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EMPLOYMENT STATUS

The Board may employ the Superintendent at will as the executive officer of a state agency, or by contract for a term not to exceed five years, as the Superintendent of a special public school.  Education Code 11.201(b)

The legal authority of the Board to employ the Superintendent by contract is derived from its assigned role to organize and conduct itself in the same manner as an independent school district board of trustees to the extent that the organization and conduct do not conflict with the Board's responsibilities relating to the status of the School as a state agency.  Education Code 30.022(d)

State limitations on contracting with a former or retired agency employee do not apply to employment of the School's Superintendent.  Education Code 30.024(b); Government Code 2252.901

Property Interest

If the Superintendent is employed by contract, the contract of employment with the School creates a property interest in the position only for the period of time stated in the contract.

Such a contract creates no property interest of any kind beyond the period of time stated in the contract.  Perry v. Sindermann, 408 U.S. 593 (1972); Board of Regents of State Colleges v. Roth, 408 U.S. 564 (1972)

At Will

If the Superintendent is employed at will, the School has no duty to the Superintendent regarding continuation of employment.  (See also Policy DCD.)

Financial Exigency

On the basis of a financial exigency declared under Education Code 44.011 that requires a reduction in personnel, the Board may choose to amend the terms of the contract of the Superintendent employed under a term contract.  A superintendent whose contract is amended under this provision may resign without penalty by providing reasonable notice to the Board and may continue employment for that notice period under the prior contract.  Education Code 21.212(f)

Adopted:          1/26/96

Amended:        11/19/99, 1/23/15, 4/5/19

Reviewed:        2/09/01, 11/21/03

RESIDENCE REQUIREMENT

The Superintendent of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired may reside on the campus.  Education Code 30.023(c)

If the Board determines that it is necessary for the Superintendent to reside on campus to effectively carry out the job responsibilities of the position, the Board may require the Superintendent to reside at the School in TSBVI Building 509, also known as the Superintendent's Residence. 

If the Board does not require the Superintendent to reside at the School, the Superintendent may allow another school employee to reside in the Superintendent's Residence if the Superintendent determines that the employee's residence is necessary to effectively carry out the job responsibilities of the position.

BOARD DETERMINATION

If the Superintendent is required or another employee is allowed to reside at the School:

  1. The Board of Trustees shall enter into a housing agreement with the Superintendent or other employee setting forth the rights and responsibilities concerning the occupancy of the residence. The Board shall ensure that maintenance and upkeep of the Superintendent's Residence is in accordance with the housing agreement and with the provisions of the General Appropriations Act. Education Code 30.023(c), General Appropriations Act, Article IX
  2. The Administrator of Business, Operations, and Technology shall ensure that:
    1. an annual inspection of the Superintendent’s Residence to identify items for maintenance and repair; and
    2. an annual inventory of all furniture, equipment and accessories in the Superintendent’s Residence that are the property of TSBVI.
  3. The Chief Financial Officer shall submit to the Board annually a report containing the following information:
    1. Maintenance performed during the fiscal year;
    2. A comparison of budgeted to actual expenditures for the upkeep of the house and grounds;
    3. Results of the annual inspection and recommendations for maintenance and repair;
    4. Results of the annual property inventory;
    5. Any additional information that the Board may request.
  4. The School shall report to the Legislative Budget Board annually all employees who received housing at the School, the estimated fair market rental value of housing supplied by the School, and the amount of revenue recovered for the housing, if any. 2014-2015 General Appropriations Act, Article IX, Sec. 1104(a)

LIMITATION ON USE OF FUNDS FOR RESIDENCE

Out of appropriations in the General Appropriations Act, expenditures exceeding an aggregate amount of $25,000 for the biennium, may not be made for purchasing, remodeling, or repairing of any one particular personal residence or living quarters unless the expenditures are:

  1. Required by court order; will result in increased safety, significant net cost savings, or prevention of substantial waste; or are specifically identified in a Capital Budget in the Appropriations Act; and
  2. The Governor and Legislative Budget Board have approved the expenditure.

