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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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.