Article 200 – School District Governance

School Board
School District Governance

The District is governed by a School Board consisting of 7 members. The Board’s powers and duties include the authority to adopt, enforce, and monitor all policies for the management and governance of the District’s schools.

Official action by the Board may only occur at a duly called and legally conducted meeting at which a quorum is physically present.

As stated in the Board member oath of office prescribed by the School Code, a Board member has no legal authority as an individual.

LEGAL REF.: 5 ILCS 120/1.02.
105 ILCS 5/10-1, 5/10-10, 5/10-12, 5/10-16.7, and 5/10-20.5.

POLICY ADOPTED: August 18, 2005
POLICY AMENDED: August 18, 2011
POLICY AMENDED: February 21, 2017

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Article 200.01 – Powers and Duties of the School Board

School Board
Powers and Duties of the School Board

The major powers and duties of the School Board include, but are not limited to:

  1. Formulating, adopting, and modifying Board policies, at its sole discretion, subject only to mandatory collective bargaining agreements and State and federal law.
  2. Employing a Superintendent and other personnel, making employment decisions, dismissing personnel, and establishing an equal employment opportunity policy that prohibits unlawful discrimination.
  3. Approving the annual budget, tax levies, major expenditures, payment of obligations, annual audit, and other aspects of the District’s financial operation.
  4. Letting contracts using the public bidding procedure when required.
  5. Providing, constructing, controlling, supervising, and maintaining adequate physical facilities; making school buildings available for use as civil defense shelters; and establishing a resource conservation policy.
  6. Establishing an equal educational opportunities policy that prohibits unlawful discrimination.
  7. Approving the curriculum, textbooks, and educational services.
  8. Evaluating the educational program and approving School Improvement and District Improvement Plans.
  9. Submitting to parents/guardians, District taxpayers, the Governor, the General Assembly, and the State Board of Education a school report card assessing the performance of its schools and students.
  10. Establishing and supporting student discipline policies designed to maintain an environment conducive to learning, including deciding individual student suspension or expulsion cases brought before it.
  11. Establishing attendance units within the District and assigning students to the schools.
  12. Establishing the school year.
  13. Requiring a moment of silence to recognize veterans during any type of school event held at a District school on November 11.
  14. Providing student transportation services.
  15. Entering into joint agreements with other boards to establish cooperative educational programs or provide educational facilities.
  16. Complying with requirements in the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act. Specifically, each individual Board member must, if an allegation is raised to the member during an open or closed Board meeting that a student is an abused child as defined in the Act, direct or cause the Board to direct the Superintendent or other equivalent school administrator to comply with the Act’s requirements concerning the reporting of child abuse.
  17. Communicating the schools’ activities and operations to the community and representing the needs and desires of the community in educational matters.

LEGAL REF.:        105 ILCS 5/2-3.25d, 5/10-1 et seq., 5/17-1, and 5/27-1.

115 ILCS 5/1 et seq.

325 ILCS 5/4.

POLICY ADOPTED: August 18, 2005

POLICY AMENDED: August 18, 2011

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Article 200.01-E – Exhibit – Waiver and Modification Request Process

School Board
Exhibit – Waiver and Modification Request Process

Requesting Exemption from Unfunded Mandate in Accordance with Section 22-60:                          

The Superintendent or designee           shall identify, as appropriate, unfunded or under-funded: (1) mandates in the School Code enacted after 8-20-2010, or (2) regulatory mandates promulgated by ISBE and adopted by rule after 8-20-2010, other than those promulgated with respect to 105 ILCS 5/22-60 or statutes already enacted on or before 8-20-2010. 105 ILCS 5/22-60, added by P.A. 96-1441. He/she will consider:

  1. Whether the significance of the unfunded or under-funded mandate justifies the effort needed to seek an exemption, and
  2. The advisability of simultaneously seeking a waiver or modification using Section 2-3.25g.

He/she shall inform the School Board of the above and recommend whether to petition the District’s Regional Superintendent or a Suburban Cook County Intermediate Service Center, whichever is appropriate, to request exemption from implementing the mandate in school(s) in the next school year.

The Board of Education shall agree with or reject the Superintendent’s recommendation.

While no Board action is statutorily required before petitioning to discontinue or modify a mandate, Board approval is consistent with good governance principles.

The Superintendent or designee, on or before February 15, shall petition the District’s Regional Superintendent or Intermediate Service Center, whichever is applicable, to request exemption from implementing the mandate in the next school year. The petition must include all legitimate costs associated with implementing and operating the mandate, the estimated reimbursement from State and federal sources, and any unique, verifiable circumstances that would cause the mandate’s implementation and operation to be cost prohibitive.

The Regional Superintendent shall review the petition and convene a public hearing to hear testimony from the District and interested community members. On or before March 15, the Regional Superintendent shall inform the District of his or her decision, along with the reasons why the exemption was granted or denied, in writing.

The Superintendent or designee shall manage the exemption, if it is granted. If the petition is denied, the Superintendent shall implement the mandate in accordance with the applicable law or rule by the first student attendance day of the next school year.

The District, or its residents, on or before April 15, may appeal the decision of the Regional Superintendent to the State Superintendent of Education.

The State Superintendent must hear appeals no later than May 15.

If the District discontinues or modifies a mandated activity due to lack of full funding, the Superintendent shall annually maintain and update a list of discontinued or modified mandates and provide the list to the ISBE upon request.

Requesting a Waiver or Modification of ISBE Rules or School Code Mandates in Accordance with Section 2-3.25g:

The Superintendent or designee shall develop a plan supporting a waiver or modification request that meets the criteria contained in 105 ILCS 5/2-3.25g, amended by P.A. 96-861.

An approved waiver or modification (except a waiver from or modification to a physical education mandate) may: (a) remain in effect for 5 school years and may be renewed upon a new application, and (b) be changed within that 5-year period by the Board using the procedure for an initial waiver or modification request.

An approved waiver from or modification to a physical education mandate may: (a) remain in effect for 2 school years and may be renewed no more than 2 times, and (b) be changed within the 2-year period by the Board using the procedure for the initial waiver or modification request.

Based on the plan, the Superintendent shall complete the ISBE’s preliminary application form.

Districts may petition ISBE for a waiver or modification of the mandates in the School Code or ISBE administrative rules.

For a waiver or modification of administrative rules or modification of Code mandates, the District must demonstrate that: (1) it can address the intent of the rule or mandate in a more effective, efficient, or economical manner, or (2) a waiver or modification of the rule or mandate is necessary to stimulate innovation or improve student performance.

For a waiver of mandates in the School Code, a District must demonstrate that the waiver is necessary to stimulate innovation or improve student performance. Section 2-3.25g, amended by P.A. 96-861, lists mandates from which districts may not seek a waiver or modification.

The Board shall establish a date for a public hearing on the proposed waiver or modification request. If the request concerns a waiver or modification of Section 27-6 of the School Code (physical education requirements), the public hearing must be held on a day other than on which a regular School Board meeting is held.

The Board secretary shall publishe a notice in a newspaper of general circulation within the District of the date, time, place, and general subject matter of a public hearing on the proposed waiver or modification request. This notice must be published at least 7 days before the hearing.

If there is no newspaper published in the county, notice shall be given in a secular newspaper published in an adjoining county having general circulation within the District. 715 ILCS 5/2, amended by P.A. 96-1144.

The Superintendent shall make all arrangements for the Board to hold a properly noticed meeting.

He/she shall notify, in writing, all affected exclusive bargaining agents, as well as those State legislators representing the District, of the public hearing concerning the District’s intent to seek a waiver or modification.

The Board of Education shall hold a public hearing in an open meeting on the waiver or modification. Staff directly involved in its implementation, parents, and students must be allowed to testify. The time period for testimony must be separate from the time period set aside for public comment.

On the hearing date or in a subsequent open meeting, the Board shall deliberate on the draft plan and application supporting a waiver or modification request and determine whether to approve the plan and application as amended, including a description of the public hearing.

A request for a waiver or modification of ISBE rules or for a modification of a mandate contained in the School Code must include a description of the public hearing.

A request for waiver from a mandate contained in the School Code must also include a description of the public hearing, including the means of notice, the number of people in attendance, the number of people who spoke as proponents or opponents, a brief description of their comments, and whether there were any written statements submitted.

The Board, if the plan is approved, shall direct the Superintendent to comply with all notification and procedural requirements.

The Superintendent or designee, within 15 days after approval by the Board, shall submit the application to the ISBE by certified mail, return receipt request.

No action is required of the ISBE to approve a requested waiver or modification. Disapproval of a request must occur within 45 days following its receipt.   The Board of Education shall file a report concerning any appeal of requests disapproved by ISBE with the Senate and House of Representatives by March 1 and October 1 each year. To appeal disapproval by ISBE of a request, the Board of Education shall notify the ISBE that the District is appealing the disapproval to the General Assembly.

The ISBE shall review applications for completeness and file a report with Senate and House of Representatives by March 1 and October 1 each year.

No action is required of the General Assembly to approve a waiver or appealed request. Disapproval of a request or appealed request must occur within 60 days after each house of the legislature next convenes after the report is filed by adoption of a resolution by a record vote of the majority of members elected in each house.

The Board of Education may seek to renew an approved waiver or modification.

Holding School Events or Activities on School Holidays as Authorized by Section 24-2(b)

The Superintendent or designee, if appropriate, shall recommend that the Board use the authority in 105 ILCS 5/24-2(b), added by P.A. 96-640, to hold school or schedule teachers’ institutes, parent-teacher conferences, or staff development on:

  1. The third Monday in January (the Birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.);
  2. February 12 (the Birthday of President Abraham Lincoln);
  3. The first Monday in March (known as Casimir Pulaski’s Birthday);
  4. The second Monday in October (Columbus Day); and/or
  5. November 11 (Veterans’ Day).

The Superintendent shall prepare a proposal for recognizing the person(s) honored by the holiday through instructional activities conducted on that day or, if the day is not used for student attendance, on the first school day preceding or following that day.

The Board of Education may accept the Superintendent’s recommendation, only after it holds a public hearing on the proposal.

The District must provide notice preceding the public hearing to both educators and parents. The notice must set forth the time, date, and place of the hearing, describe the proposal, and indicate that the District will take testimony from educators and parents about the proposal.

POLICY ADOPTED: August 18, 2005

POLICY AMENDED: August 18, 2011

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Article 200.02 – School Board Responsibilities

School Board
School Board Responsibilities

The School Board recognizes its legal, civic, social, economic, moral, and ethical responsibility as the decision-making body for the public schools of the District. Such responsibility includes the beliefs that:

  1. The School Board should function as a non-partisan, broadly representative body. Each School Board member should let his/her consideration for the entire District take precedence over partisanship and special interest.
  2. Each member of the School Board should strive to attend all meetings, discuss items presented on the agenda, suggest other items for consideration, and vote upon motions presented.
  3. The School Board should seek to improve its own capabilities and procedures and should encourage training, scholastic research, and experimental efforts which offer promise of improving School Board capabilities and procedures.
  4. Individual School Board members, when questioned by staff, students, and community members about a matter on which policy has been clearly defined, shall give a response based on Board policy. If approached regarding a matter on which the School Board as no established policy, individual Board members shall not commit themselves to any position or promise.

POLICY ADOPTED: June 2, 1986

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Article 200.02-E – Exhibit – Organizational Chart

School Board
Exhibit – Organizational Chart

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Article 215 – Board Member Term of Office

School Board
Board Member Term of Office

The term of office for a School Board member begins immediately after both of the following occur:
1. The election authority canvasses the votes and declares the winner(s); this occurs within 21 days after the consolidated election held on the first Tuesday in April in odd-numbered years.
2. The successful candidate takes the oath of office as provided in Board policy 236, Board Member Oath and Conduct.
The term ends 4 years later when the successor assumes office.
LEGAL REF.: 10 ILCS 5/2A-1.1, 5/22-17, and 5/22-18.
105 ILCS 5/10-10, 5/10-16, and 5/10-16.5.

ADOPTED: March 21, 2005
AMENDED: August 18, 2011

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Article 215.01 – Board Member Qualifications

School Board
Board Member Qualifications

A School Board member must be, on the date of election or appointment, a United States citizen, at least 18 years of age, a resident of Illinois and the District for at least one year immediately preceding the election, a registered voter, be neither a school trustee nor a school treasurer, and not be a child sex offender as defined in State law.

Reasons making an individual ineligible for Board membership include holding an incompatible office and certain types of State or federal employment. A child sex offender, as defined in State law, is ineligible for School Board membership.
LEGAL REF.: Ill. Constitution, Art. 2, 1; Art. 4, 2(e); Art. 6, 13(b).
105 ILCS 5/10-3 and 5/10-10.

POLICY ADOPTED: August 18, 2005
POLICY AMENDED: August 18, 2011

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Article 215.02 – School District Elections

School Board
School District Elections

School District elections are non-partisan, governed by the general election laws of the State, and include the election of School Board members, various public policy propositions, and advisory questions. Board members are elected at the consolidated election held on the first Tuesday in April in odd-numbered years. If, however, that date conflicts with the celebration of Passover, the consolidated election is postponed to the first Tuesday following the last day of Passover. The canvass of votes is conducted by the election authority within 21 days after the election.
The Board, by proper resolution, may cause to be placed on the ballot: (a) public policy referendum according to Article 28 of the Election Code, or (b) advisory questions of public policy according to Section 9-1.5 of the School Code.
The Board Secretary serves as the local election official. He or she receives petitions for the submission of a public question to referenda and forwards them to the proper election officer and otherwise provides information to the community concerning District elections.

LEGAL REF.: 10 ILCS 5/1-3, 5/2A-1.1 et seq., 5/10-9, 5/22-17, 5/22-18, and 5/28-1 et seq.
105 ILCS 5/9-1 et seq.

ADOPTED: March 21, 2005
AMENDED: August 18, 2011
POLICY AMENDED: February 21, 2017

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Article 215.03 – Board Member Removal from Office

School Board
Board Member Removal from Office

If a majority of the School Board determines that a Board member has willfully failed to perform his or her official duties, it may request the Regional Superintendent to remove such member from office.
LEGAL REF.: 105 ILCS 5/3-15.5.

POLICY ADOPTED: August 18, 2005

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Article 215.04 – Vacancies on the School Board – Filling Vacancies

School Board
Vacancies on the School Board – Filling Vacancies

Vacancy
Elective office of a School Board member becomes vacant before the term’s expiration when any of the following occurs:

  1. Death of the incumbent,
  2. Resignation in writing filed with the Secretary of the Board,
  3. Legal disability of the incumbent,
  4. Conviction of a felony, bribery, perjury, or other infamous crime or of any offense involving a violation of official oath or of a violent crime against a child,
  5. Removal from office,
  6. The decision of a competent tribunal declaring his or her election void,
  7. Ceasing to be an inhabitant of the District or a particular area from which he or she was elected, if the residential requirements contained in The School Code are violated,
  8. An illegal conflict of interest, or
  9. Acceptance of a second public office that is incompatible with Board membership.

