Public Participation at Board Meetings
The Board desires citizens of the district to attend its sessions so that they may become better acquainted with the operation and programs of the schools.
In order to assure that individuals wishing to appear before the Board may be heard and at the same time conduct its meetings properly and efficiently, the Board has adopted as policy the following procedures and rules pertaining to public participation during the meetings.
- Any individual desiring to speak shall give their name; address; the group, if any, that is represented; and the specific agenda item they wish to address 72 business hours prior to the Board of Education Meeting.
- The presentation should be as brief as possible. Unless an extension of time is granted, a speaker shall be limited to five minutes.
- Speakers may offer such objective criticisms of school operations and programs as concern them. In Public session, the Board will not hear personal complaints of school personnel nor against any person connected with the school system. An individual may request an audience with the Board in closed session if the individual wishes to register a complaint against an employee of the district.
It should be noted that the Board of Education meetings are open to the public; however, they are not considered public forums. Undue interruptions or other interference with the orderly conduct of Board of Education business cannot be allowed. The Board vests in its president's, or other presiding officer's, authority to terminate the remarks of any individual when they do not adhere to the rules established above. The presiding officer may terminate the speaker's privilege to speak if, after being called to order, the speaker persists in improper conduct or remarks.
The Board's function is to make decisions, and time spent answering routine questions or criticisms must be taken from Board business. If a resident has a question about the operation of the schools, the resident is encouraged to first contact the teacher or administrator closest to the situation. Experience has shown that this is the best procedure. The questioner gets the response directly; the Board is freed to consider its deliberations in a more expedient manner.
No one person, or group of persons, acts in the name of the Board. When an item of business comes before the Board in the form of a motion, it is necessary that a majority of votes be cast in favor of the motion for the Board to act. Members of the Board are without authority to act independently as individual Board members; therefore answers must be deferred pending consideration by the full Board.
The Board has complete and final control over local school matters subject only to the limitation imposed by federal and state law, regulations of the state and the will of local residents as expressed in district elections.
State law provides that all meetings of governmental bodies (including school boards and multi-member bodies created by the boards) shall be open sessions unless a closed session is expressly permitted by law. For the most part, closed sessions are normally held to discuss student and personnel matters. A governmental body may hold a closed session only by an affirmative public vote of a majority of members present at the meeting and only to the extent that a closed session meets the guidelines established by statute.
We hope the above information has been helpful in briefly explaining the basic operational procedures of your Board of Education. We encourage you to attend future meetings of the Board of Education, and we appreciate your continued interest and support of your schools. Past interest and support of this nature have helped provide sound educational opportunities for the young people of our community. Your continued interest and support in your schools will help to ensure that these educational opportunities will continue to expand and improve.
Meetings of the Board of Education follow an agenda prepared by the Superintendent of Schools so that its meetings follow a consistent format. Patrons may ask to have items placed on the agenda by presenting a written request to the Superintendent five days before the regular Board meeting.
The Open Meeting Law of Missouri requires the posting of information contained in the Board's agenda at least 24 hours prior to a scheduled meeting.