School Board Meetings FAQ

NORTH MARION SCHOOL DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD MEETINGS:  All Regular Business Meetings and Work sessions are held in the District conference room located in the Middle School at 20246 Grim Road NE, Aurora, Oregon unless otherwise posted.  Meetings are open to the public, however public comment is reserved for Regular sessions.

Regular Board MeetingsThe board meets on the second Monday each month at 6:00 pm.  These meetings are open to the public. The board’s meetings dates are announced in advance. 

Work session Board Meetings: The board meets on the fourth Monday each month (unless otherwise announced) at 6:00 pm.  Work sessions are designed to be business free, provide opportunities to discuss specific topics in greater depth, review, discuss, adopt district policy, board and district goals.

Special Board Meetings: Also open to the public, are scheduled when needed. These sessions provide an opportunity for the school board to learn more about district initiatives, programs and services, and/or bond updates.

Executive Meetings:  In accordance with Oregon law, are closed to the public. Items the board may discuss in executive session include: personnel matters, collective bargaining strategies, real estate/property purchases, discussions with legal counsel, students’ confidential records, and expulsion of students. News media representatives may attend executive sessions that deal with personnel matters, property purchases and discussion with legal counsel, but cannot report on these meetings. Any actions resulting from a discussion in executive session must be taken in a public session except for student expulsion.

What’s on the Agenda? The board agenda is available before each board meeting and can be obtained at the school district website by selecting the upcoming event meeting date from the district calendar (on the district home page to the right of screen). Or click link HERE to view agendas.  Printed copies are available upon request.  Contact the board secretary at 503-678-7100. 

Public Participation in Meetings: The school board is interested in your opinions and concerns, and supports public comments at the discretion of the chair.  Comments on items not on the agenda may be presented during “Public Comments” at the beginning of the meeting at the discretion of the chair.  If you wish to comment on an “Agenda Item”, the board chair will call on you at the appropriate time.

How to be heard:  If you want to address the board or speak during the meeting, the board asks you respectfully follow the meeting guidelines.  Please fill out an Agenda Card located on the table to the side of the room. Give the card to the Board Secretary. 

When speaking to the Board guidelines:

  1. Speakers may offer objective criticism of school operations and programs, but the Board will not hear complaints concerning individual school personnel.  The statement shall be brief and should not reflect adversely on the background, character, or motives of any individual. 
  2. When addressing the board, state your name and address at the start of your testimony. Identify the organization, if any, that you represent.
  3. Time limit per speaker; keep your remarks brief.  3 minutes per individual.  Up to 5 people can register to speak on a specific topic.  If a large group of people wish to speak, designate one person to speak. 
  4. If a number of people are signed up to speak on the same topic, the board limits the time devoted to a single topic to 15-30 minutes.  If you need more time, the board chair may grant additional time after others have spoken.
  5. The Board Chair has full discretion over the public comment period.  If the speaker begins to complain about a district employee, the char will stop the speaker and refer them to the district’s complain process.
  6. When submitting written testimony, prepare several copies to hand out to the board, administrators and news media representatives.

Board response: Audience time is not intended as a forum for public debate. Questions raised may require further investigation. Normally, the board will wait until its next meeting before responding to concerns raised.

What does the School Board do?  The school district is governed by the school board elected by the district’s registered voters. The board is authorized to:

Because they serve the community, board members must work with the public as they establish the mission and direction of education. It’s up to the board to engage the community in public education. A board member must be a skilled decision-maker and team player, a public-education advocate, a vital link between community and school, and a policymaker. As a public employer, the board establishes policies that govern the recruitment, employment, supervision, evaluation and dismissal of employees.

Board members must also do the following:

  • Establish policies that direct the school district;
  • Employ and evaluate the superintendent;
  • Determine the long-range direction of the district;
  • Set goals and evaluate progress toward those goals;
  • Approve the annual budget;
  • Authorize elections on bond proposals, local option levies for facilities and operations;
  • Guide collective bargaining, and
  • Communicate with the community.

Who can be a Board Member? The board members are elected from the district to serve four-year terms.  To be eligible for election, a person must be a qualified voter and reside in the district for one year immediately preceding the election. Members of the board serve without pay. Terms of office begin and end with the district’s fiscal year, July 1. Officers of the board are elected annually at the first regular meeting.  Click link to view OSBA guidance for School Board Candidates.  http://www.osba.org/~/media/Files/Resources/Board%20Operations/SchoolBoardCandidateGuide2015.pdf

Other ways to participate in your School District: There are many ways you can become involved in your schools.

  • As a Volunteer
  • From working with students in the classroom to helping in the school business offices, there are a multitude of ways you can help. Please contact the school in which you would like to volunteer.
  • As a Member of a Special Committee
  • The board appoints special advisory committees to investigate areas of concern. If you would like to serve on a special committee, please leave your name with the Board Secretary.
  • As a Member of a Standing Committee
  • Community members serve on the district’s curriculum committee and budget committee. Parents are urged to become involved in the schools’ parent advisory committees and 21st Century Schools Council. Please contact the Superintendent’s office for more information.

Public Complaints:  Complaints are handled and resolved as close to their origin as possible.  The Board advises the public that the proper channeling of complaints involving instruction, discipline or learning materials is as follows:  
1)  Teacher
2)  Administrator
3)  Superintendent
4)  School Board

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