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9322 Public and Executive Sessions


Northfield, New Jersey X Monitored


Bylaw X Other Reasons


The Northfield Board of Education shall officially transact all business at a legal meeting of the board in accordance with New Jersey law.

All meetings of the board of education shall be open to the public with the exception of meetings to discuss:

A. Any matter which by express provision of state or federal law or rule of court shall be rendered confidential;

B. Any matter in which the release of information would impair a right to receive federal funds;

C. Any material the disclosure of which constitutes an unwarranted invasion of individual privacy, unless the individual (or all the individuals) concerned shall request in writing that the same be disclosed publicly. This includes information contained in student records, and any reports or recommendations concerning a specific individual (see policy 1120);

D. Any collective bargaining agreement or the terms and conditions which are proposed for inclusion in any collective bargaining agreement, including the actual negotiating sessions with representatives of employee groups;

E. Any matter involving the purchase, lease or acquisition of real property (land or buildings) with public funds, where it could adversely affect the public interest if discussion of such matters were disclosed;

F. The tactics and techniques used in protecting the safety and property of the public provided that their disclosure could impair such protection;

G. Any investigations of violations or possible violations of law;

H. Any pending or anticipated litigation or contract negotiations other than collective bargaining, and any matters falling within the attorney‑client privilege, to the extent that confidentiality is required in order for the attorney to exercise his/her ethical duties as a lawyer;

I. Any matter involving employment, appointment, termination, terms and conditions of employment, evaluation, promotion or disciplining of any prospective or current public employee or officer unless all the individual employees whose rights could be adversely affected request in writing that the matter be discussed at a public meeting;

J. Any deliberations occurring after a public hearing that may result in the imposition of a specified civil penalty or loss of license to an individual.

Such sessions shall be closed to the public and press, and shall be declared so by a formal motion at a public meeting. Minutes taken at such meetings shall remain confidential only so long as their publication would defeat the purpose of the executive session. That such a meeting will be or was held shall be recorded in the minutes of the preceding or subsequent regular meeting. Board members and other persons attending the session shall not disclose the topic or details of discussion at executive session.

The board may invite staff members or others to attend executive sessions at its discretion.

When public employees make statements pursuant to their official duties: in the classroom, at board meetings, and at other meetings related to educational issues affecting the district, the employees are not speaking as citizens for First Amendment purposes, and the Constitution does not insulate their communications from employer discipline (Garcetti v. Ceballos).

No official action shall be taken at executive sessions, except such as may be sanctioned by law. To take final action on any other matter discussed, the board shall convene or reconvene in open session.

Public Participation

Meetings of the board are open to the public and all members of the community should feel free to attend. A time for public discussion of agenda items shall be included in the order of business at an appropriate time.

Brief comments on any matter of interest to the district should be reserved for the time provided in the order of business.

Provision may be made for the introduction by a member of the public of business not on the agenda when the matter is of such urgency or wide interest that delaying consideration of it to the next meeting would not be in the public interest.

Grievances or complaints that have not previously been considered through administrative channels shall not be acted upon by the board.


Adopted: August 21, 2000

NJSBA Review/Update: December 2009; December 2010

Readopted: October 24, 2011

Key Words

Board of Education Meetings, Public and Executive Sessions, Executive Sessions

Legal References: N.J.S.A. 2C:33‑8 Disrupting meetings and processions

N.J.S.A. 10:4‑6 et seq. Open Public Meetings Act

N.J.S.A. 18A:10‑6 Board meetings public; frequency; hours of commencement; adjournment, etc., for lack of quorum

N.J.S.A. 18A:11‑1 General mandatory powers and duties

N.J.S.A. 18A:12-21 et seq. School Ethics Act

N.J.S.A. 18A:54‑20 Powers of board (county vocational schools)

N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq. Public Records; Examination and Copies (Open Public Records Act)

N.J.A.C. 6A:32-12.1 Reporting requirements

Rice v. Union City Board of Education, 143 N.J. Super 64 (1978) 5 U.S.C. Section 552 as amended by Public Law No. 104-231,110 Stat. 3048 Freedom of Information Act

Garcetti v. Ceballos 2006 U.S. LEXIS 4341 (May 2006)


Cross References: *1120 Board of education meetings

*3570 District records and reports

*6142.10 Technology

*9121 Election and duties of president

*9271 Code of ethics

*9323/9324 Agenda preparation/advance delivery of meeting material

*9326 Minutes

*Indicates policy is included in the Critical Policy Reference Manual.

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