2014-2015 General Appropriations Act, Article IX, Sec. 1101

Adopted:         5/31/90

Amended:        11/22/91, 1/29/93, 1/23/98, 11/22/02, 7/23/07, 1/23/15, 4/5/19

Reviewed:

 

RECRUITING

At the discretion of the Board and by majority vote, the Board may seek and recruit qualified applicants for the position of Superintendent.

NAMES OF APPLICANTS

The name of an applicant for Superintendent is exempted from disclosure under Chapter 552, Government Code (Public Information Act).  However, the Board shall give public notice of the name or names of the finalists being considered for Superintendent at least 21 days before the date of the meeting at which a final action or vote is to be taken on the employment of the person.

Gov't Code 552.126

Adopted:         11/13/81

Amended:       9/27/90, 1/29/93, 1/26/96, 11/19/99, 2/9/01, 1/23/15

Reviewed:       11/6/98, 4/5/19

QUALIFICATIONS

The Superintendent of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI) shall hold an advanced degree; have training and experience in the education of students with visual impairments and in the administration of a program serving students with visual impairments; and satisfy any other requirements established by the Board of Trustees.  Education Code 30.023(b)

SUPERVISOR

The Superintendent is supervised by the TSBVI Board of Trustees.

SUPERVISES

The Superintendent directly supervises principals, the Director of Business and Operations, Director of Information Resources, Director of Human Resources, Director of the Center for School Resources, Outreach Director, Legal Counsel, Director of Planning and Evaluation, Curriculum Director, Community Resources Director, Executive Assistant and indirectly supervises all staff.

RESPONSIBILITIES

The Superintendent is the educational leader and chief executive and administrative officer of the School.

Education Code 11.201(a), 30.022(d)

While the Superintendent may delegate responsibilities for the operation of the various segments of the school system, (s)he is responsible for coordinating the total program of the School involving its business affairs, instructional program, and residential programs as well as all related services and support functions.

The primary responsibility of the Superintendent of TSBVI is the administration of on-campus and off-campus programs that serve Texas students with a visual impairment, their parents, and professionals who serve them.

The duties of the Superintendent include:

  1. Taking any necessary and appropriate daily action to carry out the functions and purposes of the School according to any general policies the Board prescribes.  Education Code 11.1512 (a), 30.023(e)
  2. Reporting at least once each quarter to the Board concerning the Superintendent's activities, progress in implementing any general policy prescribed by the Board, any exceptional matter relating to the program, general statistical summaries of services provided by the School during the period covered by the report, budget matters of major consequence or concern, and any additional matter the Board requests to be specifically included in the report.  Education Code 30.023(f)
  3. Recommending policies to the Board for its deliberation and develops administrative principles and procedures for placing Board policy into effect.
  4. Preparing the Board agenda in consultation with the President; attends all meetings of the Board and is responsible for all record keeping for the Board.
  5. Providing joint leadership with the Board to insure that the responsibilities of the Board and Superintendents team are carried out.

EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP

  1. Ensuring that the School takes a leadership role in state and national efforts toward the improvement of educational programs for students with visual impairments.
  2. Leading in the development of long range plans and other activities related to the establishment of goals and objectives in support of the School's mission.
  3. Coordinating all efforts to promote a program of instruction which supports the philosophy and goals of the School, including consultations with the Instructional Planning Council (IPG). [See BQA]
  4. Directing the development of curricula for each area of the educational program through a system that encourages a broad base of participation.
  5. Directing, with the principals, innovative residential programming which fosters the development of independent living and leisure skills of students.
  6. Ensuring that parents are kept informed of the activities and progress of their children and determines when special reports should be made.
  7. Promoting opportunities for students to engage in extracurricular activities on and off campus.

COMPLIANCE

  1. Ensuring submittal of all reports required by the State of Texas, the Texas Education Agency, and federal agencies including an annual performance report describing the School's educational performance.
  2. Ensuring that the School's programs and practices are in compliance with federal and state laws and rules applicable to the School, including adoption of a Student Code of Conduct [See FO] and enforcement of that Code; and adoption and enforcement of other student disciplinary rules and procedures.
  3. Providing leadership for the attainment and if necessary, improvement of student performance at TSBVI based on the state’s student achievement and quality of learning indicators, including Performance Indicator Evaluations, established by TEA in the Memorandum of Understanding with TSBVI for accreditation and other performance indicators required by the Legislative Budget Board.
  4. Signing and administering grants, contracts, and agreements involving the School in accordance with Board policy.
  5. Maintaining, updating, and distributing of administrative policies and procedural manuals and materials.

