212 Closed Sessions


Closed sessions take place as part of an open meeting.  The items for discussion in the closed session shall be listed as part of the tentative agenda on the public notice.  The motion for a closed session, stating the purpose for the closed session, shall be made and seconded during the open meeting.  A minimum of two-thirds of the Board, or all of the Board members present, must vote in favor of the motion on a roll call vote.  Closed sessions shall be take recorded and have detailed minutes, if required by Iowa Statute.  Final action on matters discussed in closed session shall be taken in an open meeting.

The minutes and tape recording will restate the motion made in the open meeting, the roll call vote, the members present, and the time the closed session began and ended.  The tape recordings and the written minutes shall be kept for one year from the date of the meeting.  Real estate related minutes and tapes will be made public after the real estate transaction is completed.

The detailed minutes and tape recordings shall be sealed and shall not be public records open to public inspection.  The minutes and tape recording shall only be opened by court order in an action to enforce the requirements of the open meeting law.  The Board has discretion as to whom may be present at a closed session.

Reasons for the Board entering into a closed session from an open meeting include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. To review or discuss records which are required or authorized by state or federal law to be kept confidential or to be kept confidential as a condition for the Board’s possession or receipt of federal funds. 
  2. To discuss strategy with legal counsel in matters presently in litigation, or where litigation is imminent, if disclosure would be likely to prejudice or disadvantage the position of the Board in that litigation. 
  3. To discuss whether to conduct a hearing for suspension or expulsion of a student, unless an open meeting is requested by the student or the parent of the student.
  4. To evaluate the professional competency of an individual whose appointment, hiring, performance, or discharge is being considered when a closed session is necessary to prevent needless and irreparable injury to that individual’s reputation and that individual requests a closed session.
  5. To discuss the purchase of particular real estate, but only when premature disclosure could be reasonably expected to increase the price the District would have to pay for the property.

Exemptions from the open meetings law requirement:

  1. Gatherings of the Board for purely ministerial or social purposes when there is no discussion of policy or no intent to avoid the purposes of the open meeting law requirements.
  2. Negotiating sessions, strategy meetings of public employers or employee organizations, mediation and the deliberative process of arbitration.
  3. To discuss strategy in matters related to employment conditions of employees not covered by the collective bargaining law.
  4. To conduct a private hearing relating to the recommended termination of a teacher’s contract.However, the private hearing in the teacher’s contract termination shall be recorded by a court reporter.


Legal Reference:                  Iowa Code §§ 20.17; 21; 22.7; 279.15, .16, .24 (1993).

                                                1982 Op. Att’y Gen. 162.

                                                1980 Op. Att’y Gen. 167.

                                                1976 Op. Att’y Gen. 384, 514, 765.

                                                1972 Op. Att’y Gen. 158.

                                                1970 Op. Att’y Gen. 287.