Public Participation

Guidelines for Public Participation

Public Participation at School Board Meetings (GP-14)

All regular and special meetings of the Board shall be open to the public. While the Board’s meeting time is dedicated to its strategic mission and top priorities, the Board desires to hear the viewpoints of all community residents. The Board shall therefore schedule time during Board meetings for comments and questions from the public for consideration or follow-up. Public comment at regular meetings may be on items on the agenda or any topic related to the Board’s oversight of the schools. Comments at special meetings must be on the topic of the agenda item being considered by the Board.

The Board shall set reasonable time limits on the length of public participation and on the length of individual speeches. Speakers must sign in. Time limits may be set by the Board President following the guidance outlined below or other approaches, at their discretion, taking into account the issues under consideration and number of individual speakers or groups wishing to be heard.

  • a three-minute time limit for individual speakers if fewer than 20 individuals have signed up to speak. If four or more individuals sign up as a group on the same topic, they may be allotted 10 minutes to arrange their time in any respectful way the collective individuals decide.
  • a two-minute limit and five minutes for groups, if more than 20 individuals sign up to speak to the Board.
  • a one-minute time limit for individual speakers and three minutes for groups, if more than 30 individuals sign up to speak to the Board.

Members of the public are encouraged to exercise their rights to free speech responsibly. Specifically, the Board reminds members of the public that school-age children may be present, and that Board and School District meetings shall model the respectful behavior that we teach our students. The Board encourages the discussion of all personnel matters be conducted in executive session.

The Board president shall be responsible for recognizing all speakers who shall properly identify themselves, for maintaining proper order, and for adherence to any time limits set. Questions asked by the public may be referred to the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee for consideration and later response.

Members of the public wishing to make formal presentations before the Board should make arrangements in advance with the superintendent and/or Board president so that such presentations may be scheduled on the Board agenda.

In addition to public participation during meetings, the Board is committed to engaging members of the community on an ongoing basis regarding community values about education during times other than the Board’s regular meetings.