Minnesota School Boards Association Guidance

MSBA Staff Directory: Please contact MSBA if questions or concerns arise.

Distance Learning Period Update (March 29, 2020)

Health Insurance Sealed Bid Opening Processes and COVID-19 (March 27, 2020)

School Board Meeting Guide: In light of Governor Walz’s executive orders issued on March 25, 2020, MSBA strongly encourages school boards to meet by telephone conference call or other electronic means. (Updated March 25, 2020)

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and School Employees: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (effective April 1, 2020) includes (1) the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act and (2) Emergency Paid Sick Leave. | Access the Families First Coronavirus Response Act poster (Updated March 25, 2020)

Legislative Update Webinar: Includes information about the latest COVID-19 legislation. (Recorded March 22, 2020)

School Board Meeting Guide: For information about emergency meetings, special meetings, and more. (Updated March 19, 2020)

COVID-19 and Student-Centered Leadership: By Katie Klanderud and Paula O'Loughlin, MSBA Board Development Team (March 18, 2020)

School Board Meetings and COVID-19 Webinar: For information about conducting school board meetings during a pandemic. (Recorded March 18, 2020)

Emergency Meetings: Minnesota school boards may call an emergency meeting pursuant to Minnesota Statutes 13D.04 provided that certain conditions are met.

Joint Statement by MSBA and our Education Organization Partners: Information on the COVID-19 preparedness and response in schools. (March 16, 2020)

Additional COVID-19 Resources

Minnesota Department of Health: Information for Schools and Childcare | School Liaison: Susan Klammer (or contact schools.covid19@state.mn.us)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Resources for K-12 Schools and Childcare Programs | Tips to Keep Children Healthy While School is Out

Minnesota State High School League: Spring Participation Activity Update (March 25, 2020)

National School Boards Association: Responding to the Coronavirus 

Marsh & McLennan Agency: Addressing the Coronavirus Outbreak

Emergency Meetings

Minnesota school boards may call an emergency meeting pursuant to Minnesota Statutes 13D.04 provided that the following conditions are met:

Subd. 3.Emergency meetings.

(a) For an emergency meeting, the public body shall make good faith efforts to provide notice of the meeting to each news medium that has filed a written request for notice if the request includes the news medium's telephone number.

(b) Notice of the emergency meeting shall be given by telephone or by any other method used to notify the members of the public body.

(c) Notice shall be provided to each news medium which has filed a written request for notice as soon as reasonably practicable after notice has been given to the members.

(d) Notice shall include the subject of the meeting. Posted or published notice of an emergency meeting is not required.

(e) An "emergency" meeting is a special meeting called because of circumstances that, in the judgment of the public body, require immediate consideration by the public body.

(f) If matters not directly related to the emergency are discussed or acted upon at an emergency meeting, the minutes of the meeting shall include a specific description of the matters.

(g) The notice requirement of this subdivision supersedes any other statutory notice requirement for a special meeting that is an emergency meeting.

Board Meetings by Conference Call or Interactive Technology

Minnesota school boards may hold a meeting by interactive technology or by conference call if certain conditions are met. It is up to the local school board to determine whether the conditions are met.

On Friday, March 13, Gov. Walz issued Executive Order 20-01, which declared a peacetime state of emergency pursuant to his powers under Minnesota Statutes Chapter 12: Emergency Management. This step allows school boards to meet by conference call or other electronic means under Minnesota Statutes 13D.021.

The following conditions must be met for the board to meet by conference call:

1. The “presiding officer, chief legal counsel, or chief administrative officer” of the school board “determines that an in-person meeting…is not practical or prudent because of a health pandemic or an officially-declared emergency”;

2. All school board members can hear one another and hear all discussion;

3. The public present at the regular meeting location can hear all discussion and all votes, unless attendance at the regular meeting location is not feasible due to the health pandemic or emergency declaration;

4. At least one member of the school board, chief legal counsel, or chief administrative officer is physically present at the regular meeting location, unless unfeasible due to the health pandemic or emergency declaration; and

5. All votes are recorded by roll call (Minnesota Statutes 13D.021). 

Note that items three and four have a disclaimer for a health pandemic.

The school board must provide notice for a teleconference call meeting as is required for special meetings under Minnesota Statutes 13D.04This requires a three day posting of the meeting. 

Converting Meetings to teleconference: In lieu of making a special posting to teleconference for each regular meeting during the health pandemic, a school board can take action to convert all future regular meetings to a teleconference format. The motion would read, "Due to the declared health pandemic and the declared state of emergency and pursuant to Minnesota Statute 13D.021, until further notice, all school board meetings will be held by teleconference or other electronic means." Taking this action does not inhibit school board members from personally attending a school board meeting, it just provides notice that some or all of the school board members may be participating in the meeting from a remote location. M.S. 13D.021 does not require that a physical location for each school board member be posted.

Minnesota Statute 13D.021, Subd. 3., provides for the public to monitor a board meeting remotely to the extent practical. School districts should make allowance for this if they have the tools to do so.