Filling Vacancies
Whenever a vacancy occurs, the remaining members shall notify the Regional Superintendent of Schools of that vacancy within 5 days after its occurrence and shall fill the vacancy until the next regular board election, at which election a successor shall be elected to serve the remainder of the unexpired term. However, if the vacancy occurs with less than 868 days remaining in the term, the person so appointed shall serve the remainder of the unexpired term, and no election to fill the vacancy shall be held. Members appointed by the remaining members of the Board to fill vacancies shall meet any residential requirements as specified in The School Code. The Board shall fill the vacancy within 45 days after it occurred by a public vote at a meeting of the Board.
Immediately following a vacancy on the Board, the Board will publicize it and accept résumés from District residents who are interested in filling the vacancy. After reviewing the applications, the Board may invite the prospective candidates for personal interviews to be conducted during duly scheduled closed meetings.
LEGAL REF.: 105 ILCS 5/10-10 and 5/10-11.

POLICY ADOPTED: August 18, 2005

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Article 235 – Board Member Ethics (Code of Conduct)

School Board
Board Member Ethics (Code of Conduct)

The Board adopts the Illinois Association of School Boards’ “Code of Conduct for Members of School Boards.” A copy of the Code shall be displayed in the regular Board meeting room.

POLICY ADOPTED: August 18, 2005
POLICY AMENDED: August 18, 2011

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Article 235-E – Exhibit – Code of Conduct for Members of School Boards

School Board
Exhibit – Code of Conduct for Members of School Boards

As a member of my local board of education, I shall do my utmost to represent the public interest in education by adhering to the following commitments:

  1. I will represent all school district constituents honestly and equally and refuse to surrender my responsibilities to special interest or partisan political groups.
  2. I will avoid any conflict of interest or the appearance of impropriety which could result from my position, and will not use my board membership for personal gain or publicity.
  3. I will recognize that a board member has no legal authority as an individual and that decisions can be made only by a majority vote at a board meeting.
  4. I will take no private action that might compromise the board or administration and will respect the confidentiality of privileged information.
  5. I will abide by majority decisions of the board, while retaining the right to seek changes in such decisions through ethical and constructive channels.
  6. I will encourage and respect the free expression of opinion by my fellow board members and will participate in board discussions in an open, honest, and respectful manner, honoring differences of opinion or perspective.
  7. I will prepare for, attend, and actively participate in school board meetings.
  8. I will be sufficiently informed about and prepared to act on the specific issues before the board and remain reasonably knowledgeable about state, national, and global educational issues.
  9. I will respectfully listen to those who communicate with the board, seeking to understand their views, while recognizing my responsibility to represent the interests of the entire community.
  10. I will strive for a positive working relationship with the superintendent, respecting the superintendent’s authority to advise the board, implement board policy, and administer the district.
  11. I will model continuous learning and work to ensure good governance by taking advantage of board member development opportunities, such as those sponsored by state and national school board associations, and encourage my fellow board members to do the same.
  12. I will strive to keep my board focused on its primary work of clarifying the district’s purpose, direction, and goals, and monitoring district performance.

POLICY ADOPTED: August 18, 2005
POLICY AMENDED: August 18, 2011

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Article 236 – Board Member Oath & Conduct

School Board
Board Member Oath & Conduct

Each School Board member, before taking his or her seat on the Board, shall take the following oath of office:

I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of member of the Board of Education (or Board of School Directors, as the case may be) of Prairie Central Community Unit School District Number 8, in accordance with the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the State of Illinois, and the laws of the State of Illinois, to the best of my ability.
I further swear (or affirm) that:
I shall respect taxpayer interests by serving as a faithful protector of the School District’s assets;
I shall encourage and respect the free expression of opinion by my fellow Board members and others who seek a hearing before the Board, while respecting the privacy of students and employees;
I shall recognize that a Board member has no legal authority as an individual and that decisions can be made only by a majority vote at a public Board meeting; and
I shall abide by majority decisions of the Board, while retaining the right to seek changes in such decisions through ethical and constructive channels.

The Board President will administer the oath in an open Board meeting; in the absence of the President, the Vice President will administer the oath. If neither is available, the Board member with the longest service on the Board will administer the oath. The Board adopts the Illinois Association of School Boards’ Code of Conduct for Members of School Boards. A copy of the Code shall be displayed in the regular Board meeting room.
LEGAL REF.: 105 ILCS 5/10-16.5.

POLICY APPROVED: August 18, 2005

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Article 237 – Board Self-Evaluation

School Board
Board Self-Evaluation

The School Board shall conduct periodic self-evaluations.

LEGAL REF.: 5 ILCS 120/2
105 ILCS 5/23-6

POLICY ADOPTED: August 18, 2005

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Article 240 – Board Member Conflict of Interest

School Board
Board Member Conflict of Interest

No School Board member shall have a beneficial interest directly or indirectly in any contract, work, or business of the District unless permitted by State law.
Board members must annually file a Statement of Economic Interests as required by the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act. Each Board member is responsible for filing the statement with the county clerk of the county in which the District’s main office is located by May 1.
LEGAL REF.: 5 ILCS 420/4A-101, 420/4A-105, 420/4A-106, and 420/4A-107.
50 ILCS 105/3.
105 ILCS 5/10-9.

POLICY ADOPTED: August 18, 2005
POLICY AMENDED: August 18, 2011

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Article 245 – Qualifications, Term, and Duties of Board Officers

School Board
Qualifications, Term, and Duties of Board Officers

The School Board officers are: President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. These officers are elected or appointed by the Board at its organizational meeting.

President

The Board elects a President from its members for a 1-year term. The duties of the President are to:

  1. Focus the Board meeting agendas on appropriate content and preside at all meetings;
  2. Make all Board committee appointments, unless specifically stated otherwise;
  3. Represent the Board on other boards or agencies;
  4. Serve as chairperson of the Education Officers Electoral Board which hears challenges to Board candidate nominating petitions;
  5. Sign official District documents requiring the President’s signature, including Board minutes and Certificate of Tax Levy;
  6. Call special meetings of the Board;
  7. Serve as the head of the public body for purposes of the Open Meetings Act and Freedom of Information Act;
  8. Ensure that a quorum of the Board is physically present at all Board meetings;
  9. Administer the oath of office to new Board members; and
  10. Serve as the Board’s official spokesperson to the media.

The President is permitted to participate in all Board meetings in a manner equal to all other Board members, including the ability to make and second motions.

The Vice President fills a vacancy in the Presidency.

Vice President

The Board elects a Vice President from its members for a 1-year term. The Vice President performs the duties of the President if:

  1. The office of President is vacant;
  2. The President is absent; or
  3. The President is unable to perform the office’s duties.

A vacancy in the Vice Presidency is filled by a special Board election.

Secretary

The Board elects a Secretary for a 1-year term. The secretary may be, but is not required to be, a Board member. The Secretary may receive reasonable compensation, as determined by the Board before appointment. However, if the secretary is a Board member, the compensation shall] not exceed $500 per year, as fixed by the Board at least 180 days before the beginning of the term. The duties of the Secretary are to:

  1. Keep minutes for all Board meetings and keep the verbatim record for all closed Board meetings;
  2. Mail meeting notification and agenda to news media who have officially requested copies;
  3. Keep records of the Board’s official acts, and sign them, along with the President, before submitting them to the Treasurer at such times as the Treasurer may require;
  4. Report to the Treasurer on or before July 7, annually, such information as the Treasurer is required to include in the Treasurer’s report to the Regional Superintendent;
  5. Act as the local election authority for all Board elections;
  6. Arrange public inspection of the budget before adoption;
  7. Publish required notices;
  8. Sign official District documents requiring the Secretary’s signature; and
  9. Maintain Board policy, financial reports, publicity, and correspondence.

The Secretary may delegate some or all of these duties, except when State law prohibits the delegation. The Board appoints a secretary pro tempore, who may or may not be a Board member, if the Secretary is absent from any meeting or refuses to perform the duties of the office. A permanent vacancy in the office of Secretary is filled by special Board election.

Recording Secretary

The Board may appoint a Recording Secretary who is a staff member. The Recording Secretary shall:

  1. Assist the Secretary by taking the minutes for all open Board meetings;
  2. Assemble Board meeting material and provide it, along with prior meeting minutes, to Board members before the next meeting; and
  3. Perform the Secretary’s duties, as assigned, except when State law prohibits the delegation.

In addition, the Recording Secretary or Superintendent receives notification from Board members who desire to attend a Board meeting by video or audio means.

Treasurer

The Treasurer of the Board shall be either a member of the Board who serves a 1-year term or a non-Board member who serves at the Board’s pleasure. A Treasurer who is a Board member may not be compensated. A Treasurer who is not a Board member may be compensated provided it is established before the appointment. An appointed Treasurer must:

  1. Be at least 21 years old;
  2. Not be a member of the County Board of School Trustees; and
  3. Have a financial background or related experience, or 12 credit hours of college-level accounting.

The Treasurer shall:

  1. Furnish a bond, which shall be approved by a majority of the full Board;
  2. Maintain custody of school funds;
  3. Maintain records of school funds and balances;
  4. Prepare a monthly reconciliation report for the Superintendent and Board; and
  5. Receive, hold, and expend District funds only upon the order of the Board.

A vacancy in the Treasurer’s office is filled by Board appointment.

LEGAL REF.:  5 ILCS 120/7 and 420/4A-106.

105 ILCS 5/8-1, 5/8-2, 5/8-3, 5/8-6, 5/8-16, 5/8-17, 5/10-1, 5/10-5, 5/10-7, 5/10-8, 5/10-13, 5/10-13.1, 5/10-14, 5/10-16.5, and 5/17-1.

POLICY ADOPTED: August 18, 2005
POLICY AMENDED: August 18, 2011

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Article 246 – Board Member Development

School Board
Board Member Development

The School Board desires that its individual members learn, understand, and practice effective governance principles. The Board is responsible for Board member orientation and development. Board members have an equal opportunity to attend State and national meetings designed to familiarize members with public school issues, governance, and legislation.

The Board President and/or Superintendent shall provide all Board members with information regarding pertinent education materials, publications, and notices of training or development.

Mandatory Board Member Training
Each Board member is responsible for his or her own compliance with the mandatory training laws that are described below:

  1. Each Board member elected or appointed to fill a vacancy of at least one year’s duration must complete at least four hours of professional development leadership training in education and labor law, financial oversight and accountability, and fiduciary responsibilities within the first year of his or her first term.
  2. Each Board member must complete training on the Open Meetings Act no later than 90 days after taking the oath of office for the first time. After completing the training, each Board member must file a copy of the certificate of completion with the Board. Training on the Open Meetings Act is only required once.
  3. Each Board member must complete a training program on evaluations under the Performance Evaluation Reform Act (PERA) before participating in a vote on a tenured teacher’s dismissal using the optional alternative evaluation dismissal process. This dismissal process is available after the District’s PERA implementation date.

The Superintendent or designee shall maintain on the District website a log identifying the complete training and development activities of each Board member, including both mandatory and non-mandatory training.

Professional Development; Adverse Consequences of School Exclusion; Student Behavior
The Board President or Superintendent, or their designees, will make reasonable efforts to provide ongoing professional development to Board members about the adverse consequences of school exclusion and justice-system involvement, effective classroom management strategies, culturally responsive discipline, and developmentally appropriate disciplinary methods that promote positive and healthy school climates, i.e., Senate Bill 100 training topics.

Board Self-Evaluation
The Board will conduct periodic self-evaluations with the goal of continuous improvement.

New Board Member Orientation

The orientation process for newly elected or appointed Board members includes:

  1. The Board President or Superintendent, or their designees, shall give each new Board member a copy of or online access to the Board Policy Manual, the Board’s regular meeting minutes for the past year, and other helpful information including material describing the District and explaining the Board’s roles and responsibilities.
  2. The Board President or designee shall schedule one or more special Board meetings, or schedule time during regular meetings, for Board members to become acquainted and to review Board processes and procedures.
  3. The Board President may request a veteran Board member to mentor a new member.
  4. All new members are encouraged to attend workshops for new members conducted by the Illinois Association of School Boards.

Candidates

The Superintendent or designee shall invite all current candidates for the office of Board member to attend: (1) Board meetings, except that this invitation shall not extend to any closed meetings, and (2) pre-election workshops for candidates.

LEGAL REF.: 5 ILCS 120/1.05 and 5 ILCS 120/2.
105 ILCS 5/10-16a and 5/24-16.5.

POLICY ADOPTED: August 18, 2011
POLICY AMENDED: February 21, 2017

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Article 250 – Board-Superintendent Relationship

School Board
Board-Superintendent Relationship

The School Board employs and evaluates the Superintendent and holds him or her responsible for the operation of the District in accordance with Board policies and State and federal law.
The Board-Superintendent relationship is based on mutual respect for their complementary roles. The relationship requires clear communication of expectations regarding the duties and responsibilities of both the Board and Superintendent.
The Board considers the recommendations of the Superintendent as the District’s chief executive officer. The Board adopts policies necessary to provide general direction for the District and to encourage achievement of District goals. The Superintendent develops plans, programs, and procedures needed to implement the policies and directs the District’s operations.

LEGAL REF.: 105 ILCS 5/10-16.7 and 5/10-21.4.

POLICY ADOPTED: August 18, 2005
POLICY AMENDED: August 18, 2011
POLICY AMENDED: March 14, 2017

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Article 251 – Recognition

School Board
Recognition

The Prairie Central Board of Education may recognize employees who retire or resign their position in the school district.

The Board may recognize employees as follows:

Years of Service or Accomplishment – Recognition
Year 1 and Each 5-Year Interval to 30 – Lapel Pin
Year 35 – Pen Set
Year 40 – Wrist Watch
Perfect Attendance – Gift Certificate

The Board will also recognize Prairie Central citizens who have made a major contribution to the Prairie Central School District.

POLICY ADOPTED: December 18, 1989
POLICY AMENDED: August 18, 2011

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Article 252 – Communications To and From the School Board

School Board
Communications To and From the School Board

The School Board welcomes communications from the community. Staff members, parents, and community members should submit questions or communications for the School Board‘s consideration to the Superintendent. The Superintendent shall provide the Board with a summary of these questions or communications and provide, as appropriate, his or her feedback regarding the matter. If contacted individually, Board members will refer the person to the appropriate channel of authority, except in unusual situations. Board members’ questions or communications to staff or about programs will be channeled through the Superintendent’s office. Board members will not take private action that might compromise the Board or District. There is no expectation of privacy for any communication sent to the Board or its members individually, whether sent by letter, email, or other means.
Board Member Use of Electronic Communications
For purposes of this section, electronic communications includes, without limitation, electronic mail, electronic chat, instant messaging, texting, and any form of social networking. Electronic communications to, by, and among Board members, in their capacity as Board members, shall not be used for the purpose of discussing District business. Electronic communications among Board members shall be limited to: (1) disseminating information, and (2) messages not involving deliberation, debate, or decision-making. Electronic communications may contain:

  • Agenda item suggestions
  • Reminders regarding meeting times, dates, and places
  • Board meeting agendas or information concerning agenda items
  • Individual responses to questions posed by community members, subject to the other limitations in this policy

 

LEGAL REF.: 5 ILCS 120/.

