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Wicomico County Board of Education Approves Revised Public Comments Guidelines; Updated Rules in Effect Starting with Monthly Board Meeting on Sept. 13

The Wicomico County Board of Education in a special meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 30 approved a revised Public Comments Protocol Policy that is posted and is in effect starting with the next Board of Education meeting on Sept. 13.

 

The Board received some feedback over the past month on the newly adopted Board of Education Public Comments Protocol Policy. Board members and senior leadership discussed the feedback, reviewed public comment guidelines in other school systems and governmental agencies, and drafted revisions for the full Board’s consideration.

 

On Tuesday, the Board approved these updates to the policy:

 

  • Up to 20 speakers will be able to give public comments during Public Comments time on the agenda of Board of Education meetings. The previous limit was 10 speakers.
  • If all 20 speaking slots are not filled through pre-registration, people will now be able to complete the online registration in person at the meeting venue in the hour before the scheduled start time of a Board meeting.
  • Signups to give public comment will be on a first-come, first-served basis for each monthly meeting. There will not be a random drawing from among all those who have pre-registered.
  • If more than 20 people wish to make comments, only the first 20 pre-registered will make comments during the Board meeting. Others may submit comments to comments@wcboe.org.

 

The next monthly Wicomico County Board of Education meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 101 Long Ave., Salisbury, with the revised rules for public comment in effect.

 

The Board will convene at 6:30 p.m. and immediately vote to go into closed session. The open portion of the meeting will begin at about 7 p.m. Masks are optional. The agenda for this meeting will be available by the Friday before the meeting on BoardDocs: https://go.boarddocs.com/mabe/wcboe/Board.nsf/Public

 

This meeting will be livestreamed on the Watch Board Meetings page of the school system’s website (www.wcboe.org). Meetings are viewable after the meeting in a variety of places, which may include BoardDocs, PAC 14, YouTube and the website of Wicomico County Public Schools.

 

 

Pre-Registration for Public Comments

 

Pre-registration for public comments is available starting one week prior to each Board meeting through the pre-registration page.  For the Sept. 13 Board meeting, the pre-registration page will open at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6. Pre-registration will close 24 hours before each Board meeting to allow time for those who have pre-registered to be notified of the status of their request.

 

The pre-registration page will close at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 12 for the Sept. 13 Board meeting. If additional slots are available, members of the public will be able to register to provide public comments on a first-come, first-served basis starting one hour before the scheduled board meeting begins.

 

Those without online access may pre-register in person at the school system’s main office at 2424 Northgate Drive, Salisbury during the same timeframe. This option is available from one week prior to a Board meeting until 24 hours before a Board meeting.

 

The public comment section of the agenda is an opportunity for the Superintendent and Board to listen to individuals’ own comments on topics concerning Wicomico County Public Schools. The Board chairman has the right to limit public comments in length or those concerning personnel or student matters which clearly identify an individual or individuals, appeals or legal matters that are before the Board, negotiations and topics that are more appropriately addressed in closed session or privately with a staff member.

 

No signs or posters may be displayed by the public during board meetings. Only verbal comments are permitted during public comment session of a Board meeting. Written, printed, audio, or video material may be submitted via comments@wcboe.org.

 

Each speaker shall address all comments directly to the Board and speak only from the designated location for public comments. For additional information, please refer to the Public Comments Protocol Policy.