Chariho School Parents’ Forum

May 12, 2008

“Only by following our leaders blindly can we truly be free” -Major Frank Burns (the idiot on the MASH TV show)

Filed under: Committee rules,Corruption — Editor @ 12:38 pm

Take it from Major Burns, just let our leaders tell us what to do and what to think and everything will be fine.  And no, there is no conflict of interest when we rest this power in “leaders” who are the guy we hired to work for us as a superintendent and the chairman whose wife and son both work at Chariho (and he spends many of his days at Chariho as his employer also gets money from the District).  But they can’t do this alone —

Bob Petit, Terry Serra and Andy McQuade (the members of the sub committee who created this document) feel like you have too much access to information, too.   Besides the fact that they have all stood by and watched as Barry Ricci has openly (in executive session) refused to answer my questions because he says I divulge “confidential” information (and Ricci himself decides what is confidential), but now they want to take away your and my right to information.  This subcommittee has come up with the following proposed changes to the way our board operates.

Here are the changes that will be voted for on Tuesday.

 

 

CHARIHO SCHOOL COMMITTEE

RULES OF CONDUCT

The following Rules of Conduct are adopted to ensure that 1 School Committee meetings are efficient, effective, and respectful, 2 requirements of the Open Meetings

Act are met, 3 the focus of the School Committee is on improving educational opportunities for students and 4 roles and responsibilities are clear for members of the

School Committee.

Meeting Procedures

a. School Committee meetings open to the public shall be held in the Middle School library from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM. The ending time of the meeting can only be extended by a vote of 2/3 of the members present. Executive Session may be held before and/or after the public meeting.

b. Special meetings may be called by the Superintendent, in conjunction with the Chair, for grievances, student discipline hearings, personnel matters,litigation, negotiations, etc. Each member will be contacted; the special meeting will be held if a majority of the members indicate that they will attend.

c. The agenda for School Committee meetings shall be Meeting Call to Order/Pledge of Allegiance/Silent Meditation, Executive Session optional, Closing/Sealing of Executive Session Minutes if necessary, Disclosure of Executive Session Votes if necessary, Recognition, Public Forum, Business, Reports, School Committee Requests for Future

Agenda Items or Legal Opinions, Consent Agenda Items, Policy if necessary, Executive Session optional, Closing/Sealing of Executive Session Minutes if necessary, Disclosure of Executive Session Votes if necessary, and Adjournment. The order of the public meeting agenda may be adjusted by a majority vote of the School Committee.

d. The School Committee will follow Robert’s Rules of Order; the most recent edition will be used. However, regarding the rule requiring a motion prior to discussion and then limiting members to

 

 

 

 

 

two opportunities to speak on each motion: Consensus on an item may be attempted first; when the Chair deems appropriate, he/she may call for a motion; then the two

comment limit is imposed. Also, regarding the motion to move the previous question: A member making the motion may include a stipulation to give the public one last opportunity to speak.

e. All persons wishing to speak during Public Forum for items not on the agenda will be recognized; however, the Chair will have the discretion to limit each person to 2-4 minutes. Brief responses from the School Committee may be given during Public Forum. The Chair will also have the discretion to ask the School Committee if it wishes an item being discussed in Public Forum placed on a future agenda and suspend further conversation on the topic to that time; a majority vote of the School Committee is required to place an item on an agenda. Public Forum may not exceed thirty minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

f. A School Committee member may request that a statement he/she made be included in the minutes or request that another person’s comments be included in the minutes.

g. Sealed Executive Session minutes may not be discussed by individual members of the School Committee.

Agenda Development

a. The Superintendent, in conjunction with the Chair, shall develop the School Committee agenda.

b. Individual members who would like an item placed on an agenda should make the request during “School Committee Requests for Future Agenda Items or Legal Opinions.” A majority vote of the School Committee is required to place an item on the agenda. Discussion is limited to 2-4 minutes by the member making the motion for the agenda item; no other discussion is allowed. Requests for emergency or time_sensitive items should be directed to the Chair, via the District Clerk, at least eight 8 days prior to the meeting. The Chair shall determine whether or not to place an emergency or time-sensitive item on the agenda.

c. Requests for legal opinions or other information from legal counsel shall be made during “School Committee Requests for Future Agenda Items or Legal Opinions.” A majority vote of the School Committee is required. A request may also be sought during Executive Session; a majority vote of the School Committee is required.

