Understanding School Board meetings
Understanding School Board Meetings
The Renton School Board meets on the second and fourth Wednesday of every month at the administration building at 300 SW 7th Street. Meetings may be rescheduled or moved to local schools as necessary. Closed executive sessions are scheduled to discuss personnel, legal matters, or negotiations, and are not open to the public.
What happens at a board meeting?
At regular meetings, board members discuss and vote on board, committee and administrative recommendations and on items that establish or amend district policy. The Board adopts policies to improve student performance and enhance school programs and acts on matters such as personnel, appropriations, school facilities and recognition of excellence.
The board president conducts meetings using standard parliamentary procedures. Board meetings conform to Washington’s Open Meeting Act.
Order of Business
- Call to Order
- Pledge of Allegiance
- Special Presentations
- Recognition of Excellence (Good News Announcements)
- Adoption of Agenda*
- Public Comment
- Action Items, Old Business
- Action Items, New Business
- Public Comment
- Information and Reports
- Comments: Board and Superintendent
When the agenda is adopted, routine items (consent agenda items) are automatically approved; however, items can be altered by board members. Items are not open for discussion by the public, unless a request is made to the board before the meeting. If you have a question about such an item, ask a board or staff member beforehand.
Public testimony rules
Whenever you testify to the board, please start by stating your name and address for the record. Public comments are limited to three (3) minutes per person for a maximum of one hour on each item. When addressing the board, please note that slander laws may apply to public criticism of individuals (for example, school district employees) identified by name. To address the board under the agenda’s public comment section, use the sign-up sheet posted before the meeting. People on this list will be called first; others may comment if time permits.
Who may speak at a board meeting?
Anyone may speak at board meetings. The board also accepts written testimony, delivered to the superintendent’s office. Communications addressed to the board are distributed to all board members and listed in the board’s reading file.
What topics are appropriate?
Your testimony is most effective when addressed to specific agenda items or matters of general concern. District staff can usually address other information, questions, or problems.
Individual problems and complaints
To ensure due process and respect for individual rights, the district maintains a formal process for handling complaints against individuals. A problem involving an individual or specific incident is best handled through administrative channels, with the board as a source of appeal only beyond the superintendent level. Board members will likely not respond to personal or personnel complaints during a board meeting. Rather, they will ask that the formal process for complaints be used.
Can the board answer me today?
If the question can be answered immediately, it will be. However, most issues before the board are too complex to be resolved at the first hearing. When matters of broad public concern are involved, the board needs sufficient time to study all aspects and listen to the ideas of others. Action will occur as promptly as careful consideration allows.