We have received several questions this week regarding how to communicate with the Board of Education and present comments during public meetings. The perspectives of our parent community are important to us and I want to take a moment to review appropriate steps.
Below are two key policies providing direction regarding communication with our Board. The policies are aligned to School Board Meeting Procedures within the Open Meetings Act and can be found in their entirety on our website for your reference. I have summarized our district practices to operationalize these policies.
2:140 Communication To and From the Board of Education
2:230 School Board Public Participation at School Board Meetings and Petitions to the Board
District Practices Aligned to Policies - Submitting Written Communication
If a letter is submitted to one or multiple Board members, it will be forwarded to the Superintendent's Office without a direct response from those Board members. Instead, the Superintendent will reply to the individual sending the communication to let him/her know we are in receipt of the correspondence. The letter/email will be posted to the first available Regular Board Meeting Agenda – under “Written Communication.”
All Board members will read submitted correspondence in advance of the meeting in the case it applies directly to an agenda item. If the correspondence does not apply to a discussion or information item on the agenda, the Board will consider the correspondence during the “Communications” section of the agenda or in Executive Session (if it applies to a public meeting exemption). The individual(s) authoring the correspondence will receive the BOE’s response through an email from the Superintendent.
A community member may communicate directly to the Superintendent. If the correspondence does not address one or multiple Board members, it will not be posted to the Board meeting agenda. However, the Superintendent does keep the Board updated on pertinent communications from the community that apply to topics currently under their consideration.
Applicable Policy Language:
“If contacted individually, Board members will refer the person to the appropriate level of authority, except in unusual situations. Board members' questions or communications to staff or about programs will be channeled through the Superintendent's office. Board members will not take individual action that might compromise the Board or District. There is no expectation of privacy for any communication sent to the Board or its members, whether sent by letter, email, or other means.”
“In accordance with the Open Meetings Act and the Oath of Office taken by Board members, individual Board members will not
a. Reply to an email on behalf of the entire Board, or
b. Engage in the discussion of District business through electronic communications with
a majority of a Board quorum.”
District Practices Aligned to Policies – Attending Board Meeting Public Comment
Community members may attend public meetings to provide comment related to topics on the agenda. Public comment is an option at both the Committee of the Whole and Regular Board Meeting. Board agendas can be found on the district website and we recommend reviewing them to determine which meeting will hold the agenda item corresponding to your comments. The time allotted for individual and group public comment is referenced directly in the policies on our website.
Please contact the Superintendent with any questions related to the information presented here.
Oak Grove School District 68