POLICY ADOPTED: August 18, 2005
POLICY AMENDED: August 18, 2011

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Article 255 – Committees

School Board
Committees

The School Board may establish committees to assist with the Board’s governance function and, in some situations, to comply with State law requirements. These committees are known as Board committees and report directly to the Board. Committee members may include both Board members and non-Board members depending on the committee’s purpose. The Board makes all Board committee appointments unless specifically stated otherwise. Board committee meetings shall comply with the Open Meetings Act. A Board committee may not take final action on behalf of the Board – it may only make recommendations to the Board.
Special Board Committees
A special committee may be created for specific purposes or to investigate special issues. A special committee is automatically dissolved after presenting its final report to the Board or at the Board’s discretion.
Standing Board Committees
A standing committee is created for an indefinite term although its members will fluctuate. Prairie Central CUSD #8 standing committees fall into the following general categories:

  1. Board Policy Committee. This committee researches policy issues, and provides information and recommendations to the Board.
  2. Parent-Teacher Advisory Committee. This committee assists in the development of student behavior policy and procedure, and provides information and recommendations to the Board. Its members are parents/guardians and teachers, and may include persons whose expertise or experience is needed. The committee reviews such issues as administering medication in the schools, reciprocal reporting between the School District and local law enforcement agencies regarding criminal offenses committed by students, student discipline, disruptive classroom behavior, school bus safety procedures, and the dissemination of student conduct information.
  3. Behavioral Interventions Committee. This committee develops and monitors procedures for using behavioral interventions in accordance with Board Policy 715.02, Misconduct by Students with Disabilities, and provides information and recommendations to the Board. At the Board President’s discretion, the Parent-Teacher Advisory Committee shall perform the duties assigned to the Behavioral Interventions Committee.

Nothing in this policy limits the authority of the Superintendent or designee to create and use committees that report to him or her or to other staff members.

LEGAL REF.: 5 ILCS 120.
105 ILCS 5/10-20.14 and 5/14-8.05.

POLICY ADOPTED: June 2, 1986
POLICY AMENDED: March 17, 2003
POLICY AMENDED: August 18, 2011
POLICY AMENDED: March 14, 2017

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Article 255-E – Exhibit – Committee Structure

School Board
Exhibit – Committee Structure

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Article 255.01 – Advisory Committees to the Board – Student Discipline Advisory Committees

School Board
Advisory Committees to the Board – Student Discipline Advisory Committees

The School Board of Prairie Central Community Unit School District No. 8 shall establish and maintain parent-teacher advisory committees at the Elementary, Junior High, and High School to assist in the development of policy guidelines on student discipline.

A student discipline advisory committee shall be representative of the entire school community. The student discipline advisory committee shall be comprised of an administrator, parents, teachers, and may also include students. Community representatives, including persons from business, industry, and public service may also serve on the committee. Members shall be individuals who have shown an interest in district educational issues and who are willing to commit time to committee work. Members of a student discipline advisory committee are appointed by the administrative staff.

The committee shall call upon the administrative staff of the district to provide the committee with such information as the committee deems necessary to carry out its function.

The committee shall make an annual written report to the administrative staff and Board of Education of its findings and recommendations each year. The Board may consider the recommendations of the committee when establishing and reviewing a policy on student discipline.

The committee may be asked by the administrative staff to prepare special reports to the Board of Education from time to time on such issues as student discipline, disruptive classroom behavior, school bus behavior, and the dissemination of information regarding standards for student conduct.

POLICY READOPTED: December 20, 1993
POLICY AMENDED: August 18, 2011

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Article 260 – Board Attorney

School Board
Board Attorney

The Board of Education may enter into agreements for legal services with one or more attorneys or law firms to be the Board Attorney(s). The Board Attorney represents the School Board in its capacity as the governing body for the School District. The Board Attorney shall not represent another client if the representation involves a concurrent conflict of interest, unless permitted by the Ill. Rules of Professional Conduct adopted by the Ill. Supreme Court. The Board Attorney serves on a retainer or other fee arrangement as determined in advance. The Board Attorney will provide services as described in the agreement for legal services. The District will only pay for legal services that are provided in accordance with the agreement for legal services or are otherwise authorized by this policy or a majority of the Board.
The Superintendent, his or her designee, and Board President, are each authorized to confer with and/or seek the legal advice of the Board Attorney. The Board may authorize a specific member to confer with legal counsel on its behalf.
The Superintendent may authorize the Board Attorney to represent the District in any legal matter until the Board has an opportunity to consider the matter.
The Board retains the right to consult with or employ other attorneys and to terminate the service of any attorney.

POLICY ADOPTED: June 2, 1986
POLICY AMENDED: August 18, 2011
POLICY AMENDED: March 14, 2017

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Article 265 – Consultants to the Board

School Board
Consultants to the Board

The Board of Education may from time to time engage the services of one or more independent contractors to advise and assist the Board in analyzing school district operations and preparing Board reports when those tasks cannot be performed as well or as economically by District staff members.

When possible the Board will seek proposals from at least three (3) sources before a contract with an independent consultant is entered. The Board will not contract with a Board member or the spouse, child, parent(s) or legal guardian(s), or sibling, in fact or in law, of a Board member as an independent consultant.

The Board will engage the services of an independent consultant only by written contract, which much specify the work to be accomplished by the consultant, the time within which the work is to be completed, and the fee that will be paid the consultant. An independent consultant engaged by the Board is neither agent nor employee of the Board and may represent the Board only as expressly authorized to do so in writing.

An independent consultant may have access to such school facilities and school district employees as may be reasonably required in the performance of the consultant’s contract with the Board. Except as expressly permitted by the contract, any communication between the consultant and a District employee or community member regarding the work of the contract must be conducted through the Board or a designated school official.

Materials and reports generated and created by the independent consultant in the performance of his/her contract with the Board are and will remain the property of the Board and are subject to Board policy pertaining to records.

POLICY ADOPTED: June 2, 1986
POLICY AMENDED: August 18, 2011

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Article 266 – Procurement of Architectural, Engineering, and Land Surveying Services

School Board
Procurement of Architectural, Engineering, and Land Surveying Services

The Board of Education may enter into agreements with architects, engineers, and land surveyors to provide professional services to the District on the basis of demonstrated competence and qualifications, and in accordance with State law.

When possible, the Board will seek proposals from at least three (3) sources before entering into an agreement with an architectural, engineering, or land surveying firm. The Board will not contract with a Board member or the spouse, child, parent(s) or legal guardian(s), or sibling, in fact or in law, of a Board member as an architect, engineer, or land surveyor.

The Board will engage the services of an architect, engineer, or land surveyor through an agreement that includes, but is not limited to, a general description of the work to be accomplished, the time within which the work is to be completed, and the fee that will be paid. An architect, engineer, or land surveyor engaged by the Board is neither agent nor employee of the Board and may represent the Board (1) at the will of the Board, and (2) only as expressly authorized to do so by the Board.

An architect, engineer, or land surveyor may have access to such school facilities and District employees as may be reasonably required. Any communication between the professional provider and the Board must be conducted through the Board or its designated school official.

Materials and reports generated and created by the architect, engineer, or land surveyor in the performance of his/her contract with the Board are and will remain the property of the Board and are subject to Board policy pertaining to records.

LEGAL REF.:        Shively v. Belleville Township High School District 201, 769 N.E.2d 1062 (Ill.App.5, 2002), appeal denied.
40 U.S.C. §541.
50 ILCS 510/1 et seq., Local Government Professional Services Selection Act.
105 ILCS 5/10-20.21.

POLICY ADOPTED: March 17, 2003
POLICY AMENDED: August 18, 2011

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Article 268 – Types of School Board Meetings

School Board
Types of School Board Meetings

General
For all meetings of the School Board and its committees, the Superintendent or designee shall satisfy all notice and posting requirements contained herein as well as in the Open Meetings Act. This shall include mailing meeting notifications to news media that have officially requested them and to others as approved by the Board. Unless otherwise specified, all meetings are held in the District’s conference room at 7:00 PM. Board policy 270, School Board Meeting Procedure, governs meeting quorum requirements.

The Superintendent is designated on behalf of the Board and each Board committee to receive the training on compliance with the Open Meetings Act that is required by Section 1.05(a) of that Act. The Superintendent may identify other employees to receive the training. In addition, each Board member must complete a course of training on the Open Meetings Act as required by Section 1.05(b) or (c) of that Act.

Regular Meetings
The Board announces the time and place for its regular meetings at the beginning of each fiscal year.  The Superintendent shall prepare and make available the calendar of regular Board meetings. Meeting dates may be changed with 10 days’ notice in accordance with State law.

A meeting agenda shall be posted at the District’s main office and the Board’s meeting room, or other location where the meeting is to be held, at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Closed Meetings
The Board and Board committees may meet in a closed meeting to consider the following subjects:

  1. The appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance, or dismissal of specific employees of the public body or legal counsel for the public body, including hearing testimony on a complaint lodged against an employee of the public body or against legal counsel for the public body to determine its validity. 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(1).
  2. Collective negotiating matters between the public body and its employees or their representatives, or deliberations concerning salary schedules for one or more classes of employees. 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(2).
  3. The selection of a person to fill a public office, as defined in the Open Meetings Act, including a vacancy in a public office, when the public body is given power to appoint under law or ordinance, or the discipline, performance or removal of the occupant of a public office, when the public body is given power to remove the occupant under law or ordinance. 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(3).
  4. Evidence or testimony presented in open hearing, or in closed hearing where specifically authorized by law, to a quasi-adjudicative body, as defined in the Open Meetings Act, provided that the body prepares and makes available for public inspection a written decision setting forth its determinative reasoning. 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(4).
  5. The purchase or lease of real property for the use of the public body, including meetings held for the purpose of discussing whether a particular parcel should be acquired. 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(5).
  6. The setting of a price for sale or lease of property owned by the public body. 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(6).
  7. The sale or purchase of securities, investments, or investment contracts. 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(7).
  8. Security procedures and the use of personnel and equipment to respond to an actual, a threatened, or a reasonably potential danger to the safety of employees, students, staff, the public, or public property. 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(8).
  9. Student disciplinary cases. 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(9).
  10. The placement of individual students in special education programs and other matters relating to individual students. 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(10).
  11. Litigation, when an action against, affecting or on behalf of the particular public body has been filed and is pending before a court or administrative tribunal, or when the public body finds that an action is probable or imminent, in which case the basis for the finding shall be recorded and entered into the minutes of the closed meeting. 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(11).
  12. The establishment of reserves or settlement of claims as provided in the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act, if otherwise the disposition of a claim or potential claim might be prejudiced, or the review or discussion of claims, loss or risk management information, records, data, advice or communications from or with respect to any insurer of the public body or any intergovernmental risk management association or self insurance pool of which the public body is a member. 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(12).
  13. Self evaluation, practices and procedures or professional ethics, when meeting with a representative of a statewide association of which the public body is a member. 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(16).
  14. Discussion of minutes of meetings lawfully closed under the Open Meetings Act, whether for purposes of approval by the body of the minutes or semi-annual review of the minutes as mandated by Section 2.06. 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(21).
  15. Meetings between internal or external auditors and governmental audit committees, finance committees, and their equivalents, when the discussion involves internal control weaknesses, identification of potential fraud risk areas, known or suspected frauds, and fraud interviews conducted in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards of the United States of America. 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(29).

The Board may hold a closed meeting, or close a portion of a meeting, by a majority vote of a quorum, taken at an open meeting. The vote of each Board member present, and the reason for the closed meeting, will be publicly disclosed at the time of the meeting and clearly stated in the motion and the meeting minutes.

A single motion calling for a series of closed meetings may be adopted when such meetings will involve the same particular matters and are scheduled to be held within 3 months of the vote.

No final Board action will be taken at a closed meeting.

Reconvened or Rescheduled Meetings
A meeting may be rescheduled or reconvened. Public notice of a rescheduled or reconvened meeting shall be given in the same manner as that for a special meeting, except that no public notice is required when the original meeting is open to the public and: (1) is to be reconvened within 24 hours, or (2) an announcement of the time and place of the reconvened meeting was made at the original meeting and there is no change in the agenda.

Special Meetings
Special meetings may be called by the President or by any 3 members of the Board by giving notice thereof, in writing, stating the time, place, and purpose of the meeting to remaining Board members by mail at least 48 hours before the meeting, or by personal service at least 24 hours before the meeting.

Public notice of a special meeting is given by posting a notice at the District’s main office at least 48 hours before the meeting and by notifying the news media that have filed a written request for notice. A meeting agenda shall accompany the notice.

All matters discussed by the Board at any special meeting must be related to a subject on the meeting agenda.

Emergency Meetings
Public notice of emergency meetings shall be given as soon as practical, but in any event, before the meeting to news media that have filed a written request for notice.

Posting on the District Website
In addition to the other notices specified in this policy, the Superintendent or designee shall post the following on the District website: (1) the annual schedule of regular meetings, which shall remain posted until the Board approves a new schedule of regular meetings; (2) a public notice of all Board meetings; and (3) the agenda for each regular meeting which shall remain posted until the regular meeting is concluded.

LEGAL REF.: 5 ILCS 120/, Open Meeting Act.
5 ILCS 140/, Freedom of Information Act.
105 ILCS 5/10-6 and 5/10-16.

POLICY ADOPTED: April 20, 2006
POLICY AMENDED: August 18, 2011
POLICY AMENDED: March 14, 2017

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Article 270 – School Board Meeting Procedure

School Board
School Board Meeting Procedure

Agenda
The School Board President is responsible for focusing the Board meeting agendas on appropriate content.  The Superintendent shall prepare agendas in consultation with the Board President. The President shall designate a portion of the agenda as a consent agenda for those items that usually do not require discussion or explanation before Board action. Upon the request of any Board member, an item will be withdrawn from the consent agenda and placed on the regular agenda for independent consideration.

Each Board meeting agenda shall contain the general subject matter of any item that will be the subject of final action at the meeting. Items submitted by Board members to the Superintendent or the President shall be placed on the agenda for an upcoming meeting. District residents may suggest inclusions for the agenda. The Board will take final action only on items contained in the posted agenda; items not on the agenda may still be discussed.

The Superintendent shall provide a copy of the agenda, with adequate data and background information, to each Board member at least 48 hours before each meeting, except a meeting held in the event of an emergency. The meeting agenda shall be posted in accordance with Board policy 268, Types of School Board Meetings.

The Board President shall determine the order of business at regular Board meetings. Upon consent of a majority of members present, the order of business at any meeting may be changed.