FINANCE

  1. Establishing and maintaining a systematic process of accounting for services and finances in order to assure effectiveness in using resources to achieve School objectives.
  2. As chief executive officer, is responsible for preparation of a proposed annual budget and biennial requests for Board approval; defends these budgets when necessary and approves all expenditures.
  3. Directing efforts to secure funding from non-legislative sources.

ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGEMENT

  1. Establishing and following sound practices for human resources management, including the employment of classified personnel, recommendations to the Board for the employment of contract personnel, compensation, contract administration, discipline, performance appraisal, termination or nonrenewal, and staff development. [See DF, DK, and DP series]
  2. Establishing a system of community relations that ensures high visibility for the School, its programs and objectives.
  3. Planning and directing the School health program and keeping, or causing to be kept, necessary health records.
  4. Appointing admissions officer, custodian of student records, textbook custodian and textbook committee, and other committees as needed and/or required.
  5. Overseeing the inventory of property belonging to the School, as required.
  6. In cooperation with the Texas Facilities Commission, ensuring physical facilities (buildings, grounds, equipment) that are safe, accessible, and appropriate for the students and staff and necessary for the achievement of program objectives.
  7. Approving all reports and other publications concerning the School before they are published; approves other public relations activities.
  8. Performing other duties as may be requested or determined by the Board.

COLLABORATION WITH THE BOARD

The Board and the Superintendent shall work together to:

  1. Advocate for the high achievement of students;
  2. Create and support connections with community organizations to provide community-wide support for the high achievement of students;
  3. Provide educational leadership for the School, including leadership in developing the School's vision statement and long-range educational plan [see AE];
  4. Establish school-wide policies and annual goals that are tied directly to the School's vision statement and long-range educational plan;
  5. Support the professional development of principals, teachers, and other staff; and
  6. Periodically evaluate board and superintendent leadership, governance, and teamwork.

Education Code 11.1512(b)

Prohibited Interference

The Superintendent may not interfere with an appearance or testimony of specified School personnel required by the Board.

Education Code 11.1511 (d) [See BAA]

Adopted:         6/14/80

Amended:       7/12/85, 11/12/87, 11/22/91, 1/29/93, 11/19/93, 11/18/94, 1/26/96, 5/24/96, 11/6/98, 11/22/02, 11/19/04, 4/3/09, 1/23/15, 6/1/18

Reviewed:

SUPERINTENDENT

The Superintendent of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI) is appointed by the governing Board of the School.  TEC 30.023

The Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired is a special school within the public education system of Texas.  As such the TSBVI Superintendent is responsible for implementing those laws and rules governing Texas public schools that are applicable to TSBVI.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

TSBVI also functions as a state agency.  The chief administrative officer of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired shall, as required, function as the executive director of a state agency, subject to the same laws and regulations as may apply to directors of similar state agencies.

For the purpose of school governance and administration, the term Superintendent may be employed interchangeably with Executive Director.  In written policies and other school documents, references to the term Superintendent shall mean the same as Executive Director.

Adopted:         11/13/81

Amended:       1/29/93, 1/23/15

Reviewed:       9/27/96, 02/09/01, 4/3/09

GOALS

The Board, staff, and administration of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired will provide an instructional program and support services that are committed to excellence and guided by the philosophy of this School and the mission statement of public education in Texas, in accord with the following goals:

