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Board Meeting Agenda Preparation

Section B: Board Governance and Operations

Policy Title: Scheduling Board Meetings and Agenda Items
Policy Code: BEDBA

Print Version (in PDF)

Scheduling Board Meetings

Unless the Board votes otherwise, it shall hold its annual organizational meeting at 6 p.m. on the first Tuesday in January at which district schools are open. The agenda of this meeting includes the election of officers for the calendar year.

All other board meetings, except for emergency meetings, are scheduled and cancelled only by vote of the Board or by failure of a quorum to appear for a scheduled meeting.

If a quorum of the Board, including members participating by phone, has not appeared within 30 minutes of the scheduled start of the meeting, then it is cancelled unless the Board President or Superintendent is present and decides to extend the waiting period.

The Board can vote to grant discretion to the Superintendent or Board President to schedule Board meetings, within guidelines set by the Board, but this grant cannot extend beyond the end of the calendar year.

Emergency Board Meetings

After consultation if possible, the Board President and Superintendent each have individual authority to call an emergency Board meeting. If the President is incapacitated, then this authority devolves to the Clerk. If the Superintendent is incapacitated, then this individual authority devolves to the General Counsel and the Deputy and Assistant Superintendents.

The Board President or Superintendent can ask the Board office to solicit Board members' availability for an emergency meeting and explain the reasons for the request, but Board members' replies should not discuss the merits of any proposed agenda items.

The person calling the emergency meeting must make the announcement in writing to Board members, the Board office, the Superintendent, and the Superintendent's office. This notice must state the reasons for the emergency and the meeting agenda, and it must include a declaration that the emergency meeting is necessary to prevent significant harm to the district, which could not be prevented or undone by action at the next already scheduled Board meeting.

The posting of the emergency meeting should comply with all requirements of the Open Meeting Law and district policy, except in special circumstances as provided by statute.
The Board shall not, at an emergency meeting, vote to remove items from a future Board agenda.

Emergency Meetings with Less than 24 Hours' Notice

Calling a meeting or adding agenda items, with less than 24 hours' notice to the public, is subject to statutory limitations in A.R.S. 38-431.02. 

An emergency meeting called under such conditions shall be subsequently followed by the posting of a public notice within twenty-four (24) hours declaring that an emergency session has been held and setting forth the information required by statute. Chapter 7 of the Arizona Agency Handbook shall be consulted for guidance.

Placing Items on the Agenda

The Board President and Superintendent each have individual authority to place items on the Board's agenda. This should normally occur after consultation between the Board President and Superintendent. 

Requests from Individual Members

An individual board member can request that an item be placed on the Board's agenda by sending a Board Agenda Item (BAI) to the Board President or Superintendent. The requested item should normally be scheduled within eight weeks of the request, but this deadline can be extended in the following circumstances.

  • All board member(s) requesting the item agree to such an extension, in written communication to the Superintendent or Board President. 
  • The eight week deadline would force scheduling at a Board meeting within six months of a meeting at which the Board, in the judgment of the Board President and Superintendent (whichever received the request), considered a substantially similar item. In this case, the requesting Board member shall receive notice of this determination.
  • The item requests information from staff, which staff requires additional time to prepare. In this case, the Superintendent shall advise the requesting Board member and the Board President, in writing, of the need for such postponement.
  • The item requests an Executive Session discussion that is inappropriate by law. In this case, the General Counsel shall advise the sponsoring Board member, the Board President, and the Superintendent, in writing, of this determination.

The  BAI should state, at minimum, the title of the agenda item, whether the item is to be considered for Information or Study or Action, in public or executive session, and a brief description of the purpose for bringing this agenda item forward for consideration. The BAI may include supporting material, to be posted with the agenda item.

The Board President or Superintendent should communicate approval of a BAI in writing, including the Board meeting for which it is approved, to the requesting member(s) and the Board Office.

An individual Board member's right to request research, in preparation for an agenda item, shall be in accordance with Policy BBAA.

When scheduling an item within the eight week window, the Board President or Superintendent may consider the anticipated length or number of other agenda items scheduled for particular future Governing Board meetings, the adequacy of notice to other Board members and the public, the staff time needed to prepare for the proposed agenda item (if the BAI makes requests of staff), attendance of persons necessary to address the item, and any other relevant circumstances.

Once approved by the Board President or Superintendent, a Board member's agenda item can be removed from that agenda only by that member's written request to the Board Office or by vote of the Board. If multiple members have requested the item, then a request to remove the item can be honored only if requested in writing by all of those members.

The Board member(s) requesting a BAI should be stated on the Board agenda where the item appears. No such identification is necessary for items initiated by the Superintendent.

If a Board member is unsatisfied with the scheduling of a requested agenda item, then the member has the option to ask the Board to vote to schedule the item, during the agenda item “Future Meeting Dates and Agenda Items,” which appears at the end of each board agenda (cf. Policy BEDB). 

Timelines and Deadlines

Policy BEDB provides timelines for the submission and posting of agenda items. These apply equally to superintendent-initiated and Board-initiated agenda items.

Future Agenda Planning

The Superintendent will develop and distribute to staff the Submission Schedule for agenda items, for meeting dates approved by the Governing Board. 

The Superintendent's Office is responsible for maintaining a calendar of future Board agenda items and sharing this with the Board Office.

Adopted: January 16, 2007
Revised: February 10, 2009
Review: January 12, 2010 [reviewed; no changes made]
Revised: June 22, 2010
Revised: February 22, 2011
Revised: March 27, 2012
Revised: April 23, 2013 [Readopted June 22, 2010 version]
Revised: March 8, 2016
Revised: January 17, 2017
Revised: September 11, 2018LEGAL REF.: A.R.S. 38-431
Policy BBAA - Board Member Authority and Responsibilities
Policy BEDB – Board Meeting Agenda Posting and Organization