Board Meeting Protocol
I. Meeting Called to Order
II. Pledge of Allegiance
III. Public Comment
The Hilton Board of Education subscribes to the NYS Open Meeting Law, which allows the public to attend Board meetings. Although the law does not require public participation, the Board does recognize guests who wish to address the Board as set here:
Speakers – District residents wishing to address the Board are encouraged to notify the District Clerk in advance. In some circumstances, the Board President will recognize members of the audience who have particular information that vital to the issue being considered. The Board of Education reserves the right to limit public comments to a maximum of 20 minutes total and five minutes per speaker. When speaking before the Board, individuals are asked to state their name and address for the record. Regarding any personnel matters, the speaker’s comments shall not include mentioning any District employee by name (District Policy 3220). New York State Education Law prohibits the disclosure of personnel issues by boards of education in public session. The Board reserves the right to restrict access for a speaker who does not comply with district policies and guidelines.
The Board of Education honors students, staff and community members for accomplishments and efforts that have greatly enhanced the District.
V. Presentations – Educational initiative evaluation, school programs and school activities are part of most meetings.
VI. Approval of Minutes
The official minutes of the Hilton Board of Education are reviewed and approved before distribution to the public. Once approved, Board minutes are posted on the Hilton School District website.
VII. Reports from Board Members
Board members provide updates on their interaction with District, local, state committees and school-related organizations for which they have been assigned as liaisons.
VIII. Old Business
Items on this portion of the agenda were previously introduced at a past Board meeting, but were not brought to closure. An example would be policy changes, which must be tabled at the meeting in which the change is first considered, with action occurring at a subsequent meeting.
IX. New Business – Consent and For Discussion
This portion of the agenda represents the primary issues to be voted on at the meeting. The consent portion allows the Board to address multiple issues with one motion. Any items that are deemed to warrant additional discussion are moved from consent to the discussion part of the agenda and discussed individually. Action items requiring time for review and public input will be tabled for at least one meeting (such as textbook approvals, policy revisions and curriculum approvals.)
X. Administrative Reports
The Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and the Director of Business Operations prepare reports to the Board that provide information and background on activities within their areas of responsibility. Information in these reports may relate to future agenda items, or may exist for information purposes only.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the Board President will ask the Clerk to read back the potential agenda items that were discussed during the meeting. The Board decides if they would like to add an item to a future agenda. A debriefing also takes place along with any other topics the Board would like to discuss.
Prior to adoption of the budget or scheduling of other votes, a public hearing is scheduled to provide an opportunity for public input prior to Board action. Persons speaking at a public hearing may do so without prior arrangement. The speaker will be expected to provide his or her name and address, and to confine comments to no more than five minutes on the topic under consideration.
Prior to or following the public portion of the meeting, the Board will often convene an executive session. Under the NYS Open Meetings Law, the Board shall not take any formal action in executive session and may only discuss topics such as negotiations, personnel, litigation and other topics for which the need for confidentiality takes precedence. Executive session is reserved for discussions involving confidential information. Public employees are governed by NYS Education Law and as civil servants are protected by the NYS Constitution and the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (due process provision). The Board of Education protects the residents and taxpayers of the Hilton School District from liability (defamation and stigma actions) by ensuring confidentiality of personnel issues.