File: BEC


    All meetings of the School Committee are open to the public. However, the Committee has the right to convene in a closed executive session when it employs the following procedures required by state law:

    1. The Committee will first convene in an open session for which due notice has been given.
    1. The Chairperson (or, in his/her absence, the presiding member) will state the purpose for the executive session by stating all subjects that may be revealed without compromising the purpose for which the Executive Session was called.
    1. A majority of the members must vote to enter the executive session, with the vote taken by roll call and recorded in the official minutes.
    1. The Chairperson or presiding member will state before entering the executive session whether the Committee will reconvene in open session after the executive session.

    The law specifically limits the purposes for which executive sessions may be convened. The Committee may enter executive sessions only:

    1. To discuss the reputation, character, physical condition or mental health, rather than professional competence, of an individual, or to discuss the discipline or dismissal of, or complaints or charges brought against, a public officer, employee, staff member or individual. The individual to be discussed in such executive session shall be notified in writing by the public body at least 48 hours prior to the proposed executive session; provided, however, that notification may be waived upon written agreement of the parties. The individual has certain rights enumerated in the law, including requiring the Committee to hold an Open Session should the individual so request.
    1. To conduct strategy sessions in preparation for negotiations with nonunion personnel or to conduct collective bargaining sessions or contract negotiations with nonunion personnel;
    1. To discuss strategy with respect to collective bargaining or litigation if an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the bargaining or litigating position of the public body and the chair so declares;
    1. To discuss the deployment of security personnel or devices, or strategies with respect thereto;
    1. To investigate charges of criminal misconduct or to consider the filing of criminal complaints;
    1. To consider the purchase, exchange, lease or value of real property if the chair declares that an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the negotiating position of the public body;
    1. To comply with, or act under the authority of, any general or special law or federal grant- in-aid requirements;
    1. To consider or interview applicants for employment or appointment by a preliminary screening committee if the chair declares that an open meeting will have a detrimental effect in obtaining qualified applicants; provided, however, that this clause shall not apply to any meeting, including meetings of a preliminary screening committee, to consider and interview applicants who have passed a prior preliminary screening;
    1. To meet or confer with a mediator, as defined in section 23C of chapter 233, with respect to any litigation or decision on any public business within its jurisdiction involving another party, group or entity, provided that:

    (i)any decision to participate in mediation shall be made in an open session and the parties, issues involved and purpose of the mediation shall be disclosed; and

    (ii)no action shall be taken by any public body with respect to those issues which are the subject of the mediation without deliberation and approval for such action at an open session;

    1. To discuss trade secrets or confidential, competitively-sensitive or other proprietary information that has been provided under certain circumstances.

    Accurate records of the proceedings conducted in executive session will be kept and may remain secret only so long as their publication would defeat the purpose of the session. The School Committee Chair or designee and the Superintendent will review Executive Session minutes for possible declassification on, at least, a quarterly basis and, if necessary, will consult with legal counsel. The School Committee Chair will bring minutes recommended for declassification to the School Committee for a vote either as part of a consent agenda or for individual action. In either case, there shall be an announcement of the declassification of minutes.

    When a specific set of Executive Session minutes, not yet declassified, is requested by a member of the public, the School Committee shall render a decision on declassification at its next meeting or within 30 days after the request, whichever occurs first.

    All votes taken in executive session will be recorded as voted by a roll call vote, and will become part of the minutes of executive sessions.

    Legal Refs.:M.G.L. 30A:18-25, Open Meeting Law

    940 CMR 29 Open Meeting Regulations

    Cross Refs.:BDE, Subcommittees of the School Committee

    BE, School Committee Meetings

    Revised:November 20, 2013