Voting Method
Unless otherwise provided by law, when a vote is taken upon any measure before the Board, with a quorum being present, a majority of the votes cast shall determine its outcome. A vote of “abstain” or “present,” or a vote other than “yea” or “nay,” or a failure to vote, is counted for the purposes of determining whether a quorum is present. A vote of “abstain” or “present,” or a vote other than “yea” or “nay,” or a failure to vote, however, is not counted in determining whether a measure has been passed by the Board, unless otherwise stated in law. The sequence for casting votes is rotated.

On all questions involving the expenditure of money and on all questions involving the closing of a meeting to the public, a roll call vote shall be taken and entered in the Board’s minutes. An individual Board member may request that a roll call vote be taken on any other matter; the President or other presiding officer may approve or deny the request but a denial is subject to being overturned by a majority vote of the members present.

Minutes
The Board Secretary shall keep written minutes of all Board meetings (whether open or closed), which shall be signed by the President and the Secretary. The minutes include:

  1. The meeting’s date, time, and place;
  2. Board members recorded as either present or absent;
  3. A summary of the discussion on all matters proposed, deliberated, or decided, and a record of any votes taken;
  4. On all matters requiring a roll call vote, a record of who voted “yea” and “nay”;
  5. If the meeting is adjourned to another date, the time and place of the adjourned meeting;
  6. The vote of each member present when a vote is taken to hold a closed meeting or portion of a meeting, and the reason for the closed meeting with a citation to the specific exception contained in the Open Meetings Act authorizing the closed meeting;
  7. A record of all motions, including individuals making and seconding motions;
  8. Upon request by a Board member, a record of how he or she voted on a particular motion; and
  9. The type of meeting, including any notices and, if a reconvened meeting, the original meeting’s date.

The minutes shall be submitted to the Board for approval or modification at its next regularly scheduled open meeting. Minutes for open meetings must be approved within 30 days after the meeting or at the second subsequent regular meeting, whichever is later.

At least semi-annually in an open meeting, the Board: (1) reviews minutes from all closed meetings that are currently unavailable for public release, and (2) decides which, if any, no longer require confidential treatment and are available for public inspection. The Board may meet in a prior closed session to review the minutes from closed meetings that are currently unavailable for public release.

The Board’s meeting minutes must be submitted to the Board Treasurer at such times as the Treasurer may require.

The official minutes are in the custody of the Board Secretary. Open meeting minutes are available for inspection during regular office hours within 10 days after the Board’s approval; they may be inspected in the District’s main office, in the presence of the Secretary, the Superintendent or designee, or any Board member. Minutes from closed meetings are likewise available, but only if the Board has released them for public inspection. The minutes shall not be removed from the Superintendent’s office except by vote of the Board or by court order.

The Board’s open meeting minutes shall be posted on the District website within 10 days after the Board approves them; the minutes will remain posted for at least 60 days.

Verbatim Record of Closed Meetings
The Superintendent, or the Board Secretary when the Superintendent is absent, shall audio record all closed meetings. If neither is present, the Board President or presiding officer shall assume this responsibility. After the closed meeting, the person making the audio recording shall label the recording with the date and store it in a secure location. The Superintendent shall ensure that: (1) an audio recording device and all necessary accompanying items are available to the Board for every closed meeting, and (2) a secure location for storing closed meeting audio recordings is maintained close to the Board’s regular meeting location.

After 18 months have passed since being made, the audio recording of a closed meeting is destroyed provided the Board approved: (1) its destruction, and (2) minutes of the particular closed meeting.

Individual Board members may access verbatim recordings in the presence of the Recording Secretary, the Superintendent or designated administrator, or any elected Board member. Access to the verbatim recordings is available at the District’s administrative offices or the verbatim recording’s official storage location. Requests shall be made to the Superintendent or Board President. While a Board member is listening to a verbatim recording, it shall not be re-recorded or removed from the District’s main office or official storage location, except by vote of the Board or by court order.
Before making such requests, Board members should consider whether such requests are germane to their responsibilities, service to District, and/or Oath of Office in policy 236, Board Member Oath and Conduct. In the interest of encouraging free and open expression by Board members during closed meetings, the recordings of closed meetings should not be used by Board members to confirm or dispute the accuracy of recollections.

Quorum and Participation by Audio or Video Means
A quorum of the Board must be physically present at all Board meetings. A majority of the full membership of the Board constitutes a quorum.

Provided a quorum is physically present, a Board member may attend a meeting by video or audio conference if he or she is prevented from physically attending because of: (1) personal illness or disability, (2) employment or District business, or (3) a family or other emergency. If a member wishes to attend a meeting by video or audio means, he or she must notify the recording secretary or Superintendent at least 24 hours before the meeting unless advance notice is impractical. The recording secretary or Superintendent will inform the Board President and make appropriate arrangements. A Board member who attends a meeting by audio or video means, as provided in this policy, may participate in all aspects of the Board meeting including voting on any item.

Rules of Order
Unless State law or Board-adopted rules apply, the Board President, as the presiding officer, will use Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised (10th Edition), as a guide when a question arises concerning procedure.

Broadcasting and Recording Board Meetings
Any person may record or broadcast an open Board meeting. Special requests to facilitate recording or broadcasting an open Board meeting, such as seating, writing surfaces, lighting, and access to electrical power, should be directed to the Superintendent at least 24 hours before the meeting.

Recording meetings shall not distract or disturb Board members, other meeting participants, or members of the public. The Board President may designate a location for recording equipment, may restrict the movements of individuals who are using recording equipment, or may take such other steps as are deemed necessary to preserve decorum and facilitate the meeting.

LEGAL REF.:        5 ILCS 120/2a, 120/2.02, 120/2.05, and 120/2.06.
105 ILCS 5/10-6, 5/10-7, 5/10-12, and 5/10-16.

POLICY ADOPTED: April 20, 2006
POLICY AMENDED: August 18, 2011
POLICY AMENDED: March 14, 2017

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Article 270.01 – Organizational School Board Meeting

School Board
Organizational School Board Meeting

During a March meeting in odd-numbered years, the School Board establishes a date for its organizational meeting to be held sometime after the election authority canvasses the vote, but within 28 days after the consolidated election. The consolidated election is held on the first Tuesday in April of odd-numbered years. If, however, that date conflicts with the celebration of Passover, the consolidated election is postponed to the first Tuesday following the last day of Passover.

At the organizational meeting the following shall occur:

  1. Each successful candidate, before taking his or her seat on the Board, shall take the oath of office as provided in Board policy 236, Board Member Oath and Conduct.
  2. The new Board members shall be seated.
  3. The Board shall elect its officers who assume office immediately upon their election.
  4. The Board shall fix a time and date for its regular meetings.

LEGAL REF.:        10 ILCS 5/2A-1 et seq.
105 ILCS 5/10-5, 5/10-16, and 105 ILCS 5/10-16.5.

POLICY ADOPTED: April 20, 2006
POLICY AMENDED: August 18, 2011

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Article 270.02 – Typical Meeting Agenda

School Board
Typical Meeting Agenda

The agenda separates the consent items from the other items to be considered in the meeting. The following is a typical order of business or agenda, including consent items:

 

  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call
  3. Approval of Minutes
  4. Public Comment to the Board (20 minutes aggregate)
  5. Delegates Arranged in Advance (5 minutes per delegate unless otherwise arranged)
  6. Consent Items*
    1. Treasurer’s Report
    2. Activity Fund Report
    3. Petty Cash Report
    4. Investment Report
    5. Financial Summary
    6. Financial Report
    7. Current, Interim Bills
    8. Cafeteria Report
    9. Booster Proposals
  7. Superintendent’s Report
  8. Old Business (action)
  9. New Business (action)
  10. Executive Session (optional)
  11. Personnel (action)
  12. Other (action)
  13. Signatures/Correspondence
  14. Announcements/Communication
  15. Adjournment

Date:
Time:
Place:

*All items on the consent agenda can be approved by one motion, second and vote, or any single item, such as particular invoice, can be removed from the consent agenda at the request of a Board member for further discussion.In order to comply with the requirements that expenditures be approved with the roll call vote, the consent agenda should be approved using a roll call vote.
POLICY ADOPTED:      June 21, 1999
POLICY REVISED:      November 17, 2003
POLICY AMENDED:      August 18, 2011

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Article 270.03 – Public Participation at School Board Meetings and Petitions to the Board

School Board
Public Participation at School Board Meetings and Petitions to the Board

At each regular and special open meeting, members of the public and District employees may comment to or ask questions of the School Board, subject to reasonable constraints.

The individuals appearing before the Board are expected to follow these guidelines:

  1. Address the Board only at the appropriate time as indicated on the agenda and when recognized by the Board President.
  2. Identify oneself and be brief. Ordinarily, comments shall be limited to 5 minutes. In unusual circumstances, and when an individual has made a request in advance to speak for a longer period of time, the individual may be allowed to speak for more than 5 minutes.
  3. Observe the Board President’s decision to shorten public comment to conserve time and give the maximum number of individuals an opportunity to speak.
  4. Observe the Board President’s decision to determine procedural matters regarding public participation not otherwise covered in Board policy.
  5. Conduct oneself with respect and civility toward others.

Petitions or written correspondence to the Board shall be presented to the Board in the next regular Board packet.

LEGAL REF.:        5 ILCS 120/2.06.

105 ILCS 5/10-6 and 5/10-16.

POLICY ADOPTED: August 18, 2011

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Article 275 – Board Policy Development

School Board
Board Policy Development

The School Board governs using written policies. Written policies ensure legal compliance, establish Board processes, articulate District ends, delegate authority, and define operating limits. Board policies also provide the basis for monitoring progress toward District ends.

Policy Development
Anyone may propose new policies, changes to existing policies, or deletion of existing policies. Staff suggestions should be processed through the Superintendent. Suggestions from all others should be made to the Board President or the Superintendent.

The Superintendent is responsible for: (1) providing relevant policy information and data to the Board, (2) notifying those who will implement or be affected by or required to implement a proposed policy and obtaining their advice and suggestions, and (3) having policy recommendations drafted into written form for Board deliberation. The Superintendent shall seek the counsel of the Board Attorney when appropriate.

Policy Adoption and Dissemination
Policies or policy revisions will not be adopted at the Board meeting at which they are first introduced, except when: (1) appropriate for a consent agenda because no Board discussion is required, or (2) necessary or prudent in order to meet emergency or special conditions or to be legally compliant. Further Board consideration will be given at a subsequent meeting(s) and after opportunity for community input. The adoption of a policy will serve to supersede all previously adopted policies on the same topic.

The Board policies are available for public inspection in the District’s main office during regular office hours. Copy requests should be made pursuant to Board policy 288, Access to District Public Records.

Board Policy Review and Monitoring
The Board will periodically review its policies for relevancy, monitor its policies for effectiveness, and consider whether any modifications are required. The Board may use an annual policy review and monitoring calendar.

Superintendent Implementation
The Board will support any reasonable interpretation of Board policy made by the Superintendent. If reasonable minds differ, the Board will review the applicable policy and consider the need for further clarification.

In the absence of Board policy, the Superintendent is authorized to take appropriate action.

Suspension of Policies
The Board, by a majority vote of members present at any meeting, may temporarily suspend a Board policy except those provisions that are controlled by law or contract. The failure to suspend with a specific motion does not invalidate the Board action.

LEGAL REF.:  105 ILCS 5/10-20.5.

POLICY ADOPTED: June 2, 1986
POLICY AMENDED: August 18, 2011

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Article 280 – Board Member Compensation; Expenses

School Board
Board Member Compensation; Expenses

Board Member Compensation Prohibited
School Board members provide volunteer service to the community and may not receive compensation for services, except that a Board member serving as the Board Secretary may be paid an amount up to the statutory limit if the Board so provides.

Roll Call Vote
All Board member expense requests for travel, meals, and/or lodging must be approved by roll call vote at an open meeting of the Board.

Regulation of School District Expenses
The Board regulates the reimbursement of all travel, meal, and lodging expenses in the District by resolution. No later than approval of the annual budget and when necessary, the Superintendent will recommend a maximum allowable reimbursement amount for expenses to be included in the resolution. The recommended amount should be based upon the District’s budget and other financial considerations.
Money shall not be advanced or reimbursed, or purchase orders issued for: (1) the expenses of any person except the Board member, (2) anyone’s personal expenses, or (3) entertainment expenses. Entertainment includes, but is not limited to, shows, amusements, theaters, circuses, sporting events, or any other place of public or private entertainment or amusement, unless the entertainment is ancillary to the purpose of the program or event.

Exceeding the Maximum Allowable Reimbursement Amount(s)
All requests for expense advancements, reimbursements, and/or purchase orders that exceed the maximum allowable reimbursement amount set by the Board may only be approved by it when:

  1. The Board’s resolution to regulate expenses allows for such approval;
  2. An emergency or other extraordinary circumstance exists; and
  3. The request is approved by a roll call vote at an open Board meeting.

Advancements
The Board may advance to its members actual and necessary expenses to be incurred while attending:

  1. Meetings sponsored by the Illinois State Board of Education or by the Regional Superintendent of Schools;
  2. County or regional meetings and the annual meeting sponsored by any school board association complying with Article 23 of the School Code; and
  3. Meetings sponsored by a national organization in the field of public school education.

Expense advancement requests must be submitted to the Superintendent or designee on the Board’s standardized estimated expense approval form. After spending expense advancements, Board members must use the Board’s standardized expense reimbursement form and submit to the Superintendent: (a) the itemized, signed advancement voucher that was issued, and (b) the amount of actual expenses by attaching receipts. A Board member must return to the District any portion of an expense advancement not used. If an expense advancement is not requested, expense reimbursements may be issued by the Board to its members for the activities listed in numbers one through three, above, along with registration fees or tuition for a course(s) that allowed compliance with the mandatory trainings described in policy 246, Board Member Development and other professional development opportunities that are encouraged by the School Code (see the Reimbursements and Purchase Orders subhead, below). Expense advancements and vouchers shall be presented to the Board in its regular bill process.

Reimbursements and Purchase Orders
Expense reimbursement is not guaranteed and, when possible, Board members should seek pre-approval of expenses by providing an estimation of expenses on the Board’s standardized estimated expense approval form, except in situations when the expense is diminutive. When pre-approval is not sought, Board members must seek reimbursement on the Board’s standardized expense reimbursement form. Expense reimbursements and purchase orders shall be presented to the Board in its regular bill process.

Credit and Procurement Cards
Credit and procurement cards shall not be issued to Board members.

Standardized Expense Form(s) Required
All requests for expense advancement, reimbursement, and/or purchase orders in the District must be submitted on the appropriate itemized, signed standardized form(s). The form(s) must show the following information:

  1. The amount of the estimated or actual expense, with attached receipts for actual incurred expenses.
  2. The name and office of the Board member who is requesting the expense advancement or reimbursement. Receipts from group functions must include the names, offices, and job titles of all participants.
  3. The date(s) of the official business on which the expense advancement or reimbursement will be or was expended.
  4. The nature of the official business conducted when the expense advancement or reimbursement will be or was expended.

