200 Legal Status of School District


This school district is organized as a school corporation pursuant to the Constitution of the State of Iowa and Iowa law, and known as Central Decatur Community School District.

The Central Decatur Community School District (the “District”) is located in Decatur County, Iowa.  The District’s affairs are conducted by elected school officials, the Central Decatur Community School District Board of Directors (the “Board”).  The District and the Board have exclusive jurisdiction over school matters in the territory of the school district.

201 Organization of Board of Directors


The Board of Directors consists of five members.  Each member is elected for a term of four years, or for the length of time it takes to complete the unexpired term of a regularly elected member who has left the Board.


202 Authority of Board of Directors and Board Members


The Board of Directors of Central Decatur Community School District, acting on behalf of the school district, shall have jurisdiction over school matters within the territory of the school district.

The Board is empowered to make policy for its own governance, for employees, for students and for school district facilities.  The Board is also empowered to enforce its policies.  The Board may, through its quasi-judicial power, conduct hearings and rule on issues and disputes confronting the school district.

The Board has these powers and any broad and implied powers not inconsistent with the laws of the general assembly, or inconsistent with Administrative Rules, related to the operation, control and supervision of public schools in the district.

Because all powers of the Board derived from the state statutes are granted in terms of action as a group, individual Board members exercise authority over district affairs only as they vote to take action at a legal meeting of the Board.  In other instances, an individual Board member, including the president, will have power only when the Board, by vote, has delegated authority.  The Board will make its members, the district staff, and the public aware that only the Board acting as a whole has authority to take official action.  Therefore, the Board may transact business only with a quorum present during a regular or special meeting. 

Pursuant to the state statutes and local board policy, any Board member shall not seek individually to influence the official functions of the District.  The Board and its members will deal with administrative services through the superintendent and will not give orders to any subordinates of the superintendent either publicly or privately, but may make suggestions and recommendations.

203 Powers and Duties of Board Members



The Board and the Board Members are authorized to govern the school district, and in doing such, have three duties to perform: a legislative duty, an executive duty and an evaluative duty.

Legislative Duty: The Board is responsible for legislating policy for the school district permissible under Iowa law.  As a policy-making body, the Board has jurisdiction to enact policy with the force and effect of law for the management and operation of the District.

Executive Duty: The Board is responsible for selecting its chief executive officer, the Superintendent, to operate the District on the Board's behalf.  The Board delegates to the Superintendent its authority to carry out Board policy, to formulate and carry out rules and regulations and to handle the administrative details in a manner which supports and is consistent with Board policy.

Evaluative Duty: The Board is responsible for reviewing the performance of the District’s education program.  The Board should regularly review the education program and ancillary services.  The review should include a study of the facts, conditions and circumstances surrounding the amount of funds received or expended and the education program's ability to achieve the Board's educational philosophy and goals for the District.

204 Qualifications of Board Members


Any qualified elector of the school district may be elected to serve on the Board of Directors at either a regular election or at a special election called to fill a vacancy on the Board of Directors.

A qualified elector possesses all the following characteristics:

  1. Citizen of the United States;
  2. Eighteen (18) years of age or older;
  3. Eligible to be registered to vote in the school district;
  4. If applicable, resides in the district required for the particular geographic area assigned to be represented.

205 Elections of Board Members


The election of citizens to the Board of Directors takes place on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of odd-numbered years.  Each school election is used to elect citizens to the board to maintain a five (5) member board and to address questions that are submitted to the voters.

Citizens of the school district community seeking a seat on the Board must file their nomination papers with the Board secretary consistent with the deadlines provided in Iowa law.

If a vacancy occurs on the Board, it may be filled by an appointment consistent with Iowa law.  If the board does not fill the vacancy by appointment, the Board secretary will call for a special election to fill the vacancy.  Candidates for a seat created by a vacancy must file their nomination papers with the Board secretary consistent with the deadlines provided in Iowa law.

All elections will be held as provided in Iowa law.  It is the responsibility of the county commissioner of elections to conduct school elections.

