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203.09 Open Meetings; Closed Sessions


Code No. 203.9

Open Meetings; Closed Sessions

Open Meetings.

Meetings of the Board of Directors shall be open to the public unless otherwise authorized to be closed by federal or state law.  Final action by the Board of Directors on any matter shall be taken in open meeting unless a provision of the Code of Iowa expressly permits such actions to be taken in closed session.  Any gathering of a majority of Board members, either formal or informal, in which deliberation or action on a policy matter takes place is defined as a meeting.  A gathering for the sole purpose of social or ministerial action shall not constitute a Board meeting.

Closed Sessions. 

Two categories of Board sessions may be closed to the public.  The first category is known as "exceptions" to the open meetings law, the second category is known as "exemptions" to the open meetings law.

Exceptions to Open Meetings. 

A specific motion stating the reason for the closed meeting must be made and seconded, followed by a two-thirds affirmative roll call vote of the total membership of the Board or of all of the members present at the meeting.  The Board may enter into a closed session for any reason authorized by law, including:

a.               To review or discuss records which are required or authorized by state or federal law to be kept confidential as a condition for the District's possession or receipt of federal funds.

b.               To discuss strategy with counsel in matters presently in litigation or where litigation is imminent if disclosure would be likely to prejudice or disadvantage the position of the District in that litigation.

c.               To discuss whether to conduct a hearing or to conduct hearings to suspend or expel a student, unless an open session is requested by the student or the student's parent or guardian if the student is a minor.

d.               To discuss specific law enforcement matters which, if disclosed, would enable law violators to avoid detection.

e.               To evaluate the professional competency of an individual whose appointment, hiring, performance, or discharge is being considered, when a closed session is necessary to prevent needless and irreparable injury to that individual's reputation and when the individual requests a closed session.





Code No. 203.9


f.                To discuss the purchase or sale of particular real estate, but only when premature disclosure could be reasonably expected to increase the price the Board would have to pay for the property or reduce the price the governmental body would receive for that property.  Once the transaction is complete, however, the minutes and audio recording of the closed session will be available to the public.

The vote of each member on the question of holding the closed session, and the reason for holding the session, shall be announced publicly in open session and entered in the minutes.  Final action on all matters discussed in closed session shall be taken in open session unless otherwise allowed to be taken in closed session.

Closed sessions shall be audio recorded and detailed minutes shall be kept.

Exemptions to the Open Meetings Law.

A meeting that is exempt from the open meetings law can be held without public notice, without a tentative agenda and without a vote to go into closed session, and may be separate from any open public meeting.

The Board may meet at any time to discuss negotiation strategy regarding a certified bargaining unit, to discuss negotiation strategy for groups of employees not included in a certified bargaining unit, to conduct a private hearing relating to the recommended termination of a teacher's contract, if requested by the teacher in writing to the secretary of the Board, or as otherwise required or allowed by law.

There are no legal requirements for any type of a record to be maintained of the negotiation strategy sessions. 


Date of Revision:

December 11, 2017                  




Legal References:


Chapter 21, Chapter 22, 279.15 Code of Iowa              








Date of Review:  December 11, 2017