The Columbia Elementary School District governing board
welcomes and encourages your participation at their meetings.
To ensure an orderly meeting, all participants will be asked to observe the following.
Procedures for placing an item on the agenda, making a presentation, or speaking to an item on the agenda shall be as follows (Board Bylaw #9322):
- Any Board member or any member of the public may request that a matter within the jurisdiction of the Board be placed on the agenda of a regular meeting. The request must be in writing and must be submitted to the Superintendent or designee with supporting documents and information, if any, at least two weeks before the scheduled meeting date. Items submitted less than two weeks before the scheduled meeting date may be postponed to a later meeting in order to allow sufficient time for consideration and research of the issue.
- The Board President and Superintendent shall decide whether a request is within the subject matter jurisdiction of the Board. Items not within the subject matter jurisdiction of the Board may not be placed on the agenda. In addition, the Board President and Superintendent shall determine if the item is merely a request for information or whether the issue is covered by an existing policy or administrative regulation before placing the item on the agenda.
- The Board President and Superintendent shall decide whether an agenda item is appropriate for discussion in open or closed session, and whether the item should be an action item, informational item, or consent item.
- The agenda shall provide members of the public the opportunity to address the Board on any agenda item before or during the Board’s consideration of the item. The agenda shall also provide members of the public an opportunity to testify at regular meetings on matters which are not on the agenda but which are within the subject matter jurisdiction of the Board (Education Code 35145.5, Government Code 54954.3).
Persons addressing the Board shall be guided by the following conditions (Board Bylaw #9323):
- Members of the public are encouraged to attend Board meetings and to address the Board concerning any item on the agenda or within the Board’s jurisdiction. So as not to inhibit public participation, persons attending Board meetings shall not be requested to sign in, complete a questionnaire, or otherwise provide their name or other information as a condition of attending the meeting.
In order to conduct district business in an orderly and efficient manner, the Board requires that public presentations to the Board comply with the following procedures:
- The Board shall give members of the public an opportunity to address the Board either before or during the Board’s consideration of each item of business to be discussed at regular or special meetings (Education Code 35145.5, Government Code 54954.3).
- At a time so designated on the agenda at a regular meeting, members of the public may bring before the Board matters that are not listed on the agenda. The Board may refer such a matter to the Superintendent or designee or take it under advisement, but shall not take action at that time except as allowed by law. The matter may be placed on the agenda of a subsequent meeting for action or discussion by the Board (Education Code 35145.5, Government Code 54954.2).
- Without taking action, Board members or district staff members may briefly respond to statements made or questions posed by the public about items not appearing on the agenda. Additionally, on their own initiative or in response to questions posed by the public, a Board or staff member may ask a question for clarification, make a brief announcement, or make a brief report on his/her own activities (Government Code 54954.2). Furthermore, the Board or a Board member may provide a reference to staff or other resources for factual information, ask staff to report back to the Board at a subsequent meeting concerning any matter, or take action directing staff to place a matter of business on a future agenda (Government Code 54954.2).
- The Board need not allow the public to speak on any item that has already been considered by a committee composed exclusively of Board members at a public meeting where the public had the opportunity to address the committee on that item. However, if the Board determines that the item has been substantially changed since the committee heard it, the Board shall provide an opportunity for the public to speak (Government Code 54954.3).
- A person wishing to be heard by the Board shall first be recognized by the president and shall then proceed to comment as briefly as the subject permits. Individual speakers shall be allowed three (3) minutes to address the Board on each agenda or non-agenda item. The Board shall limit the total time for public input on each item to 20 minutes. With Board consent, the president may increase or decrease the time allowed for public presentation, depending on the topic and the number of persons wishing to be heard. The president may take a poll of speakers for or against a particular issue and may ask that additional persons speak only if they have something new to add.
- The Board President may rule on the appropriateness of a topic. If the topic would be more suitably addressed at a later time, the president may indicate the time and place when it should be presented. The Board shall not prohibit public criticism of its policies, procedures, programs, services, acts, or omissions (Government Code 54954.3). In addition, the Board may not prohibit public criticism of district employees. Whenever a member of the public initiates specific complaints or charges against an employee, the Board President shall inform the complainant that, in order to protect the employee’s right to adequate notice before a hearing of such complaints and charges and also to preserve the ability of the Board to legally consider the complaints or charges in any subsequent evaluation of the employee, it is the policy of the Board to hear such complaints or charges in closed session unless otherwise requested by the employee pursuant to Government Code 54957. The Board President shall also encourage the complainant to file a complaint using the appropriate district complaint procedure.
- The Board President shall not permit any disturbance or willful interruption of Board meetings. Persistent disruption by an individual or group shall be grounds for the chair to terminate the privilege of addressing the Board. The Board may remove disruptive individuals and order the room cleared if necessary; in this case, members of the media not participating in the disturbance shall be allowed to remain, and individual(s) not participating in such disturbances may be allowed to remain at the discretion of the Board. When the room is ordered cleared due to a disturbance, further Board proceedings shall concern only matters appearing on the agenda (Government Code 54957.9).
Thank you for your cooperation.