206 Board Committees


The Board may determine from time to time that Board committees may be required to assist the Board in its discharge of duties.  In addition to any legally required committees, the Board may appoint standing committees with specific charges.  

If the Board creates or appoints a committee, the Board and the committee will strive to follow all applicable federal and state laws.  The Board and the committee will strive to follow state open meetings and public records requirements.  The Board and the committee will also strive to follow state and federal requirements regarding gender balance on committees.

In no case shall a committee constitute a quorum of the Board of Directors.

Reports of Board committees shall be circulated in advance through the Superintendent's office, except in an emergency or as directed by the Board or President of the Board.

207 Board Officers



The president of the Board is elected by a majority vote at the November board meeting each year to serve a one-year term of office.  A member may be elected to successive one-year terms as president. 

The president, in addition to presiding at the board meetings, will take an active role in board decisions by discussing and voting on each motion before the board in the same manner as other board members.  Before making or seconding a motion, however, the board president will turn over control of the meeting to either the vice-president or other board member.

The board president has the authority to call special meetings of the board.  Prior to board meetings, the board president will consult with the superintendent on the development of the agenda for the meeting.  The board president, as the chief officer of the school district, will sign employment contracts, other contracts and school district warrants approved by the board.  The board president will appear on behalf of the school corporation in causes of action involving the school district, unless the board president must appear individually as a party, in which case, this duty shall be performed by the secretary.


The vice-president shall serve in the absence of the president and shall perform such other duties as may be assigned by the president or by the Board.  The vice-president will be elected by a majority vote at the November meeting each year to serve a one–year term of office.  A member may be elected to successive one-year terms as vice-president.

The vice-president will take an active role in board decisions by discussing and voting on matters before the board in the same manner as other board members.  The vice-president will accept control of the meeting from the president when the president wishes to make or second a motion.

If the board president is unable or unwilling to carry out the duties required, it is the responsibility of the vice-president of the board to carry out those duties.  If the president is unable or unwilling to complete the term of office, the vice-president will serve as president for the balance of the president’s term of office, and a new vice-president will be elected.


A board secretary may be appointed from employees, other than a position requiring a teaching certificate, or from the public.  To finalize the appointment, the board secretary will take the oath of office during the meeting at which the individual was appointed or no later than ten (10) days thereafter.  It is the responsibility of the board to evaluate the board secretary annually.

It is the responsibility of the board secretary, as custodian of the District’s records, to preserve and maintain the records and documents pertaining to the business of the board; to keep complete minutes of special and regular board meetings, including closed sessions; to keep a record of the results of regular and special elections; to keep an accurate account of school funds; to sign warrants drawn on the school funds after board approval; and collect data on truant students.  The board secretary will give bond in an amount set by the board.  The cost of the bond will be paid by the school district.


It is the responsibility of the board to appoint a treasurer.  The board may appoint a treasurer from its employees, other than a position requiring a teaching certificate, or from the public.  To finalize the appointment, the treasurer will take the oath of office during the meeting at which the individual was appointed or no later than ten days thereafter.

The primary responsibility of the treasurer, as an appointed school officer, is to administer and maintain compliance with statutory duties as outlined throughout the Iowa Code pertaining to schools.  It will also be the responsibility of the treasurer to work with the secretary to coordinate the financial records, the financial reports, the cash flow needs and the investment portfolio of the school district.  The treasurer will give bond in an amount set by the board.  The cost of the bond will be paid by the school district.

208 Board Policy Development


The Board of Directors shall develop and maintain a policy manual that provides a codification of its policy actions.  Policies shall be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure relevance to current practices and compliance with the law.

The policies of the Board may be amended or revised by resolution adopted at any regular meeting, provided notice of such change shall have been given at a previous meeting.  The superintendent of schools is authorized to submit written recommendations for revision of any existing policies as he deems necessary for the most efficient operation of the District.  The superintendent will notify all employees whenever revisions, additions, or amendments are made.  This notice procedure shall be required except for emergency situations, which shall be determined solely by the Board. 