Ill. Communication/Requests for Information

a. Outside of the meeting setting, School Committee members should speak only for themselves; they should avoid giving the impression that they speak for the School Committee.

b. Members who are pursuing self-initiated inquiries related to school performance, operation, personnel, or other School Committee members shall not request supportive data from the Superintendent or other administrators unless such data is normally available to the public. Such data requests shall be directed to the School Committee in the form of an agenda item. School Committee requests for information requiring substantial time and effort on the part of the administration shall be brought to the School Committee for action as an agenda item.

c. Email communications to or between a quorum of School Committee members shall be limited to those purposes provided under the Rhode Island Open Meetings Law, i.e., notification and scheduling of meetings.

The Superintendent may use email to communicate to the School Committee as a whole for the same purpose as well as to notify the School Committee of significant school incidents. Members of the School Committee shall be bound by the District email disclaimer.

IV. Ethics

a. All members of the School Committee are bound by the Code of Basic Management Principles and Ethical Standards for School Committee Members.

b. All members of the School Committee are bound by the Rhode Island Code of Ethics.

V. Violations

a. In the event that the School Committee determines, after affording written notice and a public hearing, that a member of the School Committee has violated the Rules of Conduct, the School Committee may vote in public session to censure that member. A motion to censure one member of the School Committee may not be combined with a motion to censure any other member of the School Committee.

MEETINGS

All meetings will be held in the Middlo School library from 7:00 to 10:00 PM. The ending time of the meeting can only be extended by a vote of 2/3 of the mombors present. If the Middle School library is unavailable, the High School library will be used.

Special meetings may be called by the Superintendent, in conjunction with the Chair,

for griovancoc, dicciplino hoaringc, etc. Such meetings may bo scheduled prior to a schodulod mooting or for a separate date. Each member will be called to coo if they can attend, but the meeting will be held if a sufficient number of omboro to constitute a quorum indicate thoir availability.

Mootingc will begin as coon as a quorum is present after the established starting time.

The Committee will follow Robert’s Rules of Order; the most recant oditien will bo used.

However, regarding the rule roquiring a motion prior to discussion and then limiting

members to two opportunities to speak on each motion: Consensus on an item may

be attempted first; when the Choir dooms appropriato, ho/cho may call for a motion;

then the two comment limit is imposod.

The Pledge of Allegiance will prooodo Silent Meditation at the beginning of meetings.

Any grant that would obligate the district to future expenditures will be placed en the

agonda as a coparato item from the Consent Agenda.

Public Forum will bo on tho agonda of both monthly meetings.

All porsenc wishing to spook during Public Forum will be recognized; however, the

Chair will have the discretion to limit each person to 2 4 minutes. Tho Chair will also

havo the discretion to ask the Committee if it wishes an item being discussed in Public

Forum placed en a future agenda and suspend further conversation on the topic to that

time.

If a member has an item ho/the would 11kg placed on the agenda, ho/she should: a

make tho request dudng “Committee Requests”, or b direct a request in writing to the

Chair, via the District Clark, at least eightS days prior to the scheduled meeting date.

A Committoc member may request that a statement ho/she made be reflected in the

minutes or request that another person repeat his/her comments for inclusion in the

minutes.

GENERAL RULES OF CONDUCT

Requests for legal opinions or other information from the District Solicitor shall be made

during “Committee Requests” or an appropriately convened Executive Session and

must be approved by consensus of the Committee members before the Chair can

contact the Solicitor.

Outside of the meeting totting, Committee members thould only speak for themselves;

they should avoid giving the impression that they spoak for the Committee.

Committee requests for information requiring substantial time and effort on the part of

the administration should be brought beforo the Committee under Committee Requests.

E mail communications to or between a quorum of Committee members shall be limited

to those purposes provided for under the Rhode Island Open Meetings Law i.e.,

notification and scheduling of meetings.

adopted 1/11/95; revised 12/10/96,
 
 
 
 

 

5/13/97, 3/24/98, and 1/27/04

 

So let us recap – The superintendent wont answer my questions, even when I tell him I am asking for a parent.  The Committe uses “move to question” motions to silence debate and when we read the rules that say we should not do that, Holly Eaves says that as long as the majority of the Committee agrees to do it, we can violate the rules because “they aren’t laws.”  And now Bob Petit, Terry Serra and Andy McQuade want to set “rules” to make is so that you have to get Committee approval before information can be requested or even discussed.  And if anyone on the board doesn’t follow these “rules” (“not laws” as Holly Eaves would say), they can be censured. 

This is the kind of stuff that keeps Chariho as the laughing stock of the state.

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