School Board meetings are business meetings of the School Board, held in public to allow the public to hear about the work of the Board and the District. 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. To read the full details on public testimony, please review our Policy and Procedure.
The School Board will hear from the public during the Scheduled Communications portion of the Board meeting. A maximum of twenty (20) speakers will be heard; each speaker can speak for not more than two (2) minutes. Speakers who need language interpretation will receive an additional two (2) minutes, for a total of four (4) minutes, to allow for interpretation.
How to Sign Up
Sign-ups are open from 9:00 a.m. on the Monday of the week of a Board meeting and close at 9:00 a.m. on the day of the meeting (Wednesday). You may sign up by contacting the Office of the Superintendent at (206) 631-3070, or by filling out the form below. Leaving a message or filling out the form prior to 9:00 a.m. on Mondays will not allow a speaker to jump the queue; individuals to preemptively attempt to sign up will be contacted and their place on the speaker list (if any) will be determined by the time and date of their response. If there are more than 20 individuals wishing to speak a waitlist will be created.
Priority of Speakers
The purpose of testimony is to allow members of the public to provide input and feedback on the work of the Board and the district. Speakers will be assigned to speak based on the following priority order:
- Individuals speaking to Action items on the agenda (including the consent agenda and items listed as Introduction/Action)
- Individuals speaking to Introduction items on the agenda
- Individuals speaking to other topics related to Highline Public Schools
Within each priority ranking, the speakers will be ordered on the agenda in the order in which they sign up. The final agenda, including the order of speakers and whether there is a waitlist, will be posted online on the meeting agenda by noon the day of the meeting. Individuals are encouraged to check the agenda to determine their location (if any) on the speaker list.
Guidelines for Testimony
- Speakers should state their full name for the record when starting their testimony and are encouraged to indicate their relationship to the District.
- Speakers will be allowed a maximum of two (2) minutes. A speaker who appears in person may cede all or part of their time to another person present at the meeting. The total amount of time will not exceed 2 minutes. The clock will not be restarted when the second speaker begins speaking.
- Speakers needing interpretation will be given four (4) minutes to speak.
- Each speaker is allowed to speak only once during the meeting, regardless of whether they signed up for a speaking spot or it was ceded to them.
- The majority of a speaker’s time should be spent on the topic they indicated when they signed up to speak.
- Public Testimony is an opportunity to share information with the Board. Board Directors do not respond to questions or comments made during the public comment period. Directors’ silence will not be deemed to signal agreement or endorsement of the speaker’s remarks.
Expectations for Testimony
Those testifying are encouraged to remember that School Board meetings are business meetings for the Board and are recorded and archived. Speakers must adhere to the same level of civility that the Board expects of itself. Speakers who fail to do so, or who speak beyond their allotted time, may be interrupted and their speaking time terminated. Examples of incivility include remarks that:
- Are personally directed towards students, staff, or others;
- Are defamatory;
- Are an unwarranted invasion of privacy;
- Are abusive, obscene, or indecent;
- Are irrelevant, meaning they do not pertain to the work of the Board or District;
- Are “fighting words,” i.e., words that are directed at an individual to incite an immediate and hostile reaction, such as through racial slurs;
- Violate District policy or procedure related to harassment, intimidation, bullying or discrimination;
- Incite an unlawful act on District or school premises; or
- Create a material and substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the Board meeting.