Copies of the policy manual are available in all administrative offices of the District.  They are also available on the District’s website.

209 Development of Regulations


The Board of Directors delegates to the superintendent the function of formulating regulations designed to carry out the policies of the Board.  These regulations will constitute the administrative regulations governing the schools.


210 Approval of Handbooks


The Superintendent shall recommend approval to the Board of Directors for all curriculum guides, manuals, handbooks, and similar types of publications that are directive in nature.

The Student-Parent and Staff Handbooks will be annually reviewed and revised as needed, and copies of such are to be made available to the Board of Directors to afford the individual Board Members the opportunity to observe the manner and fashion in which the administrative staff is implementing district policy.

211 Advisory Committees to the Board


The Board of Directors will rely on various advisory committees to counsel it as one way to learn about the needs and desires of the school district and its residents.  The central purpose of all advisory committees is to contribute to the educational program by conducting studies, identifying problems, and developing recommendations that will help the Board of Directors in the decision making process.  The ultimate authority to make decisions will continue to rest with the Board of Directors.

The Board of Directors may form citizens' advisory committees at such times and for such specific purposes as the Board of Directors deems necessary.  They will function until their assigned goal has been accomplished, or until the Board of Directors dissolves the committee.   Generally, citizens' advisory committees will be assigned to investigate areas of the educational program that need development, change, or reorganization, and areas of community involvement in district affairs.

Members will be broadly representative of the community's population, and will be chosen from among residents who have shown an interest in the topic to be studied, or who have a particular expertise relating to the topic.

Once activated, the committee will report periodically to the Board of Directors, keeping it informed of progress and problems.  The Board of Directors may designate the intervals at which it will hear from the committee, but any significant developments will be reported as they occur.  No announcement may be made by any committee or its members to the public or press until such release has been cleared with the Board of Directors.

The Board of Directors will provide citizens' advisory committees with a suitable meeting place and other required facilities until the Board of Directors dissolves the committees.


212 School Attorney


The Board of Directors will annually appoint legal counsel to represent the corporation and to advise the Board on legal matters.  Counsel will attend regular and special meetings of the Board of Directors when requested to do so, and will be available for consultation as needed.

Because it is often necessary to consult legal counsel and receive its expert opinion as part of background information to be used by the Board of Directors in making decisions, and because at times the school district may be involved in litigation or other legal matters, the Superintendent, Board President and the District Secretary are authorized to seek counsel's services as needed.  However, the Board of Directors wishes to be kept informed of legal matters that are other than routine, and of legal services that may involve extraordinary expense to the district.

Individual Board members are expected to consult school legal counsel only when the full Board of Directors has given permission for such consultation. Otherwise, the Board member will be expected to pay any legal fees that may result.

213 Board Member Conflicts of Interest


Members or officers of the Board of Directors shall not use their position with the District to place themselves in a more favored position to purchase anything for personal benefit.      

No member of the Board of Directors shall have an interest, direct or indirect, in a contract for the purchase of goods, including materials and profits, or the performance of services for the School District.  A member of the Board of Directors may not:

  1. Receive direct compensation from the School District unless the Board member receives less than $6,000 per fiscal year or receives the compensation through a contract competitively bid in writing, publicly invited and open.
  2. Act as an agent for a school textbook or school supply company doing business with the school district during the board member’s term of office.
  3. Be a statewide elected official or a state legislator.
  4. Engage in outside employment or activity that is in conflict with the Board member’s duties and responsibilities.

No member of the Board of Directors or their families may accept any gratuities, financial or otherwise, from any supplier of materials or services to the District.

214 Board Meetings


All meetings of the Board of Directors shall be public meetings and shall be open to the public at all times with the exception of closed session as described under Iowa law.

Advance public notice of the time, date, and place of each meeting, and the tentative agenda shall be provided.  When it is necessary to hold an emergency meeting without notice, the nature of the emergency shall be stated in the minutes.