ADMINISTRATIVE AND SUPPORT SERVICE GOALS

  1. To develop and improve curriculum based on the needs of students, and based on the most recent findings of the profession regarding the educational needs, and curriculum and techniques to meet the needs, of students who are visually impaired;
  2. To provide physical facilities (buildings, grounds, and equipment) that are safe, accessible, and requisite for the students and staff, and to the achievement of program objectives;
  3. To establish and follow sound and equitable policies and practices for personnel administration, hiring, and utilization of personnel resources;
  4. To promote public relations activities to foster public understanding, approval, and support of School policies and programs, and to assume responsibility for increasing the awareness of the community and state regarding the characteristics, attributes, and needs of individuals who are blind, or visually impaired;
  5. To establish and maintain a systematic process of accounting for services and finances in order to assure effectiveness in using resources to achieve school objectives;
  6. To improve instruction through a staff development program, support of educational research, and the development of instructional methods and materials;
  7. To attract and retain qualified and effective teachers and other direct service staff;
  8. To organize and manage all levels of the school district productively, efficiently, and accountably.
  9. To involve parents and other members of the community in the improvement of the School.
  10. To assure a School environment exists in which the safety and welfare of students is safeguarded.
  11. To provide statewide services to parents of students with visual impairments, school districts, regional education service centers, and other agencies serving students with visual impairments, including students who have one, or more, disabilities, in addition to the visual impairment, such as students who are deafblind.
  12. To cooperate with public and private agencies and organizations serving students and other persons with visual impairments in the planning, development, and implementation of effective educational and rehabilitative service delivery systems associated with educating students with visual impairments.

OBJECTIVES

The Superintendent shall establish annual objectives to implement the administrative goals.

Adopted: 1/24/97
Amended:
Reviewed: 1/30/04

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HARMONY WITH LAW

Newly enacted law is applicable when effective.  No policy or regulation, or any portion thereof, shall be operative if it is found to be in conflict with applicable law.

Severability

If any portion of a policy or its application to any person or circumstance is found to be invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of policy that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application; and to this end the provisions of the TSBVI policy manual are declared to be severable.

ORGANIZATION

Legally referenced policies contain provisions from federal and state statutes and regulations, case law, and other legal authority that together form the framework for decision making and implementation.  These policies are binding on the School until the cited provisions are repealed, revised, or superseded by legislative, regulatory, or judicial action.

TERMS

The terms “Trustee” and “Board member” are used interchangeably in the policy manual.  Both terms are intended to reflect all the duties and obligations of the office.

POLICY-RELATED FUNCTIONS

The following guidelines address policy functions:

  1. Policy development is a cooperative effort involving the Board, the staff, members of the community, and other information sources.
  2. Policy adoption is the function of the Board.
  3. Policy implementation is a function of the Superintendent and staff.
  4. Policy monitoring, reviewing, and evaluating are functions of the Board based on information received from the staff, the community, and other sources.

POLICY DEVELOPMENT AND ADOPTION

Policies and policy amendments may be initiated by the Superintendent, Board members, school personnel, or community citizens, but shall be recommended for the Board’s consideration by the Superintendent.

Effective Date

Policies shall become effective upon Board adoption or at a future date designated by the Board at the time of adoption.

Evaluation

The Board may establish a time frame for monitoring, reviewing, and evaluating designated policies.

OFFICIAL POLICY MANUAL

The Board shall designate one copy of the policy manual as the official policy manual of the School, as well as a copy of the Board Operating Procedures.  The official copies shall be kept in the central administration office, and the Superintendent or designee shall be responsible for its accuracy and integrity and shall maintain an historical record of the School’s policy manual.  If discrepancies occur between different copies of the manual, the version contained in the official policy manual shall be regarded as authoritative.

EDITORIAL ADMINISTRATIVE CHANGES

The Superintendent shall have the authority to make editorial administrative changes to policies, such as changes in program and job titles, staff names assigned to Title IX, Title VII and other such duties, telephone numbers, and addresses that do not alter substantive portions or the intent of policies.  Administrative changes that are made under the provisions of this policy shall go into effect 10 days after the Board receives a copy of the amended policy.  A cover letter shall accompany the distribution of the policy that clearly states what changes were made; that they were made by the Superintendent; and that the amendment shall go into effect in 10 calendar days.

WAIVERS

Except as indicated below at Restrictions, the School may apply to the Commissioner of Education for a waiver of a requirement or prohibition imposed by the Education Code or rule of the State Board of Education or Commissioner.  An application for a waiver must include:

  1. A written plan approved by the Board that states the achievement objectives of the School and the inhibition imposed on those objectives by the requirement or prohibition; and
  2. Written comments from the Instructional Planning Committee.