Types of Official Business for Expense Advancements, Reimbursements, and Purchase Orders

  1. Registration. When possible, registration fees will be paid by the District in advance.
  2. Travel. The least expensive method of travel will be used, providing that no hardship will be caused to the Board member. Board members will be reimbursed for:
    1. Air travel at the coach or economy class commercial airline rate. First class or business class air travel will be reimbursed only if emergency circumstances warrant. The emergency circumstances must be explained on the expense form and Board approval of the additional expense is required. Copies of airline tickets must be attached to the expense form.
    2. Rail or bus travel at actual cost. Rail or bus travel costs may not exceed the cost of coach airfare. Copies of tickets must be attached to the expense form to substantiate amounts.
    3. Use of personal automobiles at the standard mileage rate approved by the Internal Revenue Service for income tax purposes. The reimbursement may not exceed the cost of coach airfare. Mileage for use of personal automobiles in trips to and from transportation terminals will also be reimbursed. Toll charges and parking costs will be reimbursed.
    4. Automobile rental costs when the vehicle’s use is warranted. The circumstances for such use must be explained on the expense form.
    5. Taxis, airport limousines, or other local transportation costs.
  3. Meals. Meals charged to the School District should represent mid-fare selections for the hotel/meeting facility or general area, consistent with the maximum allowable reimbursement amount set by the Board. Tips are included with meal charges. Expense forms must explain the meal charges incurred. Alcoholic beverages will not be reimbursed.
  4. Lodging. Board members should request conference rate or mid-fare room accommodations. A single room rate will be reimbursed. Board members should pay personal expenses at checkout. If that is impossible, deductions for the charges should be made on the expense form.
  5. Miscellaneous Expenses. Board members may seek reimbursement for other expenses incurred while attending a meeting sponsored by organizations described herein by fully describing the expenses on the expense form, attaching receipts.

LEGAL REF.: 105 ILCS 5/10-20 and] 5/10-22.32.
Local Government Travel Expense Control Act, 50 ILCS 150/.
LEGAL REF.: 105 ILCS 5/10-22.32.

POLICY ADOPTED: June 2, 1986 POLICY AMENDED: August 18, 2011 POLICY AMENDED: February 21, 2017

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Article 280.01 – Ethics and Gift Ban

School Board
Ethics and Gift Ban

Prohibited Political Activity
The following precepts govern political activities being conducted by District employees and School Board members:

  1. No employee shall intentionally perform any “political activity” during any “compensated time,” as those terms are defined herein.
  2. No Board member or employee shall intentionally use any District property or resources in connection with any political activity.
  3. At no time shall any Board member or employee intentionally require any other Board member or employee to perform any political activity: (a) as part of that Board member’s or employee’s duties, (b) as a condition of employment, or (c) during any compensated time off, such as, holidays, vacation, or personal time off.
  4. No Board member or employee shall be required at any time to participate in any political activity in consideration for that Board member or employee being awarded additional compensation or any benefit, whether in the form of a salary adjustment, bonus, compensatory time off, continued employment or otherwise; nor shall any Board member or employee be awarded additional compensation or any benefit in consideration for his or her participation in any political activity.
  5. A Board member or employee may engage in activities that: (1) are otherwise appropriate as part of his or her official duties, or (2) are undertaken by the individual on a voluntary basis that are not prohibited by this policy.

Limitations on Receiving Gifts
Except as permitted by this policy, no Board member or employee, and no spouse of or immediate family member living with any Board member or employee (collectively referred to herein as “recipients”) shall intentionally solicit or accept any “gift” from any “prohibited source,” as those terms are defined herein, or that is otherwise prohibited by law or policy. No prohibited source shall intentionally offer or make a gift that violates this policy.

The following are exceptions to the ban on accepting gifts from a prohibited source:

  1. Opportunities, benefits, and services that are available on the same conditions as for the general public.
  2. Anything for which the Board member or employee, or his or her spouse or immediate family member, pays the fair market value.
  3. Any: (a) contribution that is lawfully made under the Election Code, or (b) activities associated with a fund-raising event in support of a political organization or candidate.
  4. Educational materials and missions.
  5. Travel expenses for a meeting to discuss business.
  6. A gift from a relative, meaning those people related to the individual as father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, great aunt, great uncle, first cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, grandfather, grandmother, grandson, granddaughter, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half brother, half sister, and including the father, mother, grandfather, or grandmother of the individual’s spouse and the individual’s fiancé or fiancée.
  7. Anything provided by an individual on the basis of a personal friendship unless the recipient has reason to believe that, under the circumstances, the gift was provided because of the official position or employment of the recipient or his or her spouse or immediate family member and not because of the personal friendship. In determining whether a gift is provided on the basis of personal friendship, the recipient shall consider the circumstances under which the gift was offered, such as: (a) the history of the relationship between the individual giving the gift and the recipient of the gift, including any previous exchange of gifts between those individuals; (b) whether to the actual knowledge of the recipient the individual who gave the gift personally paid for the gift or sought a tax deduction or business reimbursement for the gift; and (c) whether to the actual knowledge of the recipient the individual who gave the gift also at the same time gave the same or similar gifts to other Board members or employees, or their spouses or immediate family members.
  8. Food or refreshments not exceeding $75 per person in value on a single calendar day; provided that the food or refreshments are: (a) consumed on the premises from which they were purchased or prepared; or (b) catered. “Catered” means food or refreshments that are purchased ready to consume which are delivered by any means.
  9. Food, refreshments, lodging, transportation, and other benefits resulting from outside business or employment activities (or outside activities that are not connected to the official duties of a Board member or employee), if the benefits have not been offered or enhanced because of the official position or employment of the Board member or employee, and are customarily provided to others in similar circumstances.
  10. Intra-governmental and inter-governmental gifts. “Intra-governmental gift” means any gift given to a Board member or employee from another Board member or employee, and “inter-governmental gift” means any gift given to a Board member or employee by an officer or employee of another governmental entity.
  11. Bequests, inheritances, and other transfers at death.
  12. Any item or items from any one prohibited source during any calendar year having a cumulative total value of less than $100.

Each of the listed exceptions is mutually exclusive and independent of every other.

A Board member or employee, his or her spouse or an immediate family member living with the Board member or employee, does not violate this policy if the recipient promptly takes reasonable action to return a gift from a prohibited source to its source or gives the gift or an amount equal to its value to an appropriate charity that is exempt from income taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Enforcement
The Board President and Superintendent shall seek guidance from the Board attorney concerning compliance with and enforcement of this policy and State ethics laws. The Board may, as necessary or prudent, appoint an Ethics Advisor for this task.

Written complaints alleging a violation of this policy shall be filed with the Superintendent or Board President. If attempts to correct any misunderstanding or problem do not resolve the matter, the Superintendent or Board President shall, after consulting with the Board attorney, either place the alleged violation on a Board meeting agenda for the Board’s disposition or refer the complainant to Board policy 296, Public Complaints and Uniform Grievance Procedure. A Board member who is related, either by blood or by marriage, up to the degree of first cousin, to the person who is the subject of the complaint, shall not participate in any decision-making capacity for the Board. If the Board finds it more likely than not that the allegations in a complaint are true, it shall notify the State’s Attorney and/or consider disciplinary action for the employee.

Definitions
Unless otherwise stated, all terms used in this policy have the definitions given in the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act, 5 ILCS 430/1-5.

“Political activity” means:

  1. Preparing for, organizing, or participating in any political meeting, political rally, political demonstration, or other political event.
  2. Soliciting contributions, including but not limited to the purchase of, selling, distributing, or receiving payment for tickets for any political fundraiser, political meeting, or other political event.
  3. Soliciting, planning the solicitation of, or preparing any document or report regarding anything of value intended as a campaign contribution.
  4. Planning, conducting, or participating in a public opinion poll in connection with a campaign for elective office or on behalf of a political organization for political purposes or for or against any referendum question.
  5. Surveying or gathering information from potential or actual voters in an election to determine probable vote outcome in connection with a campaign for elective office or on behalf of a political organization for political purposes or for or against any referendum question.
  6. Assisting at the polls on Election Day on behalf of any political organization or candidate for elective office or for or against any referendum question.
  7. Soliciting votes on behalf of a candidate for elective office or a political organization or for or against any referendum question or helping in an effort to get voters to the polls.
  8. Initiating for circulation, preparing, circulating, reviewing, or filing any petition on behalf of a candidate for elective office or for or against any referendum question.
  9. Making contributions on behalf of any candidate for elective office in that capacity or in connection with a campaign for elective office.
  10. Preparing or reviewing responses to candidate questionnaires.
  11. Distributing, preparing for distribution, or mailing campaign literature, campaign signs, or other campaign material on behalf of any candidate for elective office or for or against any referendum question.
  12. Campaigning for any elective office or for or against any referendum question.
  13. Managing or working on a campaign for elective office or for or against any referendum question.
  14. Serving as a delegate, alternate, or proxy to a political party convention.
  15. Participating in any recount or challenge to the outcome of any election.

With respect to an employee whose hours are not fixed, “compensated time” includes any period of time when the employee is on premises under the control of the District and any other time when the employee is executing his or her official duties, regardless of location.

“Prohibited source” means any person or entity who:

  1. Is seeking official action by: (a) a Board member, or (b) an employee, or by the Board member or another employee directing that employee;
  2. Does business or seeks to do business with: (a) a Board member, or (b) an employee, or with the Board member or another employee directing that employee;
  3. Conducts activities regulated by: (a) a Board member, or (b) an employee or by the Board member or another employee directing that employee; or
  4. Has an interest that may be substantially affected by the performance or non-performance of the official duties of the Board member or employee.

“Gift” means any gratuity, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, forbearance, or other tangible or intangible item having monetary value including but not limited to, cash, food and drink, and honoraria for speaking engagements related to or attributable to government employment or the official position of a Board member or employee.

LEGAL REF.:  5 ILCS 430/1-1 et seq.
10 ILCS 5/9-25.1.

POLICY ADOPTED: August 18, 2005
POLICY AMENDED: August 18, 2011

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Article 288 – Records Preservation and Development of Retention Schedules

School Board
Records Preservation and Development of Retention Schedules

Responsibility for Records

All records of the Board of Education shall be in the custody of the Superintendent or his/her designee. Care shall be taken to protect the records from damage or loss. Important and historical records shall be preserved permanently and in all cases records shall be retained for a period of at least three years or as provided by law.

Records relating to the business affairs of the District and the proceedings of the Board of Education are public information, and as such, access to them shall be granted to any citizen during normal working hours. When access to records is granted, examination of them will be made only in the presence of the Superintendent or his/her designee responsible for their safekeeping.

Not included in the category of records to which the privilege of public access is given are personal records, pupil records, personal correspondence, and minutes of closed session Board meetings.

Records Retention, Destruction, Form

No District record, as defined in the Illinois Local Records Act, shall be destroyed except as provided herein.

Public record means any book, paper, map, photograph, digitized electronic material, or other official documentary material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made, produced, executed or received by any agency or officer pursuant to law or in connection with the transaction of public business and preserved or appropriate for preservation by such agency or officer, or any successor thereof, as evidence of the organization, function, policies, decisions, procedures, or other activities thereof, or because of the informational data contained therein.” 50 ILCS 205/3.

No District record, regardless of its form, shall be destroyed while it is subject to a litigation hold. In federal lawsuits there is an automatic discovery of virtually all types of electronically created or stored data that might be relevant. Attorneys will generally notify their clients at the beginning of a legal proceeding to not destroy any electronic records that might be relevant. The receipt of a litigation hold or preservation letter from the Board’s attorney requires all potentially relevant electronic information to be identified, located, and preserved. This includes all e-mail, e-documents, the tapes and servers of discarded systems, and backup data stored elsewhere.

The Superintendent shall assume him/herself, or assign to a designee, the following activities:

  1. Develop and maintain a protocol for preserving and categorizing District records;
  2. Develop and maintain a record retention and destruction schedule; and
  3. Develop protocols to implement a litigation hold.The Superintendent, or designee, shall develop and maintain a list of all District records, organized in categories and sub-categories, e.g., records relating to business, students, personnel, board meetings, etc. He/she shall align this list with the list of District records required by the Freedom of Information Act. 5 ILCS 140/5. Paper records may be easier to locate than electronic records. Electronic records will potentially exist in all of the available servers, tapes, hard drives, computers, and similar types of electronic devices (e.g., laptops, Blackberrys, cell phones, Palm Pilots, voicemail, etc.).
  4. 4.   Develop and maintain a protocol for preserving and categorizing District records.

The Superintendent or designee shall provide for keeping only “records” and destroying non-records, avoid filing non-record material with records, and determine what is a non-record (e.g., identical copies of documents maintained in the same file, extra copies of printed or processed materials, blank forms, and personal communications.

The goal is to control excessive accumulation of material. Non-record material may be destroyed at any time. 50 ILCS 205/9.

Absent a litigation hold, email must be retained only when it contains: (1) evidence of the District’s organization, function, policies, procedures, or activities, or (2) informational data appropriate for preservation. Email that is conversational, personal, or contains brainstorming may generally be deleted.

A consistent email retention policy for use across the District ensures that the necessary emails are being retained and emails that are not required to be preserved are purged on a regular basis. It will be the responsibility of the District technology coordinator to identify and index electronic records and maintain and monitor data storage. The goal is to ensure that all documents, including electronically created ones, are retained for the required timeframes and are easy to retrieve and produce if necessary.

The Superintendent shall develop and maintain a record retention schedule. He/she shall prepare a list of public records that: (1) are not needed for current business, and (2) do not have sufficient administrative, legal, or fiscal value to warrant their further preservation. Stated differently, identify records that have no administrative, legal, or fiscal value.

Records that have no administrative, legal, or fiscal value may be destroyed according to provisions in the Local Records Act. 50 ILCS 205/1 et seq.

The Superintendent, or designee, shall prepare a schedule for record destruction by identifying the length of time a record category or series warrants retention after it has been received or produced by the District.

The ultimate goal is to obtain permission to destroy unnecessary public records. The Local Records Commission must approve the destruction of any public record. 50 ILCS 205/7, 44 Ill.Admin.Code Part 4000 (Local Records Commission for agencies comprising counties of less than 3,000,000 inhabitants); 44 Ill.Admin.Code Part 4500 (Local Records Commission of Cook County). See the Archives Department on the Secretary of State’s website.

A list can be used when applying for authority to destroy records. A schedule can be used when applying for continuing authority to destroy records after specified periods of time or the occurrence of specified events.

The School Code and other statutes (e.g., statutes of limitations) contain mandatory retention timelines. The Board’s attorney should be consulted.

The e-discovery rules provide a safe harbor for parties during a lawsuit that cannot provide information because it was destroyed as a result of routine practices.

The Superintendent or designee shall determine whether each sub-category of documents should be reproduced by photography, microphotographic processes, or digitized electronic format.

If a record is reproduced in accordance with standards published by the Local Records Commission, the original may be destroyed. The reproduction’s destruction must be according to the approved record retention schedule.

