Attending a Meeting
USD 348 welcomes public attendance at board of education meetings. Public engagement is essential for the student-centered, efficient, and transparent operations of a school district. Official monthly meeting dates are the third Monday of the month, and can be found on the district website’s calendar. If necessary, special meetings may be called at other times. Special meetings may be called for emergencies according to state law.
In accordance to the Kansas Open Records Meeting Act (KOMA), all district business meetings occur in a public setting (or if a meeting is held virtually, must provide for digital public access for observing). Under KOMA, public participation is defined as being able to witness; public comment is not required by the law. Most meeting agendas reserve a time for public comment because it provides opportunity for feedback that is important to the Board’s work. Guidelines for participation in public comment can be found below.
Email communication is also welcome. Board email addresses may be found on our website.
More information about KOMA can be found in the guide provided by the Kansas Attorney General’s Office.
The Superintendent, Administrative Team, and Board President prepare the monthly Board agenda at least two weeks in advance of the regular monthly meeting. Addition of agenda items may be requested by contacting the Superintendent prior to the first Thursday of each month, and must be approved by the Board president. Agenda and minutes of prior meetings can be viewed on BoardDocs. If an item is on the official board agenda, then the person(s) placing it on the agenda can make a presentation (15 minutes maximum) at the appropriate time. The Board will listen to the presentation and may ask questions and discuss the item. They may make a motion for a decision, choose not to make a motion, table the item until a later time in the meeting, or table the item to a subsequent meeting.
Quorum: For district business to occur, a quorum is required. On a board of 7 elected members, the presence (in person or virtually) of 4 members is required to conduct business.
Motions: The Board might have expansive discussions on various topics, but ultimately, the only action a Board member takes is represented through his or her vote. For voting to occur, a motion must be introduced by one individual and seconded by another. If the motion is not seconded, the motion fails. If a motion is seconded, then the Board proceeds to a vote. A majority in favor will result in the motion be carried (passed). A majority opposed will result in a failed motion. In the case of a tie (such as if there is only a quorum of 4 members present), the motion also fails.
Consent Agenda is when the Board approves authorizations for all school district expenditures in compliance with Kansas statute, and is part of every monthly Board agenda. Kansas has a “cash-basis law” which means that unless there is money currently in the school district bank account in the local bank, the bill may not be paid.
Recognition is when any Board member, patron, employee or member of the administrative team can recognize any form of excellence within USD 348.
Public Comment is an opportunity for the Board to listen. In accordance to district policy BCBI, this is the agenda time during the meeting when an individual may address the board. The board welcomes up to ten patrons to speak; each of the patrons will have the opportunity to speak for three minutes. Those wishing to make public comment are asked to sign up on the night of the meeting prior to 7 p.m. With the exception of not discussing specific matters related to identifying students or staff by name due to confidentially considerations, there are no restrictions regarding the subject matter the patron wishes to share with the Board. Also, if a delegation of persons comes to discuss a single issue, every effort should be made to avoid redundancy by each person stating only new facts or new perceptions during their allotted time. Board members are not to respond during this time—again, this is the time established in the meeting for Board members to prioritize listening to the public.
Financial Report may include a presentation of the cash summary report, budget year to date, capital outlay report, school activity funds reports and other financial items.
Administrative Report includes a presentation of relevant information from any of the district’s administrators or directors. Examples include updates to the board regarding building-specific issues, technology, curriculum, academic, co-curricular or extra-curricular programming, facilities, transportation, or food service.
Old Business is information previously brought to the board.
New Business is information being presented to the Board for the first time.
Board Member Input is the time for any member to bring forward and/or present information. USD 348 Board representatives to the East Central Kansas Cooperative (ECKCE) often present the inter-local report during this time. ECKCE provides comprehensive special education services to all eligible students in the Baldwin City USD 348, Eudora USD 491, and Wellsville USD 289 school districts.
Superintendent’s Report may include the presentation and/or update of any topic deemed relevant by the Superintendent.
Executive session is a time which is defined by law to allow the Board to privately discuss certain matters which fall under specific categories of legally allowed topics. In accordance to KOMA, designated exceptions to the open meeting requirement include subjects such as personnel matters for non-elected personnel, matters involving consultation with an attorney, employer-employee negotiations, matters affecting specific students whereby student confidentiality must be upheld, and school security plans. Additional legal justifications for executive session may be found by referring to the KOMA resource provided above. Binding action that would require an official vote may not take place in executive session. All voting must occur during open session.
Consider Executive Session Matters is the opportunity for the Board to take formal action via a motion regarding matters discussed in executive session. Again, no formal action may be taken during executive session; voting may only occur in open session. This time is usually used to approve recommendations related to personnel reports.
Recess may be called at any time at the Board president’s discretion. It does not require a motion.
Adjournment requires a motion to conclude the meeting upon the completion of the agenda.