Education Code 7.056(a)(b)

Submission and Approval

The application shall be submitted to the Commissioner not later than the 31st day before the School intends to take action requiring a waiver.  If the Commissioner does not notify the School of an objection within 30 days after receiving the application, the waiver is granted.  Education Code 7.056(b)(c)

Duration

A waiver is effective for the period stated in the application, which cannot exceed three years.  If TSBVI has received a waiver for three years, it may receive an exemption from the requirement, restriction, or prohibition at the end of that period if it has achieved the objectives stated in the application.  The exemption remains in effect until the Commissioner determines that achievement levels of the School have declined.  Education Code 7.056(d)

Restrictions

The School may not receive an exemption or waiver from a requirement, restriction, or prohibition imposed by federal or state law or rule relating to:

  1. A prohibition on conduct that constitutes a criminal offense.
  2. Essential knowledge or skills under Education Code 28.002, or high school graduation requirements under Education Code 28.025;
  3. TSBVI statutory accountability under Education Code 30.002 and 30.005, and standards set by the Memorandum of Understanding with TEA;
  4. Extracurricular activities under Education Code 33.081 or participation in a University Interscholastic League area, regional, or state competition under Education Code 33.0812;
  5. Health and safety under Education Code Chapter 38;
  6. Elementary school class size limits, except as provided by Education Code 25.112;
  7. Removal of a disruptive student from the classroom under Education Code Chapter 37, Subchapter A;
  8. At-risk programs under Education Code 29, Subchapter C;
  9. Educator rights and benefits under Education Code Chapter 21, Subchapters A, C, D, E, F, G, I and Chapter 2, Subchapter A;
  10. Special education programs under Education Code Chapter 29, Subchapter A;
  11. Bilingual education programs, including ESL, under Education Code Chapter 29, Subchapter B; or
  12. First day of instruction requirements under Education Code 25.0811.

Education Code 7.056(e); [ Note:  As a state agency, TSBVI’s purchasing is subject to the Gov’t Code, not the Education Code, therefore, no waivers are required.]

Adopted:             3/7/80

Amended:           9/10/82, 3/22/91, 9/27/91, 3/27/92, 1/29/93, 3/25/94, 3/21/97, 1/25/08, 11/17/17, 9/27/19

Reviewed:           1/31/03

Board meetings are held to transact the business of the School in the presence of the public.  So that citizens have the opportunity to be informed about the operations of the School, meetings are open to the public, except when closed meetings are conducted, as permitted by the Open Meetings Act.  The Board shall provide opportunities at its meetings for citizens to address the Board in public, but may impose reasonable restraints on the length of presentations, and, in so doing, shall not unfairly discriminate among views seeking expression.  Gov't Code 551.002,.003; Tex. Constitution Art. I, Sec. 27

UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION

TSBVI shall take no action abridging the freedom of speech or the right of the people to petition the Board for redress of grievances. U.S. Const. Amend. I, XIV

When the board sits in public meetings to conduct public business and hear the views of citizens, it may not discriminate between speakers on the basis of the content of their speech or the message it conveys.  Rosenberger v. Rector & Visitors of Univ. of Virginia, 515 U.S.819, 828 (1995); City of Madison v. Wis. Emp. Rel. Comm’n, 429 U.S. 167, 176 (1976); Pickering v. Bd. of Educ., 391 U.S. 563, 568 (1968)

The Board may create a limited public forum for the purpose of hearing comments from the public so long as:

  1. The Board does not discriminate against speech on the basis of viewpoint;
  2. Any restrictions are reasonable in light of the purpose served by the forum; and
  3. The Board provides alternative paths for expressing categories of protected speech that are excluded from the forum.

Fairchild v. Liberty Indep. Sch. Dist., 597 F.3d 747 (5th Cir. 2010)

LIMIT ON PARTICIPATION

Public Comment

The Board shall allow each member of the public who desires to address the Board regarding an item on an agenda for an open meeting of the Board to address the Board regarding the item at the meeting before or during the Board’s consideration of the item.

Public participation is encouraged during the open forum portion of a meeting.  At all other times during Board meetings, the audience shall not enter into discussion, or debate, on matters being considered by the Board, unless recognized by the President. 