Litigation                                                                                                                                                      

The Superintendent shall develop protocols to implement a litigation hold. A litigation hold:

A litigation hold Refers to a notification made by the Board’s attorney telling the District to preserve all information that may be relevant to current or anticipated litigation. While it may occur anytime in the legal process, it will usually occur during discovery, the pretrial phase of a lawsuit designed to compel the exchange of information between parties. A litigation hold triggers the need to immediately suspend destruction of electronic and other records relevant to the current or potential claim.

The Superintendent or designee shall determine how to implement a litigation hold, i.e.:

  1. Who can trigger a litigation hold?
  2. How is a litigation hold communicated?
  3. Who should gather the records?
  4. What records are subject to a litigation hold and who determines this?
  5. In what format should records be gathered?
  6. Where should records be gathered?

The Superintendent or designee shall identify how to implement a litigation hold for all IT systems, including backup tapes, to ensure they are not deleted or overwritten as part of the normal tape rotation process; and prepare a map of potentially relevant data and otherwise assist the Board’s attorneys in locating all potentially relevant information.

The Superintendent or designee shall submit new or revised record retention and destruction lists and schedules to the Local Records Commission for approval.

The Superintendent or designee shall disseminate the record retention and destruction schedule, along with instructions, to all affected staff members and Board members; and shall immediately inform the appropriate parties whenever a record must be preserved because: (1) it may be relevant to present or future litigation, or (2) the Board attorney has notified the District to preserve a record, including electronic information (litigation hold).

LEGAL REF.:  Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rules 16 and 26.
5 ILCS 140/1 et seq., Freedom of Information Act.
50 ILCS 205/1 et seq., Local Records Act.
105 ILCS 10/1 et seq., IL School Student Records Act.
820 ILCS 40/1 et seq., IL Personnel Record Review Act.

POLICY ADOPTED: June 2, 1986
POLICY AMENDED: August 18, 2011

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Article 288.01 – Access to District Public Records

School Board
Access to District Public Records

Full access to the District’s public records is available to any person as provided in the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), this policy, and implementing procedures.

Freedom of Information Officer
The Superintendent shall serve as the District’s Freedom of Information Officer and is assigned all the duties and powers of that office as provided in FOIA and this policy. The Superintendent may delegate these duties and powers to one or more designees but the delegation shall not relieve the Superintendent of the responsibility for the action that was delegated. The Superintendent or designee(s) shall report any FOIA requests and the status of the District’s response to the Board at each regular Board meeting.

Definition
The District’s public records are defined as records, reports, forms, writings, letters, memoranda, books, papers, maps, photographs, microfilms, cards, tapes, recordings, electronic data processing records, electronic communications, recorded information and all other documentary materials pertaining to the transaction of public business, regardless of physical form or characteristics, having been prepared by or for, or having been or being used by, received by, in the possession of, or under the control of the School District.

Requesting Records
A request for inspection and/or copies of public records must be made in writing and may be submitted by personal delivery, mail, telefax, or email directed to the District’s Freedom of Information Officer. Individuals making a request are not required to state a reason for the request other than to identify when the request is for a commercial purpose or when requesting a fee waiver. All requests for inspection and copying shall immediately be forwarded to the District’s Freedom of Information Officer or designee.

Responding to Requests
The Freedom of Information Officer shall approve all requests for public records unless:

  1. The requested material does not exist;
  2. The requested material is exempt from inspection and copying by the Freedom of Information Act; or
  3. Complying with the request would be unduly burdensome.

Within 5 business days after receipt of a request for access to a public record, the Freedom of Information Officer shall comply with or deny the request, unless the time for response is extended as specified in Section 3 of FOIA. The Freedom of Information Officer may extend the time for a response for up to 5 business days from the original due date. If an extension is needed, the Freedom of Information Officer shall: (1) notify the person making the request of the reason for the delay, and (2) either inform the person of the date on which a response will be made or agree with the person in writing on a compliance period.

When responding to a request for a record containing both exempt and non-exempt material, the Freedom of Information Officer shall redact exempt material from the record before complying with the request.

Copying Fees
Persons making a request for copies of public records must pay any applicable copying fee. The Freedom of Information Officer shall, as needed, recommend a copying fee schedule for the Board’s approval. Copying fees, except when fixed by statute, are reasonably calculated to reimburse the District’s actual cost for reproducing and certifying public records and for the use, by any person, of its equipment to copy records. No fees shall be charged for the first 50 pages of black and white, letter or legal sized copies. No fee shall be charged for electronic copies other than the actual cost of the recording medium.

Access
The inspection and copying of a public record that is the subject of an approved access request is permitted at the District’s administrative office during regular business hours, unless other arrangements are made by the Freedom of Information Officer.

Many public records are immediately available from the District’s website including, but not limited to, a description of the District and the methods for requesting a public record.

Preserving Public Records
Public records, including email messages, shall be preserved and cataloged if: (1) they are evidence of the District’s organization, function, policies, procedures, or activities, (2) they contain informational data appropriate for preservation, (3) their retention is required by State or federal law, or (4) they are subject to a retention request by the Board Attorney (e.g. a litigation hold), District auditor, or other individual authorized by the School Board or State or federal law to make such a request. Unless its retention is required as described in items numbered 3 or 4 above, a public record, as defined by the Illinois Local Records Act, may be destroyed when authorized by the Local Records Commission.

LEGAL REF.: 5 ILCS 140/, Illinois Freedom of Information Act.
105 ILCS 5/10-16 and 5/24A-7.1.
820 ILCS 40/11.
820 ILCS 130/5.

POLICY APPROVED: February 18, 2010
POLICY AMENDED: August 18, 2011

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Article 288.01-AP1 – Administrative Procedure – Access to and Copying of District Public Records

School Board
Administrative Procedure – Access to and Copying of District Public Records

The Board of Education shall appoint or designate the Superintendent to appoint, a Freedom of Information Officer to perform the duties of that office as specified in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and is responsible for managing the District’s compliance with FOIA.

The Board of Education shall, from time-to-time, resolve to establish:

  1. Copying fees that are reasonably calculated to reimburse the District for the actual costs of reproducing and certifying the records.
  2. The amount by which copy fees will be reduced if the person making the request states a specific purpose for the request that is in the public interest (5 ILCS 140/6). A request is in the public interest if its purpose is to access and disseminate information regarding the health, safety and welfare, or the legal rights of the general public, and is not for the principal purpose of personal or commercial benefit. In setting the reduction, the Board may consider the amount of materials requested and the cost of copying them.

The Board shall ensure full compliance with FOIA and Board policy 288, Access to District Public Records.

The Board shall maintain a budget sufficient to enable full compliance with FOIA.

The Board shall receive a report from the Superintendent during regular meetings concerning each FOIA request and the status of the District’s response. 105 ILCS 5/10-16.

The FOIA Officer shall manage the District’s compliance with FOIA, 5 ILCS 140/, and shall perform the following duties as specified in FOIA, 5 ILCS 140/3.5:

  1. To receive FOIA requests, ensure that the District responds to requests in a timely fashion, and issue responses under FOIA.
  2. To develop a list of documents or categories of records that will be immediately disclosed upon request. See 288.01-E2, Immediately Available Public Records.
  3. Upon receiving a request for a public record, (a) to note the date the District receives the written request; (b) to compute the day on which the period for response will expire and make a notation of that date on the written request; (c) to maintain an electronic or paper copy of a written request, including all documents submitted with the request until the request has been complied with or denied; and (d) to create a file for the retention of the original request, a copy of the response, a record of written communications with the requester, and a copy of other communications.

The FOIA Officer shall identify other staff members to assist with FOIA compliance and shall delegate specific responsibilities to them. These individuals may include the information technology specialist and department heads.

The FOIA Officer shall inform and/or train staff members concerning their respective responsibilities regarding FOIA. This includes explaining the requirement that all FOIA requests must be immediately forwarded to the Freedom of Information Officer including those that are received via email.

Training requirements

The FOIA Officer shall successfully complete the annual training program developed by the Public Access Counselor in the Attorney General’s office. Each newly appointed Freedom of Information Officer must successfully complete the training program within 30 days after assuming the position.

Posting and availability requirements

The FOIA Officer shall prominently display at each administrative office and school, and post on the District website, the following: (1) a brief description of the District, and (2) the methods for requesting information and District public records, directory information listing the Freedom of Information officer and where requests for public records should be directed, and any fees. 5 ILCS 140/4. This information must be copied and mailed if requested. Id.

The FOIA Officer shall maintain and make available for inspection and copying a reasonably current list of all types or categories of records under the District’s control (as per 5 ILCS 140/5). The following list contains both exempt and non-exempt records:

  1. Board governance (includes: Board meeting calendar and notices, Board meeting agendas and minutes, Board policy)
  2. Fiscal and business management (includes: levy resolution and certificate of tax levy, audit, line-item budget, grant documents, account statements, accounts payable list, contracts, legal notices, bidding specifications, requests for proposals)
  3. Personnel (includes: employee contact information, salary schedules, staff handbook, collective bargaining agreements, personnel file material)
  4. Students and instruction (includes: accountability documents, calendars, student handbooks, learning outcomes, student school records)

Copying fees

The FOIA Officer shall recommend a copying fee schedule to the Board from time-to-time as appropriate that complies with 5 ILCS 140/6, including the following:

  1. The copying fee, except when it is otherwise fixed by statute, must be reasonably calculated to reimburse the District’s actual cost for reproducing and certifying public records and for the use, by any person, of its equipment to copy records. The costs of any search for and review of the records or other personnel costs associated with reproducing the records are not included in the fee calculation.
  2. Statutory fees applicable to copies of public records when furnished in a paper format are not applicable to those records when furnished in an electronic format.
  3. No fee is charged for the first 50 pages of black and white, letter or legal sized copies furnished to a requester.
  4. The fee for black and white, letter or legal sized copies shall not exceed 15 cents per page.
  5. If the District provides copies in color or in a size other than letter or legal, the fee may not be more than its actual cost for reproducing the records.

Manages and collects the copying fees described above.

Response

The FOIA Officer shall comply with or deny a request for inspection or copying within 5 business days of receiving a records request, unless the time for response is extended (as per 5 ILCS 140/3). He/she shall make a decision whether to comply or deny the request according to Board policy 288.01, Access to District Public Records. He/she may use forms prepared by the Ill. Public Access Counselor available at: foia.ilattorneygeneral.net/foia_formssampleletters.aspx.

The FOIA Officer shall redact any and all exempt portion(s) of requested records containing both exempt and non-exempt material and releases the remaining material. 5 ILCS 140/7. He/she shall review past responses to FOIA requests will promote uniform treatment of requests for similar records.

The FOIA Officer shall comply with the Personnel Record Review Act in re: a response to a request for a disciplinary report, letter of reprimand, or other disciplinary action depends on the age of the responsive record.

  1. If the responsive record is more than 4 years old, the request must be denied unless the release is ordered in a legal action or arbitration. 5 ILCS 140/7.5(q); 820 ILCS 40/8.
  2. If the responsive record is 4 years old or less, it must be disclosed and the employee must be notified in writing or by email, if available, on or before the day any such record is released, unless notice is not required under the Personnel Record Review Act. 5 ILCS 140/7.5(q); 820 ILCS 40/7, amended by P.A. 96-1212. A notice to the employee is not required if:
    1. The employee specifically waived written notice as part of a written, signed employment application with another employer;
    2. The disclosure is ordered to a party in a legal action or arbitration; or
    3. Information is requested by a government agency as a result of a claim or complaint by an employee, or as a result of a criminal investigation by such agency.
  3. A request for a performance evaluation(s) must be denied. 820 ILCS 40/11, amended by P.A. 96-1483.

Extension of time

The FOIA Officer shall identify the need to extend the time for a response for any of the reasons stated in 5 ILCS 140/3(e)(i-vii), quoted below:

(i)           the requested records are stored in whole or in part at other locations than the office having charge of the requested records;

(ii)         the request requires the collection of a substantial number of specified records;

(iii)       the request is couched in categorical terms and requires an extensive search for the records responsive to it;

(iv)       the requested records have not been located in the course of routine search and additional efforts are being made to locate them;

(v)         the requested records require examination and evaluation by personnel having the necessary competence and discretion to determine if they are exempt from disclosure under Section 7 of FOIA or should be revealed only with appropriate deletions;

(vi)       the request for records cannot be complied with by the public body within the time limits prescribed by paragraph (c) of Section 3 of FOIA without unduly burdening or interfering with the operations of the public body; or

(vii)     there is a need for consultation, which shall be conducted with all practicable speed, with another public body or among two or more components of a public body having a substantial interest in the determination or in the subject matter of the request.

The FOIA Officer shall perform one of the following actions within 5 business days after receipt of the request:

  1. He/she shall notify the person making the request that the District is extending its time for response for no longer than 5 business days from the original due date, and shall identify the reason for the delay and the date on which a response will be made. 5 ILCS 140/3(e) and (f).
  2. He/she shall confer with the person making the request in an attempt to reach an agreement on an extended compliance date. The agreement must be in writing. 5 ILCS 140/3(e).

Unduly burdensome requests

The FOIA Officer shall confer with the person making an unduly burdensome request in an attempt to reduce the request to manageable proportions. A request may be unduly burdensome due, for example, to the request’s breadth. He/she shall explain to the requester in writing when a request continues to be unduly burdensome specifying the reason why the request is unduly burdensome.

Requests for commercial purposes

The FOIA Officer shall handle requests for commercial purposes according to 5 ILCS 140/3.1. Commercial purpose is defined in 5 ILCS 140/2(c-10) as:

[T]he use of any part of a public record or records, or information derived from public records, in any form for sale, resale, or solicitation or advertisement for sales or services. For purposes of this definition, requests made by news media and non-profit, scientific, or academic organizations shall not be considered to be made for a commercial purpose when the principal purpose of the request is (i) to access and disseminate information concerning news and current or passing events, (ii) for articles of opinion or features of interest to the public, or (iii) for the purpose of academic, scientific, or public research or education.

The FOIA Officer shall respond to a request for records to be used for a commercial purpose within 21 working days after receipt. The response must be one of the following: (a) provide an estimate of the time required by the District to provide the records and an estimate of the fees, which the requester may be required to pay in full before copying the requested documents, (b) deny the request pursuant to one or more of the exemptions, (c) notify the requester that the request is unduly burdensome and extend an opportunity to attempt to reduce the request to manageable proportions, or (d) provide the records requested.

The FOIA Officer shall comply with a request, unless the records are exempt from disclosure, within a reasonable period considering the size and complexity of the request, and giving priority to records requested for non-commercial purposes.

