Given the current uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, we here in the Education Department at Cooper Levenson thought it appropriate to provide guidance regarding holding Board Meetings while your School District is closed. The below is subject to any additional Federal, State, or Locally issued rules or orders that may be issued in the coming days and weeks, including curfews and prohibitions on large gatherings.
The Division of Local Government Services gave the following direction regarding board meetings:
- In accordance with N.J.S.A.10:4-6, et seq., (the “Open Public Meetings Act,” or “Act”), public meetings may be held in person or by means of communication equipment, N.J.S.A. 10:4-8(b), to include streaming services and other online meeting platforms. All meetings, including those held using communications equipment, must be noticed in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Act, unless the meeting is for emergent circumstances and held in a manner consistent with the requirements set forth at N.J.S.A.10:4-9(b).
- Local units should also provide guidance to the public for remotely accessing and providing comment at a meeting.
- Local units should still have an advertised meeting place, which, is connected to the meeting through communications equipment, unless otherwise directed by state or local emergency management or health officials, consistent with Executive Order 103 (Murphy 3/9/2020).
- Local units are reminded that they are required to provide a means of public comment even if a meeting is held remotely.
- Further, if a local unit currently records the audio or video of its meetings, we recommend that it continue to record a remote meeting.