Time Limits

No citizen presentation shall exceed five minutes per agenda item.  When the individual members of a delegation of persons have requested to speak on the same or similar topic, the President may request the delegation to designate a single spokesperson, but each citizen has the right to address the Board.

In the event that time allotted to address the Board may be insufficient for a speaker, all speakers who address the Board are encouraged to provide their comments in writing, and if possible, to provide ten copies of their written comments.

Additional Time for Translation

If the Board does not use simultaneous translation equipment in a manner that allows the Board to hear the translated public testimony simultaneously, the amount of time that a member of the public may address the Board through a translator must be given at least twice the amount of time as a member of the public who does not require the assistance of a translator in order to ensure that non-English speakers receive the same opportunity to address the Board.

A request for an interpreter for a language other than Spanish shall be made in writing at least 5 days prior to the Board meeting so that a professional translator may be located.  Speakers may also provide their own interpreters. 

The following procedures shall apply to citizens' communications:

Sign-Up Sheet

  1. A person or representative of a group or organization shall be required to sign up on a form provided by the Board prior to the beginning of the meeting. The person signing up shall give the subject to be addressed, his or her name, address and telephone number and if applicable, the group or organization the person represents.

No person shall be permitted to exchange time or to yield time to persons not signed up.

  1. Citizens' communications shall be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  2. The Board meetings must focus on the educational needs of visually impaired students. Therefore, speakers shall present their comments in a respectful manner, displaying civility.  Profanity, vulgarity, or character abuse (slander) shall not be permitted.

Board’s Response

  1. Specific factual information or recitation of existing policy may be furnished in response to inquiries; however, except for a proposal to place the subject of the inquiry on the agenda of a subsequent meeting, the Board shall not deliberate or determine any subject that is not on the agenda posted with notice of the meeting. The Board President may direct the Superintendent to respond to questions or statements at a later time; however, Board members shall not conduct a dialogue with a speaker.  [See BE]

Complaints Against Employees

  1. Complaints about specific School personnel are not appropriate for presentation during citizens' communications and shall not be permitted. Such concerns shall first be addressed to the appropriate administrator as required by Board policy, and, if unresolved administratively, may be addressed to the Board as a scheduled agenda item in closed meeting, unless the employee who is the subject of the complaint requests that the complaint be heard in open meeting.  [See DGBA, FNG, GF]

Public Criticism of the Board

  1. The Board may not prohibit public criticism of the Board, including criticism of any act, omission, policy, procedure, program, or service. This does not apply to public criticism that is otherwise prohibited by law such as slander or privacy violations.

Additional Public Forum

  1. In the event these provisions for public comment do not, as determined by the Board, meet the needs of the community, the Board may schedule a public meeting as soon as practicable for the purpose of hearing from additional speakers.

Gov’t Code 551.007

DISRUPTION

It is a criminal offense for a person, with intent to prevent, or disrupt, a lawful meeting, to substantially obstruct, or interfere, with the meeting by physical action, or verbal utterance and thereby curtail the exercise of others' First Amendment rights.  Penal Code 42.05; Morehead v. State, 807 S.W.2d 577 (Tex. Cr. App. 1991).

The Board shall not tolerate disruption of the meeting by members of the public.  If, after at least one warning from the President, any person continues to disrupt the meeting by his, or her, words or actions, the Board President shall request assistance from law enforcement officials or TSBVI Security Officers to have the person removed from the meeting.

Adopted:         3/25/94

Amended:       11/14/97, 3/21/03, 4/1/05, 6/1/18, 1/31/20

Reviewed:       1/24/02

EXCEPTIONS FOR CLOSED MEETINGS

The Board may conduct a closed meeting for the purposes described in the following provisions.

