SC Public Comment
WES School Committee
Guide to Public Comment for
Regular School Committee Meetings
Welcome to this meeting of the Williamstown School Committee. All regular and special meetings of the school committee are open to the public and observers are always welcome to attend.
The School Committee is a policy-setting body. Once elected to office, School Committee members become officers of the state because education is a state-regulated function. The School Committee is the local legislative body responsible for, among other things, establishing local policy to ensure that the school is run in accordance with state laws and regulations.
All meetings of the School Committee are conducted under a limited agenda prepared and distributed in advance of the meeting. This is not a public hearing. From time to time, the committee may hold public hearings, in the form of special meetings to consider specific topics, at which a presentation is made and public comments are invited.
All regular meetings of the School Committee will provide for time for citizens to speak briefly before the committee. The committee has adopted the following procedures not only to provide an opportunity to citizens who wish to be heard before the committee, but to preserve the committee's ability to conduct the school district's business in an orderly fashion.
1. The time allotted to public comment normally will not exceed 15 minutes unless decided otherwise by the chair.
2. Speakers will be allowed three (3) minutes to present their material. The presiding chairperson may permit extension of this time limit.
3. Topics for discussion must be limited to those items listed on the School Committee meeting agenda for that evening.
4. Improper comments and remarks will not be allowed. Defamatory or abusive remarks are always out of order. If a speaker persists in improper conduct or remarks, the chairperson may terminate that individual's privilege of address.
5. All remarks will be addressed through the chairperson of the meeting.
6. Speakers may offer such objective criticisms of the school operations and programs as concern them, but in public session the committee will not hear personal complaints about school personnel nor against any member of the school community. Under most circumstances, administrative channels are the proper means for disposition of legitimate complaints involving staff members.
7. Comments longer than three (3) minutes may be presented in writing to the committee before or after the meeting for the committee members' review and consideration at an appropriate time.
8. Discussion of individual personnel matters will be prohibited.
9. Only the Superintendent, the chairperson, or other members of the committee at the chairperson's discretion will make responses to concerns raised during public comment.
10. Votes will not be taken on matters raised during public comment.
11. The Superintendent or chairperson will advise citizens of appropriate steps to take on those issues that can be resolved by directing citizens to the appropriate staff member.
While not necessary, for administrative convenience we ask that you please sign up by the Friday before the Meeting at which you would like to comment so that you can be put on the agenda. Those that are signed up for public comment will have the first opportunity to comment. When you sign up, please be prepared to identify the topic on which you would like to comment.
Please Contact the Superintendent's Office to Sign up for Public Comment.
Reference: WES school committee policy BEDH