About the Board

The local board sets policies within the framework of the state school code. In effect, the Board of School Directors is the legislative branch of the school district. It defines the policies, which are carried out by the school staff. All decisions must meet state standards.

The board can:
  • Adopt texts
  • Appoint and dismiss personnel
  • Approve curriculum
  • Levy taxes adopt an annual budget
  • Purchase, sell, or condemn land
  • Create or increase indebtedness within strict state guidelines
  • Maintain school property
Special Circumstances
Where there is a large audience and many people are interested in expressing their views, the Board may adopt rules to enable many to speak and to provide the necessary decorum to enable all points of view to be heard and to appropriately facilitate deliberations. Persons with disabilities who wish to attend any public meeting and require an auxiliary aid, service or other accommodation should contact the Superintendent's Office at 412-884-6300 in advance to discuss appropriate arrangements.

Executive Sessions
The Board may meet privately in executive sessions for the specific purposes of discussing matters of personnel, negotiation or arbitration, the purchase and lease of real estate property, to discuss litigation or issues on identifiable complaints or to discuss business, which enables items protected by lawful privilege or confidentiality. Executive sessions may be conducted during an open meeting, held at the conclusion of an open meeting, or announced at an open meeting.

Superintendent of Schools
The Superintendent is the chief executive officer of the board and is responsible to administer board policies concerning the operation of the schools. He addresses the board regarding the needs and programs of the schools. The Superintendent recommends board action relating to personnel, selection of textbooks and instructional materials, development of curriculum, school plant planning and maintenance, and financial affairs.

Your Presence

YOUR PRESENCE GIVES BOARD MEMBERS THE ADVANTAGE OF COMMUNITY INTEREST AND FEEDBACK

Board members benefit from your comments and questions. Therefore, at each meeting an opportunity is provided for those who want to be heard. If you have a detailed question, or one which requires extensive research, you may wish to send it in advance to the Superintendent of Schools.

Addressing the Board
  • Introduce yourself by standing and stating your name and place of residence.
  • Present your ideas, concerns, suggestions and/or commendations to the Board in a clear, concise manner.
  • A written copy of your comments would assist the Board and would provide a record of your statements.
  • Remember that the Board welcomes your ideas and will carefully consider them in deliberating an issue.

Public Participation in Board Meetings

Guidelines

Members of the Public:

The monthly meetings of the Board are the forum for which the educational and business agenda of the school district are accomplished. The Board and Administration welcome and encourage public participation at each open meeting of the Board. However, to ensure proper governance of the school district, meetings must be conducted in an orderly and efficient manner.

Each meeting has at least one opportunity for public comment. During the agenda meeting (first meeting), that time occurs once all the items on the agenda have been discussed. During the business meeting (second meeting), there are two opportunities for discussion, one prior to any items being voted upon in which only items on the agenda may be discussed. The second public comment session occurs at the conclusion of the meeting and may address topics beyond those on the agenda.

Baldwin-Whitehall School District Policy #903 – Public Participation in Board Meetings; fully outlines the rights and responsibility of the public as well as the Board at meetings. A copy of the policy has been attached (link above) for your reference. The Board President shall follow the policy to ensure that everyone wishing to participate will have the opportunity.

Through conversation and planning with the school district architect, Whitehall Code Enforcement, Whitehall Fire Department, and the Whitehall Police Department the following provisions will be in place for all Board meetings moving forward:

  • The Board Room at the Administration office will have a posted capacity of 87 persons (If alternative locations are to be used – they will also have a posted capacity)
  • Entry to the Board Room will be strictly controlled based upon the posted capacity.
  • Seating will be provided up to the posted capacity. Standing will not be permitted.
  • If capacity in the Board Room is reached, additional seating will be provided in the cafeteria at Whitehall Elementary School with a live video feed from the Board Room.
  • Anyone wishing to address the Board during public comment at the end of the meeting will be able to do so. Staff will be on hand to assist the audience members wishing to participate.
  • Accommodations will be provided to allow audience members from the Whitehall Cafeteria location to address the Board in person.
  • Persons wishing to participate in the public comment portion of the meeting are encouraged to contact the Board Secretary prior to the meeting at thampsay@bwschools.net.
  • All participants must maintain order and decorum during the meeting.
  • Members of the media will be assigned a specific location in the Board Room and are requested to remain in that area.

Access to the Board Room and administration office lobby will not be granted until the conclusion of executive session that normally precedes each meeting. In order to accommodate audience members, the gymnasium lobby at Whitehall School will be opened 7:00 p.m. District staff will be on hand to assist audience members and issue numbers for entry to the Board Room. Numbers will not be assigned earlier than 7:00 p.m.

These provisions have been put into place to protect the health and safety of all Board Meeting participants. The Board Meeting is the vehicle in which the business of the school district is able to advance. We must provide the opportunity for that to occur.

Policy