Last modified: September 26, 2023
Policy No. 1430 Public Input in Board Meetings
The Board of Education, as a representative body of the community, wishes to provide an avenue for all citizens to express their interests and concerns for district schools and programs. Accordingly, the public is welcome to attend all board meetings.
Board meetings are conducted for the purpose of carrying on the business of the schools, and therefore, are not public meetings, but are meetings held in public. All meetings shall be open to the public except when those matters as prescribed by law are discussed. However, all actions taken by the Board will be done in open meetings.
The intent of this policy is:
- To allow everyone a fair and adequate opportunity to be heard.
- To allow the superintendent to take direct action when policies have already been established by the Board on the subject of the request.
- To provide adequate time for the Board to obtain necessary information and give thorough thought in situations where the policy does not exist, a change of policy is proposed, or an exception to policy is specifically requested.
- To see that time so devoted does not interfere with fulfillment of the regular agenda of the Board.
Time to address the Board is dedicated for suggestions to the board for improving district services, including suggestions regarding district policy. The district has developed procedures under separate policies to be followed in processing concerns specifically related to the following:
- Rights of individuals with disabilities
- Concerns regarding learning materials
- Cases of alleged sex discrimination and
- Sexual harassment complaints.
Persons with concerns in one of these four areas are encouraged to seek assistance from the superintendent’s office in identifying appropriate procedures.
The Board strives to practice civility and respectfulness, and holds similar expectations when receiving public input. The Board strives to ensure that all meetings are orderly, businesslike, and focused on improving student achievement throughout the school district. Public outbursts and inflammatory or defamatory comments do not model appropriate behaviors for the students we serve. Time to address the Board may not be used to air complaints concerning bidding, contracts, employment or personnel issues, to criticize or defame district employees, or to make complaints for which other avenues for appeal exist. Time to address the Board may not be used by employees or their representatives to circumvent formal communication channels or established grievance or negotiations procedures.
The following guidelines shall govern the conduct of audience participation:
- Sign-ups to address the Board are on a first-come basis at the board meeting using the public input submission form.
- Individuals wishing to be heard shall be asked to provide in writing their name, address and issue(s) to be discussed to the secretary of the board.
- Individuals wishing to be heard shall first be recognized by the president.
- Individuals wishing to address the board shall begin by stating their name and address.
Public comments are welcome during the board’s monthly business meeting. The total window of time for public comments will be up to 15 (fifteen) minutes in duration for each agenda item, with individual presentations limited to 3 (three) minutes each. It is not the Board’s wish to cut someone off at mid-sentence, while at the same time the Board wishes to be fair and equitable in the time allocated for individual remarks. Therefore, at the three-minute mark, the individual should bring his/her remarks to quick conclusion. If several patrons wish to address the board on related issues, a spokesperson should be appointed to make one presentation rather than several, with a time limit of 5 (five) minutes. The Board may choose to limit the repetition of comments regarding a particular issue.
The board may schedule other meetings to receive public input on specific issues.
The Board will take no official action in response to public comment during the business meeting, but follow-up will be made, if needed, by the superintendent and the Board at a later time.
Legal References & Synopsis:
Utah Code, Title 52, Chapter 4
Open & Public Meetings Act
Approved by Board of Education:
November 13, 2012