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Series 204.8AR - Public Participation at School Board Meetings

Adopted: October 1977
Revised: November 2017

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

2. Addressing Agenda Items – Members of the public 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 will be asked to identify themselves before they begin their comments.

2.2 A member of the public will be 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 chairperson reserves the right to limit the number of people who speak to each agenda item.

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 about items that are not on the meeting agenda. Comments about school or district operations or programs may be heard, but the board will not hear complaints about specific district personnel or other individuals at a public session. 

3.1 Special Communication Request – A member of the public may submit a written request (Procedure 204.8.3P, Special Communication Request) to the administrative assistant to the School Board no less than five working days before the board meeting at which they wish to speak. This request and any related information will be shared with the board before the meeting. Individuals or groups who submit this written request are given five minutes to make their comments. Special Communications Requests on the same topic will be limited to the first three requests per meeting.

3.2 Open Forum – A member of the public may sign up 30 minutes before a board meeting begins to speak during the Open Forum portion of the meeting. Up to seven people will be allowed to speak for up to two minutes each.

4. General Guidelines

4.1 Speakers may 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.

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. Once the administration has investigated the questions or issues raised by a speaker at a board meeting, the findings will be reviewed with the board before the administration responds to the speaker on behalf of the board.

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.