Public Participation at Board Meetings

Guidelines for Public Participation at a Board of Education Meeting

Meeting Logistics

Big Hollow School District #38 holds its regular board meetings on the 2nd Monday of each month. A schedule of meetings, agendas, and minutes from past meetings may be found on the website. In addition, the Board may hold special Committee of the whole meetings or other Committee meetings that will also be posted on the website.

Meeting Protocol

The Big Hollow Board of Education, like most governing bodies in the State of Illinois, holds its meetings in the public pursuant to open meeting laws. These meetings are referred to as "meetings in the public," not "public meetings." BOE meetings are not public, town hall type of meetings where active debate, questions, and conversation are exchanged between the public and the Board of Education members. The intention of this is not to close off communication with the public, but to ensure that the Board of Education is effectively and efficiently conducting business on behalf of the district and making progress toward its goals while adhering to the open meeting laws of the state.

Public Participation

Although this is a meeting of the Board of Education, not a public meeting, the Board recognizes the value of active community participation and encourages public attendance. Therefore, the Board has authorized two opportunities for public comment. The first opportunity will occur prior to Action items on the meeting agenda. The second opportunity will occur prior to adjournment.

We believe that effective dialogue can occur only in an atmosphere of mutual respect. We invite members of the public to share this commitment with us and respectfully request that anyone wishing to address the Board keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • Submit the required Public Participation Request Form to the Board's Recording Secretary prior to the meeting. If an issue arises during the meeting that raises a question, you may fill out the request form during the meeting to speak at the second public comment portion of the meeting. Members of the public will be asked to submit those forms to the Board Recording Secretary at the beginning of the second public comment session. The Board President will then call you by name in order of submission during the public comment portion of the agenda.
  • In general, questions will not be answered, but directed to an appropriate administrative or Board representative who will provide the individual with answers in a timely manner. If you have specific questions, you may also reach our administration and members of the Board of Education at the email addresses and phone numbers listed on the website.
  • When speaking at meetings, individuals should state their name and identify the organization, if any, they represent.
  • Speakers should address the Board President or the Board as a whole, not the audience.
  • Those wishing to address the Board should keep their remarks to a reasonable time. The Board President has the authority to limit comments to 5 minutes. In certain situations, when it is expected that a large number of individuals wish to speak, the President has the authority to limit each speaker to a maximum of 2 minutes.
  • The Board President may lengthen or shorten an individual's opportunity to speak at any other time. The President may also deny an individual if the individual has previously addresses the Board on the same subject within the past 2 months.
  • Speakers that concur with past speakers are encouraged to state this for the record without taking any additional time.
  • Conduct oneself with civility and respect toward others. Any discussion of individual school personnel or students may not be discussed in open session. Such concerns should be submitted in writing to the Board and aired in a closed session.