A big win for transparency. Thank you to all those who have worked hard on this over the years, including Michael Thomas, Public Advocate Letitia James, Attorney Laura Barbieri and the Solidarity members involved in supporting this victory.
Workflow Subcategory: Family/Community Engagement
Recently, the New York State Appellate Division issued a decision ruling that School Leadership Team (SLT) meetings must be open to the general public and comply with the requirements of the Open Meetings Law. Effective immediately, SLTs must allow members of the general public and the press to be admitted to their meetings, in addition to members of the school community. If certain confidential topics are discussed, the SLT should go into “executive session,” meaning that the SLT should move to a private room (out of earshot of the public and the press).
During the next few weeks, principals will receive training from their Senior Field Counsel on how to comply with the requirements of the Open Meetings Law. Training will include directions for complying with the following requirements:
- Public Notice of Meetings: Public notice of the time and place of SLT meetings must be provided at least one week prior to the meeting. Notice must also be given to the news media and posted in one or more public locations, including on the school’s website, at least 72 hours before the meeting.
- Disclosure of Minutes: The SLT should prepare minutes of topics discussed at SLT meetings, including any proposals or items decided upon through consensus. Upon request, minutes shall be made available to the public in accordance with the provisions of FOIL within two weeks from the date of the meeting. Minutes that are taken during executive sessions should include the date and consist of a record or summary of any determination or final action that is taken. Upon request, minutes from the executive session shall be made available to the public in accordance with the provisions of FOIL within one week from the date of the meeting.
§ Executive Session: SLTs should go into executive session and remove themselves from the public meeting to discuss certain confidential topics, such as School Safety Plans, preparation or administration of examinations, current or future investigations, or proposed or pending litigation.
If you have questions about this policy and these procedures, please contact your Senior Field Counsel.