Denying a request

The FOIA Officer shall complies with 5 ILCS 140/9 by:

  1. Providing the requester with a written response containing: (a) the reasons for the denial, including a detailed factual basis for the application of any exemption claimed, (b) the names and titles or positions of each person responsible for the denial, and (c) information about his or her right to review by the Public Access Counselor (include the address and phone number for the Public Access Counselor), and to judicial review under 5 ILCS 140/11.
  2. Specifying the exemption claimed to authorize the denial and the specific reasons for the denial, including a detailed factual basis and a citation to supporting legal authority when the denial is based on the grounds that the records are exempt under 5 ILCS 140/7.
  3. Provides written notice to the requester and the Public Access Counselor, within the time periods provided for responding to a request, of the District’s intent to deny the request in whole or in part under Section 7(1)(c) (personal information) or Section 7(1)(f) (preliminary drafts, notes, recommendations, memoranda. and other records in which opinions are expressed, or policies or actions are formulated). Includes in this notice: (a) a copy of the request, (b) the District’s proposed response, and (c) a detailed summary of the District’s basis for asserting the exemption. 5 ILCS 140/9(b).

The FOIA Officer shall retain copies of all notices of denial in a single central office file that is open to the public and indexed according to the type of exemption asserted and, to the extent feasible, according to the types of records requested. 5 ILCS 140/9.l.

Consults with the Board Attorney

The FOIA Officer shall consult with the Board Attorney:

  1. As necessary for legal advice concerning compliance with FOIA and responses to specific requests.

For legal advice when communicating with or upon receiving communications from the office of the Illinois Attorney General or Public Access Counselor.

 

LEGAL REF.:  5 ILCS 140/, Freedom of Information Act.

**************************************************************************

Text from P.A. 96-542 containing some of the more utilized FOIA exemptions

Section 7. Exemptions (5 ILCS 140/7)

  1. When a request is made to inspect or copy a public record that contains information that is exempt from disclosure under this Section, but also contains information that is not exempt from disclosure, the public body may elect to redact the information that is exempt. The public body shall make the remaining information available for inspection and copying. Subject to this requirement, the following shall be exempt from inspection and copying:
    1. Information specifically prohibited from disclosure by federal or State law or rules and regulations implementing federal or State law.
    2. Private information, unless disclosure is required by another provision of this Act, a State or federal law or a court order.
    3. Personal information contained within public records, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, unless the disclosure is consented to in writing by the individual subjects of the information. “Unwarranted invasion of personal privacy” means the disclosure of information that is highly personal or objectionable to a reasonable person and in which the subject’s right to privacy outweighs any legitimate public interest in obtaining the information. The disclosure of information that bears on the public duties of public employees and officials shall not be considered an invasion of personal privacy.
    4. Records in the possession of any public body created in the course of administrative enforcement proceedings, and any law enforcement or correctional agency for law enforcement purposes, but only to the extent that disclosure would:
      1. interfere with pending or actually and reasonably contemplated law enforcement proceedings conducted by any law enforcement or correctional agency that is the recipient of the request;
      2. interfere with active administrative enforcement proceedings conducted by the public body that is the recipient of the request;
      3. create a substantial likelihood that a person will be deprived of a fair trial or an impartial hearing;
      4. unavoidably disclose the identity of a confidential source, confidential information furnished only by the confidential source, or persons who file complaints with or provide information to administrative, investigative, law enforcement, or penal agencies; except that the identities of witnesses to traffic accidents, traffic accident reports, and rescue reports shall be provided by agencies of local government, except when disclosure would interfere with an active criminal investigation conducted by the agency that is the recipient of the request;
      5. disclose unique or specialized investigative techniques other than those generally used and known or disclose internal documents of correctional agencies related to detection, observation or investigation of incidents of crime or misconduct, and disclosure would result in demonstrable harm to the agency or public body that is the recipient of the request;
      6. endanger the life or physical safety of law enforcement personnel or any other person; or
      7. obstruct an ongoing criminal investigation by the agency that is the recipient of the request.

    ***

    1. Preliminary drafts, notes, recommendations, memoranda and other records in which opinions are expressed, or policies or actions are formulated, except that a specific record or relevant portion of a record shall not be exempt when the record is publicly cited and identified by the head of the public body. The exemption provided in this paragraph (f) extends to all those records of officers and agencies of the General Assembly that pertain to the preparation of legislative documents.
    2. Trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person or business where the trade secrets or commercial or financial information are furnished under a claim that they are proprietary, privileged or confidential, and that disclosure of the trade secrets or commercial or financial information would cause competitive harm to the person or business, and only insofar as the claim directly applies to the records requested.
      1. All trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained by a public body, including a public pension fund, from a private equity fund or a privately held company within the investment portfolio of a private equity fund as a result of either investing or evaluating a potential investment of public funds in a private equity fund. The exemption contained in this item does not apply to the aggregate financial performance information of a private equity fund, nor to the identity of the fund’s managers or general partners. The exemption contained in this item does not apply to the identity of a privately held company within the investment portfolio of a private equity fund, unless the disclosure of the identity of a privately held company may cause competitive harm.

      Nothing contained in this paragraph (g) shall be construed to prevent a person or business from consenting to disclosure.

    3. Proposals and bids for any contract, grant, or agreement, including information which if it were disclosed would frustrate procurement or give an advantage to any person proposing to enter into a contractor agreement with the body, until an award or final selection is made. Information prepared by or for the body in preparation of a bid solicitation shall be exempt until an award or final selection is made.
    4. Valuable formulae, computer geographic systems, designs, drawings and research data obtained or produced by any public body when disclosure could reasonably be expected to produce private gain or public loss. The exemption for “computer geographic systems” provided in this paragraph (i) does not extend to requests made by news media as defined in Section 2 of this Act when the requested information is not otherwise exempt and the only purpose of the request is to access and disseminate information regarding the health, safety, welfare, or legal rights of the general public.
    5. The following information pertaining to educational matters:
      1. test questions, scoring keys and other examination data used to administer an academic examination;
      2. information received by a primary or secondary school, college, or university under its procedures for the evaluation of faculty members by their academic peers;
      3. information concerning a school or university’s adjudication of student disciplinary cases, but only to the extent that disclosure would unavoidably reveal the identity of the student; and
      4. course materials or research materials used by faculty members.
    6. Architects’ plans, engineers’ technical submissions, and other construction related technical documents for projects not constructed or developed in whole or in part with public funds and the same for projects constructed or developed with public funds, including but not limited to power generating and distribution stations and other transmission and distribution facilities, water treatment facilities, airport facilities, sport stadiums, convention centers, and all government owned, operated, or occupied buildings, but only to the extent that disclosure would compromise security.
    7. Minutes of meetings of public bodies closed to the public as provided in the Open Meetings Act until the public body makes the minutes available to the public under Section 2.06 of the Open Meetings Act.
    8. Communications between a public body and an attorney or auditor representing the public body that would not be subject to discovery in litigation, and materials prepared or compiled by or for a public body in anticipation of a criminal, civil or administrative proceeding upon the request of an attorney advising the public body, and materials prepared or compiled with respect to internal audits of public bodies.
    9. Records relating to a public body’s adjudication of employee grievances or disciplinary cases; however, this exemption shall not extend to the final outcome of cases in which discipline is imposed.
    10. Administrative or technical information associated with automated data processing operations, including but not limited to software, operating protocols, computer program abstracts, file layouts, source listings, object modules, load modules, user guides, documentation pertaining to all logical and physical design of computerized systems, employee manuals, and any other information that, if disclosed, would jeopardize the security of the system or its data or the security of materials exempt under this Section.
    11. Records relating to collective negotiating matters between public bodies and their employees or representatives, except that any final contract or agreement shall be subject to inspection and copying.
    12. Test questions, scoring keys, and other examination data used to determine the qualifications of an applicant for a license or employment.
    13. The records, documents and information relating to real estate purchase negotiations until those negotiations have been completed or otherwise terminated. With regard to a parcel involved in a pending or actually and reasonably contemplated eminent domain proceeding under the Eminent Domain Act, records, documents and information relating to that parcel shall be exempt except as may be allowed under discovery rules adopted by the Illinois Supreme Court. The records, documents and information relating to a real estate sale shall be exempt until a sale is consummated.
    14. Any and all proprietary information and records related to the operation of an intergovernmental risk management association or self insurance pool or jointly self administered health and accident cooperative or pool. Insurance or self insurance (including any intergovernmental risk management association or self insurance pool) claims, loss or risk management information, records, data, advice or communications.

    ***

    1. Vulnerability assessments, security measures, and response policies or plans that are designed to identify, prevent, or respond to potential attacks upon a community’s population or systems, facilities, or installations, the destruction or contamination of which would constitute a clear and present danger to the health or safety of the community, but only to the extent that disclosure could reasonably be expected to jeopardize the effectiveness of the measures or the safety of the personnel who implement them or the public. Information exempt under this item may include such things as details pertaining to the mobilization or deployment of personnel or equipment, to the operation of communication systems or protocols, or to tactical operations.
    1. Maps and other records regarding the location or security of generation, transmission, distribution, storage, gathering, treatment, or switching facilities owned by a utility, by a power generator, or by the Illinois Power Agency.
    2. Information contained in or related to proposals, bids, or negotiations related to electric power procurement under Section 1.75 of the Illinois Power Agency Act and Section 16.111.5 of the Public Utilities Act that is determined to be confidential and proprietary by the Illinois Power Agency or by the Illinois Commerce Commission.

    ***

    Section 7.5. Statutory Exemptions (5 ILCS 140/7.5)

    To the extent provided for by the statutes referenced below, the following shall be exempt from inspection and copying:

    ***

    (b) Library circulation and order records identifying library users with specific materials under the Library Records Confidentiality Act.

    ***

    (h) Information the disclosure of which is exempted under the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act, and records of any lawfully created State or local inspector general’s office that would be exempt if created or obtained by an Executive Inspector General’s office under that Act.

    ***

    (q) Information prohibited from being disclosed by the Personnel Records Review Act.

    (r) Information prohibited from being disclosed by the Illinois School Student Records Act.

    POLICY APPROVED: February 18, 2010
    POLICY AMENDED: August 18, 2011

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    Article 288.01-E1 – Exhibit – Written Request for District Public Records

    School Board
    Exhibit – Written Request for District Public Records

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    Article 288.01-E2 – Exhibit – Illinois Freedom of Information Act Directory/Instructions for Obtaining Public Records

    School Board
    Exhibit – Illinois Freedom of Information Act Directory/Instructions for Obtaining Public Records
    1. Description and Purpose
    2. Prairie Central Community Unit School District No. 8

      Prairie Central Community Unit School District No. 8 is located in Ford, Livingston, and McLean Counties, Illinois and is comprised of 386 square miles. The cities or villages included in the District are Chatsworth, Chenoa, Cropsey, Fairbury, Forrest, Strawn, and Wing. The District is organized under the laws of the State of Illinois for the purpose of providing its residents with schools for grades PreK-12, and for the purpose of educating all eligible persons in the District.

      The District operates the following schools:

      1. Chatsworth, Chenoa, Meadowbrook, and Westview Elementary Schools for grades Pre-K – 4
      2. Prairie Central Upper Elementary School for grades 5 – 6
      3. Prairie Central Junior High School for grades 7 – 8
      4. Prairie Central High School for grades 9 – 12
    3. Diagram of Organization (See Attached)
    4. Operating Budget (Seek Update at Administrative Offices)
    5. Total$21,466,024
      Education Fund$16,288,939
      Operations & Maintenance Fund1,214,450
      Bond & Interest Fund1,618,252
      Transportation Fund1,072,726
      Municipal Retirement & Social Security446,075
      Working Cash0
      Tort545,582
      Fire Prevention & Life Safety80,000
    6. Location of Offices
    7. The administrative offices are located at 605 N. Seventh, Fairbury, Illinois 61739.

    8. Number of Employees (Seek Update at Administrative Offices)
    9. Total304
      Administration8
      Certificated Employees (Bargaining Unit)168
      Non-Certificated Employees (Bargaining Unit)121
      Non-Certificated Employees (Non-Bargaining Unit)7
    10. Identification and Membership of the Board of Education (Seek Update at Administrative Offices)
    11. Ms. Patricia Haberkorn, President
      Mr. Mark Slagel, Vice-President
      Ms. Ann Steidinger, Secretary
      Mr. Jeffrey Austman, Member
      Mr. Jason Dotterer, Member
      Mr. Timothy McGreal, Member
      Mr. Corey Steffen, Member

    1. Public Request of Information/Records
    2. Members of the public may request information and/or public records of Prairie Central Community Unit School District No. 8 through the filing of an appropriate application form during normal office hours of 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Said application should be submitted to:

      Dr. John Capasso, Superintendent

      In the absence of the records officer, said application should be submitted to:

      Jeanette Zimmerman, Superintendent’s Secretary

      Jeanette Zimmerman serves as assistant records keeper to Dr. John Capasso. The address of the Records Officer and the Assistant Records Keeper is as follows:

      Prairie Central Community Unit School District #8
      605 North Seventh Street
      Fairbury, IL 61739
      Office Phone: (815) 692-2504

    3. Fees
    4. Persons requesting information shall be charged $.15 per page for copies of material secured under the act. Persons requesting paper color other than white or larger than legal-sized shall be charged $.20 per page. Statutory fees applicable to copies of public records when furnished in a paper format are not applicable to those records when furnished in an electronic format. No fee is charged for the first 50 pages of black and white, letter or legal sized copies furnished to a requester.

    5. Exemptions
      1. The following materials are exempt from inspection and copying as prescribed by the Freedom of Information Act:
      2. The requested material does not exist;
      3. The requested material is exempt from inspection and copying by the Freedom of Information Act; or
      4. Complying with the request would be unduly burdensome.
    6. Other
    7. Persons applying for information and records may do so in person, in writing, or via electronic mail. The electronic mail address of Dr. John Capasso is jcapasso@prairiecentral.org.

      All records of the Board of Education shall be in custody of the Superintendent or his/her designee. Care shall be taken to protect the records from damage or loss. Important and historical records shall be preserved permanently and in all cases records shall be retained for a period of at least three years or as provided by law.

      Records relating to the business affairs of the District and the proceedings of the Board of Education are public information, and access to them shall be granted to any citizen during normal working hours. When access to records is granted, examination thereof will be made only in the presence of the Superintendent or his designee responsible for their safekeeping.
      Not included in the category of records to which the privilege of public access is given are personnel records, pupil records, personal correspondence, and minutes of closed session Board meetings.

    8. Records Kept by Prairie Central CUSD #8
    9. The following list contains both exempt and non-exempt records:
      Board governance. Includes: Board meeting calendar and notices, Board meeting agendas and minutes, Board policy

      Fiscal and business management. Includes: levy resolution and certificate of tax levy, audit, line-item budget, grant documents, account statements, accounts payable list, contracts, legal notices, bidding specifications, requests for proposals

      Personnel. Includes: employee contact information, salary schedules, staff handbook, collective bargaining agreements, personnel file material

      Students and instruction. Includes: accountability documents, calendars, student handbooks, learning outcomes, student school records.

