Community Comments at School Board Meetings

Community Comments at School Board Meetings
Posted on 09/08/2021
Community Comments

Public Comment Protocol for Board Meetings

Public comments are always welcome at School Board meetings. Please follow the procedures below to ensure you are registered to comment during the meeting and so your comment will be entered into the Board minutes as a permanent record. Please read the Board Decorum Statement.

Public Comment Protocol

  1. The number of Public Comment periods will continue as outlined in Policy 903.
  2. The time allotted for in-person Public Comment will be up to 30 minutes for residents who appropriately registered to speak.
  3. The time allotted for Public Comment may be extended by a majority vote of the School Board.
  4. Residents may sign-up to speak beginning the Monday before the meeting until the start of the meeting by submitting their request via:
    1. Email to boardcomments@centennialsd.org the form from the following link:Administrative Regulation 903.
    2. In-person by providing the completed CSD registration card to the Board Secretary prior to the start of the meeting.
    3. Email the following information boardcomments@centennialsd.org
      1. Your Name:
      2. Address:
      3. Telephone:
      4. Organization:
      5. The Topic of Discussion:
      6. Have You Contacted A School District Official (Staff) Regarding the matter? If yes, who: 
      7. Per PA Sunshine Act, your name, address (indication of being a resident or taxpayer), and subject of testimony will be included in the minutes. 
      8. Residents should arrive at the meeting location at least 15 minutes before the Board meeting to check-in and proceed to the designated area.
  5. Residents will be allowed to speak during the allotted time in the order the registration was received in accordance with the rules and regulations established for the conduct of the meetings and maintenance of order.
  6. Residents who do not appropriately submit their comments by the deadline or arrive late may have to wait until the next Board meeting.

    Overview of the Process

    The Board President will call upon speakers in the order they registered.

  7. When it is the selected person's turn to speak, they will be directed to the public microphone.
  8. The speaker will state their name and address and make their comment. They will have three (3) minutes to speak.
  9. After they have finished speaking, they may return to their seat or exit the building.

Per Sunshine Act Section 706. Minutes of meetings, public records and recording of meetings

Written minutes shall be kept of all open meetings of agencies. The minutes shall include:

  1. The date, time and place of the meeting.
  2. The names of members present.
  3. The substance of all official actions and a record by individual member of the roll call votes taken.
  4. The names of all citizens who appeared officially and the subject of their testimony.

Per Sunshine Act Section 710. Rules and regulations for conduct of meetings

Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit the agency from adopting by official action the rules and regulations necessary for the conduct of its meetings and the maintenance of order. The rules and regulations shall not be made to violate the intent of this chapter.

Per Sunshine Act Section 710.1 Public participation

(a) General rule. Except as provided in subsection (d), the board or council of a political subdivision, or of an authority created by a political subdivision shall provide a reasonable opportunity at each advertised regular meeting and advertised special meeting for residents of the political subdivision or of the authority created by a political subdivision or for taxpayers of the political subdivision or of the authority created by a political subdivision or for both, to comment on matters of concern, official action or deliberation which are or may be before the board or council prior to taking official action. The board or council has the option to accept all public comment at the beginning of the meeting. If the board or council determines that there is not sufficient time at a meeting for residents of the political subdivision or of the authority created by a political subdivision or for taxpayers of the political subdivision or of the authority created by the political subdivision or for both to comment, the board or council may defer the comment period to the next regular meeting or to a special meeting occurring in advance of the next regular meeting.

Per Sunshine Act – Definitions

Meeting.” Any prearranged gathering of an agency which is attended or participated in by a quorum of the members of an agency held for the purpose of deliberating agency business or taking official action.

  • Official action.”
    • Recommendations made by an agency pursuant to statute, ordinance or executive order.
    • The establishment of policy by an agency.
    • The decisions on agency business made by an agency.
    • The vote taken by any agency on any motion, proposal, resolution, rule, regulation, ordinance, report or order.
  • Political subdivision.” Any county, city, borough, incorporated town, township, school district, intermediate unit, vocational school district or county institution district. “Deliberation.” The discussion of agency business held for the purpose of making a decision.

 

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