Attorney Consultation

  1. The Board may conduct a private consultation with its attorney only when it seeks the attorney's advice about pending or contemplated litigation or a settlement offer or on a matter in which the duty of the attorney to the Board under the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of Texas clearly conflicts with the requirement for open meetings.   Gov't Code 551.071 [See BE for permissible methods of communication for attorney consultations]

Real Property

  1. The Board may conduct a closed meeting to deliberate the purchase, exchange, lease, or value of real property if deliberation in open meeting would have a detrimental effect on the Board's position in negotiations with a third person.  Gov't Code 551.072

Prospective Gift

  1. The Board may conduct a closed meeting to deliberate a negotiated contract for a prospective gift or donation to the School if deliberation in an open meeting would have a detrimental effect on the Board's position in negotiations with a third person.  Gov't Code 551.073

Personnel Matters

  1. The Board is not required to conduct an open meeting to deliberate the appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline, or dismissal of a public officer or employee or to hear a complaint or charges against an officer or employee. However, the Board may not conduct a closed meeting for these purposes if the officer or employee who is the subject of the deliberation or hearing requests a public hearing.  Gov't Code 551.074

    The closed meeting exception for personnel matters does not apply when the Board discusses an independent contractor who is not a TSBVI employee, such as an engineering, architectural, or consultant firm, or when the Board discusses a class or group of employees, not a particular employee.  Atty. Gen. Op. MW-129 (1980), Atty. Gen. Op. H-496 (1975)

Employee-Employee Complaints

The Board is not required to conduct an open meeting to deliberate a case in which a complaint or charge is brought against a School employee by another employee and the complaint, or charge, directly results in the need for a hearing. However, the Board may not conduct a closed meeting for this purpose if the employee against whom the complaint or charge is brought makes a written request for an open hearing.  Gov't Code 551.082

Student Discipline

  1. The Board is not required to conduct an open meeting to deliberate a case involving discipline of a public school child.  However, the Board may not conduct a closed meeting for this purpose if the child's parent or guardian makes a written request for an open hearing.  Gov't Code 551.082

Personally Identifiable Student Information

  1. The Board is not required to conduct an open meeting to deliberate a matter regarding a student if personally identifiable information about the student will necessarily be revealed by the deliberation.

    Directory information about a student at the School is considered to be personally identifiable information about the student for this purpose only if a parent or guardian of the student, or the student if the student has attained 18 years of age, has informed the School that the directory information should not be released without prior consent. [See FL]

    This exception does not apply if an open meeting about the matter is requested in writing by a parent or guardian of the student or by the student if the student has attained 18 years of age.

Gov't Code 551.0821

Security Devices

  1. The Board is not required to conduct an open meeting to deliberate
    1. the deployment, or specific occasions for implementation, of security personnel, or devices; or
    2. A security audit.

Gov't Code 551.076

  1. A board is not required to conduct an open meeting to deliberate:
    1. Security assessments or deployments relating to information resources technology;
    2. Network security information as described by Government Code 2059.055 (b); or
    3. The deployment, or specific occasions for implementation, of security personnel, critical infrastructure, or security devices.

Gov’t Code 551.089

Assessment Instruments

  1. The Board shall conduct a closed meeting to discuss, or adopt, individual assessment instruments, or assessment instrument items.  Education Code 39.030(a)

Emergency Management

  1. The Board is not required to conduct an open meeting to deliberate information confidential under Government Code 418.175-418.182, relating to Homeland Security.  However, the Board must make a tape recording of the proceedings of a closed meeting held to deliberate the information.  Gov’t Code 418.183(f)

Economic Development Negotiations

  1. The Board is not required to conduct an open meeting:
    1. To discuss or deliberate regarding commercial or financial information that the Board has received from a business prospect that the Board seeks to have locate, stay or expand in or near the district and with which the Board is conducting economic development negotiations; or
    2. To deliberate the offer of a financial or other incentive to such a business prospect.

Gov't Code 551.087

PROCEDURES FOR CLOSED MEETINGS

If a closed meeting is allowed, the Board shall not conduct the closed meeting unless a quorum of the Board first convenes in an open meeting for which proper notice has been given (see BE) and the Board President has publicly announced that a closed meeting will be held and has identified the section or sections of the Open Meetings Act or other applicable law under which the closed meeting is held and has announced the time.   Gov't Code 551.101, 551.103

Vote or Final Action

A final action, decision, or vote on a matter deliberated in a closed meeting shall be made only in an open meeting for which proper notice has been given.  After a closed meeting and prior to convening in the open meeting, the Board President shall announce the time of convening in open session.  Gov't Code 551.102 (See BE)