    POLICY ADOPTED: June 2, 1986
    POLICY AMENDED: March 21, 2005
    POLICY AMENDED: August 18, 2011

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    Article 288.01-E3 – Exhibit – Immediately Available Public Records

    School Board
    Exhibit – Immediately Available Public Records

    The following public records are designated by the District’s Freedom of Information Officer as being immediately available on the District’s website and may be inspected, downloaded, printed, and/or copied. Any asterisked public record is immediately available for inspection or copying upon request at the District’s administrative office during its regular business hours, provided any applicable fees are paid. Records without an asterisk will be provided within 5 business days as allowed by the Freedom of Information Act, provided any applicable fees are paid.

    1. Annual schedule of regular meetings for the current school year that are posted at the beginning of each calendar or fiscal year (as per 5 ILCS 120/2.02).
    2. Public notice of each Board meeting that is posted at least 48 hours before the meeting and remains posted until the meeting is concluded (as per 5 ILCS 120/2.02).
    3. Agenda of each regular meeting that is posted at least 48 hours before a meeting and remains posted until the meeting is concluded (as per 5 ILCS 120/2.02).
    4. Official open meeting minutes that are posted within 10 days of the Board’s approval and remain posted for at least 60 days (as per 5 ILCS 120/2.06(b), amended by P.A. 96-1473, eff. 1-1-2011).
    5. Description of the District and its records including:
      1. Summary of the District’s purpose (as per 5 ILCS 140/4, amended by P.A.96-542).
      2. Functional subdivisions (as per 5 ILCS 140/4, amended by P.A.96-542).
      3. Total amount of operating budget (as per 5 ILCS 140/4, amended by P.A.96-542).
      4. Number and location of all of its separate offices (as per 5 ILCS 140/4, amended by P.A.96-542).
      5. Approximate number of full and part-time employees (see also, salary and benefits information report for the Superintendent, administrators, and teachers, District’s Statement of Affairs) (as per 5 ILCS 140/4, amended by P.A.96-542).
      6. Identification and membership of the Board (as per 5 ILCS 140/4, amended by P.A.96-542).
      7. Brief description of the methods whereby the public may request information and public records (as per 5 ILCS 140/4, amended by P.A.96-542).
      8. Directory for the Freedom of Information Officer (as per 5 ILCS 140/4, amended by P.A.96-542).
      9. Address where requests for public records should be directed (as per 5 ILCS 140/4, amended by P.A.96-542).
      10. Fees (as per 5 ILCS 140/4, amended by P.A.96-542).

    The District must prominently post the list at each administrative office and make it available for inspection and copying, as well as the annual budget for current fiscal year, itemized by receipts and expenditures (as per 105 ILCS 5/17-1.2). This may be accomplished using ISBE’s School District Budget Form 50-36 or the summary pages from it.

    The District must notify the parents or guardians of its students that the budget has been web-posted and what the website’s address is.

    The District must post its current report card (ISBE School Report Card Data Form 86-43) (as per 105 ILCS 5/10-17a).

    The District must post an Administrator Salary Compensation Report (itemized salary compensation report for every employee holding an administrative certificate and working in that capacity, including the Superintendent). For each District administrator (as per 105 ILCS 5/10-20.50, added by P.A. 96-434 and renumbered by P.A. 96-1000):

    1. Base salary
    2. Bonuses
    3. Pension contributions
    4. Retirement increases
    5. Cost of health insurance
    6. Cost of life insurance
    7. Paid sick and vacation day payouts
    8. Annuities
    9. Other forms of compensation or income paid on behalf of the employee; e.g., travel and business expense reimbursements, non-base compensation such as use of a District vehicle, wellness incentives, gym memberships, etc. The Report must also be presented at a regular Board meeting and provided to the Regional Superintendent on or before October 1 of each year.

    The District must post current contracts with an exclusive bargaining representative(s) (as per 105 ILCS 5/10-20.46, added by P.A. 96-434).

    The District must post a listing of all contracts over $25,000 for the current fiscal year (the report made to ISBE on the total number and value of all such contracts broken down by category of awardee) (as per 105 ILCS 5/10-20.44). After the initial web-posting, contracts should be added to the list as they are awarded by the Board.

    The District must post a description of activities to address intergroup conflict (an optional program authorized by Sec. 27-23.6) (as per 105 ILCS 5/27-23.6(c)).

    POLICY ADOPTED: February 18, 2010

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    Article 296 – Public Complaints and Uniform Grievance Procedure

    School Board
    Public Complaints and Uniform Grievance Procedure

    Public Complaints – General
    Public complaints regarding school issues shall be referred to the appropriate level staff member or District administrator. In those cases in which the chain-of-command procedure does not result in a satisfactory adjustment of the situation, the Superintendent, or his/her designee, shall refer the complaint to the Board of Education. The Board, at its next regular or special meeting, shall consider the complaints and dispose of the matter in a judicious manner.

    Uniform Grievance Procedure
    A student, parent/guardian, employee, or community member should notify any District Complaint Manager if he or she believes that the School Board, its employees, or agents have violated his or her rights guaranteed by the State or federal Constitution, State or federal statute, or Board policy, or have a complaint regarding any one of the following:

    1. Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act
    2. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
    3. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
    4. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. §2000d et seq.
    5. Equal Employment Opportunities Act (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act), 42 U.S.C. §2000e et seq.
    6. Sexual harassment (Illinois Human Rights Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972)
    7. Bullying, 105 ILCS 5/27-23.7
    8. Misuse of funds received for services to improve educational opportunities for educationally disadvantaged or deprived children
    9. Curriculum, instructional materials, and/or programs
    10. Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act, 820 ILCS 180
    11. Illinois Equal Pay Act of 2003, 820 ILCS 112
    12. Provision of services to homeless students
    13. Illinois Whistleblower Act, 740 ILCS 174/.
    14. Misuse of genetic information (Illinois Genetic Information Privacy Act (GIPA), 410 ILCS 513/ and Titles I and II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), 42 U.S.C. §2000ff et seq.)
    15. Employee Credit Privacy Act, 820 ILCS 70/.
    16. The Complaint Manager will attempt to resolve complaints without resorting to this grievance procedure and, if a complaint is filed, to address the complaint promptly and equitably. The right of a person to prompt and equitable resolution of a complaint filed hereunder shall not be impaired by the person’s pursuit of other remedies. Use of this grievance procedure is not a prerequisite to the pursuit of other remedies and use of this grievance procedure does not extend any filing deadline related to the pursuit of other remedies. All deadlines under this procedure may be extended by the Complaint Manager as he or she deems appropriate. As used in this policy, “school business days” means days on which the District’s main office is open.

      Filing a Complaint
      A person (hereinafter Complainant) who wishes to avail him or herself of this grievance procedure may do so by filing a complaint with any District Complaint Manager. The Complainant shall not be required to file a complaint with a particular Complaint Manager and may request a Complaint Manager of the same gender. The Complaint Manager may request the Complainant to provide a written statement regarding the nature of the complaint or require a meeting with a student’s parent(s)/guardian(s). The Complaint Manager shall assist the Complainant as needed.

      Investigation
      The Complaint Manager will investigate the complaint or appoint a qualified person to undertake the investigation on his or her behalf. If the Complainant is a student under 18 years of age, the Complaint Manager will notify his or her parent(s)/guardian(s) that they may attend any investigatory meetings in which their child is involved. The complaint and identity of the Complainant will not be disclosed except: (1) as required by law, this policy, or (2) as necessary to fully investigate the complaint, or (3) as authorized by the Complainant.
      The identity of any student witnesses will not be disclosed except: (1) as required by law or any collective bargaining agreement, or (2) as necessary to fully investigate the complaint, or (3) as authorized by the parent/guardian of the student witness, or by the student if the student is 18 years of age or older.
      Within 30 school business days of the date the complaint was filed, the Complaint Manager shall file a written report of his or her findings with the Superintendent. The Complaint Manager may request an extension of time. If a complaint of sexual harassment contains allegations involving the Superintendent, the written report shall be filed with the Board, which will make a decision in accordance with the following section of this policy. The Superintendent will keep the Board informed of all complaints.

      Decision and Appeal
      Within 5 school business days after receiving the Complaint Manager’s report, the Superintendent shall mail his or her written decision to the Complainant by U.S. mail, first class, as well as to the Complaint Manager.
      Within 10 school business days after receiving the Superintendent’s decision, the Complainant may appeal the decision to the Board by making a written request to the Complaint Manager. The Complaint Manager shall promptly forward all materials relative to the complaint and appeal to the Board. Within 30 school business days, the Board shall affirm, reverse, or amend the Superintendent’s decision or direct the Superintendent to gather additional information. Within 5 school business days of the Board’s decision, the Superintendent shall inform the Complainant of the Board’s action.
      This grievance procedure shall not be construed to create an independent right to a hearing before the Superintendent or Board. The failure to strictly follow the timelines in this grievance procedure shall not prejudice any party.

      Appointing Nondiscrimination Coordinator and Complaint Managers
      The Superintendent shall appoint a Nondiscrimination Coordinator to manage the District’s efforts to provide equal opportunity employment and educational opportunities and prohibit the harassment of employees, students, and others.
      The Superintendent shall appoint at least one Complaint Manager to administer the complaint process in this policy. If possible, the Superintendent will appoint 2 Complaint Managers, one of each gender. The District’s Nondiscrimination Coordinator may be appointed as one of the Complaint Managers.
      The Superintendent shall insert into this policy and keep current the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the Nondiscrimination Coordinator and the Complaint Managers.

      Nondiscrimination Coordinator:

      NameDr. John Capasso, Superintendent
      AddressPrairie Central CUSD #8, 605 N. Seventh
      City, State, ZIPFairbury, IL 61739
      Telephone(815) 692-2504

      Complaint Managers:

      NameDaniel Groce, PrincipalPaula Crane, Principal
      AddressPrimary West School, 700 S. DivisionPrairie Central Elementary, 600 S. First Street
      City, State, ZIPChenoa, IL 61726Fairbury, IL 61739
      Telephone(815) 945-2971(815) 692-2623

      LEGAL REF.:
      Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. §621 et seq.
      Americans With Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §12101 et seq.
      Equal Employment Opportunities Act (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act), 42 U.S.C. §2000e et seq.
      Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C. §206(d).
      Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, 42 U.S.C. §2000ff et seq.
      Immigration Reform and Control Act, 8 U.S.C. §1324a et seq.
      McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. §11431 et seq.
      Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. §791 et seq.
      Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. §2000d et seq.
      Title IX of the Education Amendments, 20 U.S.C. §1681 et seq.
      105 ILCS 5/2-3.8, 5/3-10, 5/10-20.7a, 5/10-22.5, 5/22-19, 5/24-4, 5/27-1, 5/27-23.7, and 45/1-15.
      Illinois Genetic Information Privacy Act, 410 ILCS 513/.
      Illinois Whistleblower Act, 740 ILCS 174/.
      Illinois Human Rights Act, 775 ILCS 5/.
      Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act, 820 ILCS 180, 56 Ill.Admin.Code Part 280.
      Equal Pay Act of 2003, 820 ILCS 112.
      Employee Credit Privacy Act, 820 ILCS 70/.
      23 Ill.Admin.Code §§1.240 and 200-40.

      POLICY ADOPTED: June 2, 1986
      POLICY AMENDED: August 18, 2011

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      Article 296-AP1 – Administrative Procedure – Non-Discrimination and Complaint Coordinator

      School Board
      Administrative Procedure – Non-Discrimination and Complaint Coordinator

      The Nondiscrimination Coordinator directs the District’s compliance with federal and State laws governing discrimination and harassment in the workplace. The Complaint Manager administers the complaint process.

      Superintendent Responsibilities

      1. Appoints individuals to serve as a Nondiscrimination Coordinator and Complaint Manager whose skill set suggest they could effectively fulfill the responsibilities identified in this procedure. One individual may serve in both capacities. The Superintendent may serve in either capacity. If possible, at least 2 Complaint Managers are appointed, one of each gender.
      2. Identifies individuals to supervise the performance of the Nondiscrimination Coordinator and Complaint Manager. The supervisor must understand the responsibilities of each role and have authority to take action. If possible, a different individual is assigned to supervise each role as a control measure, e.g., the Human Resources Manager supervises the Nondiscrimination Coordinator’s performance and the Superintendent supervises the Complaint Manager’s performance.
      3. Requires each Nondiscrimination Coordinator and/or Complaint Manager to possess or obtain:
        1. In-depth knowledge of Board policies as well as rules and conduct codes for students and employees.
        2. General knowledge of State and federal laws concerning equal employment and educational opportunities.
        3. Ability to:
          1. Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, and to establish rapport with others;
          2. Plan, implement, evaluate, and report activities conducted;
          3. Be both consistent and flexible as circumstances warrant; and
          4. Analyze, clarify, and mediate differences of opinion.
      4. Facilitates the effective performance of the Nondiscrimination Coordinator and Complain Managers by:
        1. Providing them with clear expectations concerning their roles and responsibilities.
        2. Communicating to employees and students their functions and responsibilities.
        3. Providing them resources and professional development opportunities.
        4. Providing them access to the Board Attorney for legal advice concerning their responsibilities.

      Nondiscrimination Coordinator Responsibilities

      1. Directs the District’s efforts to provide equal employment and educational opportunities and prohibit the harassment of employees, students, and others. Manages compliance with Board policies.
      2. Develops and manages a program that will fully inform all employees and students about the District’s commitment to equal employment and educational opportunities and a harassment-free environment. A component of this program is to inform employees and students about Board policies and administrative procedures.
      3. Provides ongoing consultation, technical assistance, and information services regarding compliance requirements and programs.
      4. Assists the Human Resources Manager with monitoring compliance with the recordkeeping and notice requirements contained in federal and State laws concerning discrimination and harassment in schools and the workplace.
      5. Maintains grievance and compliance records and files.
      6. Makes recommendations for action by appropriate decision makers.
      7. Establishes a positive climate for nondiscrimination compliance efforts. This effort includes encouraging individuals to come forward with suggestions and complaints.

      Complaint Manager Responsibilities

      1. Implements and administers the grievance process contained in Board policy
      2. Manages complaints alleging a violation of any Board policy or procedure listed in the next section.
      3. Assists complainants and potential complainants by, among other things, providing consultation and information to them.
      4. Attempts to resolve complaints without resorting to the formal grievance process.
      5. Informs potential complainants, complainants, and witnesses that the District prohibits any form of retaliation against anyone who, in good faith, brings a complaint or provides information to the individual investigating a complaint.
      6. Receives formal complaints and notifies relevant individuals of the ensuing process.
      7. Investigates complaints or appoints a qualified individual to undertake the investigation on his or her behalf. Each complaint shall be investigated promptly, thoroughly, and impartially, and as confidentially as possible.
      8. For each formal complaint, prepares a comprehensive written report describing the: (a) complaint, (b) investigation, and (c) findings and recommendations. Provides the report to the Superintendent or School Board if the Superintendent is an alleged responsible party.
      9. Receives a request from a complainant to appeal the Superintendent’s resolution of the complaint and promptly forwards all relevant material to the Board.
      10. Monitors compliance with all requirements and time-lines specified in Board policy.

      POLICY ADOPTED: February 18, 2010
      POLICY AMENDED: August 18, 2011

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