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204.8AR - Public Participation at School Board Meetings

204.8AR - Public Participation at School Board Meetings

Adopted: October 1977
Revised: November 2023

Download 204.8AR - Public Participation at School Board Meetings

1. Members of the public are encouraged to attend School Board meetings to learn more about district programs and activities, and to share comments, concerns and suggestions with the board. Members of the public may participate in regular School Board meetings as described below.

2. Addressing Agenda Items – District stakeholders may address agenda items in the Reports, Old Business, New Business and Other Action portions of board meetings when recognized by the board chairperson.

2.1 Speakers are asked to give their name and connection to the district (stakeholder role) before they begin their comments.

2.2 Speakers are allowed to speak one time per agenda item for up to two minutes. In order to conduct business in a thorough yet efficient manner, the number of people who speak to each agenda item is limited to seven.

2.3 “District stakeholders” eligible to speak are limited to district residents, district property or business owners, district employees, current students and their parents/guardians, district contractors, bidders on district contracts that are open for bidding or awarded but not completed, and authorized representatives of the above-identified stakeholders.

3. Addressing the School Board about Items Not on the Agenda – To permit the public to be heard, and at the same time to conduct its meetings properly and efficiently, processes have been established for people who wish to address the board during a regular meeting about items that are not on the meeting agenda. District stakeholders, as defined in section 2.3, may address the board through submission of a Special Communication Request.  

3.1 A district stakeholder may submit a Special Communication Request (Procedure 204.8.3P, Special Communication Request) to the Executive Assistant to the Superintendent and School Board. Requests must be received no less than five working days before the next regular board meeting at which they wish to speak. Only requests for the next regular board meeting are considered; requests for subsequent regular board meetings are not accepted.

3.2. Up to 10 district stakeholders who submit a Special Communication Request within the required timeframe are given four minutes to make their comments at the next regular School Board meeting.

3.3 If more than 10 district stakeholders submit a timely Special Communication Request to speak at the next regular board meeting, the Executive Assistant to the Superintendent and School Board, or designee, will conduct a lottery after the submission deadline to determine the 10 speakers. Individuals who submit a timely Special Communication Request are notified of the results of the lottery.

3.4 Special Communication Requests are not offered at special or emergency meetings.

3.5 Special Communication Request submissions and any related information are shared with board members before the meeting.

4.     General Guidelines

4.1 Speakers may respectfully offer objective criticism of school operations and programs, but the board will not hear complaints about specific school personnel or other individuals at a public session. Comments offered by members of the public do not necessarily represent the views of the board or the administration.

4.2 Members of the public appearing before the board shall be reminded that questions and requests directed to the board will usually be deferred pending appropriate administrative and board consideration.

4.3 If any speaker does not adhere to the above guidelines, the chairperson may rule that the speaker is out of order and may require the speaker to end his or her presentation. Speakers who are ruled out of order may not speak at future meetings for a six-month period of time.

4.4 Speakers addressing agenda items, as well as speakers under Special Communication Request may not allot their time to another speaker. Speakers may not combine their time and speaking slots are not transferable. If a speaker is joined in their presentation by another person(s), the other person(s) must also be a stakeholder or a stakeholder’s representative and the speakers will not receive additional time to present their joint comments.