Have you ever been to a school board meeting and heard someone “make a motion?” Or vote by saying “all those in favor, say aye.”
This language comes from what is called Robert’s Rules of Order. Henry Martyn Robert, a military engineer, created his manual on parliamentary procedure after failing to conduct an orderly public meeting. He published the first edition of his guide, called Robert’s Rules of Order, in 1876.
School boards across the United States use Robert’s Rules of Order to conduct meetings. Robert’s Rules of Order outlines procedures for groups, including school boards, to deliberate and make decisions in an orderly fashion.
It’s important for school board members, and those who attend school board meetings, to know and understand Robert’s Rules of Order. The following resources will help you understand Robert’s Rules of Order.
This list is not exhaustive. Please contact PDE Action at [email protected] if there are more resources we should add to this list.
Introduction: School boards use the Robert’s Rules of Order to maintain order during a meeting and ensure that all voices are heard. Ideally, following Robert’s Rules of Order allows meetings to run smoothly and ensures that participants treat each other respectfully. This document outlines the principles of Robert’s Rules of Order and provides some basic definitions.
Terms and basic procedures: See this cheat sheet from South Carolina State Library.
Training is available through:
Call To Order Parliamentarian Services provides consultations on “bylaw writing and consulting, presiding officer services, and parliamentary advisory services at conventions and other large gatherings.” You can contact Call to Order at [email protected]
The Leadership Institute offers Robert’s Rules of Order training from time to time. For more information about the Leadership Institute’s trainings, check its Find a Training website.
The Noah Webster Educational Foundation offers an online mini-course called Parliamentary Procedure: The Minority Voice and Maintaining Order. You can access training and related resources for $29.99/year.
Reading: Robert’s Rules of Order in Brief. $7.99 on Amazon.