Certified Agenda or Tape Recording

The Board shall either keep a certified agenda, or make a recording of the proceedings of each closed meeting, except for private consultations with the School's attorney.  The certified agenda must include a statement of the subject matter of each deliberation, a record of any further action taken, and an announcement by the Board President at the beginning and end of the closed meeting indicating the date and time.  The Board President shall certify that a certified agenda is a true and correct record of the proceedings.  If a recording is made, it must include announcements by the Board President at the beginning and end of the meeting indicating the date and time.  Gov't Code 551.103

“Recording” means a tangible medium on which audio or a combination of audio and video is recorded, including a disk, tape, wire, film, electronic storage drive, or other medium now existing or later developed.  Gov’t Code 551.001(7)

Closed meetings may not be recorded by an individual Trustee against the wishes of a majority of the Board.  Zamora v. Edgewood ISD, 592 S.W.2d 649 (Tex. App.- San Antonio, 1979, writ ref’d n.r.e.)

Preservation

The Board shall preserve the certified agenda or recording of a closed meeting for at least two years after the date of the meeting.  If a legal action involving the meeting is brought within that period, the Board shall preserve the certified agenda or recording while the action is pending.  Gov't Code 551.104(a)

Public Access

A certified agenda or recording of a closed meeting is available for public inspection and copying only under a court order issued as a result of litigation involving an alleged violation of the Open Meetings Act.

Prohibitions

No Board member shall participate in a closed meeting knowing that neither a certified agenda nor a recording of the closed meeting is being made.  Gov't Code 551.145

No individual, corporation, or partnership shall, without lawful authority, disclose to a member of the public the certified agenda or recording of a meeting that was lawfully closed to the public.  Gov't Code 551.146

No Board member shall knowingly call or aid in calling or organizing a closed meeting that is not permitted under the Open Meetings Act, close or aid in closing a regular meeting to the public except as permitted under the Open Meetings Act, or participate in a closed meeting that is not permitted under the Open Meetings Act.  Gov't Code 551.144(a)

Affirmative Defense

It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under Subsection 551.144(a) that the Board member acted in reasonable reliance on a court order or a written interpretation of the open meetings law contained in an opinion of a court of record, the attorney general, or the Board's attorney.  Gov't Code 551.144(c)

Adopted:   5/8/81

Amended:   10/25/85, 11/12/87, 1/26/90, 3/27/92, 1/29/93, 3/25/94, 11/15/96, 1/24/02, 3/26/04, 4/1/05, 11/20/09, 9/29/17, 4/6/18

Reviewed:

TSBVI GUIDELINES FOR RECORDING
BOARD MEETINGS

Any person in attendance at a TSBVI Board meeting may record the open portion of a meeting by means of a tape recorder, video camera, or other means of aural or visual reproduction.

The Board may adopt reasonable rules to maintain order at its meetings, in accordance with Texas Government Code 551.023.

The Board encourages the press, the broadcast media, and all interested individuals to attend Board meetings and to record all or any part of the open proceedings.  To this end, the School and its staff shall seek to facilitate all reasonable requests relating to recording activities.  In accomplishing these goals, the Board does not intend to prevent or unreasonably impair recording; however, persons using any means of aural or visual reproduction must abide by the following rules at all Board meetings:

1. All equipment that requires setting up must be assembled at least 15 minutes before the meeting is scheduled to start.

2. No strobes, flash lighting, or other bright lights that would impair the conduct of the meeting may be used, unless approval has been obtained from the Board President or the Superintendent before the meeting.

3. The Board proceedings shall not be interrupted for the purpose of accommodating any individual's audio or video recording. Any interviews during meetings shall be conducted outside of the meeting chamber.

4. The presiding officer at the meeting may stop the aural or visual reproduction if the person operating the equipment or the equipment itself is disrupting or in any way interfering with the orderly conduct of the Board meeting or blocking aisles or other means of entrance or exit from the Board room.

5. Stationary equipment that requires setup will not be taken down during the course of the meeting, but may be removed during a recess or after the meeting is over.

6. No recording equipment will be allowed in a closed meeting, except as provided in Government Code 551.103, or otherwise authorized but the Board.

Adopted: 1/29/93

Amended: 3/25/94, 9/29/17

Reviewed: 11/15/96, 1/24/02