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To Support Student Participation at Jan. 10 Meeting, Albemarle County School Board Moves up Public Comment Period

DATE: January 7, 2019
CONTACT: Phil Giaramita, Public Affairs and Strategic Communications Officer
PHONE: 434-972-4049

To Support Student Participation at Jan. 10 Meeting, Albemarle County School Board Moves up Public Comment Period

(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Virginia) – For its first School Board meeting in 2019, the Albemarle County School Board is moving up the public comment period on its agenda.

To support students who would like to attend the January 10 meeting to address members of the Board, public comment has been scheduled for 7:18, prior to the business portion of the meeting. Students will be given priority during the 30 minutes that have been allotted to hear from as many as 10 speakers. If fewer than 10 students sign up to speak to the Board, other speakers will be called in the order in which they signed up.

Recent public comment periods have followed the completion of the Board’s business agenda, often occurring as late as 9 p.m. Setting aside an earlier time for students to address the Board will make it easier for them to participate, especially considering that Friday is a school day.

If more than 10 speakers sign up to speak to the Board on Thursday evening, a second public comment period will be conducted after the business portion of the agenda.

All speakers must sign up prior to the 6:30 p.m. start of the meeting. To ensure that the business meeting remains on schedule, no one will be added to the speaker’s list once the meeting begins. While these changes are specific to the January 10 meeting, the School Board will assess how well this new approach works before deciding whether to continue with the earlier public comment timeframe for future business meetings.

Regularly scheduled School Board meetings generally are held the second and fourth Thursdays of the month in the County Office Building at 401 McIntire Road in Charlottesville.

There will be no change to the public comment procedures for the School Board’s work sessions, which generally occur on the fourth Thursdays of each month. Public comment will continue to be offered at the conclusion of the work session. There also will be no change to the Board’s policy regarding special meetings, which do not include public comment.

The January 10 meeting is the Board’s annual organizational session, in which a chair and vice chair for 2019 will be selected. The Board also will confirm meeting dates and times for the new year and decide committee assignments.

Already on the schedule is a special School Board meeting on January 17 to receive the Superintendent’s Funding Request for the 2019-20 school year and work sessions on January 22 and 24 to review the request. A public hearing on a 2019-20 school budget will be conducted on January 29, and a special meeting is scheduled for February 5 to formally adopt the budget.

All School Board agendas, including time and place, are available the Monday before the meeting by visiting our ElectronicSchoolBoard site and clicking on the calendar date for the meeting.

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