing. If an individual is unable to attend the meeting after signing up in advance,
he/she may appoint a substitute speaker by calling the Board Office by noon of the
In addition, speakers may complete a Request to Comment card in person between 4:30
and 5:30 p.m. on the day of the meeting. Cards must be completely filled out, providing
the information listed in the preceding paragraph.
An organization may sign up to speak by designating a duly authorized spokesperson and
one alternate, who may speak only if the primary spokesperson is unable to attend. By
signing up and addressing the Board on behalf of an organization, the speaker is
representing that he or she has been duly authorized by that organization to make the
Speakers shall have a maximum of three (3) minutes each and must stop speaking
promptly when their time is up.
To allow time for the Board’s other business, the public comment period will be a
maximum of one (1) hour or 20 speakers. At the Board’s discretion, the comment period
may be extended for a specified amount of time or a specific number of additional
To allow the Board to receive input from as many stakeholders as possible, individuals
who speak during a Community Meeting one month may only speak at the next month’s
meeting if there are spaces remaining after all non-repeating speakers have signed up.
The Board will not deliberate or make decisions regarding any subject that is not on the
Board Response during Community Input
The Board will not engage in dialogue with the speaker during the Board meeting. However, the
Board or Superintendent may provide specific factual information or recite existing policy to
clarify some inquiries or issues. The Board may direct the Superintendent to investigate item(s)
and report back to the Board as appropriate.
The Board will schedule public hearings when required by law or to gather information from the
public on issues of special interest. The Board requests that citizens not refer to students or
employees by name during public hearings.
Procedures for Public Hearings
To ensure a fair and consistent opportunity for citizens to address the Board during public
hearings and to respect the principles of open government, the Board will adhere to the following
protocols during public hearings:
A person shall sign up on-site, the day of the hearing, first come-first serve, and one
hour prior to the start of the hearing.
Up to 30 citizens may sign up to speak. Each speaker will be limited to two minutes and
the hearing lasts up to one hour.
No person is permitted to sign up for another person or to exchange or yield time to
persons not signed up.
The Board will not answer questions or engage in a dialogue with the public during the
The Board may provide specific factual information or recite existing policy to clarify inquires or
Closed (Executive) Sessions
The Board may enter into a closed session, also known as an Executive Session during a public
meeting only for the reasons allowed by law. To ensure compliance with the law and respect for
the principles of open government, the Board will comply with the following protocols regarding
The Board will convene in an open meeting with proper posting prior to the presiding
officer’s announcing that the Board will enter a closed session. The presiding officer will
read aloud the agenda item to be discussed and the statutory authorization for entering
into a closed session to deliberate upon the item.
During the closed session, the Board will deliberate only upon the item that is authorized
for closed-session deliberations. The presiding officer will cut off any conversation not
related to the item.
The Board will not take action on any item in a closed session. By law, all Board actions,
including voting, must occur in an open meeting.
Discussions and information shared during a closed session shall remain confidential.
Under Georgia law, the Board must maintain an affidavit, signed by all board members
present, attesting to the agenda and discussions each closed session with the official
Because handwritten or electronic notes taken by individual Board members during a
closed session to memorialize the deliberations could be considered the equivalent of an
official notes, therefore confidential under law, Board members are strongly discouraged
from taking notes during a closed session. Disclosure of such notes could be considered
a criminal offense.
Grievances and Complaints
The District has developed a series of policies and procedures to assist employees, students,
parents, and community members in getting expeditious attention to and resolution of complaints
and grievances they may have against the District. For purposes of this section, the words
complaint and grievance are used interchangeably. As a last step in the District’s process, the
complainant may present the grievance to the Board.
See Policy: GAE(2) – Public Participation in Board Meetings, GAE(3) – Public Participation in Board Meetings, JAA – Public Participation in Board Meetings, KNBA(R) – Public Participation in Board Meetings
From time to time, the Board will be called upon to hear the appeal of a complaint or grievance
by an employee, parent, student, or community member filed in accord with one of these
policies. The Board may choose to review the complaint during a meeting as the final stage in the
District complaint process. Based on the nature of the complaint, the board may deliberate in a
closed meeting, and, if applicable, take action in an open meeting.
See Policy: GAE(2) – Public Participation in Board Meetings, GAE(3) – Public Participation in Board Meetings
The Board will be provided with a record of the case, including documents filed in relation to the
complaint and actions taken at earlier stages of the process. In instances when oral argument on
a grievance is presented at a Board meeting, the Board will hear the grievance and may ask the
administration to provide explanations for decisions at earlier levels. The Board will then consider
In response to a grievance, the Board is empowered to:
grant the grievance, and reverse the decision of the administration;
deny the grievance, and uphold the decision of the administration; or
grant the grievance in part and deny in part, thus modifying the decision of the
Although the Board has full authority in response to a grievance to reverse the administration’s
decision, the Board will extend a degree of deference to administrative decisions in matters that
are reserved by law or policy to the administration. In general, the Board will not substitute its
judgment for that of the administration when the decision was made in accordance with law,
facts, policy, and ethical standards.
Individual Board Member Participation in Grievance Hearings
When considering the merits of a grievance, Board members should consider only the evidence
presented to them as part of the formal grievance—typically, the written material provided and
information and arguments at the hearing itself—and be impartial in the decision making. If a
Board member is unable to ignore information received from external sources, the Board member
should consider abstaining from participation in the grievance. Prior knowledge of aspects of a
situation before the Board does not constitute bias unless the Board member is not capable of
judging the situation based solely on the evidence before the Board.
A Board member should consider recusal and abstention from participation in a grievance or any
other matter when required to do so by law or whenever the Board member determines, based
on the Board member code of ethics and his or her own assessment of the circumstances, that
he or she would be impaired in participating as an impartial decision maker.
Board Member Conduct during Meetings
To ensure that all speakers receive the respect of the Board during their comments,
Board members will refrain from sidebar conversations during presentations by staff
members, fellow Board members, or members of the public.
When staff other than the Superintendent, are addressing the Board and a Board
member has a question regarding the presentation, the question shall be addressed to
the Superintendent and/or presenter unless the Superintendent requests that questions
be addressed to the presenter or another designee. Questions will be respectful of the
expertise and efforts of District staff.
Private notes, whether handwritten or electronic, exchanged among Board members
during a public meeting may constitute official records and may raise questions under
Georgia’s open government statutes. As a consequence, Board members are expected to
refrain from the exchange of private notes during a meeting.