Citizen Input and Protocol for Responding
Citizen input is important. The Board of Education’s primary responsibility is to act and make decisions in the best interests of every student in the district. Before taking action, it is helpful for the Board to hear from the public and consider the range of views in the community on a particular issue. Since authority rests with the Board as a whole, and not with individual members, it is important for citizens to provide input to the entire governance team – which includes the five members of the Board of Education and the Superintendent. As chief executive officer, the Superintendent executes all Board decisions, and as secretary to the Board, is responsible for Board correspondence.
WAYS TO BE HEARD – PROVIDING INPUT TO THE DISTRICT
Whenever a citizen wants to give input to the Board on issues regarding the school district, he/she should communicate with the entire Board and the Superintendent in one of the following ways:
1. E-MAIL the ENTIRE Board and the Superintendent at the following addresses:
Constance Hubbard, Superintendent: firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrea Swenson, President, Board of Education: email@example.com
Sarah Pearson,Vice President, Board of Education: firstname.lastname@example.org
Amal Smith, Member, Board of Education: email@example.com
Doug Ireland, Member, Board of Education: firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard Raushenbush, Member, Board of Education: email@example.com
2. SEND A LETTER to the Superintendent, Constance Hubbard, at
Piedmont Unified School District
760 Magnolia Avenue
Piedmont, CA 94611.
If the letter notes that the Board should receive a copy, the Superintendent’s office will be certain to distribute it to all Board members. If you send a letter to the Board, please also send a copy of the letter to the Superintendent at the above address.
3. ATTEND A BOARD MEETING and speak either during ‘Communications’ at the beginning of the meeting if the issue is not on the agenda, or after the Board President asks for public input when the Board is reviewing a particular agenda item. In the event a citizen is unable to attend a Board meeting and wants to express an opinion on an agenda item, prior to the meeting they should either send an e-mail or letter to the entire Board and Superintendent as noted above.
RESPONDING TO CITIZEN INPUT – WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE DISTRICT
At Public Meetings
- On agenda items, if a citizen asks a specific question, the Superintendent or Board President will respond.
- On agenda items where a decision is going to be made by the Board, the Board will integrate comments from the public into its deliberation discussions and final vote.
- On non-agenda items, due to state law, the Board cannot take action on such items. Public comment will be accepted, but neither the Superintendent nor Board President are expected to respond. The Board may give direction to the Superintendent to look into the issue and or schedule consideration for a future agenda.
E-mail or Letter Correspondence
- The Board President or Superintendent will confirm receipt of an email or letter. Citizen input will be integrated into Board discussions and decision-making.
- When a more detailed response is warranted, either the Superintendent or Board President will respond to the e-mail or letter.
DOCUMENTING CITIZENS’ INPUT
- E-mails and letters should be sent to all Board members and the Superintendent so that the entire governance team is made aware of a school district matter. E-mail logs are kept through the District’s e-mail system. Letters are filed in the Superintendent’s Office.
- Comments made by citizens during public meetings are recorded in the official minutes kept by the Superintendent’s Office. Board-approved minutes are available on the PUSD website at www.piedmont.k12.ca.us under “Board Agendas and Minutes” after they are approved at a subsequent Board meeting.
NOTICING OF MEETINGS (Minimum requirements)
- 72 hours before meeting, the agenda will be posted at one or more locations freely accessible to members of the public.
- Public comment can be made on any item (at beginning of meeting if not on an agenda item, and during an agenda item if input is regarding specific agenda item).
- 24 hours before meeting, Board members and local media who have requested such notice in writing, shall be given written notice specifying time and place of meeting and business to be discussed.
- Agenda shall be posted in a location freely accessible to the public.
- No other business shall be considered at these meetings.
CURRENT PRACTICE ON DISTRIBUTION OF NOTICES
- The agenda is posted at accessible locations in the district.
- The regular and special meeting notices and agendas are sent via e-mail to approximately 400 individuals including the media, City of Piedmont administrators and Council Members, district and school administration, employee group leadership, support group leadership, and citizens at-large who request to be notified via e-mail.
- Agendas of regular and special Board meetings are posted on the District website under “Board Agendas and Minutes.”
- In certain instances, if a matter pertains to certain neighborhood or interest groups, a notice is sent to those individuals or groups.