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.


  • 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.
  • Speakers are called forward in order of arrival. Out of fairness to all, patrons are not allowed to save spots in the speaking line, or swap spots with late arrivals.
  • Any person wishing to address the Board must fill out a patron comment card. Pre-numbered comment cards will be available 30 minutes prior to a regularly scheduled Board meeting. Patrons who arrive before that time will be asked to wait in line until the cards are distributed. Comment cards must be completely filled out, including the speaker's full name and home address, and given to the staff member managing the speakers' queue. If a comment card is not turned in before the meeting begins, the speaker will not be called forward.
  • 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 comment cards 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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