The Highline School Board recognizes the value of public comment on educational issues and the importance of involving members of the public in its meetings. In order to permit fair and orderly expression of such comment, the Board will provide a period at the beginning of Regular Board meetings during which invited guests may make formal presentations. Such presentations must be scheduled in advance with the Office of the Superintendent. The time for this type of communication is in the Recognitions section of regular board meetings.
The Board will also allow individuals to express an opinion during Regular Board meetings. Written and oral comments will be accepted by the Board during the Scheduled Communications section of regular board meetings.
Individuals wishing to be heard by the board during regular Board meetings shall sign up in advance by contacting the Office of the Superintendent by noon on the date of the meeting. There will be 20 reserved slots; if there are more than 20 individuals wishing to speak a wait list will be created and if not all scheduled speakers appear, names will be called off the wait list. At the meeting, speakers will first be recognized by the President and, after identifying themselves, may make their comments within the four minute time period. Speakers are encouraged to leave their name and contact information with the meeting clerk to allow Board members or staff to follow up if there are outstanding questions or issues. No speaker may sign up for multiple speaking slots.
Speakers requiring interpretation services should contact the Office of the Superintendent by noon on the date of the meeting to enable the district to provide an interpreter. Speakers requiring interpretation will receive an additional four minutes of testimony time for a total of eight minutes.
Any representative of a firm eligible to bid on materials or services solicited by the Board shall also be entitled to express an opinion.
The President may interrupt or terminate an individual's statement when it is too lengthy, personally directed, abusive, obscene or irrelevant. The Board President may also call a meeting to recess without a vote as necessary. The Board may yield additional time to a speaker if requested by a member of the Board. The Board as a whole shall have the final decision in determining the appropriateness of all such rulings.
The Board will also reserve 10 speaking slots, at 2 minutes per speaker, at the end of Regular Board meetings in the “Unscheduled Communications” section. Speakers requiring interpretation will receive an additional two minutes of testimony time for a total of four minutes. This is for speakers who have not previously had an opportunity to address the Board during the meeting.
The Board will also reserve up to 10 speaking slots, at 2 minutes per speaker, at the end of regularly scheduled non-executive session work sessions, if there are members of the public who wish to provide comment. Speakers requiring interpretation services should contact the Office of the Superintendent by noon on the date of the meeting to enable the district to provide an interpreter. Speakers requiring interpretation will receive an additional two minutes of testimony time for a total of four minutes. Speakers may sign up to speak at the work session. Speakers are encouraged to provide feedback on the information they heard during the work session. Speakers may also leave their name and contact information if there are outstanding questions or issues.
Individuals with disabilities who may need a modification to participate in a meeting should contact the Superintendent's office no later than three days before a regular meeting and as soon as possible in advance of a special meeting so that arrangements for the modification can be made.
Occasionally speakers wish to give, or ‘cede’, their speaking time to another speaker. The following rules apply when ceding time:
- The person who has signed up to speak must be present and must come to the microphone to cede their time to another person.
- The person who has ceded their time may not take another speaking slot during the Scheduled Communications section of the meeting.
- Time can only be ceded once per speaking slot; the person to whom time has been ceded may use all or part of the four minute time period. If less than four minutes is used the speaker cannot cede the remainder of their time to another person.
Highline School District 401
Adopted by the Board: March 1983
Revised by the Board: 1.93, 11.98, 8.03, 9.08, 1.14, 9.14, 5.18