Public Participation in Board Meetings

  • A school board meeting in the State of Washington is a public meeting. That definition means that it must be held in public—not that the Board is required to have the public take part in the meeting. However, the Snoqualmie Valley School Board welcomes public participation in parts of the regular meetings and provides a few simple rules of procedure for those interested.

    If a topic on which you wish to speak is listed on the agenda for the meeting, please wait until that item is introduced by the Board President. Either stand or raise your hand so that you can be recognized by the chair, and once you have been recognized, you may speak. You are asked to state your name and any organization you represent if you are speaking on behalf of a group. While it is not required by board policy, it is appreciated by the Board if you state in which Valley community you reside.

    Board policy clearly provides that the Board will not take final action on a topic introduced from the floor. All such items are referred to district staff for study and recommendation. While occasionally minor items are raised and disposed of, it is not something that you should expect will occur.

    If your comment to the Board is in the nature of a complaint about a district employee or agent and that person would be personally identifiable, board policy requires that such complaint be submitted to a district official and oral comments at the meeting will not be allowed. The district has an obligation to protect certain privacy rights of its employees and it is also eager to protect you from any exposure to legal liability. The names of our students are never used at public board meetings unless some award, honor, or achievement is involved.

    In addition to the regular meeting, the board conducts two other types of meetings. They are Work Sessions, during which matters may be studied and discussed but no votes are taken, and Executive Sessions. Work Sessions are open to the public as observers, but there is no provision for public participation. Executive Sessions are meetings during which the public may not be present. The subjects considered in Executive Sessions are rigidly controlled by law.

     

     BOARD MEETING PROCEDURES

    A board meeting is a public meeting. That definition means that it must be held in public—not that the Board is required to have the public take part in the meeting. Nevertheless, the Board has made provision for public participation in parts of a regular meeting and follows a few simple procedures. It is the Board’s desire to maintain a meeting environment that is efficient, productive, orderly, and respectful.

     

    Procedures for Comment:

    • An individual wishing to comment will first be recognized by the board chair.
    • Either stand or raise your hand so that you can be recognized by the chair.

    • You are asked to state your name and any organization you represent if you are speaking on behalf of a group.

    • State the community within which you reside.

    • All comments will be directed to the Board.

    • Comments will be limited to two minutes---please make them concise and to-the-point.

    • Comments may be submitted in writing.

    Procedures for Concerns:

    • Concerns should be directed to appropriate staff and should only be brought to the board after concerns have not been resolved at that level.

    • If your comment to the Board is in the nature of a complaint about a District employee or agent that would be personally identifiable, Board policy requires that such complaint be submitted to a District official and oral comments at the meeting will not be allowed.

    Procedures for Questions:

    • Time will not be taken during the meeting to answer questions.
    • Questions will be taken down and an appropriate board member or staff member will follow up.