Patron Comments

PATRON COMMENTS

The Francis Howell Board of Education welcomes comments from its community. A period for public comment is set aside at the beginning of each regular Board of Education meeting.

Board Policy 0412, regarding public participation at Board meetings, states:

A period of thirty (30) minutes will be allotted to residents of the District and staff at the beginning of the meeting to give the Board of Education the opportunity to listen to citizens. The Board is very interested in citizen viewpoints and problems. We encourage citizens to work through problems at the building and/or administrative levels before coming to the Board. We ask that remarks be limited to three minutes and to one appearance, thus allowing a maximum number of participants in the allotted time period in which citizens are to speak to issues. Questions directed to the Board will not be answered during the meeting. All questions will be responded to by an appropriate administrative personnel within one week wherever possible. Persons who wish to suggest items for the agenda should contact Board members or the superintendent.

Patrons are encouraged to familiarize themselves with other Board policies that apply to Board meetings, including but not limited to: 1431 - Code of Conduct for Adults; 1455 - Distribution of Materials; and 1471 - Public Solicitation/Advertising in District Facilities.

ADDRESSING THE BOARD? HERE ARE SOME THINGS TO NOTE:

  • Westwood Trail Academy – where most Board meetings are held -- is a school facility. To limit disruptions to the educational environment and to avoid interference with dismissal, no Board traffic will be allowed in the Westwood parking lot until after 3:30 p.m. Exterior doors will open to the public at 5:45 p.m.
  • Only current FHSD employees and individuals who reside within the FHSD attendance boundaries are eligible to speak during the patron comment portion of the meeting.
  • The Board allots a total of 30 minutes for patron comments, and each speaker is limited to 3 minutes. Speakers may not yield unused time to another person. 
  • HOW TO SIGN UP - Any person wishing to address the Board must complete an electronic Patron Comment Request Form. The form will begin accepting responses 24 hours prior to the start of a Board meeting (typically, 6:30 p.m. the day prior to the Board meeting). Physical patron comment cards will no longer be distributed at Board meetings, but Chromebooks will be available in the lobby beginning at 5:45 p.m. on the day of the meeting for patrons who wish to sign up in person. All electronic Patron Comment Request Forms are automatically timestamped by Google. The Board President will call speakers forward in the order they signed up online via the Patron Comment Request Form. Please note: Submitted comments will not be read aloud; patrons must appear in person to make their comments. 
  • Speakers are not to address the Board concerning specific personnel issues at a meeting. Such issues should be addressed using the District's established procedures for sharing concerns about school personnel and, if necessary brought to the Board's attention in private.
  • Board members will not directly respond to a speaker during the meeting, but if a response is required, the appropriate individual will get in touch in the days following the meeting.
  • It is possible - based on the number of patrons in the speakers' queue - that not all patrons will have the opportunity to speak during the Board meeting. However, all Patron Comment Request Forms will be seen by the Board of Education and the appropriate administrators, and as such, it is recommended that patrons include a short summary of their position so their feedback can be considered. Patrons may also wish to email a copy of their comments directly to Board members before or after the meeting. Email addresses can be found here.
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