Public Comment Policy

Wisconsin Virtual Learning Board of Directors

Public Comment Policy

 

Date of Approval: July 14, 2011

Purpose

The Wisconsin Virtual Learning Board of Directors welcomes public comment at its meetings and is committed to providing meaningful opportunities for members of the public to participate. The purpose of this policy is to address how participation will be handled, both in person and from a remote location by telephone.

Policy

The Board encourages members of the public to offer comments and express opinions on both specific actions to be taken by the Board, as well as any other issue directly related to the operation of the School. In accordance with this policy, any individual may address the Board on agenda items during the public comment period as long as they meet any legal provisions governing participation at public meetings. Individuals may present either in-person or by telephone.

Procedure

Individuals are strongly encouraged to discuss their comments and concerns with appropriate school staff members, administrators, and/or Board members before directing such comments to the entire Board during a meeting.

Each Board meeting agenda shall have a time designated for “public comment.” The total time for public comment shall not exceed twenty (20) minutes. Public comment after this time-frame is not permitted.

In-person participants

To be recognized by the Board President, an individual must provide their name and a short description of the agenda item they wish to comment on to the Board President, along with any materials they want to have distributed to Board members, before the scheduled start of the meeting. The Board President will then announce the individual’s name at the appropriate time during the meeting. Each individual will be granted up to five (5) minutes to make his or her presentation. If requested, the Board President may grant additional time to individuals, circumstances permitting. After completion of any such presentation, the Board President shall ask whether there is any further public comment on the item at which time any member of the public present may come forward and make his or her presentation (which may be limited to five (5) minutes at the Board President’s discretion).

Individuals desiring to make a formal presentation to the Board on an item not on the agenda but desiring it be placed on the agenda must provide notice and written submissions detailing the subject of the presentation to the School Principal at least fourteen (14) days prior to the meeting. Any such presentations shall not exceed fifteen (15) minutes in duration, unless otherwise permitted by the Board President. In addition, an individual may raise the issue during public comment and request that it be placed on a future agenda. No action can be taken by the Board until such item has been included on an agenda in accordance with Wisconsin’s Open Meeting Laws.

Teleconference participants

Individuals who wish to address the Board telephonically should contact the School Principal by phone or by email at least twenty-four (24) hours before the scheduled start of the Board meeting. The individual shall provide his/her name, a phone number where he/she may be reached during the meeting, and a short description of the topic he/she wishes to address. If the individual wants to provide any written materials to the Board, these should be emailed to the School Principal at least twenty-four (24) hours before the scheduled start of the meeting. The School Principal will list these requests in the order in which they are received and provide them, along with copies of any materials submitted to the Board President before the start of the meeting. Individuals who wish to participate will be called at the number they provided in the order in which they contacted the school, and will be granted up to five (5) minutes to make the presentation. If requested, the Board President may grant additional time to individuals, circumstances permitting. After completion of such presentations, the Board President shall ask whether there is any further public comment on the item at which time any member of the public present (telephonically or otherwise) may make his or her presentation (which may be limited to five (5) minutes at the Board President’s discretion).

Telephonic participants should be aware that there is no established time when they may be contacted to speak except that they will be called after the scheduled start of the meeting and before the Board considers the items the participant wishes to address. The total time for any individual to present, either in person or via telephone, shall not exceed five (5) minutes (depending upon the number of speakers), unless the Board grants additional time. Individuals who are attending the meeting in person may be given the first preference in speaking and for the duration requested.

In addition to the above, any Board member may ask a member of the public present to answer brief questions or make comments on an agenda item under discussion in order to gather information before deliberating on a decision.

Members of the public who require special accommodations to be able to attend the Board meeting should contact the School Principal or the specific contact person designated on the agenda for that meeting, at least twenty four (24) hours prior to the meeting to make appropriate arrangements for attending the meeting.

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