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Policies » Section B: School Board Governance and Operations » BEDG: Minutes

Policy Date: 01/04/2024

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The Board will keep a record of the actions taken at Board meetings in the form of minutes.
Minutes shall include the names of members participating, persons appearing before the School
Board, a brief description of each subject matter discussed, and a record of all final decisions. All
motions and seconds must be recorded as well. When a recorded roll call vote on a motion is
required by law or called for by the Chair, the minutes will record how each board member voted
on the motion.

Copies of the draft minutes of a meeting will be sent to the members of the Board before the
meeting at which they are to be approved. Amendments to the minutes may be made at the
meeting at which they are to be approved.

All minutes will be kept in accordance with RSA 91-A:2 and RSA 91-A:3 and will be in the custody
of the Superintendent. Draft minutes of all public meetings, clearly marked as drafts, will be
made available for public inspection no later than five (5) business days after each public
session. Minutes for non-public sessions shall be kept as a separate document. Draft minutes
for all non-public sessions, unless sealed by a recorded roll call vote taken in public session with
2/3 of the board members present supporting the motion, will be made available for public
inspection within seventy-two (72) hours after the non-public session.

Approved minutes, except those non-public session minutes, which are sealed, shall be
consistently posted on the District’s web site in a reasonably accessible location or the web site
shall contain a notice describing where the minutes may be reviewed and copies requested.
Draft minutes will be available for inspection at the District’s administrative office.

Sealing Non-Public Minutes.

As used in this policy, “sealed” minutes in reference to minutes of non-public sessions, means
that the Board determined by 2/3 majority vote in public session that “divulgence of the
information” (i.e., information in the minutes of the non-public session):

a. Would affect adversely the reputation of a person other than a Board member;

b. Would render ineffective the action/proposed action taken in non-public session; or

c. Pertains to matters relating to the preparation for and carrying out of all emergency
functions intended to thwart a deliberate act intended to result in widespread or severe
damage to property or widespread injury or loss of life (i.e., terrorism).

− A motion to seal, if any, should be the first item of public business after the Board
exits the non-public session, and must state one of the three grounds above
allowing sealing.

− If the minutes are not prepared/approved during the non-public sessions itself, the
Board should discuss the content of the minutes prior to exiting so that any vote to
seal will be an informed vote.

− When making or voting upon a motion to seal, the Board member who made the
motion should consider and state the duration that minutes be sealed based upon
the grounds supporting the sealing. This can be done either by stating a date they
are sealed until, or a date by which the Board might review the minutes’ status. For
instance, minutes sealed because divulgence of the information would likely affect
adversely the reputation of a person other than a member of the Board might
remain sealed permanently, while minutes sealed because disclosure would
“render the action ineffective” should be sealed only for as long as that reason
exists or is anticipated to exist. Pursuant to RSA 91-A:3, III, non-public minutes
relating to discussion about lease, purchase or sale of property (91-A:3, II(d)) must
be made available “as soon as practicable after the transaction has closed or the
Board has decided not to proceed with the transaction.”

Minutes of the Non-Public Session Itself. In addition to the information included in all minutes as
described in paragraphs B.1-7, above, minutes of the non-public session must include “all
actions” and decisions (i.e., votes, including negative votes) taken by the Board, with a record of
how each member voted. If the Board does not “seal” the minutes of the non-public session, then
such information must be disclosed to the public within 72 hours of the close of the meeting.

Sealed Minutes List. In order to comply with RSA 91-A:3, III, the Superintendent is directed to
maintain a list of all sealed minutes for non-public sessions occurring after July 1, 2021. The list
(referred to as the “Sealed Minutes List”) shall include:

a. the name of the public body (e.g., School Board, Policy Committee, etc.);

b. the date, time, and location of the public meeting (from meeting notice);

c. the start and end times of the non-public session;

d. the specific grounds upon which the non-public session occurred (e.g., RSA 91-A:3, II (b)
and (c), etc.);

e. the specific grounds upon which the minutes were sealed (e.g., “disclosure would render
the action ineffective” or “disclosure would likely adversely affect the reputation of a non-
board member,” etc.);

f. the date the vote to seal the minutes occurred;

g. the date, if any stated in the original motion or subsequently, on which the sealed minutes
will be unsealed; the motion to seal should, when possible, state the date the minutes
should be unsealed or at least reviewed by the Board or other public body; and

h. the date, if any, of a subsequent decision to unseal the minutes

The Sealed Minutes List shall be updated each time the public body seals non-public minutes,
and the updated List shall be made as soon as practicable for public disclosure.

Reviewing and Unsealing Previously Sealed Minutes. Pursuant to RSA 91-A:3, IV, starting on
October 3, 2023, sealed minutes must either be reviewed within each ten year period or unsealed
no later than the expiration of ten years following the date they were sealed or last reviewed.
Minutes sealed prior to October 3, 2023 must be reviewed and/or unsealed by October 3, 2033.

The Board will review previously sealed non-public minutes within ten years of the date the
minutes were first sealed, or within ten years of the last time those minutes were last reviewed by
the Board. The minutes shall be unsealed by majority vote of the Board if the circumstances
justifying sealing the minutes no longer apply. Minutes which are not reviewed after 10 years will
be automatically unsealed. Although discussion of whether to unseal such minutes should occur
in non-public session pursuant to RSA 91-A:3, II (m), any vote to unseal must occur in public

Legal References:
RSA 91-A:2 II-a, RSA 91-A:3 III Public Records and Meetings: Non-Public Sessions and RSA 91-
A:4 I Public Records and Meetings: Minutes and Records available for Public Inspection, RSA
189:29-a Records Retention and Disposition

Adopted: October 12, 1999
Revised: May 7, 2009, December 6, 2017, January 3, 2019, January 4, 2024