Regular Meetings

The regular meeting time and date shall be set by the Board at its organizational meeting.  Regular meetings of the Board of Directors will be held on the third Monday of each month.

Meetings will be held in the meeting place officially designated by the Board of Directors, which will be accessible to the public.

When a regular meeting falls on a holiday, the meeting will be held on the following day.

Organizational Meetings

An organizational meeting shall be held at the first regular meeting after the canvass of votes of the regular school election.  The meeting shall be called to order by the Secretary acting as temporary chairperson.

The first order of business shall be to swear into office any new members unless they have been so sworn previously.  The Board shall then elect from its membership a President and a Vice-President and shall appoint a Secretary and Treasurer.

Special Meetings

Special meetings of the Board may be called at any time by the President or by the Secretary of the Board upon the written request of the majority of the Board.  Written notice, stating the time and place of any special meeting and the purpose for which it is called, shall be delivered to each Board Member in person or sent by registered letter in sufficient time to allow for delivery of notice in advance of such meeting.  No business other than that stated in the notice shall be transacted at such meeting.

Annual Meetings

At a regular or special meeting held after August 31, but before the organizational meeting, the Board shall examine the books of the Secretary and Treasurer for the year ending on 30th day of June preceding, and transact such other business as may properly come before it.  The Treasurer shall furnish the Board with a sworn statement from each depository showing the balance.

Attendance shall be a waiver of notice.

Closed Session

The Board may hold a closed session only by affirmative public vote of either two-thirds of the members of the body or all of the members present at the meeting.  The Board may hold a closed session for any of the reasons listed in Chapter 21.5 of the Iowa Code.  No formal action of any kind may be taken in a closed session.

Electronic Meetings

The Board may conduct a meeting by electronic means such as a telephone conference call only “in circumstances where such a meeting in person is impossible or impractical.”  Public access to the conversation must be provided “to the extent reasonably possible.”  Public notice must be given for the electronic meeting and minutes kept, which include the reason for not holding a meeting in person.

Work Sessions and Retreats

The Board may schedule work sessions and retreats from time to time in order to provide its members and the administrative staff with such opportunities.  Topics for discussion and study will be announced publically and work sessions and retreats will be conducted in accordance with the state law.

215 Notification of Board Meetings


Public notices shall be given for meetings and work sessions and retreats held by the Board.  Public notice shall indicate the time, place, date and tentative agenda of the meeting, work session or retreat.  The public notice shall be posted in a prominent place that is easily accessible to the public and is clearly designated for purpose of the same within the District’s office and/or the building where the meeting is to be held at least twenty-four (24) hours before the meeting is to occur.

A copy of the public notice will be provided to those who have filed a written request for notice with the Board secretary.  A copy of the public notice will also be accessible by employees and students.

In the case of special meetings, public notice shall be given in the same manner as for a regular meeting unless it is an emergency meeting.  If the meeting is an emergency meeting, public notice of the meeting shall be given as soon as practical and possible in light of the situation.  The media and others who have requested notice shall be notified of the emergency meeting.  Attendance at special meetings or emergency meetings by the media or a Board member shall constitute a waiver of the meeting.

It shall be the responsibility of the Board Secretary to give public notice of Board meetings and work sessions.

216 Quorum of Board Meetings


The majority of the members of the Board of Directors shall be necessary to constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.  A majority vote of those members present shall be necessary and sufficient to pass any motion or to take any action of the Board of Directors, unless state law or Board policies require the vote of a greater number of Board members on a particular issue.

217 Rules of Order During Board Meetings


In matters of procedure not covered by these policies, Robert's Rules of Order, Revised, shall govern.

218 Voting Method During Board Meetings


Votes on all motions and resolutions will be by "ayes" and "nayes" and will be recorded based upon the individual member who is voting.  All motions will be carried by a majority of the members present and voting or as otherwise required by law.

