How do I use Roberts Rules of Order?

Roberts Rules of Order provides effective rules and procedures for making deliberate decisions in a public meeting, however, remembering all the details of parliamentary procedure can be difficult without a quick reference guide.

Roberts Rules is not used to be overly stuffy or formal in meetings, but it is a way of having good meetings without any more formality than is necessary. Roberts Rules is used to protect the rights of everyone and keep things moving in an orderly fashion. General Robert said in his original edition of the rules that we should never be technical or more strict than is absolutely necessary for the good of the meeting. Use your judgment…”

Roberts Rules of Order – A quick “How To” guide

Call to order – The chair, will call the meeting to order with one rap of the gavel or by simply stating that the meeting will come to order at the stated specific time.

The chair leads the meeting and will move through the items on the agenda.

How to address resolutions:

  1. A board member will rise or address the chair regarding a resolution.
  2. The chair will recognize the board member.
  3. The board member will make a motion such as, “I move to purchase a laser printer for the art room.”
  4. Another board member seconds the motion.
  5. The chair states the motion as follows, “It is moved and seconded to purchase a laser printer for the art room. Is there any discussion?
  6. The chair then recognizes membership or leadership to further discuss the motion made. The board members then debate the motion.
  7. The chair then asks if all is ready for the question and asks the board members to vote. “Those in favor of adopting the motion to buy a laser printer for the art room, please say “aye” those opposed, say “no.””
  8. The chair then announces the result of the vote with the fact that the motion was carried if there is a majority in approval, or that the motion failed if less than a majority voted in favor of the motion.

Roberts Rules allows for multiple items to be considered in concert, so the board may choose to group agenda items and resolve them together.

Ex. “It has been moved and seconded to approve new school policies (resolutions 1-5). Is there discussion?" The policies are then discussed and then voted on together.

The chair recognizes others on the agenda scheduled to present committee reports, state the school reports, financial reports, etc., and these reports may be provided by leadership, management staff or consultants in addition to board members, as may be appropriate.

After reports, the chair generally moves into old business and announcements including upcoming dates and the next scheduled meeting. With no further business to come before the board, the chair may adjourn the meeting.


This article is published by Yvonne Adkins of Adkins & Company, a Kentucky based consulting group. We position charter schools for success by providing access to high quality services and expertise for boards, operators and authorizers.

All rights reserved. Copyright 2017

photo credit: wikipedia Roberts Rules of Order