Final action on any matter before the Board may be taken only in open session, unless some other provision of the Code of Iowa permits action to be taken in closed session.

When the Board of Directors votes on the question of holding a closed session, the vote of each member and the reason for holding the closed session by reference to a specific exemption must be announced publicly at the open session and entered into the minutes.

219 Preparations and Dissemination of Agenda for Board Meetings


The tentative agenda for each board meeting will state the topics for discussion and action at the board meeting.  The agenda is part of the public notice of the board meeting and will be posted and distributed.

It is the responsibility of the board president and superintendent to develop the agenda for each board meeting.  Persons requesting to place an item on the agenda must make a request to the superintendent prior to the drafting of the tentative agenda.  The person making the request must state the person’s name, address, purpose of the presentation, action desired, and pertinent background information.  Requests from the public may be added to the tentative agenda at the discretion of the superintendent after consultation with the board president.  Requests received after the deadline may only be added to the agenda for good cause.  The tentative agenda and supporting documents will be sent to the board members prior to the scheduled board meeting.  These documents are the private property of the board member.  Persons wishing to view the tentative agenda and supporting documents may do so at the central administrative office.

The board will take action only on the items listed on the tentative agenda posted with the public notice.  Items added to the agenda may be discussed or taken under advisement by the board.  If an added item is acted upon, the minutes of the board meeting will state the reason justifying the immediate action.

220 Minutes of Board Meetings


A complete and accurate set of minutes of each regular and special board meeting shall be kept to comply with all legal requirements.  Minutes of all of the regular meetings of the Board of Directors shall be kept showing the time, date, and place, the members present, and the action taken at each meeting.  Minutes leading to a closed session shall include the vote of each member on the question of holding the closed session and the reason for the closed session, but the statement of such reason need not state in the minutes the name of any individual or the details of the matter discussed in the closed session.

A copy of the minutes shall be sent to each member of the Board of Directors before the next regularly scheduled meeting.  The Secretary of the Board shall furnish a copy of the proceedings as indicated by the minutes within a reasonable amount of time following the adjournment of the meeting to the school district’s official newspaper for publication.

Minutes shall be kept in an official record book specified for that purpose and shall be kept on file as the official record of legislation of the District and shall be open to public inspection.  Examination of the official record book by any citizen or group of citizens must be made at the location where the District maintains the records, and under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Board.

A complete and accurate set of minutes will be made of each meeting and/or session of the Board as required by law.  A complete and accurate set of minutes and complete tape recordings will be made of each closed session of the Board as required by law.  The Board Secretary will be custodian of the minutes and tapes from a closed session, which shall be maintained as required by law.

221 Public Participation at Board Meetings


The Board recognizes the importance of citizen participation in school district matters.  In order to assure citizens are heard and board meetings are conducted efficiently and in an organized manner, the Board may set time aside for citizen participation, either at a specific time during the meeting or during the discussion of agenda items.  If the pressure of business or other circumstances dictate, the board president may decide to not set time aside for citizen participation.

Citizens wishing to address the Board on a certain agenda item must notify the superintendent prior to the board meeting.  Citizens wishing to present petitions to the Board may do so at this time.  However, if a petition is presented, the Board will only receive the petition and not act upon it or its contents.  The Board has the discretion to limit the amount of time set aside for public participation.

If the Board has set time aside for citizen participation and citizens wish to address the Board, the board president will recognize these individuals to make their comments at the appropriate time.  The orderly process of the board meeting will not be interfered with or disrupted.  Only those speakers recognized by the board president will be allowed to speak.  Comments by others are out of order.  If disruptive, the individual making comments or another individual causing disruption may be asked to leave the board meeting.

Individuals who have a complaint about an employee may ask the board to hear their complaint only after they have followed the board policy addressing citizens’ complaints.  Students who have a complaint may ask the board to hear their complaint only after they have followed board policy addressing students’ complaints.

222 Board Members Compensation and Expenses


Members of the Board of Directors serve without pay.  Board members shall be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties as allowed by law.